33 minutes. To some it may simply be a half an hour, but to St. Ambrose students, those numbers signify how many precious minutes they have before their laundry is done washing. From there it is 49 minutes in the dryer and a sigh of relief that they escaped the laundry room without any problems.
These problems consist of not finding an open washer or dryer and waiting in fear of someone else removing their clothes from the machine they have claimed without permission. These common occurrences come with the package of living on campus. McCarthy and Rohlman Hall Director Alison DeVilder offered some input on how to properly act in the laundry room setting. Hall Directors see these problems first hand as they have to do laundry with the students in the buildings they live in.
“Every institution and residence hall faces this problem,” DeVilder said. “I suggest setting a timer and not leaving [when your laundry is in the machines].” She also noted that there are washers and dryers on other floors of each building, so if one laundry room is full, she heads to another one.
Another problem students find is that some dryers do not completely dry their clothes leaving them at least a dollar shorter holding damp clothes. Residents can take actions to help prevent this from happening in the future.
“Take the lint out of the filter because it blocks the heat, and don’t overfill the machines with clothes,” DeVilder said. Color catchers and three-in-one sheets are also not meant for the washers and dryers, so residents should refrain from using them.
Although DeVilder personally does not touch other residents’ clothes that she finds in her way of doing laundry, she cannot speak for others who do. She suggests waiting half an hour if all of the machines are full before checking again and even considering touching the clothes that remain in the machines.
Cosgrove Hall Director Angie Mullenbach offered some input on this issue as well. The Cosgrove 4th floor RAs put together a solution for doing laundry without worrying about other residents moving their clothes. According to Mullenbach, the RAs placed magnets with every room number on the wall of the laundry room, so when a student puts their clothes in a machine, they put their magnet on it as well. This way if a student forgets about their laundry, the person behind them will know whose it is and can simply knock on their door instead of touching clothes that do not belong to them. DeVilder saw this method used at another institution and said that it worked fairly smoothly as well.
DeVilder and Mullenbach noted that the busiest time to do laundry is during the day. Friday and Saturday nights or early Sunday mornings are the best times to do laundry according to Mullenbach.
“Always be accountable. Be aware of when you’re doing you’re laundry,” Mullenbach said. “Figure out your schedule. If you don’t want your things to be taken out be there when it gets to zero or a minute left.” She also reiterated what DeVilder said including that residents should know their schedule and make sure they have enough time to complete their laundry.
As for why students feel comfortable moving clothes that do not belong to them, Mullenbach pointed to students’ busy schedules.
“Everyone has a lot going on. They are all on different schedules,” Mullenbach said.
Some students are more laid back and might forget about their laundry while others squeeze it in between activities and simply want to get it done.
Whether students are doing their laundry in the early morning hours or during the day, they should always be considerate of others in the laundry room. As the precious numbers on the machine tick closer to zero, students need to realize when their laundry will be done and in turn be patient with others who have yet to remove their clothes.