In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to forget the little things that make our lives just a bit easier. One of those things is laundry. Whether you’re a college student living in a dorm with communal laundry facilities or a busy professional with your own washer and dryer at home, everyone should follow some basic rules of laundromat etiquette to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
In the US, there are an estimated 29,500 laundromats and, according to a survey conducted by the Coin Laundry Association, the average American family does 8.8 loads of laundry per week. That’s a lot of laundry.
Sometimes the laundry day can feel like a pain in the neck. But some people make it worse by not following simple laundromat etiquette.
If you want to make your trip to the laundromat as smooth as possible, and avoid getting reproaching looks from your fellow launderers, follow these rules.
- Don’t leave your clothes unattended
This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people try to sneak off to the restroom or grab a cup of coffee while their clothes are spinning away in the washing machine.
Not only is this inconsiderate to other people waiting in line to use the machines, but it’s also a safety hazard. If there’s a fire or some other emergency, you could come back to find your clothes ruined.
However, if you have clothes that need dry cleaning, make sure you don’t bring them to the laundromat. Dry cleaning services take care of your fancy clothes that aren’t meant to be washed. For instance, if you are in New York, you can search your local New York listings or simply use the keywords dry cleaners NYC, and you will have a whole bunch of options to choose from.
- Don’t overload the machines
Many people are guilty of committing this mistake, which causes inconvenience for the people who have to use the machine after you.
Overloading a washing machine limits efficiency and, counterintuitively, takes longer to wash. It means that the people who have to use the machine after you will have to wait longer for their clothes to be done. Not to mention, it’s really hard on the machine itself and can shorten its lifespan.
- Don’t use more detergent than you need
You don’t need a separate detergents for every phase of the washing cycle. In addition, you don’t have to put too much detergent for one load; it will make your clothes wear out faster.
The excess detergent will build up in the fabric of your clothes and attract dirt and grime, which is the last thing you want. Not to mention, it’s a waste of money and resources.
- Don’t forget to clean up after yourself
Don’t be that guy who leaves a mess behind that other people have to clean after them. When you’re done with your laundry, put all your dirty clothes back in the basket or bag.
Avoid leaving them on the floor or on top of the machines. And don’t try to stuff them into someone else’s machine. Remember, common courtesy goes a long way.
- Don’t forget to take your clothes out of the dryer when they’re done
Why would you keep them lying in the dryer longer than they need to? When you leave your clothes in the dryer, it not only prevents other people from being able to use the machine, but it also ruins your clothes.
The heat from the dryer will cause your clothes to shrink, and if you leave them there for long, they could even catch fire. So make sure to take your clothes out as soon as they’re done and put them away.
- Try to be considerate of other people’s time
It’s a golden rule to follow in life as well as the laundromat. If you’re finished with your laundry and people are waiting in line to use the machine after you, value their time and let them use the machines.
The reason why this is such an important rule is that it’s just common courtesy. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can always ask for permission to use the machine a few minutes longer.
- Put away your clean clothes in a separate basket or bag
It is a great way to keep organized on laundry day, and it also helps to prevent cross-contamination. Suppose you have a basket or bag filled with dirty clothes and another with clean clothes, you’ll always know which are which.
- Don’t try to avoid paying
It is a huge no-no. If you don’t want to pay for your laundry, don’t use the laundromat. It’s as simple as that. Laundromats are businesses that rely on customers like you to pay them for the service they provide.
So if you don’t want to pay, don’t use it. There are plenty of other places you can do your laundry for free, such as a friend’s house or a public laundromat.
As a matter of fact, most public laundromats have coin-operated machines that you can use for free. According to the National Laundry Equipment Association, there are approximately 30,000 public laundromats in the United States.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you’re unsure how to use a machine or need help with something, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The staff at the laundromat is there to help you, and they’ll be more than happy to assist with any laundry-related questions you may have.
- Have fun!
Laundry may not be the most exciting chore in the world, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It can actually be quite therapeutic.
So try to relax and have fun. Listen to music, read a book, or take a nap while your clothes are taking a spin. You can make friends while you are at it.
These are just a few simple rules to follow when you’re using the laundromat. Following these rules will make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. So the next time you’re at the laundromat, remember to be considerate of others and have fun.