Like any public space, the laundromat is full of unspoken social contracts. As a laundromat owner, things like judicious machine use and trash disposal might seem like no-brainers – still, some customers need reminders. If you want to keep your laundromat clean, harmonious, and conflict-free, check out our 10 laundromat rules for owners and customers.
10 Laundromat Rules
1. Don’t Leave Clothes Unattended
For some laundromat customers, an average washing machine cycle can seem like a lifetime. However, the average cycle typically only lasts between 25 to 40 minutes, with the average dryer cycle lasting just a few minutes longer. Some customers take washer and dryer cycles as an opportunity to abandon their station to grab a coffee or run an errand. As a laundromat owner, it’s your job to discourage this practice by reminding customers of the cardinal rule of laundromat etiquette: not to leave their clothes unattended.
2. Use Discretion When Reserving Machines
Unofficially “reserving” machines is one of the more controversial practices in the laundromat world. Some customers opt to signal a “reservation” the old-fashioned way: by spreading their dirty laundry across multiple machines before you need them. The same thing goes for trying to reserve dryers when your clothes have barely begun their wash cycle. When in doubt, remind customers to exercise their best judgement – which usually means erring on the side of respect, even if it means waiting a bit longer to snag a washer or dryer.
3. Don’t Overload Machines
If a customer is dealing with a constantly clunking machine, chances are they’ve overloaded it. As a laundromat owner, you can post signage reminding customers not to overload machines past a certain point. You can even indicate machine fill lines with a permanent marker. Loading machines properly leads to cleaner, wrinkle-free clothes – and less of a headache for you, the laundromat owner.
4. Don’t Go Wild With Detergent
You might be surprised to find that more than half of laundromat customers aren’t using the right amount of laundry detergent per load. While more soap might seem like a good idea, the reality is that too much laundry detergent can lead to residue on clothes. Overusing detergent can also lead to buildup on washing machines.
5. No Sock Left Behind
Be sure to post signage reminding customers to double-check machines before leaving the facility. Think of it this way: One forgetful customer might leave behind a red sock – which can spell disaster for the next customer washing a load of bright whites.
6. Keep an Eye on the Lint Trap
Be sure to post signage reminding customers to clean the dryer lint trap before and after each use. Why? A dirty lint trap can create a serious fire hazard, making it difficult for dryers to exhaust hot, moist air. Dirty lint traps can also cut down on dryer efficiency, reducing the air flow through the vent and forcing customers to spend more money on multiple cycles.
7. Toss Your Trash
Fabric softener sheets, lint residue, empty detergent bottles: All of these items need to go straight into the trash. A little signage goes a long way in terms of reminding customers to clean up after themselves.
8. Use Common Cart Sense
Laundromat carts can be extremely helpful for large loads – but they can also create frustrating aisle blockages, especially for customers with limited mobility. Remind customers to return their carts to the proper place after each use.
9. Keep It Quiet
A trip to the laundromat might not be everyone’s idea of a good time. To make the experience more pleasant for everyone, remind customers not to play loud music or videos from their personal devices while inside. The same goes for phone calls and generally loud voices – whether they belong to adults or little ones.
10. Don’t Camp Out
Finally, remind laundromat customers that the facility is for everyone. This means one chair per customer, although it may be tempting to stretch out for a mid-cycle nap every now and again.
If you’re ready to create a more harmonious laundry facility, these 10 laundromat rules are a great place to start. Remember: When in doubt, common sense is a best practice for laundromat owners and patrons.
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