Apr 2, 2022


Should you offer a washing machine?

A washing machine can be crucial if you plan to host guests for a longer period. When staying for over one week, most of us will run out of clean clothes and need to do the laundry. Instead of forcing your guest to look for public laundry facilities, it is much more convenient to offer your guest the possibility to do their laundry at the apartment, or at least in the building.

Let's be honest, nobody likes to do laundry outside of the home, even if they got used to doing so. It is all away from your guests' valuable holiday time to go find public laundry facilities and wait there for their laundry to be washed.

Preferably you offer the washing machine inside your apartment or, at least, in the same building with private access only for your guest. I have used shared machines in short-term rentals, and I can tell you that it can get really nasty. It only takes one careless person to leave the place dirty. Then you need to first run the machine empty to clean it until you can even imagine tossing your laundry in, and that is even more inconvenient.

How to choose your machine?

An ideal option is to choose a machine that does both washing and drying, and you will save so much space and money by not having to buy two separate machines. I wouldn’t suggest going with the cheapest machine but investing in good quality and sturdy machine that can handle hard-handed treatment from different users. Also, make sure that you buy a machine with a long-lasting guarantee. Even better if you have home insurance covering damages that your guests might cause. The ugly truth is that people are often careless when it comes to someone else's property.

New washing machines tend to save water by having these longer programs, but when on holiday, we don't prefer to put much time into doing laundry. Choose a machine that has quick washes available as 15-30-minute programs work much better for busy travelers than 3-hour ones. Many of the machines are also equipped with a digital screen that shows the washing time in minutes.

If the machine is complicated to use or the programs are not in English, you can provide a simple one-sheet paper manual of how to use the machine. Ideally, this manual would explain all the symbols and gives detailed instructions for each program, for instance, how long is the cycle time, what temperature options are available, etc.
An ideal screen shows the programs both with an understandable symbol and a descriptive text.

How to prepare your place for the laundry facilities?

Place the washing machine in the apartment with easy access, and avoid tight corners where you can hardly get in. Support the machine well by placing it on a plane surface or on a rubber mat, etc. to avoid shaking or moving while the machine is running.

A washer-dryer combination works for many people, but some clothes can't handle dryers. That is why you should always offer a place to hang the wet clothes to dry. Foldable clothes drying racks work well, but if your space is limited, you could think of a pull-out clothesline installed on the bathroom wall, for example. This will save space and is very easy to use and keep clean.
If your rental is in a warm climate and has access outside, nothing is better than offering a place to dry the clothes outside. If not, there should be at least one heated area in the apartment where the clothes can dry fast enough. Even just a portable heater will be helpful in case heat is needed inside to dry the clothes.

Drying laundry may pile up more moisture inside your apartment, and to make sure you protect your place from moisture damages, you may want to consider installing an exhaust fan in the bathroom or the place you have dedicated to the laundry.

Before your guests arrive, make sure that the machine is clean and smells fresh. If not, run it empty with the hottest cotton program or self-cleaning program ( 90 C or 194 F) and leave the lid open to dry. Regularly empty and clean the lint filter and the seals that may gather dirtiness and build up bacterial growth in time. This may vary according to the use and the brand of the machine, but I would suggest checking them at least once a week/two weeks. And lastly, make sure you provide a neutral (ideally non-scented) detergent for your guests to use when doing laundry.
Regularly empty and clean the lint filter and the seals.

If you have a separate dryer, make sure to clean the lint filter after every guest. This is an important step to do to avoid any fire risks since the lint can easily cause a fire when heating up. Also, remember to clean behind the machines where lint can build up. Regularly check that the dryer properly vents outside when in use to avoid moisture damages in your apartment.