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What Happens If You Leave Your Clothes at the Laundry?

The general rule is you should not leave your clothes in the public laundry machine if the cycle has finished. Although you may leave them if there are available and free machines, but as soon as the place fills up, usually an attendant will remove your clothes, wet, or dry.

If you come back quick and in a timely manner, you might find your clothes and continue your wash. But if you leave them overnight, then note that they will be given away after a period of time.

Normally, the average washing machine cycle lasts between 25 and 40 minutes, while an average dryer cycle lasts between 30 and 40 minutes. And while it might be tempting to leave your clothes unattended and pay a visit to the snack shop down the road, it is advisable to stay put.

Have it in mind that leaving your clothes unattended is considered rude. Once you leave your clothes in a washer or dryer past the cycle time, you could be stopping someone else from doing their laundry and leaving on time.

However, if you leave your clothes in for a few minutes past the cycle time, there is a good chance that you will find your wet clothes tossed on top of the machine – or even on the floor or in the trash can. Also, there is the possibility of theft.

Even though Laundromat owners always take every attainable measure to ensure customer safety, Laundromats are public places – and someone may be lying in wait to snatch your pricey shirts or polo if you step away for too long. Like any other place, the Laundromat is not responsible for lost/stolen clothing

To avoid potential theft or property damage, always ensure to remove items from washers and dryers as soon as your cycle ends. If you really have to leave or step away for a while, it is pertinent you leave a note of the time you started your load, check the timer on the machine, and set an alarm on your phone so your clothing is not left unattended after the cycle ends.

4 Important Tips for Washing Your Clothes in a Laundromat Safely

Even though Laundromat owners and managers are advised to take steps to remind customers of Laundromat safety and etiquette practices, anything is possible and it dwells on you as a customer to protect your clothes. Here are some tips for washing your clothes in a Laundromat to make your experience simple and safe.

1. Always Sort in Advance

Note that the basic convenience of a Laundromat is the ability to get in and out quickly. Doing your laundry in a Laundromat tends to go a little faster when you sort your clothes at home. Have it in mind that machines can only hold so many clothes at a time. Therefore, it is pertinent to carefully separate your laundry loads into manageable amounts.

It will also help you decide on time how many machines you will need to use when you get there. In addition, separate your colours from your whites before you arrive. It will be a complete waste of precious time figuring out your delicates or which rinse cycle to use if you fail to sort out your clothes ahead of time.

2. Do not Forget to Check the Settings

Always remember to check the settings on the washer and dryer before putting clothes in. For instance, the person who used the machine before you washed their clothes with cold water and you need warm. Also ensure that you wash with the right settings as it prevents your clothes from shrinking or getting damaged.

3. Always Remove Stains Beforehand

Before getting to the Laundromat, it is advisable you take your time to scrub out stains in the comfort of your home instead of working to remove them in the Laundromat. Note that this will also reduce the number of items you have to bring with you. You are already lugging in your laundry, detergent and dryer sheets. Therefore, leave the stain remover at home.

4. Do not Leave Your Clothes

Just like it was stated above, it is always a bad idea to leave your clothes in a Laundromat. Unless you are taking advantage of wash, dry and fold services, never leave your clothes unattended. This prevents theft or people moving your laundry to use the machines.


For newcomers, Laundromats can present a somewhat confusing set of unspoken rules. However, it is never a good idea to leave clothes alone at the Laundromat. There are several things a Laundromat owner or manager can do to reduce this behaviour, including signage and security cameras. For Laundromat customers, it comes down to common sense and good Laundromat etiquette. A little extra caution goes a long way.