Laundry chute doors — 2 places to buy them, in powder-coated metal

Laundry chute door from American Metal ProductsHa! Here is an obscure product you bet you didn’t even know you wanted – but now you do – and now you know where to get: A laundry chute door. It’s available from American Metal Products / Lima Register … made of powder-coated steel … comes in 10″ or 12″ widths … and includes “spring-hinged, push-in laundry chute door with inner rubber guards for quiet closing.”

laundry chute

And here’s another one — designed and manufactured by Air Rite Service Supply in Lakewood, Ohio, USA. It’s also powder-coated metal.

Consult with a licensed professional / check local building codes before installing, or if you have one — a reader has pointed out that in some communities, laundry chutes are considered a fire hazard.

Do we all have laundry chute stories?
“I certainly remember my first one,”
she says longingly, as if recalling a childhood sweetheart.

Here’s Ann-Marie’s:

…I do have a laundry chute story from my childhood. My sisters and I were always forgetting our keys to get in to the house after school, but we could usually borrow the spare key from the neighbor.

One day, we realized we had forgotten to return Mrs. Neighbor’s key. We puzzled and puzzled over how to get into the house without a key.
Finally, being the resourceful little schemers that we were, we figured out that my sister Lisa was probably skinny enough to go up the laundry chute (a cut out in the bathroom cupboard, with a tube like protrusion hanging from the basement rafters).

The basement was accessible from the garage, which we were able to get into, because the garage door did not lock.

We pulled an act worthy of a circus, with me standing on a box, Ginny on my shoulders, and we crammed Lisa into the chute.

Of course she got stuck, but Ginny and I didn’t care. What is the life of one little sister worth when you are missing the afternoon’s episode of original “Star Trek” rerun? (Captain Kirk was so dreamy.)

So we just twisted her and kept shoving until she popped through, and, the day was saved.

To this day, we cannot figure out why we got in so much trouble for that little escapade. My theory was that it scared my parents into seeing how easy it would be for bad guys to break into our house to steal all our stuff, of which I was sure we had plenty.

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Comments

  1. Cindy says

    Pam, you’re absolutely right. I realize how much I want ……er, need a new laundry chute door. My current one is simply a hole leading to the chute right into the basement laundry room. It’s located on the floor of the bathroom cabinet and there’s no door that closes. I hope they have them for “floor chutes”! :-)

  2. Jeanne says

    Wow! I need to check these out! The laundry chute door in my bathroom is one of the few things left to address after re-wallpapering my bathroom. Mine has been painted a few times (the screws on the hinges are completely covered in paint) and there’s rust on the bottom section (must be from wet towels shoved down over the years?). It’s an eye sore to say the least. It’s installed on the tile wall so I’m not sure how easily it would be replaced or just stripped and repainted. I still use it!

  3. MCM is Grand says

    Ah, our first home was a 1953 cape, custom built by the owner. There was a laundry chute that was disguised as one of the drawers in the bathroom vanity. It led to the basement, where I placed a laundry basket below the opening..you did not have to lug a hamper up and down the stairs…ah, memories!

  4. Ann-Marie Meyers says

    I have the top one in my bathroom! I love it. It is great not having to lug the dirty laundry down to the basement.

    And I do have a laundry chute story from my childhood. My sisters and I were always forgetting our keys to get in to the house after school, but we could usually borrow the spare key from the neighbor.
    One day, we realized we had forgotten to return Mrs. Neighbor’s key. We puzzled and puzzled over how to get into the house without a key.
    Finally, being the resourceful little schemers that we were, we figured out that my sister Lisa was probably skinny enough to go up the laundry chute (a cut out in the bathroom cupboard, with a tube like protrusion hanging from the basement rafters).
    The basement was accessible from the garage, which we were able to get into, because the garage door did not lock.
    We pulled an act worthy of a circus, with me standing on a box, Ginny on my shoulders, and we crammed Lisa into the chute.
    Of course she got stuck, but Ginny and I didn’t care. What is the life of one little sister worth when you are missing the afternoon’s episode of original “Star Trek” rerun? (Captain Kirk was so dreamy.)
    So we just twisted her and kept shoving until she popped through, and, the day was saved.

    To this day, we cannot figure out why we got in so much trouble for that little escapade. My theory was that it scared my parents into seeing how easy it would be for bad guys to break into our house to steal all our stuff, of which I was sure we had plenty.

      • Jay says

        This story made my day, actually brought tears to my eyes, I was laughing so hard – the things you do when you are a kid. Oh well, since no one ever bothered to relocate the washer/dryer to the basement of my ranch, I won’t need a chute but thanks for sharing this story.

    • wendy says

      I can totally relate! I grew up in an old house, and the laundry chute was in my parent’s bedroom (they had a small entry foyer). It was made of wood with a hinged lid on top, and was attached to the floor and wall, so it looked “built in”. Just for fun, a couple of my sisters lowered me in there and I DID get stuck. Like almost calling the fire department stuck. They got in huge trouble, and I got ice cream :)

      • wendy says

        I forgot to add that I am planning to put a laundry chute in my house, since every house I’ve lived in had one. I was going to put it in the floor of my bedroom closet, but I like the idea of putting it in the bathroom closet instead.

        • Ann-Marie Meyers says

          Yeah, and now I know why we got in trouble for sending Lisa up the chute. It had nothing to do with danger or anything like that. Mom says it was because we lost all common sense when it came to “Star Trek.”
          Sheesh. At least we didn’t leave Lisa stuck in the chute and go watch it at a friend’s house instead. We kept at it until she popped free.

  5. John says

    Everyone is forgetting the coolest thing about laundry chutes… For birthday parties we have the kids use a fishing pole to pull goodies up from below:)

  6. Michael says

    Our house has two laundry chutes: one in the kitchen and one in a second floor bedroom closet. Both empty into a large cabinet in the untouched-by-time turquoise-painted laundry room in the basement (so no one ever needs to see the dirty laundry). I swear it was one of the reasons we bought the house!

    • Ann-Marie Meyers says

      I just remembered, our 1951 traditional style ranch home had a laundry chute in the kitchen, too. DH and I thought it was the strangest place for one, and we never used it. The kids did, though. Care Bears, Transformers and My Little Ponies all took rides down the chute, and our son threatened his little sister several times.

  7. Wendy M. says

    Good to know there are replacements available if we need one! The laundry chute in our home is what made our kids decide it was the right house for us…they were absolutely facinated by it when we moved in. I thought it was novel to have one, but I now realize it is genius! Ours drops into a cabinet which is directly over the washer. Laundry is so much easier than when I had to haul it out to the garage in our previous house.
    I have memories of my sister’s best friend growing up…they had a turn-of-the-century home and the laundry chute had a bit of a ramp on the inside…she would hide in there during hide-and-seek games. The thought scares me to death now, but at the time we thought it was great. :-)

  8. Ima Pam says

    Big old farmhouse, laundry chute on the 2nd floor…big sisters tried to convince little brother to take a trip to the basement. After all, there was always a huge pile of laundry at the bottom…it would be fun! Alas, he wouldn’t go…

  9. JKaye says

    We have some relatives who live in a 1.5 story home, built around 1960, without a laundry chute. The original owner of the house next door told them that when she was choosing between the two new houses, the builder pointed out that one had a laundry chute, and the other had ductwork for air conditioning instead. The woman chose the house with the laundry chute over the AC! Not sure home buyers would make that same choice today, but, the neighbor has stayed in that house all these years, and has added AC, while the home owned by my relatives has had several owners, none who have ever added a laundry chute.

  10. Josie says

    We live in a 1952, 1.5 story bungalow that’s been added on to over the years. Still only has one bathroom though, and that bathroom has a laundry chute! At some point, I think in the 70’s or 80’s the bathroom was redone, and a wooden toilet seat/lid were put on the wall to cover the chute. So so glad to see that “REAL” chutes are still available. You can bet that I will be ordering one soon.
    Do appreciate being able to drop dirty clothes, etc., directly into the basement laundry room. I understand that they quit installing them in homes due to fire safety. I have no plans of closing mine up. Look forward to a new door.

  11. pam kueber says

    Note, that I’ve included in the main story to consult with a licensed professional if you have one of these or are considering installing them — there may be fire hazard issues.

    • MCM is Grand says

      Here is another “hazard”, albeit a humorous one to watch out for….sometimes the clothes would go down the chute and then, instead of landing in the basket in the basement below, would get caught on a ceiling nail….so funny to walk downstairs and see underwear, etc hanging in the air !

  12. says

    My 1939 cape cod has one in the hall just outside the bathroom door, and looks like a little square cupboard door. Kids’ fascination with them continues–my boys thought the determining factor for buying the house (for them, anyway) was “Mom, it has that cool laundry chute!” And they actually pick up their laundry because it’s there to use. Glory be!

  13. nina462 says

    oh I want one of those. have wanted one for quite a while, even have a spot to put one in. It’s on my list of things to do this year-so thanks for the link!
    along with installing folding stair to the attic (another american made product-several companies make these) and reinstalling original lights to the hallway & bedrooms (have gathered them from various garage sales last year).

  14. Kari says

    We had one in our rambler that we lived in from 1962 to the mid 70’s, It was inside the bathroom linen closet on the floor and had a wooden door you lifted up. It was a shear drop down to the cement floor of the basement! I shudder to think how dangerous that was but we never fell through. We would throw our stuffed animals down there to test it out! There was a basket to catch the clothes under it. A drop of 9 feet or so! Mom installed a hook latch on it for some safety. Back in those days we did not have all the rules and regulations I guess. I miss one in my newer modern house. Great memories and great ideas! I love this website so much! Keep up the great work!!

  15. clampers says

    I have a laundry chute in my ’68 rambler! I told our real estate agent at one point during the search that a laundry chute was a “non-negotiable.” So fun. We use it all the time. Except our basement has been renovated so it doesn’t empty into the laundry room, but the spare bedroom instead! HA! We just resolve not to use it when guests are staying with us.

    Our laundry chute looks like Laura’s, just a little square cupboard door. It’s been painted over though. One of my projects is to strip it and refinish it.

    I was over at a cousin-in-law’s house (is that a thing?) and exclaimed over her laundry chute…I asked if they use it and she said, “Psh, no!” as if that was the silliest, most childish thing. Oh well, her loss! It sure is fun to use and it keeps things better organized!

  16. Jeanne says

    I just wanted to add that in my current house, the laundry chute is in the bathroom and empties right into the laundry room and is very convenient.

    In my previous house, the laundry chute was in the hallway and emptied into the basement right at the foot of the stairs and in front of the bathroom, so not too convenient of a spot. I will also add that sound travels up these chutes, and one night while I was in bed (near the hallway with the chute) I overheard a phone conversation coming from the basement (clear as a bell) that was not intended for my ears. ’nuff said! LOL!

    When I was a child, my older high school sister was having a party (must have been ’66 or ’67) in the basement. My brother and I (it was his idea!) dropped a microphone from his tape recorder down the clothes chute to try and catch some conversations. We heard someone say “Hey, what’s this?” LOL. We were busted!

  17. Shannon H. says

    When I was buying my house the home inspector didn’t even recognize the laundry chute for what it was! Looking at it in the basement he thought it was an air exchanger or something!

  18. Joy says

    I have the first laundry shoot you listed in my bathroom closet, but its all silver. I was super excited about it when I moved in because my parents home had a laundry shoot and I had many fond memories of dropping my cabbage patch dolls one by one down the shoot and then running to the basement to retrieve them. Alas, the previous owners of my home closed it up!!… It only opens about an inch and there is no sign of where it deposits in the basement. Its on my to-do list of house repair projects. Unfortunately…its a long list :)

  19. Jan says

    With the “small-ish” chute we had in our MCM rental house years ago (I’m pretty sure the chute part was a piece of ductwork), the kids were always pushing a big wad of clothes through and I always had to loosen them up from the bottom with a broom handle!
    But the best was the really big chute at my grandmother’s old farmhouse, where my brother and I used to climb up and down the inside! What fun!

  20. gsciencechick says

    My sister and BIL finally found one on e-Bay after they remodeled their cape bathroom. Had BIL known they were no longer up to code in their area, he would have just painted the one they had vs. throw it out. Yes, apparently, it’s a flue for a potential fire.

  21. Lynn says

    I’m from Lakewood, Ohio..and the house I grew up in had a laundry chute in my bedroom…my sister and I would throw our dolls down the chute…great memories….now I live in Maryland in a lousy Levitt rancher…not laundry chute, no basement, no architectural imagination…..Oh for the good old days!

  22. Alice says

    We have a laundry shoot – there are three points of entry – one from an upstairs bath, an upstairs room and one from our coat closet near the kitchen. I absolutely love the convenience…the laundry drops into a bin down in the utility room where the washer and dryer are located. The only thing is that I haven’t found the little lady that should be down there washing everything as it magically gets dropped down the shoot and out of sight!

  23. wendy says

    I love all of these stories. So many of the articles here bring back memories we hadn’t thought about in years. That’s what makes this site so much fun!

  24. squiggles says

    My family’s 70’s house didn’t have so much of a laundry “chute” as a laundry “hole” — a hole in the cabinetry under the sink on the first floor, that, if one removed a ceiling tile in the basement, allowed one to toss laundry from the first floor to the second. As far as I can remember we never used it for laundry, and the ceiling tile remained in place. But as a ~12 year old I picked up what I thought was a fairly risque novel, and after reading it, had no idea where or how to dispose of it — so I tossed it into the hole. As far as I know, it’s still resting somewhere on top of the ceiling tiles of my parents’ basement.

  25. Nancy Hesby says

    I was with a realtor looking at a 1930’s house from a prominent family still owned by the original owners. The 88 year old woman who lived there was moving out. The realtor showed us the top door for the laundry shoot on the second floor.

    We then went to the basement, and she found the bottom of the chute, which also had a door. She pushed it open, and resting on the floor were two pairs of old lady panties, complete with ruffles, waiting to be washed!

  26. Mark says

    Our grandmother had a laundry chute that fascinated my brother & I. We were constantly throwing toys & other items down it. Grandma was patient until we started peeing down it!!
    My partner & I will be installing one in our 1928 Bungalow. We are taking it down to the studs, so perfect time to do it!

  27. Laura H. says

    I was born and raised in Lakewood, Ohio, so CLEARLY I need to support that business and have my dreamed of laundry chute installed.

  28. holly says

    We have 2 doors to our chute. A chrome door (with broken spring) in our kitchen and a wooden door in the upstairs hallway. I LOVE the laundry chute! And we are in Cleveland, right next to Lakewood. I love finding local places that make these products. Thanks!

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