Laundry Room Etiquette for Apartment Dwellers

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Laundry Room Etiquette for Apartment Dwellers

Lisa Bernstein · Aug 6, 2009

Apartment dwellers are accustomed to sharing facilities with roommates and neighbors. A shared laundry room, however, presents unique challenges in communal living. Unlike a patio or other common area, in a laundry room you engage in a task involving hygiene. You, and your neighbors, expect each other to be conscious of this fact.

Laundry Room Cleanliness

When sharing laundry facilities, cleanliness is of the utmost importance. A dirty, poorly kept room defeats the purpose of washing your clothes. Your landlord will have the room cleaned and the trash collected on a regular basis. But, the overall cleanliness, on a day-to-day basis, will depend on the actions of the tenants.

Following some simple rules will create a laundry room fit for doing laundry. First, always bring a clean rag or paper towels with you to clean up spills. Liquid laundry detergent, fabric softener or bleach, spilled on the machines, is unattractive and can stain someone else’s clothes. If you spill something on or around the washers and dryers, wipe it up immediately. No one wants to come into the laundry room and clean up someone else’s mess.

Second, don’t leave dryer sheets in the dryer. Throw them away when you take your clothes out of the dryer. If your laundry room has separate trash and recycling containers, be sure to put your trash in the appropriate receptacle.

Laundry Room Etiquette

Aside from keeping the laundry room clean, complying with common practices will keep you in good standing with your neighbors. Above all, adhere to the hours permitted for laundry room use. Few things are more annoying to your neighbors than listening to a washing machine running after midnight, when the apartment rules state that no laundry should be done after 10:00 p.m. To avoid this problem, plan your use of the laundry room so that your last load is finished before the restricted hours begin.

A shared facility requires planning and cooperation. For efficiency, before bringing your laundry to the laundry room, check to see that there is a free washing machine and that it is empty. If wet clothes are sitting in one of the machines, bring your laundry to the laundry room to hold your place in line. Wait a few minutes for the owner of the finished load to return, before removing their clothes from the machine. Rather than dumping clean clothes on top of a machine or on a nearby table, place them in a dryer, leaving the door open so that the owner can find their clothes. Likewise, don’t leave your clothes in the washing machine or dryer for extended periods of time. Determine how long each wash and dry cycle lasts and set a timer to remind yourself to retrieve your laundry. If this isn’t possible, ask your roommate to finish the load for you. By using the laundry room in a considerate manner, you increase the odds that your neighbors will return the favor.

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Lisa Bernstein: As a long-time apartment dweller and seasoned condominium trustee, I have dealt with numerous landlord-tenant, property management, and day-to-day apartment complex issues. My extensive, direct experience has led to invaluable insights into apartment life from both the tenant and management perspectives.

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