While Mom may not mind if you bring home bags of dirty clothes every time you visit, you will need to do at least some laundry at school. Find nearby dry cleaners or laundromats, and follow these tips to use them with know-how.
1. Choose the right method.
Look at the tag on whatever you need to launder. If it says “dry clean only,” do so or run the risk of ruining the item in the wash. If the smell left behind by traditional methods bothers you or if you prefer eco-friendly processes, opt for a business that uses green methods, such as carbon dioxide dry cleaning or wet cleaning with biodegradable detergents. When a tag says “hand wash only,” follow that direction, too, as the washers on college campuses and in laundromats typically don’t have a cycle gentle enough to safely clean delicate fabrics. Everything else can go in a commercial washer. In fact, the washers and dryers found at laundromats prove the perfect size for washing your bedspread or comforter.
2. Buy laundry supplies in bulk.
Stock up on laundry detergent, stain remover and fabric sheets, and then repurpose a container just big enough to hold detergent for a few loads. Bringing only what you need, including fabric sheets, to do the laundry you have allows you to carry less weight and to avoid being taken advantage of by classmates who always seem to “forget” their own supplies.
3. Comparison shop options.
The washers and dryers on campus may not offer the best price, especially if the machines have smaller capacities than the appliances found in laundromats. Do the math and remember to factor your time into the equation.
4. Know when to go.
Speaking of time, avoid attempting to do laundry on the weekends or at night, as you may find yourself waiting for machines. Instead, go in the middle of the day if you can, and bring along your books.
5. Fix your mistakes.
You don’t need to be told how to sort and pre-treat, but you may not yet know how to fix laundry mishaps. If a red sock does slip into your whites, don’t stress and don’t put the clothes in the dryer. Soak the now-pink items in a solution of a half-cup baking soda, a half-cup salt and a half-cup detergent to lift the dye. Laundry facilities typically have large sinks in which to do this, and if this happens often, bring along the additional supplies.