Here I’ve put together a great list of laundry tips college students can use to save time, money, and frustration when cleaning their clothes.
If you’re doing laundry on your own for the first time you learn what you need here, too!
- Laundry Tips for College and What to Know
- What Is the Best Time to Do Laundry?
- What Are College Laundry Essentials You Need?
- How Often Should You Do Laundry While in College?
- How long does it take to do laundry?
Laundry Tips for College and What to Know
10 Great Laundry Tips for College
I know how college life is – it can be tough to keep up with dirty clothes on a college schedule especially between a full week and part-time job.
1. Don’t Wait Until You’re Out of Clean Clothes or everything’s Piled Up.
When juggling difficult classes and active social life it can be tempting to let chores like laundry fall to the wayside. The problem is that going too long without doing laundry can have you end up stranded in your dorm room with nothing to wear.
It’s a good idea to aim to do laundry at least once a week to ensure a steady supply of fresh, clean outfits.
2. Set Timers So You Don’t Forget.
Between studying and social calls, it can be easy to forget that there’s a pile of wet clothes waiting in the washing machine.
Leaving clothing in the washing machine too long will give it a musty smell and may ruin certain fabric types. It also increases the chances of articles getting misplaced or stolen.
Using a timer is a great way to keep track of laundry cycles. It takes the worry out everything because we’re all human – even the most responsible of us lose track of time or forget things!
3. Don’t Leave Your Supplies in the Laundry Room.
At the college laundromat, unattended detergent and fabric softener are fair game for anyone short on laundry supplies and who isn’t honest.
The best way to prevent expensive essentials from getting stolen is to keep them on your person at all times.
After loading up the washer and dryer, never leave supplies such as liquid detergent, softeners, and even laundry baskets behind unattended. ALWAYS take your personal belongings back to your dorm or apartment.
4. Detergent Pods Are Great!
For those new to doing laundry, laundry pods offer a quick and convenient way to get dirty clothes looking their best. Each pod contains a premeasured amount of detergent making them a fairly foolproof way to add detergent for any laundry load.
Laundry pods are also lighter than liquid detergent, making them easier to carry back and forth between the dorm and the laundry facility. No need to take the whole container!
They also take up less space, making them an ideal choice for dorm room storage.
5. Pay Attention to Clothing Labels.
Not all clothes are created equal and not all can tolerate a washing machine the same way. Some fabric may be prone to staining or stretching with the wrong washer settings.
These days, most clothing articles include manufacturer tag that includes information on washing and drying the fabric without causing damage.
Labels may contain written instructions or boast universal laundry symbols that show optimal temperature, machine setting, detergent type, and more. It pays to check the label and get familiar with how to wash, dry, and care for your clothes.
6. Get a Laundry Rack for Drying.
It can take longer to dry clothes than to wash them which can mean that dryers at the campus laundromat get backed up. A drying rack offers the perfect place to hang wet clothes after washing them. They’re also affordable, too!
Vertical rack styles are a good choice for dorm rooms as they can help save on space. Foldable laundry racks also make a compact and versatile choice perfect for the college lifestyle.
In fact, in other countries such as those in Europe drying racks are an everyday thing – people who are on a budget, similar to college students, use them all the time.
7. Observe Good Laundry Machine Etiquette.
There’s nothing more frustrating than heading to the campus laundromat only to find machines full of unattended clothing. To be courteous to others, always remember to remove clothing at the end of its washing or drying cycle.
It’s also a good idea to avoid washing too much laundry at once. If a single student uses multiple machines, others may lose out on their chance to do their weekly laundry.
Instead, try to use just two or three machines maximum to ensure there are enough free washers and dryers for everybody.
When finished, always remember to remove waste from the dryer’s lint trap. Doing this not only keeps the laundry facilities safe, but it’s good etiquette to practice for the next user in line.
8. Check Washers and Dryers Before Use.
It’s easy for small clothing such as socks to get stuck in washer and dryer barrels. If colored clothes get stuck in the washing machine the dye can bleed into lighter clothing and ruin the load.
Checking washers and dryers before use ensures that there aren’t any articles tucked away that could impact the wash cycle.
To check a washer or dryer drum, simply run your hand along the inside. Make sure to search cracks and crevices for articles such as socks and underwear.
9. Check the Pockets Before Washing Clothes.
It can be all too easy to forget items in your pocket like cash, business cards, receipts, and more. Materials such as paper easily disintegrate in water, spreading pulp throughout a wash load and forcing a second wash.
Heavy items such as change may cause more lasting damage. They can ricochet around the washer or dryer drum and damage delicate fabrics. Softer items like vitamins or medicine will melt and can permanently stain your pants (yes, I speak from experience!)
Be sure to check for & remove items from pockets before washing to make sure you don’t have something happen you’ll regret.
10. Buy a Clothes Hamper or Laundry Bag You Can Carry.
The walk from the laundry room to the dorms can be brutal especially for buildings with multiple floors. Make things easier on yourself by investing in a large clothing hamper or laundry bag.
Doing so will make it easy to cart loads between the laundromat and the dorm on laundry day. You can even find some with wheels and a handle, too.
What Kind of Laundry Detergent Should I Use?
There are a wide variety of different laundry detergents on the market and it can be a challenge to find the right one for a particular load of clothes.
- Liquid detergents are best for stain and grease removal. However, they’re not the most cost-effective option and take up a fair share of storage space.
- Powdered detergents are cheaper, easier to store, and work well on dirt and grime. The powder doesn’t dissolve well in cold water loads, though.
- Single-use detergent pods are one of the most popular choices amongst college students thanks to their convenience and ease of use.
- Laundry pods are often the most expensive option for students and may not be a safe choice for those living around small children or vulnerable adults.
How Do You Sort Laundry in College?
Separating whites and darks can prevent fading and color bleeding during a laundry cycle. Hot water can lift and separate dye from clothing fibers, allowing it to infiltrate white or light-colored fabric.
It’s a good idea for students to sort laundry before washing. To do so, divide clothing by color before loading it.
Sorting clothing on the laundromat floor can be a hassle. It’s best to do it in the dorms before heading down to the laundry facility. Doing this will make loading the machines much less of a hassle.
How Much Laundry Should I Put in a Load?
Overloading a washing machine or dryer will likely result in soggy, unclean clothes. It may even damage the unit in some cases.
Never fill the drum of a washing machine more than three-quarters of the way to the top. Ideally you should only have the drum around half full for a medium-sized load.
Should You Stay With Your Laundry?
In a crowded laundromat it may be tempting to stay with a load of laundry to ensure it’s safe. Some students worry about their clothes getting stolen.
Others are concerned that laundromat guests will remove their clothes before the buzzer to use the machine themselves. In most cases, it’s fine to leave clothing unattended at the laundromat IF it’s not very busy and if you’re not worried about someone bothering your items.
Many have security cameras, and during However, students may not want to leave their clothing sitting for too long after a cycle. The best way to prevent theft or misplacement is by promptly removing clean clothes when clean.
Personally, I recommend setting a timer if you’re going to leave. However, if a laundromat is busy or if I’m suspicious of some of the customers I’ll stay. Use your best judgement.
What Is the Best Time to Do Laundry?
Of all the laundry tips college students need one of the most common concerns students have is timing. As any college student can tell you, the laundry facilities can fill quickly during peak hours. It can be challenging to find a time with low foot traffic to do loads.
In general, the busiest times for a college laundromat will be when students have the most free time. Evenings and weekends are popular hours for laundry cycles.
The best time to do laundry is often during the day when other students are occupied by work or classes. Facilities are also often empty after midnight or during the early morning hours when people are catching up on sleep.
What Are College Laundry Essentials You Need?
While there are plenty of laundry tips college kids can follow, no amount of advice will help someone without the right tools for the job.
- One of the most important laundry supplies you’ll want is quality detergent to keep clothes clean. In some cases bleach may also be necessary.
- For softer clothes straight out of the dryer you may want to invest in fabric softener or dryer sheets.
- A laundry bin, basket, or bag is also a must-have for those living in the dorms. That’ll help you to easily cart clothes between laundry services and your dorm room.
How Often Should You Do Laundry While in College?
You should typically aim to do laundry at least once per week. Doing so will ensure that you always have something clean to wear without dirty laundry piling up.
Students with a smaller wardrobe may need to clean clothing more frequently. If you participate in activities like contact sports you’ll probably need to do laundry more frequently to keep your outfits from smelling bad.
How long does it take to do laundry?
Every washing machine is different but a typical wash cycle usually takes around 50 minutes to an hour to complete.
Drying cycles can be slightly shorter especially at high temperatures and with small loads. However, for heavy loads and low heat settings, it may take over an hour to dry clothes.