A. Funny to hear it from your perspective running a laundromat in the vicinity of several Jewish summer camps. Yes, there’s a sudden boost in business in the few days leading up to “The Nine Days” which begin on the first of the Hebrew month of Av (usually mid to late July or early August) which is when we aren’t supposed to do laundry for nine-days until and including the Fast of the Ninth of Av (actually until midday on the tenth). So there’s a run on the washing machines, and then a dry spell for about ten days, at least as far as the Jewish camps are concerned.
Why no laundry on these Nine Days? We’re mourning the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple during this period, and freshly laundered clothing was considered a luxury or comfort (which as a laundromat owner, you’d certainly agree at least with the latter). It’s one of the things (along with no eating meat, and no swimming) that set these summer days apart, and help us reflect on this national Jewish loss, and what we can do to spiritually fill that void.
What happens if you must run a load or two during the Nine Days? Well, we try our best to do the laundry before the Nine Days begin. But if there’s a real need, its OK to do a load. Think mothers of small children who go through clothes quickly in the summer. Or towels needed for a large establishment like a hotel. Otherwise we try to make do, and get the laundry done earlier.