Laundry Tips: Dorm Edition

Let’s face it, as Freshmen some of us come onto campus without having done our own laundry- ever. If that is a familiar situation and you are faced with the doom of a massive detergent overflow and accidentally shrinking your favorite pants, then you are in the right place. But if you are like me and you cannot imagine a time when you didn’t do your own laundry, stick with me and keep reading because this might help you out too. I think you will quickly discover (or potentially have already realized) that the on-campus laundry room is not like the one from home.

Read on for some tips and tricks I have learned through my experience living and laundering on campus.

5 Must Know Laundry Tips

1. Set a Timer

Seriously, use your phone and set a timer for 2-3 minutes before the machine cycle will end (ex. 30-minute cycle= 28-minute timer). The only thing worse than realizing someone moved your things out of the machine to do their own laundry, is having to wait on a dryer to be free so you can get your own laundry finished up and over with. It’s simple, efficient, and polite to keep a timer going!

2. Avoid Mildew

Mildew is a real thing that happens to laundry when it is left damp and unattended for too long. Nothing ruins that fresh laundry scent like microscopic mold that has made itself at home. It’s disgusting I know, but it is also important to note that leaving anything in the washing machine after the cycle ends for too long can cause mildew, as does putting laundry away that’s not fully dry. 

3. Go Easy on the Detergent

Less is sometimes best! Most detergent bottles come with a cap that has level markers on it, and the easiest way to make sure you don’t use too much is to measure it out with the cap according to the size of that particular load of laundry before pouring it into the washing machine. 

4. Water Temperature and Dryer Heat

The temperature of the water (or the dryer cycle) can make a difference and should be adjusted according to what you’re washing/drying. Personally, I use warm water and low temp for clothes, and hot water and high temp for towels and bedsheets. The higher temperature kills off more bacteria, but clothes will remain in good condition for longer if they are washed with a gentler cycle. This is not science and I am not a “professional” but this is my philosophy and it’s served me pretty well. 

5. Laundry Tips for Newbies

  • Invest in a good basket!
  • Wash like things together (ex. towels and towels not towels and your nicest shirt).
  • You do NOT have to put quarters in the machine if they have the slot. I repeat, no quarters should ever be inserted into the washers/dryers on campus. The slot might be there and definitely looks important, but the machines are completely functional without quarters.

Folding It Up: 

I wish you the best of luck with your laundry endeavors and when in doubt; google it. Also, you can read the tag on any article of clothing for guidance, or call your grandma, or dad, or sister, or cousin, or just ask someone that looks like they are confident in their laundry skills. Remember, we are all in this together! 

By: Kara Dickens
Kara Dickens is a senior political science major from Cedarville, Arkansas. She plans to attend graduate school to obtain a Masters of Public Administration after graduating from ATU.