Do whatever you please with dryer sheets in your personal laundry room, but remember the laundromat is a public place. Used fabric softener sheets, empty bottles of detergent, the fuzzy residue from the dryer's lint screen; these all belong in the trash, not on top of the machine, in the machine, on the floor or wherever else laundromat patrons might be leaving them. In short: Don't be a litter bug.
Additionally, let's talk about carts. Don't let your laundry cart etiquette upset the apple cart. (Translation: Put items such as carts back where you found them or risk upsetting the laundromat regulars.) There are two basic types of carts you'll find in the laundromat: the large rolling baskets and the laundry butlers (those are the large rolling baskets equipped with a pole and bar above for hanging clothes). Naturally, if you have clothes you'll need to hang, you'll need the laundry butler. But if you don't have anything to hang, do we have to say it? Leave the butlers behind for those who need them. Not only is it good karma (one day you, too, will need the laundry butler), it's good manners. And when you no longer need the cart, return it to its rightful spot — which we're pretty sure is not the aisle.
Author's Note: 10 Laundromat Etiquette Rules
Shortly after I researched and wrote about how filthy our worn and clean clothes are, I began reading an off-shoot story about laundromats that offer gourmet food that I'd opened among my reference tabs. I like both gourmet cheese sandwiches and the smell of fabric softener; I figured I'd need to know more. But my timing was very wrong: crepes and a coin-operated laundry setup ... don't forget to pack hand sanitizer with your detergent.
More Great Links
- Better Homes & Gardens. "How to Dry Clothing (Yes, There Is a Right Way)." (March 28, 2015) http://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/laundry-linens/clothes/dry-clothes/
- Byron, Ellen. "The Great American Soap Overdose." The Wall Street Journal. Jan. 25, 2010. (March 28, 2015) http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703808904575025021214910714
- Carollo, Kim. "Dirty Laundry? How Nasty Germs Survive in Your Washer." ABC News. May 27, 2010. (March 28, 2015) http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/washing-machines-loaded-bacteria-dirty-clothes/story?id=10751420
- Clorox. "Dr. Laundry: Removing the Pink When Red Clothes Dye Whites." Aug. 20, 2013. (Mach 28, 2015) https://www.clorox.com/dr-laundry/removing-the-pink-when-red-clothes-dye-whites/
- Coast Laundry. "Etiquette." (March 28, 2015) http://coast-laundry.com/services/
- D'Costa, Krystal. "Spin Cycle: The Social Realm of the Laundromat." Scientific American — Anthropology in Practice. Jan. 21, 2013. (March 28, 2015) http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/anthropology-in-practice/2013/01/21/spin-cycle-the-social-realm-of-the-laundromat/
- Gebhardt, Sara. "Time Is of the Essence in Shared Laundry Rooms." The Washington Post. Aug. 7, 2004. (March 28, 2015) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45975-2004Aug6.html
- Katz, Sarah. "Laundry Room Etiquette: Sharing Your Laundry Room." May 22, 2013. (March 28, 2015) http://renters.apartments.com/laundry-room-etiquette-sharing-your-laundry-room
- Mother Nature Network. "8 Common Laundry Mistakes That May Damage Your Washing Machine." May 8, 2014. (March 28, 2015) http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/8-common-laundry-mistakes-that-may-damage-your-washing-machine
- N.J. Laundromats. "How to Wash Clothes at the Laundromat Like a Pro." (March 28, 2015) http://njlaundromats.com/how-to-wash-clothes-at-the-laundromat-like-a-pro/
- National Fire Protection Association. "Dryers and Washing Machines." July 2013. (March 28, 2015) http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/dryers-and-washing-machines
- Real Simple. "12 Laundry Mistakes You're Probably Making." (March 28, 2015) http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/laundry/top-laundry-mistakes
- Rotstein, Arther H. "Washing Your Underwear? Don't Forget the Bleach." Los Angeles Times. May 16, 1999. (March 28, 2015) http://articles.latimes.com/1999/may/16/news/mn-37756
- Smith, J.A. "Effect of Water Temperature on Bacterial Killing in Laundry." American Journal of Infection Control. Vol. 8, No. 5. Pages 204-209. May 1987. (March 28, 2015) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3647942
- StateUniversity.com. "How to Do Your Own Laundry." (March 28, 2015) http://www.stateuniversity.com/blog/permalink/Doing-Your-Own-Laundry.html
- Sullivan, Brian. "HUD Releases 2009 American Housing Survey." U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). July 1, 2010. (March 28, 2015) http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2010/HUDNo.10-138
- U.S. Department of Home Security — FEMA. "Clothes Dryer Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010)." Topical Fire Report Series (TFRS). Vol. 13, No. 7. August 2012. (March 28, 2015) https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v13i7.pdf
- Viets, Elaine. "Etiquette for the Great Unwashed." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Feb. 3, 1995. (March 28, 2015) http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1995-02-03/business/9502030033_1_laundry-room-washing-clothes
- West Bend Mutual Insurance Company. "Dryer Fire Safety." (March 20, 2015) http://www.cultureofsafety.com/safety-tips/dryer-fires/
Take it with a grain of salt means to be skeptical about something. But where does the phrase come from?