Our Laundry Blog

Is it OK to leave my clothes at the laundromat during a wash/dry cycle?

It’s estimated that an average washing cycle can last anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes, while an average drying cycle can last for up to 40 minutes. Noting this – and noting the busy lives of everyone – it can be tempting for those doing the laundry at the laundromat to place loads in the washer and/or dryer and then leave to return home or run errands during the cycle time.

But is it really OK to leave your clothes at the laundromat unattended? In most cases, the answer is “no” – but there are some exceptions. Let’s take a look:

Why You Shouldn’t Leave Clothes at the Laundromat

  • It’s rude: This is especially true during busy times of the day. If you’re not tending to your laundry and can’t remove it from the washer or dryer once it’s done, you could be holding up someone else’s load. For this reason, it’s poor laundromat etiquette.
  • Your clothes may not be cleaned correctly: If you leave your clothes and there’s a wait for machines, it’s more likely that you might find your clothes removed from the wash or drying machines for you. If this occurs, your clothes may not be cleaned how you would like for them to be cleaned. What’s more is they could just be tossed aside – on top of machines, on the floor, or anywhere to get them out of the way so others can use the machines.
  • Your clothes could be stolen: If you’re washing high-end clothing items and leave them unattended, there’s a much higher chance that someone steals them for themselves.

What to do if You Have to Leave Clothes at the Laundromat

In some cases, maybe there’s an emergency or something urgent where you have to leave your clothes at the laundromat. If this happens, follow these tips:

  • Try to let someone know – whether it’s another patron at the laundromat or a worker – about the situation and see if they can change loads for you if you’re not back in time.
  • Try to time the load so that you can return as soon as it’s done so other people don’t have to wait and/or remove your laundry.
  • Consider taking advantage of laundromat drop-off services, where laundromat attendants can do your laundry for you so you can take care of whatever has come up in your day without worry.