Going off to college comes with a burst of independence as you explore life on your own for the first time. But as dirty clothes begin to pile up and no one whisks them away and returns them magically clean and folded, many college freshmen are hit with the sudden realization that mom and dad have been doing their laundry their whole lives. Now it’s on them.
So, how do you do laundry in college? Don’t worry, it’s easy once you get the hang of it We’ve broken down how to do laundry in college into a few easy steps.
Step 1: Gather Supplies:
- Laundry Detergent. Choose a plant-based detergent that gets the job done right with renewable ingredients that won’t make you feel like a carbon-gobbler around the dorm. And since you’ll be carting your laundry down hallways and stairs, try a concentrated detergent that comes in a smaller, lighter bottle. Seventh Generation EasyDose™ Ultra-Concentrated Laundry Detergent is the ultimate campus-friendly detergent. You get 66 loads in a compact 23oz bottle that’s light to carry and easy to store. Even better, EasyDose™ has Auto Dosing Technology that measures the right amount every time. No mess, no guess. One squeeze is all you need.
- Plant-based Dryer Sheets with refreshing scents made with real essential oils that help soften your clothes and cut back on annoying static.
- A laundry basket or bag for easy storage.
Step 2: Separate
If you’ve never done laundry before, this may feel like a bit of a mystery, so let’s simplify. Generally, you can get away with three loads: lights, darks, and towels/bedding. Before doing your laundry, separate your light items (white t-shirts, khakis) from dark items (dark sweatshirts, jeans) and wash them separately. If you’re pressed for time, you can throw your bedding or towels in with your clothes. Just match up the colors and you should be fine.
Step 3: Start Collecting Change
While a lot of colleges have upgraded to laundry machines that allow you to use a student ID or debit card, many campus washers/dryers are still coin operated. Since change machines are notoriously moody, we recommended keeping a jar on your desk for collecting quarters, so you’re always prepared.
Step 4: Timing is Everything
Choosing off-peak hours (early morning or late at night) is the easiest way to get a few loads done quickly without having to compete for machines. Some colleges now even have websites that show what washers/dryers are currently in use. Living off campus? Find the nearest laundromats near you and get to know their hours. And don’t forget to be a good laundry citizen. Laundry facilities are always in high demand, so after you start a wash, set a timer on your phone so you don’t forget to move your clothes to the dryer so that you free up the washer for the next person.
Step 5: Choose Your Settings
Staring at all those buttons and knobs may feel a bit tricky at first. Deep breath. You’ve got this.
- Almost all of your clothing comes with washing instructions, and if you’re not sure, those handy tags will have your back.
- Try to wash full loads to conserve water but be careful not to overfill or your clothes aren’t likely to get fully clean.
- If you’re beginning to think about your carbon footprint, washing in cold water is a great way to reduce energy use, and most detergents are designed to work equally well in all water temperatures. Spread the word and start a cold water movement!
- Wash more delicate items (wool sweaters, silk shirts) in cold water on Gentle.
- For drying:
- Dry sheets/towels on warmer temperatures.
- Air dry wool to avoid shrinking.
- When in doubt, go with “normal” or “regular” setting for most items.
- Don’t forget to empty the lint trap for the next person!
Step 6: Fold Right Away
We know, we know. Folding laundry is a drag. And if you’re not used to it, can also be a little confusing. How did your mom make everything look so neat and perfect? But leaving your clean laundry in a pile will make everything wrinkled and disheveled, and nobody wants that. So, take ten minutes, get it done, and enjoy the feel of fresh, warm clothes you washed yourself.
Congratulations! Now you officially know how to do laundry in college. We hope these steps ensure that as you take on the challenge of new classes and navigating a new place, doing laundry is a breeze.
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