Laundry is an unavoidable chore. Even if your daily work from home outfit involves sweats worn on repeat, there comes a time when that overflowing laundry hamper just has to be tackled.

For most renters, the ability to do laundry, either in-building or in-unit, is a must-have apartment amenity. That’s particularly true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when social distancing protocols don’t include hanging out at the crowded laundromat down the street.

Every apartment varies in terms of laundry facilities. If you’re hunting for a new place, it’s a good idea to decide what your apartment laundry preference is ahead of time—if you can’t go without in-unit laundry, you should eliminate apartments that only offer communal laundry facilities. Here, we break down the different apartment laundry options available.

In-Unit Laundry

The most convenient and desirable option for renters is to have a dedicated washer and dryer in their apartment. Among the biggest benefits are privacy—since you don’t have to take your laundry outside of your apartment, and convenience—as you can wash clothes anytime you want without watching the clock.

There are a few downsides of an in-unit washer and dryer, though. Apartments with in-unit laundry facilities are typically more expensive, and you’ll pay more in utility bills; however, you won’t have to pay to use the machines, as you typically do in a communal space. You are also responsible for keeping the washer clean and alerting property managers if issues arise. Finally, they take up space – an in-unit laundry uses up square footage that might otherwise be used for storage.

Communal Laundry Area

An in-building or on-site laundry facility designated just for residents is a definitely a step up from the neighborhood laundromat. Ideally, a communal laundry area has one washer and dryer for every five apartments.

One major plus of a communal laundry facility is that you’ll likely pay less in rent and utilities than you would with an in-unit setup. There is also a convenience factor, as you don’t need to haul laundry to an off-site laundromat. Payment can be simple, too, since many on-site laundry facilities use reloadable payment cards or mobile apps. Some apps even allow residents to reserve a machine in advance.

There are a few downsides to communal laundry. For one, there’s traffic—shared apartment laundry facilities can get busy, especially in evenings and on weekends. You also have to maintain appropriate communal laundry room etiquette, including removing your laundry from the machines as soon as it’s finished as a courtesy to others.

Portable Washer and Dryer for Apartments

Another option that has come up—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic—are portable washers and dryers for apartments. Unfortunately, they tend to pose more problems than benefits.

Portable washers and dryers for apartments are small in size, especially compared to the (usually) commercial-sized units available in communal laundry rooms. You’ll end up doing many more loads when using these washers and dryers than other options—which equates to significantly higher utility bills.

Furthermore, the amount of damage these types of washers and dryers can cause is significant. Because they are not permanently installed, there is plenty of opportunity for human error when connecting and disconnecting water and vent lines. The amount of water held in even a portable washing machine is enough to cause a major flood in your apartment or the one below you. And improper venting of a dryer can be both a health and fire hazard.

For the reasons above, many property management companies don’t permit portable washers and dryers in apartments. If you’re considering one of these units, double check your lease agreement to make sure they are allowed. Nobody wants to invest time and money into a portable washer/dryer only to find out it has to be removed. 

Find the Right Apartment Laundry Solution with Southern Management

At Southern Management, our priority is to provide a host of amenities that improve our residents’ quality of life. Our apartment laundry facilities are aimed at saving time, money, and making our residents’ lives easier while observing COVID-19 protocols. Regardless of whether you prefer doing your laundry in your apartment or in a laundry room, we have a setup that meets your needs.

Browse our more than 75 communities throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia, many of which have in-building, on-site, or in-unit laundry facilities. Contact our team to learn more today!