The laundry industry is as big today as it’s ever been and nothing is likely to change that in the foreseeable future. There are around 30,000 coin-operated commercial laundries in the US that generate an annual gross revenue of $5 billion. These figures don’t include communal laundry facilities provided in apartment buildings and other multi-family housing buildings and rental homes. Simply put, the laundromat business is steady, strong, and vibrant. So there are plenty of coins going through plenty of machines and occasionally one gets stuck.

When the mechanism is new and the coin undamaged it’s rare to see any jams. Everything slides through perfectly well and nobody has to get frustrated. However, the washers get used heavily and parts wear also the coins are rarely the perfect shape they were when they were made. All this means coins get stuck from time to time.

Coin-operated Washers in a Launderette.In an ideal world, the stuck coin may fall out of the chute by just pressing the coin return button but you’re reading this so we guess that didn’t work.

  • Use tweezers to reach into the coin slot. See if you can grasp the coin and pull it out.
  • Chances are someone has already slapped the side of the machine where the coin slot is located. Try upping your game, place a piece of wood (or something that will protect the paintwork) against the side nearest to the slot and use a hammer to rap sharply on the wood to try to unjam it. Don’t hammer too hard as to cause damage but the vibration may loosen the stuck coin and will make it fall in or out.
  • Insert another coin into the slot hoping it will dislodge the previous one.
  • Sometimes one of the coin slots may have a coin tipped to the side that prevents the coin slot from moving. Push the tilted coin upright using a utility knife.


Sometimes the coin is not the problem or the coin is bent or is still stubbornly clinging on.

Stuck coin slides may be caused by factors other than coins, such as a loose screw jammed between the coins and the ramp. If the above fixes don’t work, and you still don’t want to call a service technician, you might need to open the coin box or extract the entire coin assembly.

If you’re not the owner of the machine, there’s nothing you can do about it. Report the problem to the owner or building proprietor. If you have the keys for the access panel, opening the coin box can often dislodge a stuck coin. Removing the entire coin assembly can be tricky and it depends on the type of machine you have.

There are a few types of coin acceptor the main ones are; the upright, the flat sliding mechanism, and the dial types.

In general, the coin slot mechanism is housed to one side on the top of the washer and is either the upright type or the sliding type, the dial type being more common on dryers.

  • Slider Type Coin Slot.First, remove the coin store tray, empty it and check if there is anything obvious in the coin shoot inside.
  • Get a pen and notepad and record where you have removed any screws, nuts, connections etc.
  • Remove the maintenance panel which is usually on the top face of the coin slot housing at the back and locked with a key.
  • Remove the long bolt that’s often hexagonal in cross section and runs from the front of the housing to the maintenance panel.
  • There may be some wiring to the slot mechanism, disconnect it.
  • Carefully pull the slot mechanism free.
  • You should be able to see the offending coin if you need to dismantle the unit any further, continue to take notes and diagrams.
  • Once you’ve removed the coin, test it with a fresh one and if all is well, reverse the process to reassemble.

If the problem continues the coin slot mechanism may need replacing. Since you now know how to remove it, you also know how to replace it. Call your local parts distributor and order a new one appropriate for your model or give us a call.