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University Life Café

Laundry in College....

Laundry basket with a pile of clothes in different colors

You don't have to take it to the cleaners, you can do it yourself!
By Lacey Solheid

Let's face it. When you came to college, you were super excited for the new found freedom. But one thing you forgot to learn from mom and dad was how to do your laundry. It can be very different doing your laundry in a Laundromat setting. Here are some tips to save you from a laundry disaster.

Sort, Sort, Sort

Before you haul all of your clothes down to the laundry room, sort your clothes first. There's more than likely more space in your dorm to sort your clothes. Sort your garments by color (Darks—black, blue, brown, red, jeans; Lights—white, cream, tan, pastels) and then by fabric type (if there is enough to do so). Be sure to read the labels of your more unique garments and follow those directions for the entire load.

Check and Load

When using a communal Laundromat, it is important to check the machine first. You don't want to end up with a stranger's red sock ruining your load of whites. When adding your garments to the washer, be sure not to overload it. The clothes need to be able to move around within the machine to get clean. Load the washer with your clothes one by one loosely. When the washer goes through the complete cycle, unload it, and check one final time for any straggling garments.

To Dry or Not to Dry...

Make sure to read the labels before throwing your clothes in the dryer. Sometimes there may be garments that need to be air dried or put through the cycle on a low heat setting. Make sure to clean the lint trap off before you start the machine—you don't want to start a fire or anything! At the end of the cycle, remove the clothes promptly to avoid getting wrinkles.

Last Minute Tips

  • Don't leave your clothes unattended—Bring your favorite book or homework to do while you wait. You may be surprised at how quickly you can do three loads of laundry when you can do them all simultaneously!
  • To save money, air dry clothing items like sweaters, jeans, sweatshirts, and nicer tops—you'll be able to combine one or two loads from a washer into one load for the dryer. The dollars and cents add up quickly if you can start air drying your clothes.
  • Make sure to come to the Laundromat prepared with quarters (if that's what the machine takes) or cash to put on a laundry card. It's not very fun to get your laundry loaded into the washer and realize you don't have enough money to start it.

Information taken from:


Laundry in College....You don't have to take it to the cleaners, you can do it yourself! (pdf)