College Laundry(129421)

How to do Laundry for College Students

You finally made it to the university.  Congratulations!  Soon you’ll be attending classes and you’ll be learning many new life skills to go along with the academics.  Many students who show up at the dorms for their first year of school have not had the opportunity to learn basic laundry skills.  There are a million different reasons why this may be the case, but washing your clothes is a simple skill that can be learned in a few minutes and will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Step 1: Find a Laundry Mat

Locate your school’s laundry facilities.  Many will have their own mats, but a few do not.  For those that don’t, you’ll have to find an off campus laundry mat.  Once you’ve located the facilities, find out how payment is made.  Many places still use the old coin operated machines, but others are starting to turn towards electronic debit cards.  If you’re very lucky, your school may provide you with free machines.  On your first trip to the mat, it’s a good idea to take more money than you think you’ll need, just in case the loads are more expensive than expected.  Typically, to wash and dry an average load will require about five dollars.

Step 2: How to Sort Your Laundry Loads

Read the tags on your clothing.  Many articles can only be dry-cleaned or require special detergents and handling.  If you don’t follow the care instructions, your clothes may be ruined.  For those that require no special care, you’ll want to separate the dark and brightly colored clothes from the whites.  These sets will need to be washed separately to prevent your colors from bleeding onto your whites and your whites from getting light colored lint on your colors.  The clothes that require special care should be taken to a laundry professional such as a dry cleaners.

Step 3: How to Choose A Laundry Detergent

Choose a detergent for your color clothing and bleach for your whites.  Many laundry mats have vending machines to supply single use containers of detergent.  Fabric softener is also an option and detergents with softener added are available.  Type and brand of detergent will be up to you.  Please keep the type in mind if you are sensitive to certain scents or allergic to certain brands/chemicals.

Bleach is inexpensive and can be picked up at most dollar stores or grocery chains.  The generic brands will usually work just as well as the expensive brands.  While you can use detergent on your whites, they won’t come out as bright as they will with bleach.  DO NOT use bleach on colored clothing unless it says “color safe.”  It will ruin them.  Follow the instructions on your cleaning agent to ensure that the proper amount is placed in each load.

Step 4: Washing Your Laundry

Place your loads in their machines with the respective cleaners and choose the cycle that is appropriate.  For most cotton clothing, use the normal cycle with warm water.  Sit back and wait for the loads to finish.  Times may vary, but half an hour is about normal.  This is a great time to get caught up on your paper writing or to study for that big test coming up.

Step 5: How to Dry Your Laundry

Once your clothes have gone through the wash cycle, it’s time to dry them.  You can throw them all into the same basket and take them over to the drying machines.  Don’t worry about mixing the colors with the whites for the drying phase.  It won’t hurt them to dry together.  Put your money in and set the cycle for warm to hot.  Drying generally takes about an hour as long as you don’t overload the machine.  If you want to save money on drying your clothes (and be environmentally friendly at the same time) you can purchase a Household%20Essentials%20Folding%20Clothes%20Drying%20Rack,%20Bamboo<img%20src="http:/"%20width="1"%20height="1"%20border="0"%20alt=""%20style="border:none%20!important;%20margin:0px%20!important;"%20/>">drying rack and dry your clothes in your room.  Just make sure your roommates don’t mind.

That’s it.  Congratulations on completing your first load of laundry!