How to Clean a Public Washing Machine Before Use

Who would turn down the conveniences of a public washing machine? 

They’re your laundry lifelines when you’re constantly on the move. 

But these handy machines also hide a lesser-known truth – they can be hotbeds for germs and bacteria. 

This is precisely why it’s crucial to scrub them down before you start your wash cycle.

In this article, we pull back the curtain on how to properly clean a public washing machine without breaking a sweat. 

Plus, we’ll share valuable advice for keeping those pesky germs and bacteria at bay in the communal laundry scene.

Are Public Washing Machines Clean?

I know a lot of us have wondered at some point – just how clean are those public washing machines we’re using? 

Despite being a necessity for laundry in a pinch or when home appliances fail, people often wonder about their sanitation.

Typically, public washing machines are kept clean and well-maintained. 

Laundromat owners are held to strict standards and monitored regulations to ensure their machines are running smoothly and efficiently. 

There’s also an expectation for consistent cleaning and disinfection of these machines, helping prevent the growth of mold, mildew or bacteria. 

Nevertheless, not all laundromats are created equal. 

In larger metropolitan areas with greater demand for laundry services, public washing machines could potentially be less clean due to constant turnover or simply be more crowded. 

When faced with such situations, consider taking extra precautions to safeguard your clothes and yourself from coming into contact with unwanted germs and viruses. 

Following proper hygiene practices when using such machines can go a long way in ensuring your experiences at the laundromat remain both safe and effective.

How Do You Clean (And Sanitize) A Public Washing Machine?

The common laundry quandary: how do you navigate shared washing machines in public spaces? 

Not many people understand that it’s important to treat shared appliances with a touch of extra care, including giving them a quick clean. 

But don’t worry, it’s not nearly as complex as it may seem.

Cleaning a public washing machine is no different from cleaning your personal washing machine at home.

It starts with a clean, damp cloth and some good’ol white vinegar. 

Wipe down the exterior surfaces of the machine, paying particular attention to the underside of the door and the edges of the wash basin where errant dirt and detergent can gather.

To sanitize and refresh the interior, pour two cups of white vinegar directly into the washing drum. 

With the drum filled with hot water, run a complete wash cycle. 

This simple step will clean, deodorize, and sanitize your public washer in a single swoop.

Once cleaned, leave the washing machine door propped open for a few minutes to air dry before you start loading your clothes.

If needed, you can jump right into doing your laundry.

While we’re on this topic, let’s debunk a myth – vinegar isn’t only an effective disinfectant; its natural properties make it an excellent choice for killing bacteria and fungus that lead to unwanted odors and stains. 

Plus, unlike chlorine bleach which has potential harmful effects on fabric colors and integrity–vinegar is gentle on fabrics and color-safe.

For those who swear by bleach – yes, you can use it instead of vinegar but remember to follow all safety precautions and dosage instructions from manufacturers.

Best Tips For Using A Public Washing Machine?

Here are some tips to help you get the best use of public washers and get your clothes clean effectively.

Preparation is Key: Sort and Bag Your Laundry

Sorting your laundry at home can save you precious time at the public laundromat. To keep whites bright and colors vibrant, separate your clothes into different bags or pillowcases before heading out.

Bring Your Own Supplies 

While it might be tempting to purchase detergent and other laundry necessities right at the laundromat, these products often come with a mark-up and may not align with your specific preferences. Instead, consider bringing your own preferred brands from home. Small containers or bags can be used to measure just the right amount of detergent for each load. 

Inspect Before You Clean 

Before tossing in a pile of dirty clothes into an unknown machine, take a moment to inspect both the washer and dryer for any foreign substances or leftover debris. Using disinfectant wipes or sprays will sanitize the interior drum as well as exterior surfaces of the machine. A quick rinse cycle with bleach or vinegar will kill off any hidden germs while dealing with stubborn residues. Do not forget to also rinse the dispensers in the washing machine to prevent unwanted surprises.

Keep Track of Time

The age-old etiquette of using public washing spaces revolves around one golden rule ‘Respect others’ time.’ Start a timer or leave a note on the machines you’re using. If you need to step out while your wash is running, make sure you’re back before cycles end.

Use a Basket or Bag

To simplify collection and avoid confusion when multiple dryers end their cycles simultaneously, leaving an empty basket near your chosen dryer makes gathering up dry laundry swift and stress-free.

These simple steps can entirely alter your experience with public washing machines turning them from intimidating beasts into tools for clean clothes.