Your Guide to Perfect Apartment Laundry Room Etiquette

Good manners extend beyond “please” and “thank you.” If you do laundry in a shared apartment laundry room, odds are you’ve run into some annoying behavior (like people leaving their completed loads in a machine!). Don’t be that person. There are a few easy rules to follow when doing your laundry in a shared space. This laundry room etiquette guide will help you be respectful to your neighbors during your next trip to the laundry room.

Good laundry room etiquette: spilled liquid laundry detergent with a sponge nearby for quick cleaning

Plan Ahead

Planning means avoiding wasted time and leaving your wet clothes in the machine while you run a last-minute errand. Not only will your neighbors be grateful for your efficiency, but you’ll also prevent mildew and nasty odors. It’s also helpful to get to know the symbols on the machines, so you don’t spend too much time messing with the wrong settings. Better yet: schedule laundry day into your calendar. To make your routine even more efficient, check out these six simple tips to get the most out of each wash.

Carefully Choose What to Wash

This might not seem like a laundry room etiquette thing, but trust us, it is. It’s best to avoid washing items like dog beds or dog blankets in shared laundry machines. Washing pet beds can be messy and also risks damaging machines because pet fur can quickly build up and clog the drain.

If you can’t hand wash and need to use the communal machines, clean and disinfect the washer and dryer to avoid leaving behind pet hair for the next person to have to deal with. Not even dog lovers want to be constantly covered in a canine coat!

Also, as a general rule of thumb, handwashing items with rubber backing is best to avoid melted rubber clogging up the machine. The backs of some rugs are made with materials that can’t be exposed to high temperatures, so always check the care label before washing.

Keep Track of Time

This is a laundry room etiquette must! Moving your laundry load as soon as possible is the best practice to avoid other tenants waiting on you. Plus, if you wait too long to dry your clothes, they’ll start to smell, and you will need to rewash them all. No one has time for that! However, there’s no need to stick around while your laundry is in the wash, but if you leave the laundry room, set a timer a few minutes before the end to remind you to check on your clothes. Or, better yet, if your apartment laundry room comes equipped with cashless payments, download the DadsonPay app to get alerted as soon as your laundry is ready.

Be Patient

Patience, patience, patience! If someone else’s clothes are still in the wash, wait to remove them. Your neighbor may be running late, or something may have come up, so empathy is essential. Depending on how busy the machines are, make a judgment call about when to move other people’s laundry to a safe space. After 10-15 minutes, it’s reasonable to clear the machine for your washing.

Respect Other People’s Clothes

Good laundry room etiquette means respecting other people’s clothes. Don’t take the initiative to dry someone’s clothes and risk damaging them—this might upset your neighbor! If you need to use a washing machine that is seemingly still occupied but the owner is away, look for their laundry basket or a clean spot to store their clothes.

Clean Up After Yourself

Laundry rooms can get messy quickly. Make sure to clean up after detergent, fabric softener, or bleach spills to reduce the chances of an accident. These substances are a slipping hazard and could lead to injuries. Plus, getting these chemicals on freshly cleaned clothes would be a shame. It takes a tiny spill of bleach to ruin clothes, so it’s best to be extra careful and wash away any residue you see immediately. Always clean out the lint trap in the dryer after every use to avoid buildup.

Since the laundry room is a communal space, always throw away or recycle your trash and empty detergent bottles before you leave.

As with most things in life, common courtesy is the key. Things will run smoothly if you and other tenants use apartment laundry room etiquette to be respectful and conscientious.

Looking for more tips on navigating apartment laundry rooms? 

Check out our laundry room tips for a compilation of tips, tricks and apartment laundry insights to help owners, managers and laundry-doers alike.