Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Noise from Soapy Joe's laundromat on Georgia Ave: do you notice it?

The other day I spotted this on the Columbia Heights Yahoo group: a person complaining about the Soapy Joe's dry cleaners on Georgia between Irving and Kenyon -- apparently they have some very loud machinery that starts very early in the morning and they are not at all responsive to complaints.

Have you noticed this noise? If so, call Jim Graham's office and DCRA at (202) 724-8181 and (202) 442-4400 respectively.
Hi all - I have for years been listening to, and being woken up by, a very loud noise coming from the Soapy Joes dry cleaners (over the 5 years I've lived here, it has operated under three different names) on Georgia Avenue between Irving and Kenyon Sts NW. It is, of course, worse in the spring because my windows are open. 
A year ago, with the help of Jim Graham's office, they built a structure around their outdoor machinery which took care of the loud compressor noise that persisted througout the day and they told me that they were going to repair the other machinery which makes a very loud noise that sounds like a loose fanbelt on a car. Often this noise wakes me up at around 5:45 in the morning, sometimes later. It usually runs for about 20 minutes to a half hour. They have apparently never repaired this machine because it is still making the noise and it regularly wakes me up. 
From my conversations with Soapy Joes, I am apparently the only person complaining about this noise, although I know at least one other neighbor who is also greatly annoyed by it. 
So I've become fed up with dealing with Soapy Joes directly because they are clearly uninterested in being a good neighbor (at one point they told me that if I didn't like noise, I shouldn't live in the city and compared their 30 hour of screeching to a passing police siren). They are well aware of the noise. So I'm now taking my complaints to a broader audience and directly to DCRA. 
If others of you are also frustrated by the noise coming from this dry cleaner, please call DCRA and Jim Graham's office to complain. Please also let me know directly so that possibly we can put some greater pressure on them to respect their residential neighbors.
UPDATE: Soapy Joe's owner Matt Sternberg commented on this blog post below, and also emailed me about the issue, which he says they're working on:
My name is Matt Sternberg and I am the owner of Soapy Joe's. Someone posted a blog about my company which I just responded to. They are having issues with the noise coming from the plant. We bought this plant about 5 years ago and did not know the issues it was causing. We have since built a wall and a cement structure which will hide the noise of our compresser and protect people against any type of danger. We have a fan belt that broke a few weeks ago and it has taken them a few weeks to order us a new one and replacde it but that is happening this week. I just saw this blog post, but always try to respond to people when they have a concern (see yelp.)
Nice to see this kind of response. I hope it gets fixed quickly.


  1. Hello,

    My name is Matt Sternberg and I am the owner of Soapy Joe's. I first want to apologize about the issue with the noise. All that noise is from a broken fan belt (similar to when a car has a broken fan belt.) We are in the process of replacing it and it should be fixed by next week at the latest. You will not hear anymore noise from that again.

    If you ever have an issue please feel free to email me or call me personally. My email is Matt@soapyjoes.com and my number is 1-888-697-6279 ext 901. Thank you.

    Matt Sternberg
    Soapy Joe's

  2. matt sternberg
    soapy joe's
    1-888-697-6279 ext 901.


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