Become a Writer Advertise With Us

Whether you live on- or off-campus, are a college freshman or a newly minted graduate, community laundry rooms still have rules you should abide by. Your mom’s not here to do your laundry for you, and chances are, your college isn’t planning to put washers and dryers in every dorm room anytime soon. So let’s make life easier for everyone by abiding by these simple tips on laundry room etiquette:

#1: Be Prompt

There are probably less than a dozen washing machines being used by a few hundred people. If you make the mistake of doing your laundry when everyone chooses to, then at least tend to your laundry immediately. Leaving your laundry there when people need to use your machines is rude, simple as that. I recommend putting an alarm on your phone as soon as your start your washer/dryer, telling you when you have 5 minutes left so you can get to your laundry faster.

#2: Leave Your Laundry Basket/Bag

If you don’t think you’ll make it back to your machine in time, at least leave your basket on top of the machine so that the waiting person can throw your things into a basket rather than the floor.

#3: Be Courteous When Removing People’s Clothes

Some people are impatient and throw the person’s clothes out of the machine the moment it is done. Others will be slightly more timid and wait until the machine is actually free. I don’t recommend either. Give it the 5 minute rule: if someone has not come back within 5 minutes to get their laundry, feel free to remove their clothes and put it in 1) their laundry basket or 2) a clean space, like on the neighboring washing machine.

#4: Don’t Take Up All the Washers

If you’re actually one of the smart people who separates their laundry (because YES, clothes do bleed; you have no idea how often I’d had to defend this fact to people), you’re probably going to aim to be efficient by washing the multiple loads at the same time. Only do this if you planned ahead enough to wash when it’s not busy in the laundry room.  If people are waiting, only use 1 washer at a time. Otherwise, as long as there is a machine or two free, take as many machines as you’d like.

#5: Don’t Overload the Washers

Overloading the machines will either 1) cause a mess and inconvenience everyone in the laundry room or 2) break and inconvenience everyone in the laundry room. And  it definitely won’t  clean your dirty clothes when they have no room to be clean in the washer. Which will inconvenience you and cost you more money.

#6: Clean the Lint Trap

The link trap needs to be cleaned out regularly for the dryer to work, so do the building a favor and dump the lint in the trash once you’re done with the dryer.

The smartest thing you can do is choose a time in the middle of the week and in the middle of the afternoon, when people aren’t in the dorm/apartment buildings, and use the laundry room then. Actually, the morning is probably the best because people are sleeping or in class. Sunday nights are probably the worse time to try and get your laundry done, so avoid it. Plan your schedule accordingly! If you’re unlucky with that, then make life easier for everyone by abiding by these laundry etiquette tips.

Check out the video below about how to clean a lint trap!
How to Clean a Clothes Dryer Filter

How is your etiquette in the laundry room? Have any interesting stories from the laundry room? Post below in the comments section! 


Photo courtesy of Amy Riddle via Flickr (licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0).