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Old 16.02.2020, 14:35
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Laundry Etiquette/How to's

Hi all,
I live in an apartment with communal laundry and today I saw a new sign that the washing machine itself has to be cleaned after each use.
I honestly am not sure what that means beyond making sure there is no obvious debris left behind/detergent spilled. If anyone could enlighten me on this that would be great!
Also how would one go about cleaning it or what is the custom, that would be great!
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Old 16.02.2020, 15:40
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

Some of these items are to do with leaving your neighbours with the feeling that you've been nice and respectful, some are to do with not grossing them out, and some are to do with actually keeping the machine in good working order.
  • With a clean cloth that does not leave any lint deposits or water-lines, wipe the machine down, outside. Do the same on the door/lid of the machine. Pay special attention to any water-lines. And to hair.
  • Look back. Be sure that you have removed all of your items from the laundry.
  • If there is a rubber gasket/seal, be sure to leave this dry. Some of them have a dip in which water (and sometimes things that were accidentally in the wash like paper, tissues, loose threads, buttons or coins) can collect. Remove such items. Clean the gasket along its entire length. Soak up the water with your cloth. (This extends the life of the gasket).
  • If the machine has a separate drawer/slot to receive washing-powder, unclip this and remove it from the machine, wash it out thoroughly, so there are no remainders of washing-powder or liquid detergent or fabric-softener. Dry. Replace.
  • With the dryest part of your cloth, make sure any glass part (e.g. the door) of the machine just looks nice and clean and free of any water-spots.
  • All machines have an egress (typically near the floor) out of which used water flows. Sometimes this space may be tucked away. But if it is visible to you, open its little door and check whether it has a removable filter. If yes, remove, rinse, dry and replace.
  • With the dryer, do the same. There, check the filter and brush off any fluff.
  • If there is a hand-basin, leave this clean, too, wiped down and dried. To make the neighbours happy, give the tap a 10-second polish, so it all looks gleaming when they arrive to do their laundry.
  • Sweep the floor. If you've really trapsed in dirt, then wash the floor.
  • Wash the windows.
  • In some buildings, you are also responsible for removing your own rubbish. In other buildings, there is a litter-bin inside (or just outside) the laundry, and the cleaner/care-taker will remove and replace this.

Okay, that was the ultra-perfect, rather OCD version. You have to decide, for yourself, how much of it you are going to bother to do. A lot depends on the behaviour of all the people in the building, for example, whether there are many people who work only in an office, or those do work or have hobbies which bring in really dirty clothing, or who are washing lots of textiles from their animals, or who have anyone ill in the home, or lots of children. Although the rules of one of the buildings we lived in stated that one should wash the windows and wash floor at the end of every single laundry-slot (!), that seemed excessive and no-one did it much, and it was okay. Those who tended to dirty the laundry more just took on a bit more of the cleaning.

Some buildings have the misfortune of having a self-ordained High Priestess of Cleanliness of the Laundry, and those people, in my experience, cannot ever really be satisfied, because they truly believe that the list above is gospel, and that every single item should be done, every single time, with meticulous devotion.

The trick is to do enough so that you won't offend anyone, and won't gross anyone out, and to understand, at the same time, that standards are personal, and what bothers you (or doesn't) might not feel the same way for others.

In short:
  • Check the state of the laundry when you begin (including parts of it which you will not use, e.g. perhaps you never use the tumble-dryer, but even so you have a responsiblity to leave it clean, too).
  • Leave it at least as clean and tidy as you found it, or better, and that will probably be plenty good enough.

Last edited by doropfiz; 16.02.2020 at 15:50.
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Old 16.02.2020, 18:48
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

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Some of these items are to do with leaving your neighbours with the feeling that you've been nice and respectful, some are to do with not grossing them out, and some are to do with actually keeping the machine in good working order.
  • With a clean cloth that does not leave any lint deposits or water-lines, wipe the machine down, outside. Do the same on the door/lid of the machine. Pay special attention to any water-lines. And to hair.
  • Look back. Be sure that you have removed all of your items from the laundry.
  • If there is a rubber gasket/seal, be sure to leave this dry. Some of them have a dip in which water (and sometimes things that were accidentally in the wash like paper, tissues, loose threads, buttons or coins) can collect. Remove such items. Clean the gasket along its entire length. Soak up the water with your cloth. (This extends the life of the gasket).
  • If the machine has a separate drawer/slot to receive washing-powder, unclip this and remove it from the machine, wash it out thoroughly, so there are no remainders of washing-powder or liquid detergent or fabric-softener. Dry. Replace.
  • With the dryest part of your cloth, make sure any glass part (e.g. the door) of the machine just looks nice and clean and free of any water-spots.
  • All machines have an egress (typically near the floor) out of which used water flows. Sometimes this space may be tucked away. But if it is visible to you, open its little door and check whether it has a removable filter. If yes, remove, rinse, dry and replace.
  • With the dryer, do the same. There, check the filter and brush off any fluff.
  • If there is a hand-basin, leave this clean, too, wiped down and dried. To make the neighbours happy, give the tap a 10-second polish, so it all looks gleaming when they arrive to do their laundry.
  • Sweep the floor. If you've really trapsed in dirt, then wash the floor.
  • Wash the windows.
  • In some buildings, you are also responsible for removing your own rubbish. In other buildings, there is a litter-bin inside (or just outside) the laundry, and the cleaner/care-taker will remove and replace this.

Okay, that was the ultra-perfect, rather OCD version. You have to decide, for yourself, how much of it you are going to bother to do. A lot depends on the behaviour of all the people in the building, for example, whether there are many people who work only in an office, or those do work or have hobbies which bring in really dirty clothing, or who are washing lots of textiles from their animals, or who have anyone ill in the home, or lots of children. Although the rules of one of the buildings we lived in stated that one should wash the windows and wash floor at the end of every single laundry-slot (!), that seemed excessive and no-one did it much, and it was okay. Those who tended to dirty the laundry more just took on a bit more of the cleaning.

Some buildings have the misfortune of having a self-ordained High Priestess of Cleanliness of the Laundry, and those people, in my experience, cannot ever really be satisfied, because they truly believe that the list above is gospel, and that every single item should be done, every single time, with meticulous devotion.

The trick is to do enough so that you won't offend anyone, and won't gross anyone out, and to understand, at the same time, that standards are personal, and what bothers you (or doesn't) might not feel the same way for others.

In short:
  • Check the state of the laundry when you begin (including parts of it which you will not use, e.g. perhaps you never use the tumble-dryer, but even so you have a responsiblity to leave it clean, too).
  • Leave it at least as clean and tidy as you found it, or better, and that will probably be plenty good enough.
I haven’t laughed so much since ages.

What I do is to make sure that I haven’t left any rogue black sock or dark jeans in there. Empty the filter of your machine, and most importantly leave the doors open after use.

No-one will know (or prove) that you have been there.
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Old 16.02.2020, 19:14
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

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Some of these items are to do with leaving your neighbours with the feeling that you've been nice and respectful, some are to do with not grossing them out, and some are to do with actually keeping the machine in good working order.
  • With a clean cloth that does not leave any lint deposits or water-lines, wipe the machine down, outside. Do the same on the door/lid of the machine. Pay special attention to any water-lines. And to hair.
  • Look back. Be sure that you have removed all of your items from the laundry.
  • If there is a rubber gasket/seal, be sure to leave this dry. Some of them have a dip in which water (and sometimes things that were accidentally in the wash like paper, tissues, loose threads, buttons or coins) can collect. Remove such items. Clean the gasket along its entire length. Soak up the water with your cloth. (This extends the life of the gasket).
  • If the machine has a separate drawer/slot to receive washing-powder, unclip this and remove it from the machine, wash it out thoroughly, so there are no remainders of washing-powder or liquid detergent or fabric-softener. Dry. Replace.
  • With the dryest part of your cloth, make sure any glass part (e.g. the door) of the machine just looks nice and clean and free of any water-spots.
  • All machines have an egress (typically near the floor) out of which used water flows. Sometimes this space may be tucked away. But if it is visible to you, open its little door and check whether it has a removable filter. If yes, remove, rinse, dry and replace.
  • With the dryer, do the same. There, check the filter and brush off any fluff.
  • If there is a hand-basin, leave this clean, too, wiped down and dried. To make the neighbours happy, give the tap a 10-second polish, so it all looks gleaming when they arrive to do their laundry.
  • Sweep the floor. If you've really trapsed in dirt, then wash the floor.
  • Wash the windows.
  • In some buildings, you are also responsible for removing your own rubbish. In other buildings, there is a litter-bin inside (or just outside) the laundry, and the cleaner/care-taker will remove and replace this.

Okay, that was the ultra-perfect, rather OCD version. You have to decide, for yourself, how much of it you are going to bother to do. A lot depends on the behaviour of all the people in the building, for example, whether there are many people who work only in an office, or those do work or have hobbies which bring in really dirty clothing, or who are washing lots of textiles from their animals, or who have anyone ill in the home, or lots of children. Although the rules of one of the buildings we lived in stated that one should wash the windows and wash floor at the end of every single laundry-slot (!), that seemed excessive and no-one did it much, and it was okay. Those who tended to dirty the laundry more just took on a bit more of the cleaning.

Some buildings have the misfortune of having a self-ordained High Priestess of Cleanliness of the Laundry, and those people, in my experience, cannot ever really be satisfied, because they truly believe that the list above is gospel, and that every single item should be done, every single time, with meticulous devotion.

The trick is to do enough so that you won't offend anyone, and won't gross anyone out, and to understand, at the same time, that standards are personal, and what bothers you (or doesn't) might not feel the same way for others.

In short:
  • Check the state of the laundry when you begin (including parts of it which you will not use, e.g. perhaps you never use the tumble-dryer, but even so you have a responsiblity to leave it clean, too).
  • Leave it at least as clean and tidy as you found it, or better, and that will probably be plenty good enough.
Am feeling a bit daunted. You might be serious.
Welll, in ‘‘this case you are exactly like my Swiss neighbor, and these are the rules.
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Old 16.02.2020, 19:28
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

Glad you laughed! Well, I did write that that is the ultra-perfect, rather OCD version.

And it is not what I observe in practice, and the lesser-mortal version seems to be just fine for most people, irrespective of their relative Swissness, or not.

But truly blessed are all tenants who live in peace, undisturbed by a High Priestess of Cleanliness of the Laundry, she (are there male ones?) who must be pacified.

Last edited by doropfiz; 17.02.2020 at 03:42.
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Old 17.02.2020, 06:11
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

Thanks for your long list above, doropfiz. I wonder if you might consider adding another item: removing your laundry from the drying room after your slot is over. In my apartment building we have one washer and one dryer, and a separate drying room across the hall, with clothes lines and a blower on the wall. People often leave their clothes hanging here long after their slot/shift is over, sometimes days after. I do laundry once a week, and often have to take down other people's dry clothing in order to hang up my own. There is a table in the room, at least, to leave the clothes on, but it is annoying to have to do this.
As far as the washer itself, I also prefer if people leave the laundry detergent drawer pulled out after rinsing, to avoid it getting damp or moldy. It is quite gross to discover caked detergent all over the drawer, which must be cleaned before I can use it.
I'm not a note-leaver, but I try to leave the place reasonably clean, and hope that others will see this and do the same.
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Old 16.02.2020, 17:20
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

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Hi all,
I live in an apartment with communal laundry and today I saw a new sign that the washing machine itself has to be cleaned after each use.
I honestly am not sure what that means beyond making sure there is no obvious debris left behind/detergent spilled. If anyone could enlighten me on this that would be great!
Also how would one go about cleaning it or what is the custom, that would be great!
Usually they have a filter at the bottom of the maschine which traps lint. Remove it and run it under cold water. Don' put it back in so that it can be seen you cleaned it. The next person must put it back in. Wipe the top of the maschine with damp cloth. If the compartment for the washing powder /liquid can be removed then remove and rinse.If not see thats its clean. Thats all. Nothing more!
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Old 16.02.2020, 17:23
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

don't forget clean the room
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Old 16.02.2020, 17:25
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

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Don' put it back in so that it can be seen you cleaned it. The next person must put it back in.
That's a good point.
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Old 16.02.2020, 17:30
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That's a good point.
Eh, make sure you check to see if other people are doing this. In my old flat one had to clean up after themselves, which included returning everything from where it came (there were passive-aggressive notes about people not replacing the lint filter into the dryer).
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Old 16.02.2020, 17:33
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

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Eh, make sure you check to see if other people are doing this. In my old flat one had to clean up after themselves, which included returning everything from where it came (there were passive-aggressive notes about people not replacing the lint filter into the dryer).
But note here. How are you to know if its been cleaned? And one also leaves the filter out for a while because it helps prevent any mould.
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Old 16.02.2020, 18:18
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But note here. How are you to know if its been cleaned? And one also leaves the filter out for a while because it helps prevent any mould.
We had to write our names each time we used the machine so you could expect a swift reply from the Hauswart if you screwed up.
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Old 16.02.2020, 18:27
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

There’s nothing wrong with OCD
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Old 16.02.2020, 18:32
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

A tip: you might feel a little daunted about the types of cloth you should use.
So here an example;

https://search.migros.ch/de/q:Microfaser%20tuch
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Old 17.02.2020, 07:49
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

And don’t forget a cloth to clean the cloths with. And a cloth to clesn the cloth you clean the cloths with. And...

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A tip: you might feel a little daunted about the types of cloth you should use.
So here an example;

https://search.migros.ch/de/q:Microfaser%20tuch
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Old 17.02.2020, 08:14
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And don’t forget a cloth to clean the cloths with. And a cloth to clesn the cloth you clean the cloths with. And...
The cloth must be supplied by the landlord/caretaker
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Old 17.02.2020, 10:20
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

At my last place the caretaker used to take us down to the communal laundry room individually once a year and show us what she expected. There were so many notices up they were like wallpaper and she started putting them up in different languages using Google Translate. I once missed my slot due to having a bad chest infection, and was too unwell to go to the basement to cross it out in the diary (OH never thought to). Next time I went down there was a huge red question mark next to my name and it terrified me, it was like I'd been marked out in blood

I'm glad I don't have to endure the communal laundry any more!
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Old 17.02.2020, 10:43
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Re: Laundry Etiquette/How to's

[QUOTE=Cherub;3148979]At my last place the caretaker used to take us down to the communal laundry room individually once a year and show us what she expected. There were so many notices up they were like wallpaper and she started putting them up in different languages using Google Translate. I once missed my slot due to having a bad chest infection, and was too unwell to go to the basement to cross it out in the diary (OH never thought to). Next time I went down there was a huge red question mark next to my name and it terrified me, it was like I'd been marked out in blood

They removed at our place long ago all these rules and things. Its left up to the tenants to regulate it amongst themselves. After all we are not children! Each person can write his name down on the list for the day he wants. Once a week. Works OK and not everyone uses the wash area. Two machines for 9 apartments.
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