You gotta admit 一 you’ve never missed your parents more than when you first squared off against the university laundry system.
Back home, all you had to do was leave your dirty clothes on the floor — or in a hamper, if you were in the mood to be a little helpful — and voila! They would magically disappear and reappear clean and folded.
Now that you’re on your own, with a pile of soiled clothes that won’t clean themselves, you wonder how your parents could’ve endured it for so long. But mostly, you wonder if there’s a way out LOL PLS SEND HELP.
Well, actually, there just might be — and we’ll get to that. But first, you gotta learn the ropes! While doing laundry can be a total pain, it helps to have a system, especially when you’re doing it on campus or in your complex’s laundromat.
Read on to find out how to do laundry in college the right way!
How College Laundry Works
You generally get two options here:
- In-campus laundry rooms – Typically located in the most haunted recesses of the dorms, these are communal spaces where anyone can wash their clothes. These usually take the form of giant rooms with several coin-operated washers and dryers, a couple of folding tables, and an industrial-sized bottle of fabric softener that’s been trucking along since the Reagan administration.
- Off-campus laundromats – If you live in an apartment off-campus, you’ll either have to navigate a long, dark walk at night after class, or you’ll have to worry about the safety of yourself and your items in general. If this is the case, or you’re living in a house without laundry units, you’ll have to take your laundry elsewhere. While laundromats are nice because you don’t have to share with anyone, they can be pricey — and you run the risk of someone taking out your items and replacing them with their own in the washer or dryer! Rude.
We recommend getting familiar with your school’s laundry schedule and planning accordingly. That way, you can make sure to do your laundry at a convenient time, not when everyone else is trying to do theirs.
How Often Should You Do Laundry in College?
We advocate doing laundry once a week. That gives you enough time to build up a good amount of laundry (to save money by doing it all at once), but not so much that your dorm room starts to stink.
Two hours should be plenty of time to wash and dry a week’s worth of laundry, but it never hurts to anticipate a few additional minutes, especially during your first few runs. Who knows how long it would take you to figure out how to operate the machine?
A 5-Step Checklist to Conquer College Laundry
Five steps are a whole lot more than the zero steps you were likely dreaming of, but it will all be worth it once your friends see you lounging with a cool drink and a smug look while they toil away like peasants in the campus laundry room!
1. Set a regular laundry schedule
Setting a regular schedule helps you stay on top of your laundry week after week. No more surprises when you’re trying to cram for a test and realize you’re out of clean underwear!
Try to see when your laundry room is the least crowded and do your laundry then. Getting into a fistfight over a washer and dryer during rush hour is never classy, after all.
2. Ready your supplies
Four things separate you from utter laundry chaos:
- A laundry basket
- Dryer sheets
- All the quarters you can get your grubby paws on
Having all these on hand before you even set foot in the laundry room ensures you can get everything done in one trip.
3. Sorting your clothes as you go
Sorting out a giant heap of clothes as you wait in line for the washer is a colossal pain. Avoid dirty looks by sorting your clothes as you go.
We recommend using a three-bag system: one for dark clothes, one for light clothes, and one for delicates. That way, you can just pop your sorted clothes in the washing machine when it’s finally your turn and not have to waste any time — yours or the person behind you in line.
4. Master the washing machine settings
No one expects you to be a laundry expert, but it doesn’t hurt to know your way around a washing machine.
These two tips should cover most of what you need to know:
- Read the labels on your clothes before you wash them. This will help you avoid shrinking, fading, and other disasters.
- Use warm water as a default setting. Cold water works best for clothes you don’t want to shrink, while hot water is good for linens, towels, and stained clothes.
5. Drying, folding, ironing
The wet jumble of clothes in front of you doesn’t seem like they’ll ever transform into the neatly folded stack in your head, but we believe in you. Bring it home with these last few tips:
- Empty your lint trap after every load. We can tell you why, but why not just trust us on this one?
- Fold your clothes as soon as they’re out of the dryer. Don’t let wrinkles ruin everything you’ve worked so hard for!
- Ironing is more of an optional thing. A foldable ironing board that fits in your closet is a small price to pay for always looking sharp. But you know, a towel on your bed works in a pinch, too!
And that, ladies and gents, is how to do laundry in college. Ticking off these five things ensures you can get in and out of the laundry room as fast as humanly possible — giving you more time to enjoy the finer things in life, like Netflix, cheap beer, and snuggling up in the 20-year-old twin bed in your dorm room.
Want to Work on Your Hacky Sack Game Instead? (Or Whatever It Is You Kids Do These Days)
Here’s how hampr works:
Our laundry app connects you with one of our washrs in your area. We’ll pick up your dirty clothes, wash them, and dry them — all you have to do is tell us when and where to deliver them the next day. With our transparent flat-rate pricing and time slots that work with your schedule, doing laundry has never been so painless.
Never again will you have to lose your luckiest pair of jeans right before the coolest party on campus, or convince everyone that your bleach-stained shirt was always meant to look that way!