Posted By Heather Rusick on 11/9/11 1:07 PM

laundry room etiquette

Most apartments these days come with washers and dryers inside but there are still some that don’t, which means some unlucky folks are stuck hauling all their laundry down to the laundry room - only to run into problems when they get there. With so many people sharing a laundry room and having a limited amount of washers and dryers, how do you know what’s appropriate and what’s not when it comes to laundry room etiquette? 

MOVING OTHER PEOPLES LAUNDRY – I am two sided on this dilemma. I say yes you can remove clothes that are wasting your oh-so-ever-precious life minutes out of a washer or dryer that is backing you up, after all it is  not your fault that the pervious person didn’t time their wash right. So you don’t seem like a complete jerk I would suggest placing the clothes in a dryer (if they are in the washer) but do not turn it on and leave a note on top of the washer (that you are now using) with directions to where their clothes are. If you just don’t feel right about that then place the clothes in an empty basket, you can even use your basket and set them on top of the machine they were in. On the other side of the coin if I left my clothes in the washer, I would tell you to wait at least ten minutes before removing them – hey you can’t time wash perfectly, close too, but not perfect!

DON’T LEAVE IT – Like in the last sentence, I would hate for someone to move my clothes, yuck their grimy hands all over my fresh linens, but I have to be realistic. If I don’t want a stranger touching my clothes then I should probably get my act together and be at the laundry room when the buzzer goes off. It’s all about timing, you can’t time it perfectly but you can make a good attempt at it. If you truly don’t want someone swarming around your wash, then get to the laundry room a little early to protect your cherished goods.

LEAVING A BASKET – Again I say leave that basket! If your clothes are in a washer or dryer you have every right to leave a basket on top of it, it's not hurting anyone and you kind  of claimed the machine until the it turns off - then its fair game. The only risk you will be taking is the possibility of losing your basket to a basket thief, I know it sounds weird but stranger things have happened!

BE CLEAN – It sucks enough that you have to share washers and dryers with a bunch of strangers, imagine if they didn’t clean the machine before you used it… GROSS! My only true rule of thumb is you should always clean the machines after use – remove the goop from the linen trap, wipe off spilled detergent and anything else you might get dirty when you are doing your wash. Some people may forget to do this but don’t be one of them!

Shea Apartment Communities' residents are your thoughts on laundry etiquette?