Oh, laundry. The bane of any college student’s existence. Whether you’ve done it at home before you got to school or this is your first time doing it on your own, laundry is just something that everyone dreads. With a little planning and a few basics, however, you can make laundry time run as smooth as possible so you can spend less time sorting clothes and more time outside, watching Netflix, or literally do anything more fun than laundry. Read on for my laundry tips & tricks!
I keep four laundry basics: detergent, a color catcher, a dryer sheet, and a stain remover (details on how I use each of these under “My Routine”).
Detergent: I like Tide Pods because they eliminate the bulk and mess of liquid detergent.
Color Catcher: Shout Color Catchers let me do whites & colors in the same load without worrying about the colors running.
Dryer Sheet: Bounce Dryer sheets make my clothes smell AMAZING!
Stain Remover: A bottle of OxyClean will get literally any questionable stain out of my clothes.
Establishing a Routine
It’s really important to establish a routine so that you can spend the least time in the laundry room! First, you’ll need to decide how often you feel like you need to do laundry. Do you run out of clothes after a week, or can you hold out for maybe 2 or 3 weeks? Next, you’ll need to decide what day and time works best for you. For me, this was usually every Monday night. Keep in mind that the laundry room gets a little crazy during the weekends!
Having a designated laundry time means you can plan ahead to be at home / in your dorm room, and you can decide what you’ll do while you’re waiting. Depending on how crazy my week is, I’ll usually try to squeeze in a homework assignment or workout.
Do’s & Don’ts
Don’t feel the need to separate your clothes into a million piles (whites, darks, colors, delicates, activewear etc etc). I do two loads (one regular cycle in cold, one delicate cycle in warm) and put a color catcher in the warm cycle so my maroon sweater doesn’t dye my white shorts.
Don’t forget about towels, sheets, and pajamas! I try to throw in my pajamas, pillowcase, and face towel in every week just because it’s really nice to freshen those up. With my sheets and bath towels, I usually hold out for every couple of weeks.
Do treat stains as soon as possible – the faster you can treat a stain, the more likely it is to come out. If you can, spray some stain remover on the stain and let it sit for a while before placing it in the wash (or sink, see below). If you’re in a pinch, a Tide To-Go stick works wonders on stains until you can throw your clothes in the wash at home.
Don’t be afraid to use the sink as a temporary washer. Most laundry rooms are equipped with a big sink that makes it easy to hand-wash single articles of clothing. This is perfect for when you don’t want to waste a washer cycle on only a few stained items! Rinse out your clothes in the sink, then hang them up to air dry. If a stain persists, another round of stain remover before you throw it in with the regular wash should do the trick!
Do be proactive about actually doing your laundry. No one likes doing laundry, but it’ll keep your clothes fresh and you won’t be cursing yourself at 6AM when you’re “smell testing” your clothes in the dark! 🙂