Before we know it, summer will be over and plenty of college students will be heading off to campus. And while doing laundry is the last thing on their minds, it’s an essential chore that college students can’t avoid.
Although it sounds pretty simple to throw clothes in a washing machine, if not done right, it can cause all kinds of issues. Luckily, we’ve found 9 laundry tips every college student should know that will make the task fuss-free and avoid damaging beloved outfits. What’s more, this will save precious time, along with these cleaning hacks every student should know for a spotless dorm room.
So if you want to make laundry days a breeze, here are 9 laundry tips every college student should know.
1. Have a set ‘laundry day’
Rather than doing laundry whenever it’s convenient, it’s ideal to have a scheduled laundry day. That way, it’s already in the diary as part of a routine, and will make laundry chores more manageable.
In addition, it will save college students time and money with fewer trips to the washing machine. Plus, there is always time to read a book or do school work while waiting!
2. Sort your laundry
While it may seem quicker to just throw everything in at once, always separate colors into piles of whites, lights and darks. This will prevent darker colors from running or bleeding into lighter clothing. What’s more, you won’t be able to save a favorite, white t-shirt once it turns pink!
3. Read the care labels carefully
Who reads care labels at college? Reading care labels may seem tedious, but washing at correct temperatures will prevent the risk of shrinkage or damage. In addition, wash clothes with similar washing instructions, within the same color load.
If you do find all the care labels a little confusing, find out what do laundry symbols mean, and if you can put ‘hand wash only’ clothes in the washing machine before loading your favorite outfits.
Whether it be cocktails from a frat party, late-night snacking or morning coffee, clothes will be subject to all kinds of stains. It’s best to act quickly, and treat fabric stains immediately.
Simply apply liquid detergent on a clean cloth before gently dabbing away at the area, or use a stain remover. The longer you leave the stain, the harder it will be to remove completely in the laundry.
You might also need to know how to remove oil stains from clothes, or how to remove blood stains quickly, in case you have an accident.
5. Don’t overload the washing machine
We all want to spend less time doing laundry, but one of the biggest mistakes is to overfill the washing machine. Not only can a packed machine make it harder to clean our clothes thoroughly, but it can disrupt the spin cycle. This will leave you with wet (and dirty!) items at the end of the cycle.
Similarly, don’t underfill the washing machine as this will use more detergent than needed, which can leave a sticky residue on clothing. Always fill to the required capacity of the washing machine, so that it can handle the load more efficiently (so you don’t have to start over!).
6. Turn clothes inside out
Most college students like to have the latest, ‘on-trend’ clothing, so the last thing they need is to ruin them in the laundry. Always turn clothes inside out before putting them in the machine, especially if they have graphics and logos printed on them. Such t-shirts can often fade after many washes, so turning them inside out will help to reduce this.
7. Swap liquid detergent for ‘pods’
Swap those big bottles of liquid detergent for a pod detergent instead. Not only do you avoid messy spills with liquid detergent, but most college students use more than needed. The pod or gel tablet detergents are premeasured, safe to use and mess-free. What’s more, they are compact and easier to store if you lack space in your dorm room.
If you do want to stick to liquid detergent however, ensure you measure carefully, and read the label for quantity information. It’s important to use the right dose of detergent to get better laundry results.
8. Wash on a low temperature
Alongside reading the care labels, experts recommend to wash your clothes at or below 30 degrees (Celsius). This will ensure that your clothes are clean, and reduce the risk of clothes fading or shrinking in the wash. Plus, it’s more cost-effective and good for the environment.
9. Unload the washer/dryer straight away
It’s so easy for college students to throw in their laundry, set it to wash and then leave it to do other things. But always unload the washer or dryer straight away to prevent nasty odors, and help clothes air out quickly.
To avoid smells, it’s always best to hang damp clothes to dry immediately. If you can’t hang outdoors, use a clothes horse/rack in a well-ventilated area. Plus, if you want to avoid ironing, folding and putting away clothes while still warm, will prevent wrinkles. It’s a win-win!
How often should a college student do laundry?
Depending on how quickly you go through their wardrobe, it’s recommended that the average college student should do laundry once a week. Obviously, there will be times when busy timetables or social lives will take priority, but the key is to never let laundry build up. Plus, no one likes a dorm room smelling of dirty clothes!
Be sure to check out the best back to school sales and our back to school guide for some great deals on both classroom and dorm room essentials.
If your dorm has seen better days, be sure to also check out 7 cleaning hacks every college student should know. What’s more, if you’re tight on dorm room space, here are 7 tips to save space in a student dorm room.