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Student’s Guide to Campus Laundry

For many young adults, college is the first time they have to do their laundry by themselves. It can be challenging to know what to buy, how often to do laundry and what exactly you need to do. While lugging your laundry home every two weeks may seem easier, the best time to do laundry in college is weekly. With this guide to washing clothes, doing your own laundry will be a breeze. You’ll always have clean clothes to wear, know the meaning of permanent press settings and learn if you can dry whites and colors together. You’ll be a pro in the campus laundry room!

Table of Contents

How to Do Laundry in College

The most important part of doing laundry is preparation. To get the best results, you need to sort your clothes and learn which pieces of clothing need which setting on the machine.

Sort Your Clothes

Many students know you’re supposed to sort by color but still choose not to. If you want your clothes to last longer, you need to know how to separate laundry by color and by material:

Laundry Symbols

You should also consider your delicate items and clothing with special washing instructions. All your clothing should have a tag telling you how the manufacturer recommends you wash that item. Three main types of laundry symbols and variations of each type indicate how you should wash, bleach and dry that article of clothing.

When doing your laundry, look for these symbols:

Wash Your Laundry

When putting your clothes in the washing machine, remember these guidelines before you hit that “Start” button:

What Does Permanent Press Mean?

An important back-to-school laundry tip is knowing which wash cycle is best for your clothing. While it may be tempting to use a normal wash cycle for all your clothes to make the laundry process more convenient, choosing permanent press can protect your clothes, especially items at a higher risk of wrinkling, fading or shrinking.

When it comes to your specific washing machine, a permanent press cycle may be under a casual or wrinkle control cycle. During this cycle, the washing machine will use warm water during the majority of the wash cycle and then switch to cold water as it enters the rinse cycle. For most washers, a permanent press cycle lasts around 30 minutes while using a gentler agitation compared to a normal wash.

Another benefit of choosing permanent press over a normal wash setting is that the final spin cycle is not as fast, which helps to prevent the wet clothes from pressing in on each other, reducing the creation of wrinkles.

Dry Your Clothes

Time to get those freshly washed clothes dry and ready to wear! Before you throw your clothes in the dryer, remember these helpful drying tips:

Different Dryer Settings

Drying your clothes with the correct setting can ensure they continue looking great long after you purchase them. Most dryers have a few different cycle settings, including:

  1. Air dry or air fluff: An air dry or air fluff setting does not use any heat and will use room temperature air from the surrounding area to dry your clothes. This cycle is best for wool, silk or clothing with embellishments.
  2. Delicate or gentle: The delicate or gentle cycle uses low heat to keep clothing such as activewear safe from melting or stretching under high heat.
  3. Permanent press or wrinkle resistant: A permanent press setting is great for items like slacks and outerwear as it uses medium heat to dry your clothes without causing damage or creating wrinkles. 
  4. Regular: A regular dryer cycle can go by a few different names, like automatic or timed dry. Since a regular dryer setting uses the highest heating temperature, it is ideal for items made from cotton and other robust fabrics.
  5. Steam cycle: Many newer dryers feature a steam setting for removing wrinkles from dry clothes or refreshing clothes with a slight odor. For example, you can use this cycle to freshen up a sweater that may have been sitting in your closet.

Don’t Forget to Fold!

The final step of the laundry process is the most annoying and tedious for many people, but trust us, it’s necessary! When you leave your clothes crumpled in your laundry basket after taking them out of the dryer, they’re likely to become wrinkled. Why undo all your hard work washing them by letting them go unfolded?

You can choose from several different folding methods. Have a lot of clothes and not enough space? The rolling technique is popular for saving space in closets and suitcases. Want to ensure you don’t get any wrinkles in your new top? Put it straight onto a hanger when you’re unloading the dryer. If you want precision, you can invest in portable folding stations that give your clothes consistent, uniform folds.

Laundry Tips for College Students

These additional helpful tips will help you become a pro at doing laundry while away at school. Following these tips can help you avoid mishaps in your campus laundry room.

How Often Should You Do Laundry in College?

The exact number of times you should do laundry each week or month in college will vary. Generally, you should plan to complete your laundry at least once a week.

In particular, it’s important to regular wash your bedsheets to rid them of skin cells, sweat and oils that collect there. You sleep in your bed every night for hours at a time, leaving plenty of opportunities for gunk to accumulate. Keep your sheets and pillowcases clean by washing them regularly.

Best Laundry Detergent for College Students

We highly recommend investing in pod detergents because of their convenience. Regular liquid or powder detergents can be a pain when you have to lug those giant containers and dirty clothes into your dorm’s laundry room. Plus, you’re more likely to make a mess if you accidentally drop the container or overfill the measuring cup.

You can wash your clothes confidently with detergent pods, knowing you’re using just the right amount.

Visit Our Student Page For Washer Settings Help

College life can be a whirlwind, and we understand that you’ve got better things to do than sit in your dorm’s laundry room, wondering how long your laundry will take. Caldwell & Gregory is proud to offer even more helpful tips on how to do laundry in college like washing clothes and the drying process on our student page!