Learning to do laundry in college is hard, let alone learning to do it when you are an engineering student. During my first year, I lived with roommates who managed to either produce less dirty clothes than I did or their dirty clothes were magically always picked up before mine were. I ended up having to spend ages walking around the uni laundry room with loads of laundry on my arm trying to find a machine that was empty. This was usually after I had forgotten about it for days meaning the flight risk had started to rise…
Before you leave the den here are some tips to make your life at school that much easier
1. Prepare ahead of time.
It’s a good idea to get a couple of baskets and set them aside so that they can be filled while you wait for a washer to free up. If you find that the dryers are too busy and your wet clothes need to wait, you won’t have a pile of wet clothes taking up room in your dorm or apartment.
2. Set a routine.
Make a plan and stick to it. If you have the option to wait until Sunday or another day when there will be fewer people doing their laundry, take advantage of the less hectic environment. This is also a good time to put off doing your own laundry and spend the afternoon with friends or studying.
3. Locate the laundry room.
While living in a dorm can be great, it is a good idea to find a laundry room that is close to your residence hall. If you are living off-campus in an apartment, choose one that is close by. When you’re doing the laundry, you won’t need to travel very far if you have to transport bags of wet clothes and heavy baskets of dry clothes.
4. Try baskets.
When you fill your baskets of clean clothes, use the baskets to get the clothes from the washer to the dryer. It will save a lot of trips. If you do not have baskets, consider bringing along a couple or using plastic grocery bags.
5. Get to know your laundry room.
Make sure that the dryers actually work. Check for unusual behaviors. What if there is an error code that is displayed?
6. Set up a bulletin board.
In addition to using bulletin boards for notes, use one for a calendar of important dates, laundry schedule and other key information. Put a clothespin on each day to keep track of when the washer and dryer will be free.
7. Use a soap system.
Consider getting a soap dispenser for your dorm. The dispenser is a good way to keep track of laundry detergent and eliminate the need for carrying a heavy container from your room to the laundry room.
8. Use a drying rack.
A drying rack takes up less space than a dryer, which can make the room easier to navigate, especially if it’s full of people in a hurry.
9. Determine your method of transportation.
Bring along a laundry bag or basket. When it’s time to do laundry, you will have all of the supplies and equipment you need and be ready to go. If you do not have a bag or basket, consider a strong trash bag or a basket you can easily clean and sanitize.
10. Embrace the art of sorting.
Gather a sorting routine into your schedule. Separate towels from t-shirts and pants, light loads from dark loads, white loads from colored loads. Be efficient.
11. Use a deodorizer.
Using a deodorizer can help you keep your clothes fresh when you need them most. However, deodorizers don’t work unless you do everything else in the laundry process correctly. It is a good idea to use a deodorizer in the dryer at the end of the cycle, which will allow the clothes to stay dry and the deodorizer to continue working.
12. Buy in bulk.
Consider using paper plates and paper towels for several months. A large package will last longer and will allow you to be less dependent on the laundry facilities.
13. Avoid some detergent.
Your washer and dryer may cause your clothes to have a musty or sour smell. Detergent does not seem to work as well when the machines are older or are cleaned infrequently. Avoid using too much detergent or fabric softener, which can only add to the problem.
14. Put the correct amount of detergent.
You can use too much detergent, which can lead to streaking or puddling in the washer and sometimes the dryer. The excess detergent will eventually run off the clothing and can make the clothes less absorbent.
15. Avoid the ‘oops’ factor.
If you are too busy to do your own laundry or have been out and your clothes have been dirty for too long, consider taking the clothing to a laundry mat. If you really need to, use a paper bag to carry the dirty clothes. Some people say that the smell of a public laundry room is so bad that it’s no wonder why most people do their laundry at home.
A college laundry room is an entirely different world. However, if you follow a system and use some practical tips, you will be able to clean your clothes and stay fresh.