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How to Clean Up Your Act: The Unspoken Rules of the Laundromat

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Laundromats are a great alternative to the expense of purchasing your own laundry machines — not to mention how much space these huge pieces of equipment can take up in your home. However, if you've never used one before, you may be concerned about the unspoken rules of etiquette that are expected in these places. In truth, it's pretty simple.

Use What You Need, When You Need It

There will always be a limited number of machines and space in the laundromat. As such, you should only take up these resources as and when you need to use them. For example, it is frowned upon to 'reserve' a dryer before your wash cycle has actually ended. On a similar note, separate your washing loads before you arrive to avoid taking up too much counter space.

Keep Track of Time

It's okay to leave the laundromat while your clothes are washing or drying. You don't need to supervise them the whole time. However, it's important to make sure you return for the end of your cycle in a timely manner. Ideally, you should be there to take them out as soon as it's over, but it's generally accepted that you have a five to ten-minute grace period if this isn't possible. After that, you may find that your clothes are removed for you to free up the machine. Equally, if somebody else does not return to remove their load from a machine you need, it's okay to carefully move it out onto a clean surface.

Look After the Machines

While you don't need to understand the ins and outs of how washing machines and dryers work, you'll be expected to know how to treat them so that they can keep working properly. For example, although it can be tempting to cram as much laundry into a load as possible, this can cause damage. So can using too much bleach or detergent, or leaving debris in clothing pockets during a wash — and these can also harm the clothes of the next person to use the machine. Finally, you should clear out the lint drawer after every use of a drying machine.

Generally, laundromats are just like any other communal space. So long as you're being conscientious and careful with the shared resources and considerate of other users, you're unlikely to run into any problems. Everybody there just wants to get a job done as quickly as possible, after all. Happy washing!

For more information about using a laundromat, contact a local facility.