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10 Rules for Laundromat Harmony and Cleanliness (Part 1)

Common sense drives distributor’s checklist

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Because a Laundromat is a public space, it’s in a store owner’s best interest to foster a sense of community. Encouraging customers to use washers and dryers for the minimum time needed and to tidy up after themselves can prevent conflicts and keep the store clean for the next person coming in.

Equipment distributor Laundry Solutions Company has shared a checklist of 10 rules for owners and customers to create the kind of environment that allows a patron to do his or her laundry quickly and efficiently but not at the expense of others. Today, let’s take a look at 1 through 5:

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.

Check back Wednesday for the rest of the list!

(Laundry Solutions’ original article can be found here.)