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08 January 2014
The Student Guide To Doing Laundry
The Student Guide To Doing Laundry

Being at university, there are a lot of things you’re expected to know how to do for yourself. Most of the simple day to day tasks or chores that you never really paid attention to at home will suddenly become very daunting and even though it happens to almost everyone,  you will most likely feel a little embarrassed when you have to call your mum up just to ask how to work the washing machine. So to avoid that dreaded phone call, here are the basics to doing your washing.
First things first, separate your laundry. There is nothing worse than taking your favourite shirt out of the washer to find that instead of coming out white, you have somehow managed to dye it pink. Everyone separates their laundry to different extents with the majority separating whites, lights, darks and delicates and others separating into fabric types and even the weight of the clothing as well. How you separate your washing is completely up to you but make sure you do if you want to keep the accidental dyeing to a minimum. Once you’ve done this, the next obvious thing to do would be to just throw it in the drum but don’t even think about doing that before you check all of your pockets. It may seem like a really tedious job but that one time you forget to check will most probably be the time you left a tenner in your jeans or you have a pen in your trousers and it explodes all over your supposedly clean clothes. In order to get the most efficient wash, ensure there is enough room for your clothes, water and detergent to move about freely.

There are many different types of detergent you can chose from and each has its own unique qualities. A lot of students just stick to what their parents use at home so they can still have the smell that they’re familiar with. If you want to be adventurous and find your own favourite though, then there are plenty of options on the market. Powdered detergents tend to be cheaper in the long run as you can get a lot more washes out of a single purchase, whereas tablet detergents are a lot more convenient. On the back of any detergent packet are instructions and guide lines on how much is sufficient to use in different circumstances. Generally, if you live somewhere where the water is hard, you will need slightly more detergent than somewhere with softer water. You will also need more if you have a heavier load or for particularly dirty or stained clothing. Not only is the amount of detergent and fabric softener you use important in maximising the efficiency of the wash, but the temperature at which you put the cycle on plays an equally important role. Most laundrette washers will have pre-set temperatures for whites, colours, delicates and a number of other options. If not, you want to wash your whites on a much higher temperature than colours to ensure you get all the dirt from them. Once you’ve put in your detergent and selected the right option, it is then out of your hands.

After the washing cycle has ended, you need to dry your clothes. To save money, a lot of students use drying racks and let it air dry and if you have any delicates you will need to do this anyway. Because most of the dryers at university laundrettes are on timers, you should make sure you don’t overload the drum to allow air to circulate and thoroughly dry your clothes; otherwise you’ve just paid for damp clothes. On most machines, there is a lint filter that catches all of the little bits that come off your clothes and this should be cleaned before you use it. As soon as the cycle is over, you want to fold or hanger your clothes while they are still warm so the creases are down to a minimum and the less creases, the more likely you are to get away without ironing it at all. Just note that zips and buttons are hot when they come out of the dryer and you will most likely give yourself a surprise if you aren’t aware.

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