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How To Do Laundry in College

Updated on March 1, 2013
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You will be surprised to learn that not many incoming freshman know how to do their own laundry. They are use to throwing it down the laundry chute or just leaving it in the laundry for the laundry fairy to do aka Mom. Somehow by the end of the day their clothes magically appeared clean, folded and/or already hanging in the closet.

Going to college though I can guarantee there is no laundry fairy. It is actually the opposite, the laundry devil. You will meet the devil more into the article.

There are students who either bring a lot of clothes to avoid doing laundry until fall break or wear the same dirty clothes over and over again to avoid doing laundry.

For whatever your reasons for not doing laundry, you will need to know how to do it eventually.

These are dryer sheets for any who have never seen them.
These are dryer sheets for any who have never seen them.

What You Will Need

For Washing:

  • Quarters
  • A Washing machine
  • Detergent
  • Softener

For Drying:

  • Quarters
  • A dryer
  • Dryer sheets


The Cleaning Process

When in college, you cannot keep your laundry detergent, softener, and sheets in the laundry room. You are just asking someone to use it.

You need to carry these down in your hamper full of dirty clothes. Do not forget your quarters or your school credit card (ID card). Laundry is not free.

White Clothes

  1. Separate whites and color clothes. I do not have a lot of white clothes, so I usually end up putting them together. If you have a lot, though, this will be best way to clean white clothes.
  2. Throw your clothes in the washing machine. DO NOT CRAM THEM IN! It is not saving money when your clothes do not get cleaned.
  3. Insert money. There will be a sign that says how much.
  4. There should be either a flap you open or a drawer that pulls out. Where to insert the liquids is marked by each hole. Add detergent, softener, and bleach in their correct holes. DO NOT ADD ALL TO ONE. Depending on the size load, the variations of how much liquid to put in changes. Inside the detergent lid, there is usually numbers from 1-3, from smallest to largest load.
  5. Make sure door is securely shut.
  6. Select the HOT option and load size. They might make it easier and just put on options: whites, colors, perm press, and other options I do not pay attention to. I just focus on white and colors.
  7. Click start and wait for about 45 minutes.

Color Clothes (Essentially NOT white)

Whites can be part of this process as well.

  1. Load your clothes in the washing machine. DO NOT CRAM THEM IN! It is not saving money when your clothes do not get cleaned.
  2. Insert money. There will be a sign that says how much.
  3. There should be either a flap you open or a drawer that pulls out. Where to insert the liquids is marked by each hole. Add detergent and softener (NO BLEACH) in their correct holes. DO NOT ADD ALL TO ONE. Depending on the size load, the variations of how much liquid to put in changes. Inside the detergent lid, there is usually numbers from 1-3, from smallest to largest load.
  4. Make sure door is securely shut.
  5. Select the COLD option and load size. They might make it easier and just put on options:whites, colors, perm press, and other options I do not pay attention to. I just focus on white and colors.
  6. Click start and wait for about 45 minutes.


This usually where the lint screens are located. Hopefully yours is not that nasty.
This usually where the lint screens are located. Hopefully yours is not that nasty. | Source

The Drying Process

Before my clothes are dry, I usually take this time to run back up to my room to put the detergent and softener away. This will be less to carry.

  1. Open the washing machine when door unlocks.
  2. Transport wet clothes to available dryer and throw them in. The larger the load in the dryer, the longer it will take to dry.
  3. Add a dryer sheet.
  4. There is a lint screen in the dryer, usually located to the front being exposed when the dryer opens. It is labeled. Pull this up and clean off the lint left over by other people. Throw away in nearest pail.
  5. Put the lint screen back in the dryer.
  6. Close the door.
  7. Insert money.
  8. This is where dryers differ. The ones at my school say White and Colors, Perm Press, blah blah blah. I usually click White and Colors or full cycle.
  9. Take out your now dry laundry.
  10. You can either fold the clothes in the laundry room or go directly to your room to hand them.

The Laundry Devil

Laundry devils are fellow students who do not care about other people's laundry. Here are some things they will do.

  • Take your wet clothes out of the washing machine and put them on top of the machine, on the table, or the floor.
  • Take your dry clothes of of the dryer and put them on the folding table or the floor.
  • Dryers typically do not lock like washing machines, so they will take your clothes out while in cycle and put theirs in using your money.
  • If you leave money or any liquids or dryer sheets, they will use it if they need it.

These are easy to prevent. STAY WITH YOUR LAUNDRY! There will be signs around the laundry room advising you to do this as well.

It is rude of you to make someone wait for a machine that is ready, but occupied full of clothes.

Important to Knowing How to Do Laundry

It is important to know how to do laundry because there are many dangers of not doing laundry correct to your clothes and to your safety.

  1. Bleach makes your clothes more white. Adding bleach with colors, stains your clothes. You cannot fix a bleach stain.
  2. If the process is not done correctly, your clothes could shrink! When in doubt, read the clothes tag for how to clean properly!
  3. As seen in movies, adding too much soap can make the washing machine overflow of bubbles. The whole laundry room will not fill with bubbles, but the water can damage electrical devices.
  4. Lint collecting screens, if not cleaned, can catch on fire! Make sure these are clean before drying your clothes.

Source

Tips for an Easier Cleaning Process

First of all the top process is better than bringing your clothes to the river. 90% of the time involves waiting.

  1. 3 in 1 sheets. These sheets are thrown in with the wash and contain detergent and softener in them. When the load is done, the sheet turns into a dryer sheet. I prefer liquids because my clothes smell and feel better.
  2. Bring homework or something to do while sitting in the laundry room. This passes the time and you get things done.
  3. Get a piggy bank. Quarters go fast with laundry and are tempting when there is a soda machine near by. Hopefully, your laundry room as a change maker machine.
  4. When in doubt, ask a fellow student. Usually there is someone who knows how to do laundry or in the laundry room with you. Ask for help.

Let's see if you were paying attention.


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    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Great tips Keeley! Keep it up! Sharing! I feel as though I was a single freshman again.

    • Lilliana Delanor profile image

      Lilliana Delanor 4 years ago from Michigan, USA

      I would love to know what kind of crappy parents don't teach their kids to take care of themselves before they send them off to college. I've known how to do laundry since I was 7 or 8 years old.

    • HLKeeley profile image
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      HL Keeley 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Many are just used to their mother doing it for them.

    • Lilliana Delanor profile image

      Lilliana Delanor 4 years ago from Michigan, USA

      as I said. Crappy parenting.

    • profile image

      electronic voting systems 4 years ago

      This one article alone shows off your excellent writing skills. I am very impressed with your views and interesting content. I hope you intend to continue writing more informational articles.

    • HLKeeley profile image
      Author

      HL Keeley 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Thank you very much. I have had a lot going on recently with school and work, but I am planning out more informational articles.

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