How to Use a Washing Machine for Free
I've never tried this; though find it quite interesting from a design perspective.
Common is the problem of running out of coins when trying to do a load of laundry, or spending excessive amounts of time collecting them to do a wash. My friend living in L.A. hoards quarters for this purpose like a squirrel preparing for winter.
These video tutorials are for people with loose morals and thin pockets:
Using a Q-Tip
(video has been removed)
Using a Penny
I typically have my clothes machine-washed after every third or fourth wash by hand. Tatiana has seen what comes out of my clothes when washed—she called it crude oil once, though they look far less soiled than the regularly murky gray/black water would have you believe.
Truthfully, I can't ever remember going to a do-it-yourself Laundromat outside of the United States. I'm beginning to think they don't exist in Latin America or SE Asia, or are so uncommon that such tactics are useless. Everywhere there are dry cleaners. These are the only people with the machines.
I would have done this in Brazil, where all dry cleaners charge outrageous amounts on a per item basis (as if washing three shirts or four in the same machine makes a difference), or equally absurd per/kilo amounts (upwards of US$15 for about three kilos, I recall from one particular outfit). Machine-washed clothes are a luxury item in that country for those who don't own a machine in their homes themselves.
Perhaps such things are still in play in Europe. I don't know.