Laundry room etiquette: a poll

Back when I was in college the first time around, there was an unwritten rule among the girls on our floor: if you take someone’s laundry out of the dryer so you can use it, fold their clothes all nice and pretty and leave them on the table instead of just throwing them there in a big heap.

I don’t know if the guys in my dorm did the same thing or not.

I was surprised yesterday to see that this rule apparently is in effect in the apartment complex I just moved into. Someone had removed the jeans I was drying and folded them for me.

Is this a universal rule or have I just always lived around nice people?

You must live in Niceville. I’d say if some callous dolt leaves their laundry unattended, they don’t deserve to get their clothes folded all nice and pretty for them.

Sorry, not calling you a callous dolt or anything… :o

Another question while I’m thinking about it:

How many washing machines is OK to use at the same time?* Are the “rules” different if you’re at a laundromat instead of your building’s laundry room?

Our machines are small, so yesterday I used 3. IIRC, our room has 8 washers. Incidentally, nobody else was washing at the time.

Our dryers are giant, though, so I can usually stick 2 loads in one dryer.

How much does it cost you, too? To wash, it’s 75 cents here. Drying varies. If you use the new dryers you get 10 minutes per quarter. If you use the older ones, it’s 25 minutes per quarter IIRC. Drying a load always costs me at least a dollar, sometimes $1.50.

From what I’ve heard this is a pretty good deal compared to other places in town. We have a laundry room for convenience, the place doesn’t make any money off of it. Whatever money is made goes to upkeep.


People are supposed to sit by the machines until everything is done?

Sure, there are people who go off for hours at a time, leaving their clothes in the dryer, but you don’t know that when you arrive. For all you know they are running 10 minutes late. Why assume that the owner is being a jerk?

I haven’t been in an actual laundromat in years, but we have laundry rooms where I live, and if you aren’t right there when the washer or dryer you’re using stops, you stand a good chance of someone pulling your clothes out of it. I try to get there five or ten minutes before my loads stop so I can take them out before someone else does. Often people remove your laundry from the machines for no apparent reason. I can see doing it if you need the machine, but sometimes people here do it seemingly just for fun. I try not to take someone else’s clothes out of a machine unless I really need the machine, and it’s obvious that they haven’t been by to check their clothes in a while.

I wouldn’t take out a still-warm load and I’d wait a few minutes for politeness’ sake…but again assuming that it’s some nice neighbor who’s going to be right there tout suite is no less an assumption that it’s a neglectful scofflaw.

Depends on your situation/neighbors, etc, I reckon.

If it sits for 20 minutes, it’s toast. Really. You only have a claim on the dryer for the time it’s running. Beyond that, you are abusing your fellow launderers and stealing from the owner. I notice what dryers are stopped and still filled with clothes when I come in to wash. If no one has touched them when I’m ready to dry (and there are no other dryers available) I’m taking that stuff out and I’m not gonna be that nice about it.

1st come, 1st served. You can use all that are available IMHO.

How many washing machines is OK to use at the same time? Are the “rules” different if you’re at a laundromat instead of your building’s laundry room?*

There are six washers & six dryers in our basement laundry room. I think it’s probably rare that someone would need to use all six - the only time I’ve seen them all in use was when there were 2 or 3 people doing laundry.
**How much does it cost you, too? **

Last year they switched from the old facility-owned washers and dryers to one of those contract services. Ok, the dryers work consistently now, and that’s wonderful - I think it’s worth the switch from 0.75/each to $1 each that happened.
As far as taking someone’s clothes out of the dryer, it depends on my mood on a given day. If I’m feeling nice, I’ll fold their clothes - partly because I hate having my clothes all wrinkled as much as I hate ironing, and I don’t want to force someone to have to deal with either one. It depends too, on what’s in the load. Lots of underwear? I’m probably not going to put too much effort into folding it. Towels? Yeah, I can handle folding some stranger’s towels.

My most recent laundry experience (like 2 weeks ago) in Solomons MD: Washers are $1.75 for the single-load models, $2 for the double-load front loaders, $3.50 for the triple load front loader and $4.75 (I think) for the biggest front loaders. I always needed 3 of the $2 machines to do a week’s wash, and I used all 3 at once. But I timed my arrival for when no one else was there.

The dryers are a quarter for 6 minutes, so a load of jeans could cost $2 to dry, more if you picked the inoperable dryer of the week - those changed regularly. I learned to start every load with just 1 quarter and see if it got hot before adding more money.

I’m so happy to be in the house now and have my own washer and dryer in the basement…

The official laundry rules:

  1. You are responsible for cleaning out the lint filter before you use the dryer.

  2. You do not have to remain in the laundry room, but you must return within ten minutes of the machine’s shut-off time.

  3. You may not open a washer or dryer when it is in use unless there is a fire.

  4. You may not remove HOT laundry from a dryer, even if it is shut off. Hot laundry has finished recently, and the owner still has a few minutes to retrieve it.

  5. You may remove COLD laundry from a dryer. You have no obligation to fold someone else’s laundry, but you must pile it on a fairly clean surface, not on the floor.

At my complex, there are 5 washers and 4 dryers. $1.25 to wash and $1.00 to dry. No change machine. I usually try to do my laundry very early in the AM, so I usually don’t have to compete with anyone. I try to not to have to take someone’s clothes out, but if someone has monopolized all 4 dryers and left their stuff in the dryer overnight, then it’s on to the table.

I think using all 5 washers at the same time is rude. I won’t say anything, but I’ll give you a dirty look.

Also, you do not need to smoke in the laundry room. I’m trying to get that smell OUT of my clothes.

He’s not necessarily a jerk, but it doesn’t mean it’s up to me to wait for him nor to fold his laundry for him if he’s late. If he really wants that his clothes won’t be touched by anyone and will be nicely folded, then it’s his responsability to come back in time.

As for the OP, I too believe he’s been living in Niceville, like the second poster said.

Where did you find these “official” rules? I never seen anything like that posted in any laundry room or laundromat.
At the contrary, I’ve seen posted rules stating that laundry can be removed from any machine if the person isn’t present and there’s no machine available. Without exceptions like “some minutes” or “laundry still hot” being mentionned.

Yes, you are supposed to sit by the machine and read a book, if you don’t want to risk a stranger taking your laundry out of the machine. It is inconsiderate to be occupying a machine you are not using while other people need it. Why should they sit around and wait for you? The advantage of having your own washer and dryer is that you can leave your things unattended, but if you use public facilities you have to sit around and wait.

I used to live in a building where people would take your wet laundry out in the middle of a cycle! I would come back a few minutes before my cycle was scheduled to finish to find a wet pile on a table. Now that’s really rude.

Not only would I never fold a stranger’s laundry, I’m not sure that’s the most polite thing to do. I’m not interested in a stranger going through my items piece by piece.

No way, it’s exactly the opposite on that one. The crap that came off your clothes will be in the filter after you have used it. This is the time that you should be cleaning it.

It depends. Often my Mom or I would sit downstairs by the laundry all day because we had a small laundry room, around 8 each of washers and dryers. This served a 14 floor apartment building. In this building things would go missing (they finally installed cameras), people would dump your wet laundry on the floor, open dryers see they were full and not start them again (or just dump laundry out and stick their laundry in… when the other persons laundry was still soaking wet.)

If you have a nice building precautions aren’t necessary, but when I have to live with a public laundromat I usually sit and wait or watch the time really closely. I’ve had underwear go missing too many times.

You must empty your own lint trap.

This is, in fact, an “official” rule in my building.

No one hangs out in our laundry room, mostly because it’s too warm down there to sit for the hour and a half a wash+dry takes. We have enough washers and dryers that 99% of the time at least one or more are free, so we’ve never really dealt with the issue of taking other people’s laundry out. Most people leave their baskets on top the the machine they are using, so if you do have to take someone elses stuff out, you can put it back into their baskets. Most people will only use 2 machines at a time, but will run them for two cycles (4 loads total). Besides, if all machines are full, wait a day, or an hour, or whatever. Come back later. That seems to be the general way of things here, and it makes sense. Why would your dirty undies be more important than mine?

We actually try and hang dry as much as we can anyways, because our laundry room is way too expensive. 1.75$ to wash AND 1.75$ to dry.

I live in a working class neighborhood, and laundrymat I used to use three blocks down the street was outrageous. Something like $1.75 for a single loader, $3.00 for a double loader, $4.00 to use the triples. Despite the prices, the place is always packed. Why? The dryers are free. You put a quarter to start them, but there’s no coin slot, so you retrieve your money from the empty bin and dry as long as you like.

That said, it was a cutthroat place. People would walk just across the street to the burger place and return to find clothes items, detergant and bleach just gone. I saw a women who, on two consecutive weekends, come in with her five kids, all under the age of ten, and 8-9 garbage bags full of dirty clothes. She’d bully people into leaving out of whatever row of washing machines they were in and bogart one machine for each bag. No use complaining to the manager; it was her sister. She’d be in there for hours with her kids. It was because of her I got my own washer and dryer.

Stealing from the owner?