It will all come out in the wash

A freshman’s guide to doing laundry in Whiteford Hall

Imagine you are a freshman in college, and everything is new and intimidating. The only thing you feel confident about is doing your laundry because you have been doing it for years. The only trouble is finding the laundry room.

Let’s say you find the laundry room, place your clothes in the washer, and return only to find that your machine is filled with someone else’s clothing. You double check to make sure you are at the right machine because you cannot imagine why someone would move your laundry or where your laundry might have gone.

So you start frantically opening the other washing machines and dryers in search of your clothing. After looking everywhere else, you finally look in the dusty, cobweb-ridden gap that lies between dryer 22 and washer 24. At last you have found your clothing, but it is in a sopping wet heap. Now not only do you feel completely down trodden and hopeless, but you have to start your load of wash all over again.

This situation is a very real phenomenon at college but not just for college freshmen. It can be a battle for all college students but there are ways to do it successfully and avoid pitfalls.

The easiest way to do your laundry is to collect all of your clothes in a bag or basket and take your detergent to the laundry room. When you get there you should scope out two vacant washing machines: one for your lights and the other for your darks. Be weary of putting your four quarters into the change slot before you put your clothes in the machine because it is a perfect opportunity for someone else to steal your machine. Once you have both of your loads situated in their proper machines, you will want to pour in the right amount of detergent, close the lid, and then select either the appropriate button on the machine. Now you are free of laundry stress for the next 26 minutes, which is when you have to brave the room again to switch your clothes into the dryer.

After 26 minutes pass, it is time to switch your wet clothes into the dryer. When you go down to the laundry room I hope you do not find them in a sopping heap on the dusty, dirty floor, as I have. Hopefully your clothes will still be in the washing machine and none of your colors bled on your whites. Go ahead and place them in two dryers. Now you have 60 minutes to relax until your clothes will be dry. Remember that jeans may take longer to dry than y our other clothes. If they come out a little damp, just hang them in your room to dry.

In an ideal situation, you would be able to get your clothes after exactly one hour so that you can collect them while they are still warm. There is nothing better then getting warm, fluffy laundry out of the machine on a cold day, where you may just feel like just crawling into bed and snuggling with your freshly washed laundry. Avoid this temptation because if you don’t fold your clothing right way, it will wrinkle. Also if you just force yourself to fold your clothes right away and put them away there is no risk of “repeat laundry”. “Repeat laundry” is when you have done laundry efficiently but decided to leave it in the hamper for a while, and then it gets to the point where you cannot remember where the dirty clothes end and the clean clothes begin. So you just decide to wash them all again to avoid wearing dirty clothes. This is not only a waste of money, but it can easily be avoided.

As a word of caution, it is not imperative that you get your clothes out of the wash exactly 26 minutes later or take your clothes out of the dryer at exactly 60 minutes, but it is important to be aware of how long they have been in there. If it is a bright, sunny day, then it’s unikely that there will be many people trying to do their laundry. But if it’s a rainy dreary Sunday, then there could be a made dash to do laundry, and in this case, you want to keep a closer eye on the time. You never know when the laundry terrorists will strike because of their impatience. Just make sure you make it back down to the dryer to get your clothes within an hour after they are done.