How long would you leave someone’s wet clothes in the only free washing machine?
The question, which highlights a tension between two cherished New York values — respecting personal boundaries and getting stuff done — was part of our recent poll surveying New Yorkers' laundry etiquette. (See below)
Forty-three percent voted that they would wait up to 20 minutes after a wash finished before taking out the clothes. Around 39 percent, a close second, answered that they wouldn’t wait at all.
“I do what everyone does. Bring a cart, pull them out, and leave [the clothes] inside,” said Freddy Machado, 66, who was doing his laundry at a Hell's Kitchen laundromat this week. “I ask people who are here, but usually … nobody’s around. They forget that my time is as valuable as [their] time.”
A minority, around 18 percent, of New Yorkers disagreed, voting that they wouldn’t touch the clothes because it was rude.
“It’s kind of gross. Imagine if I took them out [and] they were women’s clothes,” said Luis Matta, 26, who was also doing laundry at a Hell's Kitchen laundromat this week.
Secondly, we asked New Yorkers how they feel about folding their newly dried clothes at the laundromat. A slight majority of people, 51 percent, voted for taking the clothes back to their apartment for folding, while 45 percent said they preferred folding in the laundromat.
When asked what New Yorkers do while waiting for their laundry. About 59 percent of those polled said that they preferred darting back and forth to their apartments, with reading a book taking second place with 21 percent. Only 4 percent of those polled said that they liked to pass the time by striking up a conversation with their fellow launderers.
Anti-social to the last, we are.