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Laundry Room Etiquette in Apartment or Dorm

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I live in an apartment complex and do my laundry in a community laundry room where there are five washers and six dryers. I normally do four loads all at once. There was one washer already in use therefore I took the remaining four washers. As I was preparing my washers another dweller in my complex, came into the laundry room and saw that I was using four washers and started to get on me. She called me inconsiderate and became very irate at the fact I was using four. I have always used four at a time, to make efficient use of my time, and I usually do it at a time when there are not a lot people using the machines. Am I wrong in using four washers at once?


Thanks for your etiquette help

Dear Thanks for your etiquette help,

Using multiple washing machines is more efficient, but using four machines out of five is excessive. Generally, if using multiple machines results in all the machines being occupied, then it is not a good idea to do so. One rule of thumb is to see how many machines are not being used and use half, assuming the laundry room is not busy. In your case, if four washing machines were not in use, then you would use two of them.

Below are some general etiquette guidelines to follow when using public laundry facilities in an apartment or college dorms.

5 Laundry Room Etiquette Tips for Apartments or Dormitories

1. Washers to Use: If many tenants use the laundry room, then only use one washer at a time. However, if there are plenty of washers and most are not in use, then using 2-3 washers at the same time would be fine as long as there are other available machines.

2. Laundry Basket: Using a laundry basket makes it easier to transport and transfer clothes. Leave the basket on top or in front of the washer so that if you are late in retrieving your clothes, the next person can remove your clothes and put them in your basket.

3. Be Prompt. Keep track of the wash time and return promptly to transfer your wet clothes to a dryer. Keep track of the dry time and return promptly retrieve your clothes when they have finished drying.

4. Removing Other Tenant's Clothes: If the wash or dry cycle is finished, but the person has not returned, then put their clothes in their basket or on the counter.

5. Clean the dryer lint trap when finished.