A Guide to Doing Your Laundry in College

College is often a time when young adults begin to do their laundry for the first time. Even if you have done some laundry before, you likely haven’t had to keep track of it the way you will once you hit their dorms.

You also may not be used to doing your laundry in a public place, and that can be an adjustment. Doing your laundry in a laundromat is a lot different than throwing a load in when you’re at home. 

This article will walk you through some tips for doing your laundry in college. 

Getting Started 

Obviously, in order to get started washing your laundry – you’ll need some dirty clothes. You’ll also need laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and a method of payment. Most laundry machines take quarters, but yours may accept your student ID. Many laundromats also accept mobile payment options, so that’s a great option too!

You’ll also want to consider when to do your laundry, and where. The laundry room on your dorm floor might seem like the best place, but if it only has a couple washers and dryers, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a time when it is totally empty. Plus, college laundry rooms are notorious for people who disrespectfully move clothes when they’re in a hurry. 

In many cases, your best bet is to find an off-campus laundromat so that you are more likely to find available machines when you need them — and you can do it on your schedule. 

Starting To Wash 

The next to-do on your list is to put your clothes in a washer. If you really want to make your mom proud with your skills, you’ll sort your clothing darks against lights. 

Another important note about washers is that it does depend on what type you are using as to how full you’ll want the washer to be. If you are using a top-loading washer (where you are putting the clothes in the top), you should leave enough room for the clothes to be able to move around considerably. If you are using a front-loading machine, then you’ll actually want to pack the clothes a bit tighter, as the friction of your clothing is what will help scrub stains out. 

Next, you’ll need to decide what temperature to wash your clothing on. Hot water is important if you have particularly stained or dirty clothes, but it is much harder on fabric as well. Cold water is better for your clothes, but may not get out stains as well. If you aren’t sure what temperature to use, try warm water. 

After you select a water temperature, you’ll add detergent. Most detergent caps contain a guide for how much you need to use, but if it isn’t clear, there should also be some directions on the label. You may also optionally use fabric softener to help make your clothes softer. 

Once your soap and clothes are in, close the lid and let it spin. Washing usually takes twenty to thirty minutes, and then you can move on to the drying process.  

Drying Your Clothes

Next you’ll take your clothes out of the washer, and get ready to put them in the dryer. However, if you have any delicate clothes (regardless of color) you’ll want to put them in a separate dryer, or even let them air dry, if that is an option for you. Your non-delicates, like jeans and towels, can be dried on a medium temperature. 

Before you turn the dryer on, you’ll want to make sure the lint rack is clean. It is a small piece of screen that collects the lint of your clothing. Some commercial dryers do not have easily accessible lint racks, so if you are using commercial machines, you can skip this step.

Most laundry loads need about 60 minutes to dry, but your time can vary depending on your laundromat’s dryers and your clothes. 

Wrapping Up

Once your clothing is dry, you can fold it or put it on hangers. Now your laundry is done, and you can head to class in clean clothing!

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