I seriously think this idea posted over at Lifehacker about using a dry erase marker on the washing machine is so brilliant I wish I could make better use of it. Sure, I still do laundry, and I don't imagine my neighbors would mind too much if I wrote on the washer to remind myself about the drip dry stuff in there. (And if they did, they could...erase it.) But I think this idea would have been even more brilliant in situations where you were sharing the washer and dryer with just a few people.
In my experience sharing laundry equipment with a few people (sometimes related by blood, sometimes not) was where there was a greater likelihood to be friction both because there was one - you couldn't just use the one next to it. And because when it's just down in the basement or off in the laundry room you wander away upstairs or turn on the TV or check the internet and then...it's tomorrow and you are trying to figure out, didn't you do laundry? And should this period overlap with someone else's desire to have clean underwear, then they might fume. Growing up we had established clear multi-user rules. (There might have been a family meeting.) They seemed so sensible to me, I got a little thrown when I had other roommates who apparently had not arrived at this conclusion. (Ah life, constantly teaching you that there are other ways people do things.)
So, my family's rules were - if stuff was in the washer and you wanted the washer you could do one of two things. Okay, three. You could wait. You could attempt to identify and politely remind the owner of said clothes that their clothes were ready to move. And then wait for them to do that. Or you could move them to the next phase. Now, as a high schooler I owned a limited number of things that required special cleaning, so this worked well. (Plus a fair argument could be made that if I was that worried about the clothes, I would not have abandoned them in the washer.) As an adult, the risk was greater. Now certainly, I don't mean that if I write "green silk dress" on the washer someone is supposed to both move my clothes and attempt to read the label on the green silk dress and address the next step for me. But, in a multi-user situation, if I wrote "Tara's laundry" then you wouldn't have to open it an try to figure out who's underpants those are, you could just know.
And if you did move them to the next phase for me, well, you'd know who to tell.