Laundromat Etiquette

Laundromat Etiquette

It’s been so rainy and humid I can’t get my washing dry. Yesterday I ventured to the Laundromat. I don’t go often so it turned into an adventure.

It was busy. I guess no one can get their washing dry. It was unexpectedly pleasant sitting reading my book, and satisfying watching the clothes spin around the huge industrial dryers. The joint must love this weather. There’s always an upside to everything.

There was a whole row of dryers tumbling over and over with mesmerizing rhythm. I noticed the colour combinations of everyone’s clothes and wondered if you could judge a person by their laundry. I watched one woman put her load in. Mostly yellows and pinks. She was wearing pink so I thought I was onto something. Other loads were darker. Denims and blacks. But mine was mostly white and pink towels and I am a green person. So maybe you can’t define someone by their dryer load after all.

Man in a dryer
Man in a dryer

I took a picture of one of the dryers. In this picture you can see an elderly man sitting in the reflection. It looks like he’s inside, his life rolling and drying around him. I wonder how long he’s been coming here? I’m drawing the assumption he’s either a widower or a lifelong bachelor. But maybe he just likes it here. Watching those dryers is very hypnotizing.

A woman arrived. There were no free dryers. She asked me if I thought it would be okay to take someone’s drying out. I’ve never thought about Laundromat etiquette. I’m not sure. There are so many times in life when there are no set rules. Like how many times is it acceptable to ask for someone’s name when you forget? I go for once. How about you?

I tell her I don’t see why not as long as the washing is dry. But then I think to myself, I wouldn’t want someone’s random hands all over my clean washing. Eventually her husband turns up and she repeats the predicament to him. She gets the validation she’s needing and proceeds to haul the washing out into a miscellaneous basket.

I wonder what Laundromat etiquette would decree? Was it wrong for her to take the clothes out, or was it wrong for the person to leave their washing unattended? I know it’s not important, but my brain enjoys these trivial questions. What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Laundromat Etiquette

  1. My experience from days gone by of Laundromat Etiquette is that if the load has finished – either washing or drying – & there is a basket/bag in which to place the clothes it is OK to do so. xxx

  2. Some of the places I have gone have had a sign: If you leave your items in a machine they might be moved.

    One place had a sign: The employees will move it.

    I would usually plan to stay with my items but life happens. I would move someones load if I needed their machine and they were absent.

    It might annoy me but they should not give me attitude about it. At least I would not steal their stuff. Neither would I just toss it on the floor of the place.

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