Most, if not all, laundromats have unspoken rules to help keep the peace. Although not set in stone, customers choose to follow them to ensure a pleasant and convenient experience for all patrons. If it is your first time visiting a self-service laundromat, be on the lookout for their laundry etiquette guidelines. It would also help to familiarize yourself with the more general practices to avoid any surprises wherever you may bring your laundry.
Do not leave your clothes in the machine for more than 15 minutes.
Ideally, you should not leave your clothes inside the machine for more than 5 minutes. It is considered rude and can be seen as monopolizing the machines needlessly. If you plan to go out and run some errands as the machine is cycling, make sure to return a few minutes before it is finished. If you are late for 5 to 15 minutes, do not be surprised if someone else has moved your clothes.
The flip side: how to remove other people’s clothes sitting in the machine.
If you see a running machine unattended, do not take out the clothes as soon as the cycle is finished. Wait for five to fifteen minutes. If the owner does not turn up, carefully remove the clothes, then place them neatly in a cart or on a clean table near the machine. Also, do not put the clothes inside an empty dryer.
Do not reserve a dryer.
If you are still waiting for your wash cycle to finish, you might be tempted to plan ahead and reserve a dryer. This, however, is not acceptable, at least according to self-service laundromat etiquette. Another user might finish washing ahead of you and would need the dryer sooner.
Do not use too much detergent, fabric softener, or bleach.
Using too many laundry products can damage the machine. What is more, it would leave residues that could be harmful to the next users, especially if they are allergic to the brand you are using. Use the appropriate amount by following the directions on the label.
Clean the lint screen after using the dryer.
Before you walk away from the dryer with your clothes, make sure that you clean the lint screen first. Beyond being the more graceful thing to do, it helps maintain the efficiency of the dryer and prevents the machine from overheating and catching fire.
Keep the space clean and neat.
People go to a self-service laundromat to get rid of mess, not to create it. Put used and empty bottles of laundry products in the trash where it belongs. Clean spills promptly and inform the owner or manager immediately if you need assistance. Put the carts back in place so it does not get in the way of other customers.
Be polite and mindful of others.
Most people who visit the laundromat do so not just for laundry but also to enjoy some personal time. Do not disrupt this by playing loud music or being loud in any way. Do not hog the seats and give space for others. Be respectful at all times to help improve the experience for everyone.
Practicing laundromat etiquette is one of the many things that will make self-service laundry pleasurable, especially if you are a first-time customer.
Ellen Hollington is a freelance writer who offers to ghostwrite, copywriting, and blogging services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.