One thing all college kids hate is doing laundry. However, it’s something that needs to get done preferably once every week. College is stressful and many times students won’t want to do laundry, but if you don’t your room will become a smelly mess in no time.
Most college dorms and even off-campus apartments and homes have laundry machines. These machines usually cost 1 to 3 dollars per use, and most students will have to do two loads at a time.
To make life easier for college students, I have put together a list of the top laundry tips me and my colleagues have learned in college.
Related article: How Often Should College Students Do Laundry?
1. Purchase a rolling or backpack hamper
Because college students hate doing laundry so much, generally they stuff as many dirty clothes as possible into their hampers. This means heavy hampers! and because laundry rooms require you to walk to them, having a heavy hamper is no fun.
So purchasing a rolling hamper such as this one on Amazon or a backpack hamper such as this one will help you tremendously. If you have to walk a fair distance, a backpack hamper is generally preferred, but if the laundry room is close by, a rolling hamper is usually preferred.
Most dorms will have laundry rooms nearby (usually in the basement and are easily accessible by an elevator). However, even if the laundry room is a short walk away, having to carry a heavy overflowing hamper is not fun and can many times be disastrous.
2. Do laundry during off-hours
Most college kids will do laundry at around 4 to 9 pm. So, if you can find some time in your day that’s not during this time frame there is a much smaller chance you will have to wait in line.
Along with this, college laundry machines break all the time because their usually old, and students tend to misuse them. So sometimes lines can stack up and you will literally have to wait hours in order to use a machine.
3. Use laundry pods
Laundry pods such as these Tide Pods you can get on Amazon make doing laundry so much easier. Those Tide Pods are also great in cold water (which I highly recommend!).
Laundry pods are better than regular detergent because they are much easier and take less time to use. College students hate wasting time on laundry and laundry pods can save you that valuable time.
4. Use cold water and cold dry
By using cold water and cold drying, students can help prevent wrinkling, shrinking, fading, and color bleeding from their clothes.
Many students don’t properly split up their colors between lights and darks in the washing machine, so using cold water can help prevent any color bleeding issues.
Cold water and cold drying does take longer, but most students put their clothes in the laundry machines and then go back to their rooms. So the time isn’t all that big of an issue, especially if you go during off hours and people won’t be mad if you let your laundry sit for a little bit past being done.
To make things simple, laundry machines will give you a timer that counts down until the wash or dry is done. Before you go back to your room, put an alert on your phone to remind you when your laundry is done.
5. Don’t overload the laundry machine
Going off of what I said about students breaking laundry machines often, one of the leading causes of this is they overload the machines. Overloading a laundry machine not only can damage the machine but also won’t properly wash your clothes.
However, because universities charge you to use their washers and dryers, students always try to jam as many clothes as possible in each machine. Trust me it’s not worth it.
6. Make sure you bring money or load your card with money
Most colleges will require you to put money in an account and you will have to swipe your ID to purchase washing and drying cycles.
Freshmen orientation will generally describe this process in detail, but if you have to figure it out by yourself, most colleges will have the information available online.
7. Use fabric softener dryer sheets
Fabric softener dryer sheets are like Tide Pods but for the dryer. They help soften fabrics and significantly reduce wrinkles. They also help make fabrics smell better. However, make sure to avoid using them for flame-resistant materials and towels.
You can purchase fabric dryer sheets on Amazon here. They’re super cheap and come in packs of over 200.
8. Don’t forget to clean the lint trap
This one is pretty straightforward but super important. If you don’t clean dryer lint traps, dryers will not work efficiently and can even start a fire.
Before doing any laundry load, always check the dryer lint trap! Generally, college dryers make it very easy to access lint traps, but some dryers may hide them.
9. Check your pockets
I have almost put my AirPods in the washing machine plenty of times by leaving them in my pockets. Like me, college students lose things often and more times than not, there in their dirty pant pockets.
10. Set a timer on your phone
I discussed this earlier but thought it was important enough to deserve its own tip. Washers and dryers will give you a time countdown, so before you go back to your room, set an alarm on your phone.
This helps ensure you get to your laundry on time and nobody waiting gets mad at you for making them wait for you to go get your laundry.