Rant of the Week: The Misery of College Laundry

Photo courtesy of Liz Kameen

Photo courtesy of Liz Kameen

Let me start by saying we are all adults here; we should all know how to do laundry at this point in our educational careers. 

So imagine my surprise when I walk into the laundry room, without fail, every week to see a series of tragedies. There are literal directions posted on the laundry room walls for people who may have been unaware, directions that specifically warn against overloading with clothing. 

So, clearly, there should not be a month’s worth of clothes and sheets left in the washing machine to rot for hours. Let me address a series of problems with this scenario. 

The washing machines in Bernhardt are brand new. I’m no expert, but I do not think they should be leaking soap out of the pipes all over the floor less than a month into the new semester. 

One night, I saw a machine pulled out from the wall with water leaking around it. I assumed it was out of commission, so I waited an hour to see if anyone would collect their wet clothes from the other machines. After over three trips down to the laundry room, not one machine was empty. And, on my last trip down, someone began to use the machine that was pulled out from the wall. 

Okay, you may be wondering why I did not move the clothes.

As soon as I open the washing machine, I see at least a month’s worth of clothes filling it, almost dry by how long they had been left there. They had even started to smell musty from the dampness. I could not feasibly force myself to stick my hands into that machine and touch those clothes that were probably not even cleaned that well by how much was stuffed in there. 

Later in the night, I went to move my clothes into the dryer, and I was forced to scoot two different stacks of dry laundry on top of machines just to turn on the dryer. Those stacks of dry laundry had been sitting there for hours, implying those students somehow forgot all of their clothes or were simply just inconsiderate enough not to care. 

So, please: Set a timer on your laundry and be down on time. We do not have enough machines in these buildings to have laundry sitting in them for hours. 

And be considerate: Break your laundry up. These machines are brand new, and overfilling them can contribute to breakage that seems to already be happening. 

Remember that other students are in the same building, just trying to get their laundry done. It should not take two hours to collect your laundry from the dryer. If your clothes sit long enough in the washer that they dry themselves, you are doing something wrong. 

Maybe I was just raised differently, but I am down there before my timer even goes because I want to make sure the machine can be used by someone else. I hate the feeling of just wanting to get laundry done on a Wednesday night, and for some reason, every washer and dryer is full of completed cycles, and there are piles of wet and dry laundry everywhere.

I completely understand being a few minutes late because it just slipped your mind, but hours become unacceptable. Also, there is no efficient way of deciphering whose clothes have been left in the machines for longer since they do not indicate how long the cycle has been completed.

I would feel terrible moving someone’s clothes if they were just one minute late and the washing machine next to them had been full for an hour longer.

It is just embarrassing at this point in your life to be inconsiderate of other students in the same position as you. Please learn to do your laundry correctly.