10 Laundromat Etiquette Rules

Double-check You Have All Your Stuff
It’s easy to lose track of small items like socks, so do a thorough check. © BoValentino/iStockphoto

It's not always the dryer to blame for eating the sock you lost; sometimes you just leave it behind. Be sure to double-check inside both the washing machine and the dryer when you're coming and going from the machines. You're looking for pieces of clothing that you don't want to leave behind, but also items that other launderers may have abandoned before you.

If you've left your sock behind, the odds are good you'll never be reunited — and someone may be cursing your penchant for colorful socks if your laundry orphan discolors his or her load. If it's your white or light-colored clothing that becomes tinted with dye from another laundromat patron's renegade red, all hope is not lost. First, don't put the wet, tinted items in the dryer; just like when you're treating stains, avoid those high temperatures to help avoid letting the stain — or dye — set. Instead, place all articles of clothing that are safe to bleach (which excludes leather, mohair, silk, spandex and wool) in a diluted bleach solution. Then rinse, and repeat the process if needed.