Lifting the Lid on Shared Swiss Laundry Rooms!
Swiss Apartment Life
Many Swiss Apartments Don’t Have Their Own Washing Machine & Dryers
One of the first surprises many expats discover when moving to an apartment in Switzerland, particularly an older one, is that often you don’t have your own washing machine and dryer in your living space. In the excitement of being shown round your potential new residence, you’re so wrapped up in whether or not you will be the lucky one to get the flat you have just fallen in love with, that you may overlook the significance of the lack of these amenities … and the potential repercussions!
The Swiss Shared Laundry Room
What most Zurich apartments do have a is a Laundry Room – which you share with all the neighbours in your block of flats. That may sound quite straight forward to some – but there are some constrictions to bear in mind:
- You are usually allocated a particular day (or in some cases just a slot in a day) and you need to plan to do all your washing and drying on this particular day.
- If this day or time-slot is not convenient you may be able to exchange with a neighbour – but this is not always the case.
- If you have children, pets, love sports or don’t own many clothes – this could prove a problem.
- It may mean completely changing the days you have your cleaner, change your bed linen or go out, for example.
- Residents are usually requested to refrain from doing laundry late at the night due to the noise.
- Many apartments don’t allow you to use the laundry facilities on Sundays and public holidays.
- Additionally, there are also usually a number of rules which are part of Laundry Room Etiquette. These are usually (but not always) written on a notice and explain that as well as cleaning up after yourself, you may need to get rid of any lint or condensed water from the dryer. You may also be required to remove all items of your laundry before the next person’s turn in the laundry room.
The constraints of adhering to all these rules often lead to people installing a machine in the confines of their own flat (if they are allowed or able to do so).
However, the option of going to the local launderette is not as easy as you’d think. Although there are plentiful dry cleaning shops in Switzerland, launderettes are few and far between!
If you have any questions about using your communal laundry room, do ask your caretaker or landlord, or speak to your neighbours. However, you will be pleased to know that increasingly, most new build apartments incorporate washing machine and dryers in each flat, and often these are located in the basement or utility room.
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