SLU’s Laundry Rooms Don’t Clean Themselves

We need to grow up and take responsibility for our mess

The satisfaction of stepping out of the shower, drying off with a warm towel fresh from the dryer, stepping into cozy pajamas, getting wrapped up in clean bedsheets and knowing that all your laundry is done is my favorite feeling in the world. As a residential college student, the washers and dryers located in the community laundry room are what make this feeling possible. Yet, I have noticed that, as people’s lives are becoming more hectic throughout the school year, they have forgotten how to take care of the space that I cherish so much.

Upon walking into the Spring Hall laundry room, your vision will immediately be bombarded with clumps of lint, dryer sheets, displaced machines, piles of hair, spilled detergent and an atrocious amount of lost articles of clothing. This sight is painful for someone who cares as much about this space as I do. In the hope of an improvement to the conditions of the laundry room, I have drafted a list of laundry room grievances. If my grievances are not addressed, I daresay someone might just go around adding red socks to white loads. 

It is not a difficult task to pick up a dropped dryer sheet. Your hands might be full with your clean laundry, but that is why you have a laundry basket. Thankfully, the five-second rule doesn’t apply to dryer sheets, so you can safely pick them up and throw them away after safely depositing your fresh linens in your laundry basket. 

Another seemingly obvious notion has to do with the beloved lint. We all read the signs to remove your lint from the dryer so that it doesn’t start a fire, but the signs don’t direct you to then drop it on the floor. Don’t feel obligated to make a sweater out of the lint, just carry it the additional two feet to the trash can. Lint does not have cooties; though it may seem gross, it’s just a collection of fabric fibers. 

There is also the tried and true complaint about taking your clothes out of the washer or dryer when the time is up. Just set a timer on your phone; or if you don’t have a phone you can simply look at a clock and then look at it again later. You could also say “Mississippi” 1,800 times, because if you find it too difficult to stick to a timer, you might need to practice the basics, such as counting, again. 

I also have noticed a surplus of loose socks hanging around in various washers and dryers and have even taken some home with me accidentally. It is easy to lose a sock in the vast metallic abyss of a dryer but if you give the machine just one more look when you take out your clothes you’ll catch all the things you missed. Run your hand under the lint tray; that is where I find the missing items most often. These are a few extra steps, but it will save you a sock and, let’s be honest, socks are pretty special. If the person that used the machine before you did not know how to do this and you end up with an extra item, do not drop it on the floor. That is not helpful. At least put it on the table where every lost item goes to die. 

Tidying up after yourself doesn’t just benefit me, it also helps our custodial staff. Leaving a place better than you found it is an idea that extends beyond boy and girl scouts. If you pick up your dryer sheets and lint, then the custodians will have more time to clean the many other surfaces that need disinfecting during these COVID times. They take out your trash, mop your floors, vacuum your carpets, clean your windows, disinfect the things you touch and so much more, the least you can do is pick up after yourself.

I know that not everyone cares if the community spaces you use are trashed, but laundry room cleanliness affects everyone in the building. Please clean up after yourself in the laundry room.