If you have access to one that doesn't require payment, that's the best way. But sometimes you can't have that...

This won't work in all washing machines, and may even jam it up, so don't do it if you really need something washed and washed now.

If it's one with the flat coin mechanism where you stand up a number of quarters (or whatever coin) in slots, then push it in to pay, this may work.

You cut a strip from a pair of pantyhose. It should be about 1 1/2 - 2 inches wide, and kept in a loop (in other words, cut the leg horizontally). Then you place it around the coin holder, over the slots. Put the quarters in the slots, and push in carefully. The hose will keep some or all of the quarters from falling through.

The hose degrades pretty quickly, so don't be afraid to cut another loop after a few washes.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse using this trick on any machines you do not own, as it is stealing. They provide you a service by having the machines so easily accessible, and if you abuse it, then you'll have to go to a laundromat. This is noded for informational purposes only.

Some coin-operated washing machines or dryers, as well as pool tables or other similar arcade games (air hockey, etc) use a coin-op mechanism that consists of a sort of metal slide that you place your coins on and then push into the machine.

These devices are easily circumvented using one of those brown "Mr. Stir" plastic coffee stir-sticks (or equivalent).

This will be easiest if the machine only requires one coin, but works for any amount.

Simply insert the stir-stick into the slot and jimmy it about while pushing inwards on the metal tray. Eventually you will be able to trick the machine into thinking that there is a coin in there and the tray will slide all the way in.

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