Some people just don’t get how to do laundry.
Usually those people don’t know how to do laundry because they’ve had someone to do it for them.
It’s actually not that hard!
Start by separating your clothes into lights and darks.
Okay, I’ll admit it, I NEVER separate my lights and darks. Every season when I switch out my clothes I say to myself “This is the season you grow up and take the time to take proper care of your clothing.”
Then I shrug my shoulders and just put everything into the washing machine.
Separating your lights and darks helps keep your lights from losing their crispness, or so I hear.
To freshen up your whites, run a hot wash with equal parts (one cap full) bleach and detergent. Make sure to add the bleach to the water and allow it to mix in BEFORE you add your clothing. This will ensure that you don’t have bleach spots all over your favourite shirt.
Remember, bleach is strong stuff so don’t use too much. One time I had a stain and let my shirt soak in a bowl of bleach over night. When I went to take it out, all of the threading had eroded and the shirt fell apart.
If you don’t separate your colours, make sure you wash on a cold setting. I usually make it a ‘light’ rather than a ‘heavy’ wash because I think it has less wear on the clothes and they still come out just as clean.
A ‘hot’ or ‘warm’ setting will fade your colours (and could transfer the darker colours onto your light clothes.
The time to use a ‘hot’ wash cycle is when washing your bedding. Think about the amount of time you spend in your bed. You probably spend more time in your bed than you do in your clothes and you wash it less frequently (kind of gross). Wash on ‘hot’ to make sure it’s completely clean.
How often you wash your clothes is really up to your own personal taste.
If you are a neat freak like myself, you may wash your clothes after every wear. The pros of this are that you will have clean clothes. The cons are that your clothes will wear down faster and you are not treating the environment very well (washing uses water and energy).
If you are a dirtbag, you probably just do a ‘smell test’ and wash when needed. I’m kidding! You’re not a dirtbag… probably. The truth is that not washing your jeans for a long period of time isn’t actually that dirty. A kid from the University of Alberta wore his jeans for 15 months and found that there were no more bacteria on the jeans than he’d found after 2 weeks. Also, the bacteria found were harmless to human health.
See? It only SEEMS dirty!
That being said, the dude admitted to storing them in the freezer to keep them from smelling.
I suggest washing more frequently.
If you move into a dorm, you face a bigger challenge than cleaning your clothes…you face the challenge of other people cleaning their clothes.
Looking back on my first year I can think of many times when I was furious over someone else’s washing habits.
Some students would leave their clothes in the wash for days!
This is not okay and it backs up everyone else’s laundry time… very selfish so don’t do it!
That being said, people should be allowed a few hours to do their laundry.
A lot of times I would find notes left on machines from an angry student who’s laundry had been removed from the machines while they were gone. It feels like a complete violation of privacy when a stranger manhandles your unmentionables.
If you’re moving to a new place or residence, try to get a place with either lots of machines, or your own. I swear someone must have washed their cat for all the hair I found in a machine once… gross.
It makes you wonder how clean your clothes are getting after all.
Other Laundry Tips:
Make sure to wash new clothes that are brightly coloured only with darker coloured clothes. New items are far more likely to bleed and you don’t want to ruin your other stuff in the machine.
Wash jeans (especially dark denim) inside out. This will help the colour fade less in each wash.
Invest in a detergent for darker clothes – though it might be a little extra money it will help keep your black stuff looking black rather than grey.
Pay attention to instructions! I usually ignore those “dry clean only” labels but they’re there for a reason! I’ve ruined many a sweater and shortened the lifespan of many clothes because I just say “to hell with it!” and throw everything in the machine. If you invest in nice clothes, take care of them. They’ll look better and last longer.
Elastic is heat sensitive so if you have spandex or lycra in your clothes (yoga pants for instance) avoid at all costs putting them in the drier. Extreme heat will vastly weaken the strength of the fabric and they’ll get holes or threadbare much faster if you do anything other than hang dry them.
Invest in a drying rack! University laundry machines are often coin operated or cost money. If you always hang your clothes to dry, you’ll save a bundle. My university drier cost two dollars a load. Let’s say I did laundry every week over the course of four years – that would have cost me over four hundred dollars for something that you can get done for FREE! Save your dollars for books and beers not lame-o laundry.