Laundry is already a tedious chore when you're in the comfy confines of your home. Move it to a college dorm or apartment, and it becomes even more of a hassle with limited resources and time.
If you're starting college soon or have already begun, learning how to do laundry is a crucial life skill that you need to master. Lucky for you, we're here to help.
How Does Laundry In College Work?
Back in the day, laundry on campus worked like a laundromat. You'd have to go to a designated laundry room, pay with quarters, and do your laundry there.
However, things have changed now. Many colleges allow you to pay through credit cards or a student account. Some even have laundry machines that you can control and monitor through an app on your phone.
When you settle into your dorm, start by finding out where the laundry room is. Is there one on every floor? Does the whole dorm share a single laundry room? Do you have to go to another building?
If you're using the dorm laundry room, also inquire about the payment method. Some colleges let you load money onto a student card that you can use for laundry, printing, and other purchases on campus. Check if your college has this system.
You don't necessarily have to use the dorm laundry room. If one of your friends lives in an apartment or residence with a washing machine and dryer, you can ask if they're okay with you doing laundry there.
Which Are The Essentials For Laundry In College?
One thing you need to know about being in college is that everyone's pressed for time. Students are also notoriously broke. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you take the following essentials when you're moving to campus:
A laundry bag is a must-have. You don't want to carry your dirty laundry running through the hall, trying not to drop dirty underwear in front of someone's dorm room.
Look for a polyester leno-weave bag. It won't rip as easily and can hold more weight compared to cloth bags.
Also, get a sturdy laundry hamper or a collapsible laundry basket for your dorm. Keep your dirty clothes here until laundry day. Don't be that annoying roommate that leaves a pile of dirty clothes all over the floor.
The next necessity is laundry detergent. If you're going to use the dorm laundry room, carry powdered detergent. It's easier to pack, and you won't have to worry about a leaking bottle. Alternatively, you can use a detergent pod.
If you prefer eco-friendly options, look for brands that offer sustainable products.
Most students don't go all out when it comes to laundry in college. But you could get a few smell-good points by using fabric softener.
Just check the water absorbency score of your fabric softener. You don't want to be walking around smelling like old flowers.
Buy dryer sheets for your clothes. Some dorms have dryers that come with built-in softeners, but they're not always practical. A dryer sheet is also good when you need a quick scent boost on your clothes before heading out to class. Alternatively, you can try dryer balls.
You're making notes while sipping on your Starbucks, and whoops! The coffee spills on your new shirt.
Get a stain remover to handle these unforeseen situations. You could use DIY removers with white vinegar and baking soda at home, but these are not convenient for college. Instead, invest in a good stain remover for those pesky stains.
A lint roller isn't strictly necessary. However, it sure comes in handy when you're running late to a presentation and your outfit is covered in lint from your blanket.
5-Step Guide To Do Your Laundry In College
Once you have your essentials, you're all set to get started. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Sort Your Clothes
Double-check that only clothing washable in a laundry machine is left in your laundry bag.
Step 2: Wash Your Clothes
Now, it's time to take your laundry bag to the laundry room. Most dorms have washing machines with multiple settings like heavy-duty, regular, permanent press, delicate, pre-programmed, etc. Use the appropriate setting for your clothes.
Also, add clothes according to the washing machine's capacity. Don't overfill the load, as it will leave your clothes dirty.
Step 3: Dry Your Clothes
Drying your clothes in the dorms is a bit tricky as there's not much space to air-dry your clothes. So, unless you have a balcony or a clothesline, you'll need to use the communal dryers.
Some items like bras and delicate clothing should be air-dried. Use a drying rack or hangers to hang them inside your room.
Step 4: Fold and Hang Your Clothes
Finally, fold your clothes and put them in their designated storage space in your dorm room, be it a closet or a dresser. Hang any items that need to be hung, like dress shirts or dresses.
Step 5: Iron If Necessary
Some clothes like dress shirts get wrinkled. You must iron or steam them before wearing them. Ironing isn't always feasible because you'll also need an ironing board, which takes up a bit of space.
The solution – get a steamer. You can just hang your clothes on a hanger and steam them.
6 Tips To Improve Your Laundry In College Experience
Washing and organizing your clothes in a confined space can be difficult. Use these tips to make the process more efficient.
Label Your Laundry Bag
If you're buying a laundry bag from your local Target or a store near college, it's likely other people will have similar ones too. Avoid mix-ups and label yours with a permanent marker or colorful tape. It doesn't hurt to label your detergent and fabric softener too.
Sort Your Laundry
Don't put all your dirty laundry in one load. Sort the load by colors or fabrics. Otherwise, you'll risk darker colors bleeding onto your white socks or bedding, especially if you wash using hot water.
Use Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets will prevent static and keep your clothes smelling fresh. Plus, you can reuse them a few times before tossing them out.
Set a Schedule
You have three assignments that need to be done before Friday and there's a test on Monday too. And let's not forget the presentation for which you have nothing to wear because you didn't do your laundry. Sound familiar?
Set a schedule for when you'll do laundry and stick to it. It may seem like a small task, but avoiding it can lead to unnecessary stress in an already hectic schedule.
Do Not Leave Your Laundry Unattended
You might think you can leave your clothes in the washing machine or dryer while you run to grab a snack or attend class. Trust us – that's not always the case.
Some people might take your clothes out, toss them onto the floor, or even worse, take them. That's the last thing you want to deal with while managing through a hard semester.
Be Mindful Of Others
The laundry room is a communal space, so be respectful of others when using it. Here are some etiquette guidelines to follow:
Don't let your clothing pile sit in the washer or dryer for hours.
Don't use more machines than you need if others are waiting to wash their clothes.
Clean up after yourself. Don't leave dryer sheets or lint on top of machines.
If you spill detergent or fabric softener, clean it up immediately.
Be mindful of the time and noise level if laundry facilities are located in a shared living space.
Rinse: Your New Way To Do Laundry In College
While you're managing a part-time job and a plethora of assignments, you don't need to add laundry stress to the mix. Instead, outsource this chore to Rinse.
At Rinse, we take care of your laundry and dry cleaning needs. All you have to do is schedule a pick-up, leave your laundry in a Rinse bag outside your door, and we'll bring your clothes back washed and folded.
Say goodbye to hauling heavy laundry bags across campus or wasting precious study time in a crowded laundry room.
Contact us at Rinse today to see our skill in action.