If you learn anything in college, it better be how to properly do your laundry.
Buy the Right Supplies
If you have a tight budget and an even tighter dorm room closet, one thing you can’t fall behind on is your laundry. If you went off to college to assert more independence, laundry day is the ultimate test. You’ll need the basics--detergent, dryer sheets, and a laundry basket. If you can, divide your laundry basket into two sections: one side for your clothes and another side for your supplies.
Separate Your Laundry
Reading the labels and separating your laundry ahead of time is a valuable step to get in the rhythm of washing sheets because different materials and colors have different cleaning requirements. Just like clothing, dark or red-colored bedding can bleed onto light-colored fabrics. You’ll want to remember the four ways to separate your bedding: whites/lights, darks, delicates, and heavy duty if you’ve got some serious stains. Depending on the size and color of your sheets, there can be some overlap in the combination of materials in each wash. If you purchase separate laundry bags for delicate clothing, they can be added to the appropriate color load. Just don’t throw your new university t-shirt in with your white sheets--unless you want tie-dye bedding.
Don’t Forget the Quarters
Unfortunately, when you’re not at mom's house, laundry isn't free. Set aside a bag or jar to collect your loose change throughout the semester. You can even keep it at the bottom of your laundry basket each week so you don’t have to worry about forgetting your quarters.
If your college laundry room has a coin machine, keep a couple of crisp singles on you in case you need some extra change. You may also want to find a time when other students are sleeping off the events of the weekend--that’s when the machines will be freed up.
Choose the Right Laundry Setting
When it comes to sheets, wash with the hottest temperature setting listed on the wash tag. Polyester blends handle warm water, while cotton will withstand much hotter temperatures. Cold water is less likely to damage your material, but if your sheets aren’t getting much action, you don’t need to worry about damage. Selecting hotter water kills most germs and eliminates the dust mites that might be stuck in your bedding. If you’re washing sheets, pillow cases, and a comforter, you’ll want to select the largest wash cycle as well. You don’t want to overflow the wash bin--otherwise your sheets won’t wash or dry properly.
Fold Laundry Right Away
Unless you want your bedding to be filled with wrinkles, fold your sheets as soon as they pop out of the dryer. It’s easy to forget about your sheets and let them sit in the dryer in a big pile, but tending to your laundry right away is the only way to ensure your items aren’t wrinkled beyond repair. If you spend most of your day napping after class, well then wrinkles are probably inevitable.
When you’re in college, you’re either spending most of your time hitting the books or hitting the cafeteria--washing your sheets probably isn’t a priority each week, but it should be. Your sheets may fall to the wayside when your busy washing your mountain of clothes, but you spend more time in bed each night than you do wearing your clothing. You wear something new each day, your bedding stays on for much longer--hence the importance of washing your sheets at least once every other week. At the very least, wash those pillow cases on a regular basis. If you wash your clothes regularly, bed sheets should be no different.
Don’t Forget to Iron
If you happened to skip step #5 and forgot to transfer your sheets right away, you’re most likely living in wrinkle-land. Space is limited in a dorm room, but a small tabletop ironing board and iron will be a fine investment. They’re small enough to fit underneath your bed but still provide the same function as a normal size ironing board. The heat from the iron helps kill any remaining germs and dust that might be remaining after the wash cycle. Ironing also helps smooth and flatten your linens so they can be easily stored.
Follow Proper Etiquette
There’s an entire student population that needs to share the limited number of machines, so don’t forget your clothing in the washer or dryer. Set a timer on your phone a couple minutes before your cycle is complete so you have time to walk over to switch your laundry--otherwise you’ll find your linens waiting for you on top of the machine or wadded up on the floor. And clean out the lint when you’re done, it’s the polite thing to do. For storing your linens, keep them away from direct sunlight to avoid fading, keep matching sets together, and keep multiple sets of sheets for your bed. If you’re able to rotate a clean pair each time, it helps to maintain a fresh, clean feeling every time.
If you still can’t get the hang of this laundry thing, make sure to pay us a visit and we will help you with all your washer needs.