On Shared Laundry Etiquette...

On Shared Laundry Etiquette...

Grace Shu
Oct 29, 2008

At some point or another, we've all had to deal with shared laundry facilities, be it at the dorms or in an apartment complex. And there is always a time (usually when the dirty laundry basket is overflowing) when every single machine is in use...or rather, when there's a finished load just sitting in the machine. So what do you do if you're waiting for your neighbor to get their clothes out of the washer or dryer so you can do yours? Even after you wait for a few hours to pass and the clothes are still in there, is it OK to remove them?

In the past, we drew a hard line at removing clothes from the washer, as being greeted by a sopping wet pile of clothes on top of a dirty machine is the last thing we'd want to see ourselves. A friend of ours had a neighbor who was really bad about switching loads, so she would transfer the wet load to the dryer for him and chalked up the cost of drying ($1.25) as being "neighborly." (Her neighbor was always so mortified when he finally came in to transfer the load himself, he would leave a stack of quarters outside her door with an apologetic note for the wait). We admit that one time we did unload a neighbor's laundry from the dryer and felt so guilty about it that we ended up folding all of their clean laundry and leaving it in their basket.

What do you think is the right course of action? Share your advice and laundry stories in the comments!

[ Photo from Chez Larsson ]

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