Writer vs. Writer: Is It Okay to Take Out Another Person’s Laundry?

by Andrea Traietti on February 27, 2020


Students on campus frequently debate whether or not it is okay to remove laundry that has been left in a washer or dryer in order to use the machine it was left in. Tessa McAndrews ’23/The Cowl.



by Julia McCoy ’22

Opinion Staff

For college students, finding time within our busy schedules to do laundry is hard enough. What makes it even harder is when you return to retrieve your laundry only to find it sitting on top of the machine. 

Some people take it upon themselves to remove other people’s laundry from the machine. But is this the right thing to do? Do those people have a right to touch another person’s clothes?

Imagine how it would feel to walk into the laundry room and see your still-wet clothes sitting outside of the dryer. This is certainly not in line with the Friar Friendliness that was taught at orientation.

With that being said, there is a point when the wait becomes too long. If the laundry has been in there for an extensive amount of time, either overnight (if you prefer to do your laundry early in the morning) or for a period that exceeds 20 to 30 minutes, there is more reason to be agitated and consider taking the laundry out. 

However, there are other factors that make touching someone else’s clothes less than favorable. For instance, you are either touching someone’s clothes or the sheets that they sleep on. Yes, they are clean, but, again, think about being on the receiving end of that—knowing that someone had touched your clothes and left them out in the open. 

The laundry room is a public place. Some buildings offer protection like card access, but this still does not prevent the many inhabitants of that building from having access to your clothes. As such, if someone’s clothes were taken out of the washing machine or dryer, they are more susceptible to theft. 

Most importantly, this school emphasizes respect for others through our saying “Friar Friendliness.” It certainly is not very friendly to take your peer’s laundry out of the dryer simply because you are in a rush to use the machine. 



by Emily Ball ’22

Opinion Staff

When it comes to doing laundry, busy college students need to make time in between classes, homework, club meetings, and the gym. Because of a college student’s busy lifestyle, it is completely justifiable to take out somebody’s laundry if it has been done in the machine for a while.

“I think that it is an unspoken agreement that we are all just busy and have to work with each other on our schedules,” Lauren Petrillo ’22.

Students oftentimes forget that their laundry is even in the machines, so it is acceptable to take out laundry that is done in a machine that has been sitting there for a while. Laundry comes second to classwork and other priorities, so people have to be quick to get this trivial task completed.

“As a biochemistry major, I am always on a strict schedule, so I have to cram in my laundry when I have free time,” Lauryn Anthony ’22 said. “I take out people’s clothes from the laundry machines when I am in a rush because I don’t have the time to wait.”

Some may argue that it is disgusting to touch other people’s clothes; however, they must keep in mind that these clothes are clean as they are in the washing machine. Also, students are very respectful when it comes to taking clothes out of the laundry. People always place the clean clothes either on top of the machine or in the laundry bin that is left near the machine.

“I always leave my basket outside the dryer I am using and every single time somebody takes my clothes out of the dryer, they put it into my basket,” said Julia Wilson ’22.

Laundry is a monotonous task that every college student has to deal with, so it must be completed in a timely manner. With the busyness of college, it is completely justifiable and makes total sense to take clean clothes out of a washer or a dryer—as long as they are done drying—if they have been sitting in there for a while.