You learn a lot when you’re in college, and the majority of that learning takes place outside of the classroom. You learn how to make new friends, how to deal with difficult breakups, how to navigate disagreements, how to budget, how to cook, and…how to do laundry.
Before moving out, you might’ve done a few loads of laundry on your own, but – let’s face it – you really have no idea what you’re doing. And that’s okay! Everyone starts somewhere. Here’s a little cheat sheet to get you ahead of the game so you can look like a seasoned pro in the laundry room.
Read the washing labels.
What if we told you there were clear-cut instructions for washing every piece of clothing you own? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not! Every t-shirt, sweater, pair of shorts, pair of jeans, and, yes, even underwear has a washing label that outlines exactly how to properly clean that particular article of clothing. Understanding how to read washing labels can save you from permanently staining or shrinking your clothes.
Suggested Reading: Follow These 4 Steps for Unshrinking Your Clothes
Separate clothes by color or type.
One of the commandments of college laundry is to wash clothes according to their color or type. For example, all your jeans and jean-material clothes should get washed together and all your white clothes should be put in the same load. This matching and organizing help to prevent colors from bleeding and textures from losing their distinct feel. Ignore this one at your own risk.
Don’t overload the washing machine.
As a college student, you have a lot of responsibilities on your plate with a limited amount of time during the week. Naturally, when laundry day rolls around, you might feel tempted to stuff as many clothes in the washing machine as possible. You might be able to fit in every piece of laundry you have, but that doesn’t mean they’ll all turn out clean…which is the whole point after all. It’s advisable to leave about 25% of space in a laundry load for the clothes to toss and turn since that’s how they actually get clean.
Choose the right detergent.
While using a less-than-ideal detergent won’t harm your clothing, it can certainly keep them from looking, feeling, and smelling their freshest. Whether you want to get out stubborn stains, refreshen white clothing, or keep your favorite sweater looking vibrant, there’s a specific laundry to help you reach those goals. You’ll want to find the best detergent based on what you want to accomplish for the most successful laundry experience possible.
Set a fitting temperature.
There are a seemingly endless number of washing settings, especially on commercial equipment at the local laundromat or campus laundry room. A lot of these options are pretty straightforward, but the most important setting is the temperature. Washing something too cold might not get it clean enough while washing too hot can shrink sensitive clothing. Nearly all clothing has this info on its washing labels so check those diligently before choosing the best temperature.
Take out anything that can’t be dried.
There are several items that do perfectly fine in the washing machine that can get destroyed in the dryer. Cashmere, silk, rayon, and wool are just a few examples. Consult your clothing’s washing labels before tossing them in the washer and opt for air-drying or sun-drying for clothes that can’t handle the heat of the dryer.
Clear out the filter every time.
All kinds of debris, dust, and lint get picked up and filtered by dryers so your clothes come out looking fresh and clean. However, these filters can end up limiting the drying impact of a machine when they become too clogged with debris and air can’t escape. Before (and after) using the dryer, clean out the filter for an optimized drying experience.
Interested in learning more about how to master laundry days? Check out the Coin Meter site for more insider tips and tricks for making the most of this weekly chore.