세탁 – Laundry

세탁소 and 빨래방 are two different words for laundromat or cleaners.

세탁 (sea-tak) means laundry, while 세탁소 (sea-tak-so) means laundromat; however, most laundromats simply say 세탁. Alternatively, laundromats in Korea are called 빨래방 (bal-lae-bang) – this usage is less common, though of course 방 words are fun to say. In Chinese characters, 세탁 looks like this: 洗濯. Both characters individually mean wash.

Doing laundry in Korea can be quite a different experience than in Western countries. At home, washing machines are generally smaller, and most people hang their laundry to dry. If you go out, coin-operated laundromats where you do the job yourself are few and far between. At a 세탁소 or 빨래방, you leave your laundry there, and for a small fee (often between 4000 won and 7000 won), your laundry is washed, dried, and folded.

In this picture, it appears that customers’ laundry is being dried outside the store.

laundry

Small stores overflow onto sidewalks.

The sign below says 컴퓨텨세탁 (computer laundry). Since I am not in the laundry business, I am not sure what the significance of the computer is, but I presume it refers to some advanced dry-cleaning technology. By the way, in Korean, dry-cleaning is simply 드라이 클리닝 (a kind of Konglish).

Computer laundry

Do they also wash computers?

This place appears to dry laundry in a van.

more laundry

Either they're drying laundry in a van, or they're delivering it.

This laundry place also sells cigarettes (담배).

cigarettes and laundry

The sticker to the left of the door handle says 담배 (cigarettes).

The sign of this laundromat says 수선전문.  수선 means mending, while 전문 means specialty. Most 세탁소 also offer 수선 services.

Clothing Mending Shop

수선 means mend.

In the lower portion of the window, this place lists some of the fabrics or materials it specializes in, including 가죽(leather), 밍크(mink), 무스탕(mustang), and 양복 (Western clothing).

This place also sells cigarettes, as well as doing clothing repairs.

세차 means car washing. 세 means wash, while 차 means car.

세차

세차 means car wash.