Home > Opinion > College Laundry Room Etiquette: Should I take Their Clothes Out?

College Laundry Room Etiquette: Should I take Their Clothes Out?

Alison Tobin ’18

Staff Writer


If you are a college resident student, you know just how frustrating doing your laundry can be. Luckily, at Merrimack we don’t have to pay to use the machine every time we use the laundry rooms, which avoids the huge hassle of always needing change to pay. However, laundry can still be a daunting task when you have to use a communal laundry room. You don’t have the freedom that you normally do at home when you use your own washing machine and dryer. A few laundry room etiquette rules can make your experience better everyone follows them.

Keeping it clean. The laundry room is used to clean your clothes, so try to keep the room and machines as clean, too. Make appropriate use of the trash barrel in the room and don’t throw your lint or dryer sheets on the floor. Additionally, don’t throw your personal trash in the laundry room barrels. I have gone into the laundry room and found the barrel filled with pizza boxes. Use the designated trash rooms for things like that.

Double check your machines. Be sure to keep the machines clean. Always make sure you get everything out of the machines that you use when you are done and leave the washing machine doors open after you use them. Also make sure to clean out the lint from the dryer before you use it. Not many people know this, but if too much lint builds up in the dryer, it can be a fire hazard.

Set a timer. Set a timer on your phone for when your laundry will be done. At peak laundry times, there can be people waiting in the laundry room for machines to open up. You don’t want to cause them any more frustration and you want to avoid the death glares that you are likely to get when you stroll in late to get your laundry. Make sure you don’t go off and do something else and forget about your laundry. Always be readily available for when your laundry is done. You also want to do this for your own benefit, so that people don’t take your laundry out of the machine themselves. This rule is especially important to follow when there are broken machines in the room, thus less of them available for use.

Let it be. Don’t take other students’ clothes out of washing machines and put them in a dryer. It can be extremely frustrating if you are waiting a long time after someone’s laundry has finished, but it is important to try your best to be patient. Some people may have clothes that can’t go in the dryer and you would ruin them by drying them. You don’t want to risk ruining someone else’s clothes. Plus, this can cause panic and confusion when they return and they can’t find their clothes. They may have to go searching through other people’s dryers looking for their clothes, messing up everyone’s dryer settings. It just creates a huge domino effect of frustrating problems that can be avoided.

Limit yourself. Don’t use more than two machines at once. At Merrimack, the machines are pretty big and you shouldn’t even need to take up more than two washing machines at a time if you do your laundry in a timely manner. However, if you do need more, do your laundry in increments so you don’t have to use all of the machines at once. You won’t be able to do many different loads with different colored clothes like you may do at home.