college laundry guide

A Student’s Guide to Doing Laundry

Posted on September 14, 2021 by Steven Toltz

“Oh the Places You’ll Go, Today is Your Day.

The Mountains are Calling, so get on Your Way…” 

– Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go

Congratulations! You have recently graduated from high school and soon, you’ll be heading to college and/or on your own for the first time. A new chapter full of new friends, new adventures and yes…new responsibilities. One of those responsibilities will likely include doing your own laundry. Take this fun (and short) quiz and find out just how much you know about doing laundry and then continue reading to find the most frequent questions we receive from students just like you. 

What Kind of Laundry Detergent Should I Use?

Liquid. Powder. Pods. There are several choices of laundry detergent from which to choose. The washing machines on most college campuses are typically industrial, so liquid detergent is your easiest option. However, pod packets have been growing in popularity. If you are using packets, make sure to put them directly in the washing machine BEFORE throwing in your clothes. One of the biggest mistakes we see is people placing the pods in the washing machine’s detergent drawer, leading to a big mess in the drawer and wet clothes that haven’t been washed.  

Do I Really Need to Separate My Clothes?

The short answer is, “yes.” We want our clothes to last as long as they can…you know that brand new white shirt you bought from your favorite store a few weeks ago? Washing it with dark colors will lead to a shirt that is no longer white. It may add a few minutes to your laundry day, but it’s a simple process. We recommend separating clothes into two piles: whites and darks/colors.

Warm water prevents colors from running, while still getting your threads clean. But if you are short on time, putting your clothes in cold water is a reliable option. 

How Much Laundry Should I Put In A Load?

Do NOT try to put all of your clothes into one load. Not only will they not get cleaned, but you could wind up breaking the washing machine. It’s likely that doing two loads of laundry will suffice, but if you see that the door or lid of the washing machine won’t close, you’ve probably put too many clothes in. 

How Much Detergent Should I Use?

Now that you have separated your clothes and placed the first load into the washing machine, it’s time to add the laundry detergent. As mentioned above, the washing machine you’ll be using is likely an industrial size one. That doesn’t mean you should use more laundry detergent, however. That means you should use about a quarter of the detergent you have seen someone else use at home. Using too much detergent will result in a lot of soapy foam, making it difficult for the washer to properly rinse out.

*Laundry Detergent Tip: When it comes to detergent, less is more.

From the Washing Machine to the Dryer

Before you throw all of your wash in the dryer and press start, it’s important to note that are clothes that should not be dried. Our dry cleaning experts highly recommend that you read the tags inside your clothes and separate anything that cannot go in the dryer. This includes bras with underwires, lace and silk material, bathing suits, and wool sweaters. Drying clothes that should be air dried can lead to permanent shrinkage and possible unraveling. 

For the clothing that can be dried, we suggest setting the timer for roughly one hour. Some loads however may completely dry within 45 minutes, so check back or keep an eye on them. 

Wash & Fold at Dependable Cleaners

We know how busy college life can be. There may be weeks when you can’t find the time you need to do your laundry. Dependable Cleaners offers Wash & Fold Services at our numerous locations along the Denver Front Range (and you don’t even need to separate your whites from your darks). Learn more about our Wash & Fold Services and how we can help you to stay on top of that growing pile of clothes. We promise to keep your white shirts from turning pink. 

Find a location near you today!

Save more time with our free Pickup & Delivery service.