It feels satisfying to sit in my dorm room on a Sunday afternoon knowing that the dishes are clean, and the laundry is done – properly. I’m sure there are plenty of people who were old pros at the art long before they came to residence, but that said I know I’m not the only who was doing laundry for the first time when I got here. Just for everyone’s future reference, I’ve decided to create a list of laundry tips. Some are passed down from my mother, others I learned the hard way.
- Don’t overload. You may think that the machine isn’t REALLY stuffed THAT much, but don’t let that fool you. I never put in more clothes than fill about 3/4 of the washing machine, less if I can. To avoid overloading, always put towels and bedsheets in a separate wash.
- Don’t use too much soap. This is especially if you use powder detergent; the directions may tell you to use a whole cup for very big or very dirty loads, but the washers here are “high efficiency”, which basically means they require less detergent, so never use more than a quarter cup of detergent. My rule of thumb is to scoop out what I think I need and then pour out a little bit.
- If you use too much soap, it won’t rinse out properly, and you’ll need to put your clothes on again without soap so it’ll all get rinsed out. Laundry detergent isn’t good for your skin, so you don’t want that stuff in your clothes.
- Get a drying rack. I can’t stress how important this is. The driers don’t always get everything 100% clean, and if you care about the finer points of laundry, there are things that shouldn’t go in the drier at all. Having a drying rack will save you the trouble of trying to find all the ways you can hang clothes off of furniture in your room.
- Always check your pockets. Nobody likes to open up a washing machine to find all their clothes covered in dissolved Kleenex residue. Not to mention finding a ruined iPod and such.
- Wash with like colours. If you’re going to do multiple washes anyway, try to makes loads of the same colour. The only thing you REALLY need to worry about is reads and oranges, as the dye tends to bleed, and you may find your nice white has turned pink by the end of the cycle. Just put the reds in with dark colours and you should be fine.
- Don’t feel the need to sit around with your laundry. Washing and drying each take about half an hour, and sitting down there is really boring. I’ve never heard of anyone stealing laundry, and I’ve left mine down there for several hours and all that happened was someone took it out of the drier and put it on the counter so they could use the drier. That said, if you like to study or something down there, go right ahead.