Laundry 101 for College Students
Living the dorm life is rough and doing laundry is probably one of the LAST things a college student wants to do. Here are some tips to help take a load off and earn high marks for clean clothes.
Buy your supplies
Detergent: Know if you need HE (high efficiency) detergent or regular. HE detergents are low-sudsing and quick dispersing for use in low water volume machines. Using a traditional laundry detergent in a high-efficiency washer (front loader) will produce too many suds. You can use HE detergent in a traditional washer with no problems.
Sort & Separate Before You Hit the Laundry Room
Lights, Darks, Delicates, Towels and Sheets
There’s nothing worse than discovering a pen, tube of lipstick or chapstick in a pocket after the wash or dry cycle.
Delicates? Silk blouses, nice sweaters (not wool), bras and fine swim wear should be hand washed or at least use the hand wash or delicate cycle. After washing reshape clothing flat on a towel to dry. You can put the item in a very low dryer to fluff when it’s almost dry for a few minutes so the item softens back up and most wrinkles fall out.
This may be a thing of the past. Many schools allow you to use your school ID as a debit card for the machines. If your school has older machines then set aside a container to collect quarters so you’re prepared.
Pick the right time
Wash during non-peak hours, which means early in the morning or late at night….pretty much when everyone else is sleeping. You can also use off-campus laundry mats if your dorm laundry is always crowded.
Don’t over stuff!
If you can’t close the door, it’s too full! When you stuff your washing machine full, there isn’t enough room for the laundry to move around to get clean. Basically don’t fill the machine more than two-thirds full. Small, medium or large load? Not sure? When in doubt choose the larger size! The same rules pretty much apply to the dryer. Be sure to check the lint filter and clean it out.
Don’t forget that you are sharing a limited number of machines so try not to forget your clothes in the washer or dryer. Set an alarm on your phone if you have to leave the laundry room. It’s best not to leave your clothes unattended because clothing may be placed on the floor by your fellow dorm mates.
Fold or Hang
Fold or hang your laundry immediately. Unless you want to look like you just rolled out of bed, put away your clothes as soon as you’re done doing the laundry. Put your nicer shirts and pants on hangers before you leave the laundry room. Give jeans a good shake and smooth them out. Fold shirts, shorts and other items or at least hang them over the edge of your laundry basket until you get to your room then fold and put away.
If all else fails, you can always keep buying new clothes!