For some living in an apartment community with a communal laundry room, the ins and outs of laundry room etiquette are either new or uncertain. The most basic rule of the laundry room is to be courteous of others. While many people know exactly how to navigate the communal laundry room, some have yet to be initiated.
Here is a brief list of do’s and don’ts of apartment laundry room etiquette that will keep you from having to deal with hassle or headaches when doing the chore of washing clothes in your apartment building!
First of all, don’t leave your clothes in the washer/dryer indefinitely. This is inconsiderate to other people and can cause your clothes to be removed, and even tossed on the floor by another impatient resident.
Instead, only do laundry when you have the time to see a load through the washer and the dryer. While it may take a while for you to find the time, it sure beats having your clothes dirtied by being tossed aside or collecting mold from being left in the washer for too long.
Unless you have the time to immediately dry your clothes after washing them, just hold off!
To go hand-in-hand with the first rule, don’t throw somebody’s clothes on the floor!
Be patient if a machine has been in use for a while. If you notice that a washer/dryer has been stopped for over an hour and is still occupied, put them aside in a neat pile or take the clothes inside and put them in a plastic grocery bag. Leave them by the machine for the resident who may have left them there.
This will ensure their clothes are not soiled by putting them on the floor, and you can then move on with doing your laundry.
Before doing laundry, make sure you have enough quarters to wash and dry your load.
You run the risk of annoying other tenants if you’re constantly asking for quarters because you’re a little short! Grab any spare change out of your cup holders, break a few dollar bills for quarters at your local convenience store, or go to the bank to buy quarters. Make sure that you will have enough change to do laundry for quite some time.
Some management companies, like 1st Lake Properties, no longer utilize quarter machines but instead give the resident the ability to buy electronic keys which keep a balance of credits used, thereby removing the need to haggle for quarters. In these instances, make sure you keep track of your balance and reload when necessary.
Decide whether you want to leave your hamper in the laundry room based on the amount of time it will take you to do your laundry. If you think you might be late getting your clothes, it is appropriate to leave it next to your machine in case someone needs to move your clothes out.
Also, on the subject of hampers, don’t use someone else’s hamper! If it is left behind for a week or more, you may consider throwing it out.
Using an old or discarded hamper can be dangerous, since you never know what may be growing in it or why it was left behind in the first place. However, even if you know who a hamper is for, don’t take advantage of someone else’s hamper without permission. This could cause tension or confrontation with another resident.
Last, do not throw apartment trash in the laundry room trash cans!
Most communities provide these can for the convenience of the resident to help keep a clean laundry area for other residents. The only items which should go in these cans are those associated with your laundry! Lint, dryer sheets, empty detergent containers, etc.
It isn’t pleasant for anyone to use a dirty laundry room!
We love this suggestion from Apartment Therapy for using vinegar in wash loads for fresh and clean laundry.
As with most things in life, common courtesy is the key. As long as you and other apartment residents can be respectful and conscientious when navigating the laundry room, this sometimes tedious task can run a whole lot smoother!