Laundry Challenges

Has anyone else encountered laundry challenges during pet sitting? My experiences span several homes. One place had a particularly filthy washing machine that deterred me from using it, prompting me to wash my clothes by hand. In another, the lack of a dryer and no space for indoor drying, compounded by relentless rain, meant my clothes just wouldn’t dry. And at yet another sit, I finally had access to both a washer and dryer, but discovered the washing machine’s rubber seal was overrun with mold, leaving a lingering musty smell on clothes.

I understand that hosts might not be aware of these issues, and I’ve always addressed my concerns politely in feedback. Right now, I only choose short-term pet sitting and bring enough clothes so that, in the worst case, I can bring all the dirty clothes back home to do laundry.

I’m eager to hear from others in the pet sitting community. Have you faced similar laundry issues during your sits? How do you deal with such challenges?

I think a lot of folks don’t realize that washing machines should be left open when not in use to prevent mold from growing. Then they don’t notice as over time their clothes start coming out musty.

FWIW, a little bleach wiped on the moldy parts, then run the washer empty through a hot cycle with bleach added, and when it’s finished, leave the door wide open.

In some places dryers are rare, but usually there’ll be an indoor clothesline somewhere, sometimes retractible. You can buy one, they weigh almost nothing and take up practically no room.


Doing an empty wash on 90° will rid the machine of black mold. It builds up inside any machine where only 30° washes are being done. I hope this helps for any future sits.


@CatloverForever - I put it down to the day to day life of a pet sitter. We just deal with what we find.
Some homes are better presented and cleaner than others. As a rule if the washing machine is in a bad state there will be other issues with cleanliness and maintenance around the house.
We could spend our days continually looking at videos and asking questions about the home and pets but at the end of the day you will still get surprises (good and bad).
In your case is there a launderette nearby?


If it’s a front loading washer, mold often can collect in the rubber gasket on the door. If you google, there’s plenty of info about how to remove and clean it. Of course, it’s up to you whether to do that and whether to mention it to your host before they leave, if you overlap. Or to mention it if they’ve already left, so you might clean it, but they know, in case you damage something in the process and they’re willing to take the risk.

Personally, I’d just clean it if I wanted to use the machine, but I know how to as a homeowner.


Hello @CatloverForever I like @Twitcher’s idea of using a laundromat, if need be.

We had a friend stay with us years ago who thought cleaning our front loader would be a way she could pitch in during her stay and she damaged the rubber gasket, which we found out the hard way.

I really would not want or would I try to “fix” things in a home…

If this is a repeat issue for you…ask about it.
“One thing I’ve noticed on a few of my sits is that being able to do laundry has been a challenge: no dryer, very old machines and some equipment has not been clean. Will I be able to do laundry easily at your home?”

If you think it will keep you from getting sits so you won’t ask then you’ll have deal with what you find.

As a home host, I would practically show off for you describing our full size, easy to use machines with laundry cabinets just above with plenty of product for use AND we leave a clothes rack and ironing board.:grin:


The engineers of Miele etc probably have someone else at home who takes care of their laundry.

Because I cannot think of any other explanation for how else they could design detergent dispensers that are so impossible to clean.


The detergent dispensers just pull out. There’s usually a small clip. Personally, I don’t use mine. I use an ecoegg so no detergents at all.

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You mean like this??? This was by far the worst one we encountered :face_vomiting: I even bought specific washing machine cleaner to no avail. PS. You guessed it: our clothes did not emerge fresh from that thing.


Where is that barf emoji when we need one?


Exactly. Or the Wow one.

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WT…heck…to be nice.
Omg. I can’t even.
I mean…how can you see that and be ok with it?

I can think of perhaps a “senior” person not being able to clean…?

One of my friends had to force her father to let a cleaning person come in every other week.

He didn’t care and didn’t want to clean.
He has the money to pay.

She told him…cleaning person…or I don’t visit in the home…including young grand kids at that time.

He has a cleaner…

EDIT: what if pix could be posted in reviews…:face_with_hand_over_mouth:


I know right? These were youngish people who haven’t yet learned the value of keeping things clean and maintained. Believe me when I tell you, this was just one example of that sit. Imagine the dishwasher, microwave, airfrier, vacuum cleaner…I’ll stop there now.


I haven’t encountered this, but mostly I do short sits, and haven’t had to use the washing machine much on sits. I think sitters should discuss laundry on video chats if the laundry situation is not mentioned on the listing. But as far as machines being dirty, that sounds like something that should be mentioned on a review as part of cleanliness. Going forward, you should know whether or not there is a washing machine, and whether or not there is a dryer by asking. As for the cleanliness and functionality of the washer and dryer, IMO like the cleanliness of the home, that’s something you might not need to suss out by reviews, observation, and asking the right questions.

(More and more, I think there are issues on both sides with the “anyone with $ can join” ethos. Despite a killer location, our apartment pre-2021 rennovations would NOT have worked for most sitters, not because it wasn’t tidy, but just the general conditions. I can think several friends, neighbors, and relatives I know in good locations with good pets, who I would not recommend the site to because of clutter, dirt, and general chaos in their homes.)

I guess I have been very lucky that I have never experienced anything like that.
All my sits have been very clean hoses and no issues with equipment or HO.
But I understand your concern. I choose my sits carefully and make sure they are up to my standards.

Unfortunately, I usually pet-sit in semi-rural or rural areas, so a laundry shop is not usually an option for me.

:rofl: This picture really freaks me out! It’s so gross!:face_vomiting:

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Yes, I totally agree with you. Lots of people don’t know they need to leave the washing machine door open after use , or they think closing the door is more hygienic because it stops the dust from going in. Thank you for the advice, I will buy a clothesline for future sitting.

A friend of mine packs only one outfit and wears one when he travels — anywhere. Both are travel attire, which can be washed and drip dried. If they’re still really damp, he just irons or blow dries them. Theoretically, you could do something like that and keep those close to your body even when you need more layers, like a sweater / jumper or coat. Then just wash the layer that’s directly touched your body.

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In a lot of cases, its not safe to leave the door open for an extended time. In small kitchens, it is easy to catch the door with your leg and hurt yourself or damage the door, or both.
The washing machine is often very near the sink, one of the busiest parts of the kitchen.