Are Public Washing Machines Sanitary and Safe?


Our small washing machine hasn’t been working for sometime now. So we have been doing family laundry at a self-service laundromat (Waschtreff) in the neighbourhood, where clothes are washed and dried independent of an attendant. As the machines run one can sit and read or drink coffee from a coffee machine in the laundromat. I prefer to go for a stroll in a park closeby and practise my amateur photography skills.

One time I’d given it up because my hubby and children would make fun of my shaky and hazy photos. Recently I said, “Ok, I want to take and post photos, and that I will do.”

If you have a passion for something, go ahead and learn it. Even taking classes helps and I feel more confident with the camera these days.

By the way, practice makes perfect. I suppose my latest photo below testifies to this fact.


Back to the landromat. Today it was my turn and I was there, and my discomfort of using a laundromat hit me as always. I wondered who had used the machines before me, what were the chances of one getting any kind of infection or disease from the washer or dryer?

“Just how sanitary and safe are these public washing machines anywhere?” I asked Ezekiel later in the evening.

“It’s interesting that you ask that,” he replied. “Have you ever considered how safe or sanitary restaurants or other public facilities are? So many different people visit them, use cutlery, chairs and the like?”

“Actually I haven’t thought of it that way.”

“By the way, the hot water and the detergent you use kill bacteria. But any temperature above, say 45 degrees celcius may be harmful to clothes and using bleach has its own disadvantages.”

“Oh! But… I mean, even the floors are sometimes dirty. I once found a puddle of soapy water.” I insisted.

“With dirty floors it’s a diferent story. But all the times I have been there it was reasonably clean.”

“Not me,…”

“Alright, alright, we’ll do something about our domestic waching machine.”

After this the topic changed. We started talking about upcoming birthday, two of them and Mothers’ day that will be in two days.

But I was still thinking: Just how sanitary and safe are public washing machines? I’m not a scientist neither am I a health practitioner. I wonder what others out there think?



2 thoughts on “Are Public Washing Machines Sanitary and Safe?

  1. I’ve always worried about hotels, no matter how many stars they’ve been awarded. Anyway you look at it you’re sleeping between used sheets on a used bed. With restaurants it’s used plates and cutlery. Perhaps, leftovers. ~ Dennis


    1. True Dennis. Hotels are even more worrying. You never know what you are getting into. In both cases (also restaurants) one has to hope all is clean and that there are no leftovers in one’s plate. By the way, great stuff going on in your blog. – Sibusisiwe


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