For many students, going to university is the first time they need to do laundry themselves. Before now, your mom or dad may have taken care of everything. It’s easy to feel daunted by the different fabric conditioners and powders, the worry of mixing whites and colors and dealing with different settings.
Have Different Baskets
You can get pop-up baskets from Poundland to put in your room. Get two or three so you can keep your clothes separate. Some people choose lights, darks and colors, while others are happy to put darks and colors together. Whatever you do, just keep the lights separate to avoid colors running.
The different baskets will make organizing your laundry easier. You can just take one basket down with you, get it done and then take it back up. You’ll likely find your colors and darks fill up quicker than your lights, so you’ll do them more often.
Before putting anything into your laundry baskets, check the pockets! You don’t want to find out you’re washing a tissue with your clothes, or even a needed £5 note! It’s also worth closing all the fasteners, except buttons.
Bio vs. Non Bio Debates
Unless you have sensitive skin, bio laundry options probably won’t do you much harm. They’re cheaper, so you can save money with them. If you do have delicate skin or conditions, then non-bio detergents are the way to go. We have non-bio now because we have a child with softer skin, but when I was in university I chose bio options to be cheap.
Now it’s the case of powder vs. tablets vs. pouches. This really is a personal choice. Powders are more likely to be cheaper, and you can often get more washes out of them. Look on the boxes for the number of washes you get, and then look at the price to how you get more washes for your money.
Fabric conditioners will come in liquid form in most cases. These can be good but aren’t necessary. If you’re looking to save money, avoid them for now. If you have money left over, bulk buying is definitely worthwhile. We always get the larger bottles when they’re on offer because they can last for months.
Pick a Lower Temperature Wash
Our washing machine as a “quick wash” setting, which is great for most needs. It saves money and gets through the loads we have quickly. When I was in university, I put everything on a quick wash. The temperature is usually low.
You want to avoid shrinking anything, so stay away from high temperature washes. Most clothing labels will tell you the preferred temperature, which is usually either 30C or 40C. 30C washes are excellent for most needs. The only time I needed a warmer wash was when I was dealing with my military kit! Most students won’t need to worry about that.
Check Labels Before You Buy
Look at the labels of clothing before you buy it. This will help you keep your laundry simple. Avoid clothing that says dry cleaning or hand washing only. They take up more time and cost more money.
You may also want to avoid buying items that require ironing or need to dry flat. You can’t avoid everything, of course. After all, you’ll need a couple of shirts for your suits for presentations, job interviews and placement interviews.
The drying method is especially worth looking at. Hanging a “dry flat” item will just lead to it stretching. Tumble drying something that needs to dry naturally will lead to shrinking.
Make It a Weekly Chore
It’s easy to leave your laundry until you have nothing left. One of my biggest student laundry tips—in fact, even a tip now—is to make it a weekly chore. I actually have it as something to do every other day because of the amount of clothes we have (three, soon to be four, of us).
By making it a weekly chore, you know that you will get everything cleaned regularly. You’ll not have the issue of running out of clean underwear!
Also make putting it all away part of your weekly chore. The worst thing you can do is leave it in the basket and then have to rake through it every morning. When everything is put back in drawers, you know where it all is.
Hopefully your laundry will now become an easier task. It doesn’t have to be a minefield. These tips helped me at university and still help now.