While we’re all familiar with the never-ending chore of doing laundry, not everyone knows laundry room etiquette in a shared space like an apartment. Whether you’re a first-time renter or a seasoned tenant, you may have questions about how exactly to go about doing your laundry in your building’s laundry room alongside other tenants.
Check out everything you need to know about laundry etiquette and apartment laundry room rules below.
The first thing you need to know about a communal laundry room is that it’s a shared space with machines tenants share. It’s up to the entire multi-housing community to respect the laundry room, the apartment administrators and each other. To ensure everyone can enjoy clean laundry, you and your fellow tenants must respect the space. This area isn’t just for your use — it’s a space each tenant has a right to use without issue.
So, what’s good laundry room etiquette, and how can you make the most of living in an apartment with a standard laundry room? Explore the tips below.
Just like in any shared space, whether it be a kitchen you share with roommates or a gym locker room you share with other gym-goers, you should practice the right etiquette to keep your building’s laundry room in proper order. Essentially, laundry room etiquette is all about using the machines correctly, moving your laundry in a timely manner and keeping the space clean. When everyone follows those guidelines, you can enjoy minimal issues when doing your laundry.
Let’s dig into the basics of shared laundry etiquette — be prepared, courteous, considerate and clean:
Is it ever OK to take someone’s clothes out of the washer or dryer? There may be a scenario where you can’t wait any longer for a washing or drying machine to free up. As a result, you might consider taking someone else’s clothes out after the cycle’s finished. However, you can be a bit more courteous by following a few other steps first beforehand.
First, give the person a bit more time to come get their laundry. If they haven’t come to get it in 15-20 minutes, you may want to tell your apartment’s management, as they might have a policy in place to deal with this situation. If neither option pans out in your favor, you can remove the laundry carefully and set it on a table in the room or in the person’s laundry basket.
Here’s what you need for washing clothes in an apartment laundry room:
Try to be quick and effective when doing laundry in an apartment complex. Choosing the best time to do your laundry and the best detergent can save you and your neighbors time.
In general, the best time of day to do laundry in an apartment complex is mid-morning, but the best time for you may depend on a couple of factors:
As you get used to doing laundry in the shared room, you’ll likely note which times work best for you and your schedule.
Before looking for your preferred laundry detergent brand, you should be aware of the four primary varieties you’ll come across — powder, liquid, sheets and pods. The type you pick is mostly a personal choice, but understanding how each differs will help you determine which to purchase:
Here are four communal laundry room tips that can come in handy:
Using a splash of white vinegar in your wash load can help remove odors from your clothes. Vinegar won’t stain your clothing and is hypoallergenic, earth-friendly and inexpensive. Simply add 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar to the washing machine’s detergent compartment or pour it directly into the wash, depending on the machine. You can then add detergent to the machine or start the cycle.
If you routinely use a public washing machine to wash your clothing, you need to know how to clean a public washing machine before use:
Take note of your communal washing machine and dryer timers so you can retrieve your clothes on time with each cycle. Then, set a timer to ensure you know exactly when to go and retrieve your laundry. If you know you won’t be able to retrieve your laundry on time, consider leaving a note on the machine stating so or be OK with someone removing your clothes from the machine.
Using a laundry basket to bring your clothes to and from the communal laundry space is helpful for you and other residents. This way, you can move your clothes to a drying machine after a wash. If you happen to forget about your laundry or can’t get it when it’s done, someone can move your clothes to the laundry basket, keeping them as clean and tidy as possible.
Plus, leaving your laundry basket next to the machine indicates you have plans to come back for you laundry ASAP, and someone won’t be as quick to take your laundry out themselves.
Achieving a seamless and stress-free communal laundry space is easy when you follow these do’s and don’ts of how to use apartment laundry rooms:
It may be tempting to use just a little bit of your neighbor’s detergent, but it’s not yours to use without permission. Using your own laundry supplies that suit your preferences and clothing is best. A smart idea is to put all of your laundry supplies at the bottom of your laundry basket, so you always have them ready when you’re in the laundry room.
When your laundry is done in the wash, grab it as quickly as you can and move it to the dryer. This way, you don’t interrupt someone else’s laundry routine, and you ensure your clothes stay as clean and fresh as possible.
Check your lease and the rules displayed in the laundry facility to see the open hours of the laundry facilities. In some cases, waiting to do your laundry until the early hours of the morning can help you avoid a busy space, but it might cause a commotion in other situations.
The trash can in your building’s laundry room is solely for lint, dryer sheets and other laundry items. Never dispose of your personal trash in your laundry room, or you risk creating an unsanitary space.
Always clear the lint off the screen when you retrieve your dry clothing from a communal dryer. This quick and easy process prevents buildup that can become a fire hazard.
Caldwell & Gregory provides multi-housing buildings with personalized laundry solutions that meet their tenants’ specific needs. Because of our expertise in partnering with various apartment buildings and rental properties, we can identify your building’s best options to create a conducive, effective laundry space.
If you’re a property owner who’s interested in installing or upgrading one or more laundry rooms in your multi-housing building, we’re here to help with high-quality machines and payment systems. Visit our multi-housing page for more information.