When it comes to apartment living, you’re probably more likely to live in a shared bathroom than a washer and dryer. What is proper bathroom etiquette and how can you get the most out of living with a laundry room?
WHAT IS A COMMON BATHROOM?
Shared laundry is a common way to do laundry on-site without installing a washer/dryer in each unit. A shared bathroom usually consists of an area with multiple washers and dryers shared by residents. These machines are coin and/or card operated or require residents to access the room using a key or fob.
THE BATHROOM IS CLEAN
One of the biggest downsides to sharing an apartment bathroom is the mess. More people means more waste and spills. If you use a public laundry, do not throw food in the public trash. Bathroom trash cans may not be emptied regularly, increasing your chances of attracting pests and bugs.
Replace the lint trap in the dryer after each use. Cleaning your dryer vents is up to your maintenance department or your landlord, but you, the landlord, can ensure the best performance by emptying the lint.
You should also pay attention to the use of detergents, fabric softeners, and bleaches. Using too much detergent or too much bleach can leave unwanted residue in the washing machine and cause some parts to break down faster.
TIME YOUR WASH WITH RESULTS
The most important aspect of working with a shared bathroom is making the most of your time and that of others. You don’t want to leave your dirty clothes in the washer or dryer while someone else is waiting for a car. If you’ve ever lived in a dorm or used a laundromat or other shared laundry facility, you know how frustrating it can be when someone takes your laundry and puts it in the car when it’s done or not. Avoid this problem by adjusting your laundry time.
Don’t start a load, leave it for the day. Instead, set a timer on your phone and change clothes when you’re done, so other residents can use the machines they need.
DO NOT TRY TO ORDER A WASHER DRYER
Almost everyone these days has a busy schedule, which means that housework sometimes falls by the wayside. If you share a bathroom, don’t try to pre-empt laundry day by placing obstacles or items on the washer or dryer that you’re not using. If you don’t actively use the car, have another resident willing to do the laundry.
Wait until your clothes are done washing, and get a dryer. You want every resident to have access to laundry.
WHAT TO DO WITH OTHER PEOPLE’S LAUNDRY?
Waiting for another resident to wash from the washing machine will be the most constant problem in a shared bathroom. A good rule of thumb for bathroom etiquette is to never move someone else’s belongings if you can help it. You don’t want to cause conflict over someone else’s personal belongings.
However, if you absolutely must use the car, a good rule of thumb is to wait at least 10-20 minutes to see if the resident will return to do the laundry. Taking clothes out of the dryer and putting them in the car is much more convenient than taking off someone’s wet clothes and putting them somewhere else. If you don’t have to pay for every machine use, you might say you put someone’s clothes from the washer to the dryer, but it may not be convenient to dry the entire load in the washer.
If you can clearly tell whose clothes are sitting there, and if you know your neighbors well, it’s okay to knock on their door and let them know you need a car. In most cases, you only have to wait a few minutes to see the resident return to do the laundry.
BATHROOM PREPARATION BEFORE USING
If you use the on-site laundry, it may be a bit of a walk from your unit, so make sure you’re prepared to maximize your time and avoid leaving others waiting for cars. Make sure you have all the clothes you want to wash ready in a basket, basket or laundry bag. Also, in order not to go many times, you should take things like washing powder, fabric softener, dryer sheets, etc. If you need to pay for your laundry service, don’t forget coins or other forms of payment.
After you start washing your clothes, it is wise to bring back the detergent and other things. If you leave them in the bathroom, another resident can use them. It’s a good idea to keep your laundry soap, coins, and other items in separate bags so you can grab them on your way out. You don’t want to make a habit of taking laundry detergent or coins from other residents.