I was just reading an advice column where the letter writer complained about people in a community dryer leaving lint in the filter. Of course, that person had never washed clothes in a military barracks.
The women soldiers are usually in the minority. In the first barracks I was in, I had to go up to the third floor in the men’s area to wash clothes (“Woman on the floor!”). It was located in a 2-man room, which is about the size of an average bedroom.
In the second barracks, it was located in the women’s section, in the bathroom. Mind you, this was a huge bathroom with a concrete floor and a bay shower. We were lucky the toilets had stalls (this is the military, remember?).
Washing the clothes didn’t cost any money, which was probably a good thing. Lint in the filter wasn’t the biggest problem; it was the other soldiers. Who wants to stay in the bathroom and stare at a washing machine and dryer for around two hours? Especially with a bathroom that always smelled of mildew. Once that gets into concrete, nothing’s getting it out.
But if you left the room, it was pretty common to come in and find that your wet clothes had been removed and put on top of the dryer so someone else could dry their clothes. Of course, you wouldn’t know who had done it, but the laundry was pretty competitive. We all worked the same hours, so we all had the same hours available for washing.