The Mandatory College Freshman’s Guide to Doing Your Laundry Without Mommy
Laundry day. The weekly tradition dreaded by millions of young people around the world. When your mom took care of all your clothing-related chores, you didn’t realize how good you had it. Now that you’re a college freshman and the hamper is staring you down (if you’re even organized enough to own and use one properly), apparel has become a menace that threatens to kill your weekend buzz. But it doesn’t have to be this way! With a little preparation and foresight, you can turn this soulless chore into a bearable routine. We won’t promise that you’ll ever look forward to laundry day, but it doesn’t have to be the worst part of your week, either. This is the Mandatory College Freshman’s Guide to Doing Your Laundry Without Mommy.
Cover Photo: Hill Street Studios (Getty Images)
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Separate clean from dirty.
We know, we know. You're so busy that somehow all your clothes end up on the floor by Sunday afternoon. Make sure you don't waste time and money washing what's already clean, though. The sniff test will work here just fine.
Mark your territory.
Put on an intimidating air as you walk into the laundromat and claim your washers and dryers with a tough-guy attitude. Show no fear.
Make sure your bills are crisp.
The laundromat is grimy enough without you having to touch all the hard edges trying to smooth out your bills.
BYOC (Bring Your Own Coffee)
You don't want to ingest anything brewed at the laundromat.
Select your setting.
Yeah, there are a lot of choices for wash cycles. "Normal" will get you by most of the time, but if you have any delicate sweaters or fancy pants, try the gentle cycle. The washer is supposed to clean your clothes, not destroy them.
Use a moderate amount of detergent and bleach.
Those measuring caps they put on detergent and bleach bottles are totally useless. All they do is get gunked up. Just guesstimate how much you need and if you put in too much, the suds spilling from the washer or your stiff-ass clothes will clue you in.
Don't open the washer mid-cycle.
You want to keep all your limbs, right?
Don't stick your head in the machine to see what's wrong.
At least one-third of the machines at any given laundromat don't work. Instead of trying to diagnose the problem (and hurting yourself in the process), simply move on to another machine.
Bring something to do.
Waiting for your clothes to wash and dry is mind-numbingly dull. Make sure you have a device, a book, or a willing conversational partner nearby.
Get your cardio in.
What better place to practice your dance moves?
Be aware of your surroundings.
Those eye-level doors aren't messing around. Seek first aid if necessary.
Use fabric softener.
As tempted as you are to skip this step, don't. A nice chemical coating on your clothes keeps them static-free. It also makes the smoke coming out of your dryer vent smell oh-so-sweet. The whole neighborhood will know you're doing laundry.
The sooner you fold, the fewer wrinkles you'll have in your clothes. If you have the closet space, hang most of your stuff up. It's just easier.
Don't steal other people's panties.
It's just rude. There might not be much fabric to them, but those things are expensive.
When it's all said and done, you're going to be exhausted. But don't despair. You have a whole week to recover until the next laundry day.
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