Laundry Room Etiquette

Some tips for being a good neighbour and favourable fellow laundry-room user.

The experience of living in an apartment building is priceless, especially when it comes down to using shared laundry facilities. Here are some tips on good laundry etiquette:

Don’t Take Up All the Machines

If there are five machines, don’t use all five. There are other people who need to get their laundry done, and it’s very frustrating (and rude) when someone uses up every available machine. Divide your laundry and do it in shifts.

Be Considerate: Be There When the Cycle is Finished

It’s very easy to get caught up in another task while you wait for your laundry to finish being washed, but keep track of the time. You should try to be back to the washing machine at least a couple minutes before the cycle has finished. Not only does this speed up the process so that other people can use the machine, but it also prevents the risk of your clothes being stolen.

Don’t Remove Other People’s Clothes

It is extremely rude to remove someone else’s clothes from a machine. You should wait at least ten minutes after the cycle is complete before considering taking out someone else’s clothes. This is especially true with the dryer, as if someone’s clothes are still damp, they can accuse you of stealing drying time. Also, you put the other person’s belongings at risk of being stolen when you leave them out in the open.

Clean Out the Lint Trap

The same rule applies in any public facility – clean up after yourself. Clean out the lint trap in the dryer, make sure that Bounce sheet finds the garbage, pick up the little pieces of paper that didn’t survive the washing process, etc.

Grease and Grime

If you have clothes that are really filthy, whether covered with grease or with a terrible odour, don’t just throw them into the machine. Try hand washing first, taking the clothes to the dry cleaner’s, or take the laundry to some other professional. If you throw the filthy clothes into the public machines, other people’s clothes can come out stained or smelling terrible.

Beware of Bleach

Bleach can be a great thing, but use it cautiously. You don’t want to use so much bleach that it isn’t able to cycle through the machine properly, and you don’t want to spill it. Other people will be very upset if that beautiful navy blue shirt comes out purple.

If You Find a Sock that Isn’t Yours…

If there is a laundry table, leave it there. Don’t throw it in the garbage. The person who lost the sock may come back and look for it. Wouldn’t you be happy if you saw that a considerate person had left it for you to find?

Don’t Ogle Someone’s Underwear

It’s very uncomfortable for someone to fold his/her laundry if someone is standing there eyeballing the underwear.

Report Theft

If you see someone stealing someone else’s basket or clothes, report it! How would you feel if someone stole your items and the one and only person who saw it happen didn’t say anything?

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Published in: Apartment Living


RSSComments: 13  |  Post a Comment
  1. ..And what of “Humpitty-Bumpitty” behaviors that some of us are prone to do in such establishments? If you haven’t made a poster of this at the facility you’re presently using–you should!! Very well detailed.

  2. Haha, thanks, Fegger. You’re right – I totally missed that one! hehehe.

    I don’t think the building manager would let the sign stay up for very long. They seem to have this thing against enforcing acceptable behaviour.

  3. Hey, these are lot of obvious details that people often forget. Good ideas.

  4. Awesome. Now you just need a bunch of ideas for loud neighbours.

  5. You know all the rules. You are a good neighbor. Everyone should be so considerate.

  6. I remember when I was in high school my family and I went to a Laundrymat and went next door while our clothes were in the wash to grab something to drink and when we came back our clothes baskets were gone. For all the years we would do that, that was he last time we left our baskets unattended.

  7. I’m gonna print this up and post it in my laundry room..

    I wonder where to go to get it blown up into a huge poster.

  8. People that leave their clothes in the dryer really piss me off. Especially when all dryers are busy. I waited 15 min and a person had not come back for their clothes. I took them out and put them on top of the dryer.

  9. I just lost THREE laundry baskets – including two which were emptied of waiting-to-wash dirty clothes. I found my laundry DUMPED OUT and noticed “hey, someone stole my baskets.”

    Enter the onsite semi-helper sort of liaison-to-the-manager. He does a lot and should get more compensation and recognition for it, but WOW, what a difference in worldviews, or something!

    I was infuriated, and reported it to him as the only thing it could be, THEFT. To me, it’s pretty clear-cut. The (newish, trendy, from an edgy, hipsterish decorator sort of store, not just generic baskets from the big supermarket – trendy colors as well) baskets were OBVIOUSLY MY PROPERTY. Someone decided to TAKE THEM, i.e., to steal my property.

    I was telling Mr. Nice Guy Manager’s Helper about it ONLY to warn him, and let him know I’d be warning others, of theft in the laundry room. I have no hope of getting my baskets back — they are probably well on their way across town or out of state with someone’s houseguest or the uneasy folks I noticed moving out immediately after my baskets went. BUT I would like to give everyone a heads-up about theft, and maybe put the thieves on notice that people will be watching.

    Mr. Nice Guy TOOK OFFENSE. Wha..??? He called me “paranoid,” said this was merely “someone being inconsiderate” and scolded me for calling it THEFT. What, someone DUMPED MY DIRTY CLOTHES OUT, thinking “oh, look, it’s a community basket for my use! I will borrow it for a few minutes…” la la la, and this person “BORROWED” the basket which was just emptied of MY CLOTHES? Thinking what, again?

    What possible reasoning could Mr. Nice Guy have here? He’s basically stepped into a weird censorship role, shouting me down for calling this theft, taking down a sign I put up about laundry room thefts, and putting up a proclamation asking that people “be considerate of others.”

    Yes, yes, I know, I LIVE IN SEATTLE. I should understand this. I’m afraid I’m still shaking my head, though. Why would someone react that way? Has anyone ever “borrowed” a laundry basket like that? For days?

  10. What is the proper thing to do if someone has all the dryer used, they are not running, they look VERY dry and my laundry has been siting down in the washer for over a half hour now. AND yeah their laundry was dry before I started washing clothes!!! is it ok to empty the dryer I need these clothes looking nice for work… or is it still rude??

  11. Gedunken,
    At that point, I would say that the other people are the ones being rude. They probably still wouldn’t like it if you removed their laundry, but if I were in your shoes, I would definitely be taking over the machines. Just leave them a NICE note with their clothes, apologizing for removing the clothes from the machine, but also state that you’ve been waiting for over half an hour. A lot of people will just blow off the incident.

    Good luck.

  12. while doing laundry at an apartment, 8 washers,8 dryers… I had removed some clothes from a washer that I had been told had been done for over an hour. When I returned approx 20 minutes later This girl accused me of putting my filthy hands on her clothes. Also said I probably stole her things and touched her underwear and that I put her clothes on a germy table. This laundry facility is very clean, also clean tables. I assured her that my hands were not any more dirty than hers and that the, table was clean when I put her clothes on it. She had lots more to say BUT…. This is a public laundry facility for everyone, not a storage facility for her clothes. This is not the first time she has baulked about her clothes being removed by someone. My advice to her was to stay with her clothes if she was afraid of someone touching them, stealing or whatever. It is not everyone elses problem that she is inconsiderate in leaving her items in a washer/dryer when they are done. She later dried her clothes and then put them in the public carts used by everyone. A-DUH so, if you are such a germ freak why are you using a public laundry cart..Everyone has busy lives, my laundry has been removed before and put on the table and I felt bad because I wasn’t there to get my own things out and was not mad at someone else because of it. be responsible for your own stuff and considerate of others. You are not the only one using the laundry facility..

  13. My fiancee was drying our good jeans in the dryer at our apartment complex!!! Well, he went back to check on them 15 mins later and they were gone… I called the police and done a report.. Earlier a guy came in the laundry area and asked my Fiancee if the washers were open.. My Fiancee said yes!!!! WE began to think he stoled our good jeans from the dryer… I had 3 pairs in there and my fiancee had 4 pairs… My fiacee described the dude to the cop… If i see someone wearin them i will call my officer i have talked to today.. I know what my pants look like and im good at getting my revenged.. DONT STEAL SOMEONE ELSES CLOTHES!!!!!

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