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Dear Ms. Demeanor,
When we moved to New York City from the Midwest, we were willing to make some sacrifices, i.e., smaller spaces, no yard, no garage, etc.. But having no washer-dryer in our apartment has been the biggest shock.
People abandon their wet, washed laundry in the machines for HOURS!
Worse yet, sometimes people empty a machine so they can use it & pile the wet clothes on top of a dryer or another machine. Clean clothes on top of a dusty, cruddy machine exposed to mildewy smells and germs. Yuck.
What is the proper etiquette if you need to use the laundry room and there are six machines full of clean clothes just sitting there?
Fit to be Tide
Dear Fit to be Tide:
Ah, yes – your cherished unmentionables swimming in a swill of E. coli, fabric softener drool and generic stain remover – the price one must pay for the swanky city life!!
In a perfect world, a laundry room attendant would render these issues moot, but, alas, that is a non-existent amenity.
The polite thing to do is set a timer on your cell phone to let you know when your clothes have spun themselves out & then quickly transfer said laundry to a dryer or drying rack.
Always leave a clean basket on top of the washer you are using, so that in the event of an emergency, you will not hamper the efforts of your neighbors.
If you are waiting for a machine, a grace period of 15 minutes from the time the cycle is finished is fair. After that, remove the clothes to a table, a basket or a plastic bag, making sure to tuck any unmentionables out of sight… and always clean the lint screen!
Never, ever put someone else’s clothes in a dryer and turn it on out of a misguided sense of courtesy – just ask my friend, whose $2,000 Loro Piana cardigan now fits an American Girl doll.
In the event that your neighbors are chronically tardy, a hand lettered sign along the lines of “After Two Hours, Abandoned Laundry Will Be Donated To The Homeless” might come in handy.
Best of luck,
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