My father told me that when I got to college, my laundry would start to misbehave. My clothes would no longer find their way into the hamper, rid themselves of stains and return neatly folded on my bed. I found myself shrinking shorts, creating pink tube socks with red dresses and virtually destroying my delicates. Because of this, I came up with a plan to be proficient in the art of laundry, which is here for you girls on CL: How To: Do Laundry.
This is how NOT to do laundry
DO NOT separate Whites from Colors: At school, not only do you have to pay for your own detergent and fabric softener, but you must also have quarters at the ready to dispense into the crowded, often mediocre working machines. Since many of us do not have that much change on hand, wash everything in cold water. The detergent will be adequate enough to clean all of your clothes, without staining your whites. Here is a tip: If you want your clothes to come out brighter, but cannot afford fancy laundry detergent, add ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide with a cap full of detergent. A big bottle costs just over a dollar at CVS and other major pharmacies, and your clothes come out looking like new.
DO NOT pack your laundry in the washer: We’re busy. Since we are constantly running from class to class, extra circular activities and what have you, we may neglect our laundry for long periods of time. But if you try to stuff all of your laundry into a tiny washer, your clothes will not get clean nor will they dry properly. Loosely put your laundry in the wash. If you are strapped for cash, try deciding what clothes need the most attention.
DO NOT throw all of your clothes in the hamper after one use: This will make your laundry pile up like crazy. Check out the When to Wash it Handbook at “Real Simple Magazine” to find out what clothes need to be washed immediately, and what can wait a few days.
MUST DO Laundry Essentials:
Read Care Labels: Silk and lamé tops do not fare well tossed in with your college hoodie and sweatpants. If it says dry clean only, it is dry clean only. If you have special items that need extra care, laundry mats are often located nearby or some schools even provide laundry services for a small fee.
If You Get a Bad Stain, Don’t Panic: Menstrual blood, sauce stains and wine can be some of the hardest stains to remove, here are some inexpensive tips to get rid of the tough ones:
For Food Stains: use Dawn or another dish soap agent. These products are designed to get tough food grime off of your dishes, and work just as well on your clothes. Apply a dab directly to the stained area and scrub with a toothbrush before throwing the item into to wash.
For Stains on Colors: use a small amount of laundry detergent and rub the fabric together on the affected area before putting it into the wash.
For Stains on Whites: DO NOT use Bleach. It will get your whites really white, but it will damage the clothes. Instead, apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain and let it sit for one minute before washing.
Laundry will never be as easy as it was at home, but with a few extra steps, it will really make differences in your budget and your clothes. As a final tip, don’t forget to clean the lint trap, every time! With this guide, you will be laundry pro in no time.