How to do laundry for college students

One thing you will really miss when you move out to college is your mom doing your laundry. It’s a cliche, but true. Moms seem to know the perfect way to wash your clothes and have them smelling like home, not a crease in sight. The rest of us, however, manage to shrink sweaters and dye delicates. Here is the ultimate guide on how to do laundry for college students.

Get the tools

Before you head off to the laundry room, you’re going to need to gather some supplies. As a minimum, you will want a laundry basket or bag to transport your dirty (and then clean) clothes in, some detergent, and some dryer sheets. Depending on how your laundry room works at college, you may need some quarters or your ID card.


Where is your laundry room?

During your campus tour, you were probably shown the laundry room, but chances are you were too busy noticing the more exciting spots and have totally forgotten where it is! Ask your RA, or someone else in your dorm where it’s located, and you could even offer to go with someone so that you can help each other out – it’s a great bonding exercise!

Sort it out!

It’s not as simple as just bunging the clothes in the machine and hoping for the best. It really is essential to separate your clothes into groups to ensure that you don’t end up with an accidentally dyed-pink shirt! The easiest way to do this is to separate darks, bright colors and whites, and to wash towels and bedding in their own wash together as they need a high heat to kill any germs. Make sure you empty pockets, as receipts or tissues can make a big mess if they go through the wash!

What wash?

Hot washes are great for getting rid of dirt and killing germs, but it’s terrible for the environment to always wash on the highest setting, and it may also fade or shrink certain outfits. Colder water is useful to prevent colors running, but won’t get out those stubborn stains. Be sure to have a quick look at the labels on your clothes to make sure you’re not going to completely ruin anything that should be hand washed!

Fill it up

Don’t fill the machine to the brim as it won’t have space to tumble around and get clean. Around two-thirds is the maximum you should put in. Some machines will allow you to choose the size of your load to allow for the right amount of water. Check the instructions on your laundry detergent to see how much you will need (sometimes it suggests that you use a little more for heavily soiled clothes), and if there isn’t a slot to pour it in the machine, just put it on the clothes directly. Add a fabric softener too if you’re feeling fancy!


Now to wait

It takes around 20-30 minutes for a wash to complete, so take the time to relax, study, or celebrate successfully starting a wash load with a candy bar. Don’t forget about your clothes as they can start to get stinky if left for too long, or someone will move them. Put the dryer-safe garments in the dryer, and the rest on a rack to air-dry.

You’ve done it! Your clothes are washed and ready to wear, and you just have to do it again next week, and the week after… forever.