Lifehack is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
Reality really hits you when you move out of Mom and Dad's and head to college. As if being a broke college kid wasn't hard enough, you have to cook, clean, do laundry, and keep yourself alive. Adulting is no small feat. After years of Mom's exceptional ability to wash and fold your clothes, doing laundry in college is one of the things many college students dread.
In college, students not only have to worry about getting their laundry done, but they have to worry about navigating a laundry room with other college students as well. This can be a dreadful task when every college student wants to do their laundry on the same day at the same time. Luckily, there are some laundry hacks that make college life a little easier, and they are worth noting for any beginner. Just know that if all else fails, you can always call Mom.
Set a timer.
When you’re doing laundry in a laundry room as opposed to in your own home, setting a timer is helpful because people will get angry when you leave your clothes in the washing machine or dryer while they’re waiting. Also, this will help you to remember to go back and switch your clothes so they don’t sit in the washing machine and mildew. It’s very easy to forget that you’re doing laundry when the laundry room is down the hall from you, or even in a separate building. By setting a timer, the second you put your clothes in, you won’t have to think about it.
Go during off hours.
Laundry routines for college students seem to all fall during the exact same days and times, which can be a real stressor when everyone is already so crunched for time in their college years. One of the best laundry hacks for college students is to find a way to change up your laundry routine from everyone else and do your laundry on off hours, so that you can remove one factor out of the stressful laundry equation. If you do your laundry on a Monday morning when you happen to not have class, you’ll avoid the pressure of wondering if there are washers and dryers available for use.
Use a lingerie bag.
Using a lingerie bag for your more delicate items, such as your bras, but also the items you want to be able to find like socks, underwear, and headbands is a great laundry hack. Lingerie bags will keep your clothes protected and separate from the rest of your items without you having to run a completely separate load of laundry. Some items do not need to be dry cleaned, yet they do need slightly more care than the rest of your clothing. Lingerie bags are a great way to take care of your clothes without too much extra work.
Clear the lint out.
Clearing the lint out of the dryer is one laundry hack that many college students forget about often. If you don’t clear the lint out, your clothes will not dry properly, and it can also be a safety hazard. Clearing the lint allows the dryer to filter air through the machine and get that warm air to your clothing so that they can be dried effectively. Along with cleaning the lint out, you can also try adding a dry towel to the dryer with your wet clothes if you want to add some extra absorption into the mix.
Separate your colors.
Separating your colors is definitely something almost all college students ignore when doing laundry out of pure laziness. If you don’t separate your colors when doing laundry however, you will regret it later on. This is one of the best tips and tricks you will ever learn because you can end up ruining a lot of good clothes this way. The reason for this is simply that your light colors will end up mixing with your darks and your dark colors will fade faster. It’s better to keep them separate so your clothes last longer.
Don’t dry everything.
Drying clothes that shouldn’t be tossed in the dryer is one of the easiest ways to ruin them. Depending on the material, many clothes will shrink in the high heat of the dryer, so read the labels of your clothing first before throwing it into the dryer. If you’re unsure of an item, air dry it to be safe. Once an item shrinks, there’s nothing you can do to go back, so don’t risk it.
Don’t overfill the machines.
Don’t overfill the washing machine or the dryer when you’re doing laundry no matter how badly you want to save time or money. Similar to throwing all your colors into one load, in the long run, this will not be helpful. If you overfill the washer, your clothes will not be cleaned as well. In some cases, they won’t be cleaned at all, and you will have to rewash them anyway. If you overfill the dryer, it is very likely that the majority of your clothes will still be wet when you take them out, and you’ll have to dry them again or leave them to air dry. This is wasted time on your hands, so don’t overfill in the first place, and you won’t have this issue.
If you aren't sure, use cold water.
A good laundry hack to know is that cold water is used on darks, while hot water is used on lights. However, if you’re unsure, it’s always best to use cold water just to be safe. Cold water will keep your clothes from bleeding into one another.
Fold clothes right away.
Ah so that was Mom's secret to those wrinkle-free tees! Folding your clothes right out of the laundry basket seems like a very daunting task for most college students. You’ve already put in all that work of washing and drying the clothes and now you have to fold them? Seems like so much extra time. However, if you fold your clothes right away, you could avoid wrinkles, thus avoiding ironing. To speed up the process even further, there are lifehacks to remove wrinkles without an iron that include shoving in aluminum foil balls, dryer sheets, or ice cubes with your clothes when they are in the machine.
Know laundry room etiquette.
Laundry room etiquette is a real thing in college dorms, and it’s one of those laundry hacks that will keep you drama free. If you take people’s clothes out of the dryer, put them into laundry baskets. Don’t remove other people’s wet clothes from the dryer—just wait. Also, be courteous and set a timer so no one is waiting on you in the first place! Be quick, be clean, and get the job done. Simple.
Knowing tips and tricks will make your college experience a breeze, and laundry is definitely one of the things you should know before you leave home. It shouldn’t be so bad of a chore if you do it the right way anyway. Take our word for it. And Mom's.