Laundry tips: Keeping your duds clean

While it may sound remedial to some new University of Colorado students, the prospect of spending the next several months without the option of handing over a weekly basket of dirty laundry to mom can seem daunting.

“We’ve seen it all in the residence hall laundry rooms,” said John Fox, CU’s assistant director of residence life. “From students not using enough detergent to students using way too much — and even shrinking up, fading out or completely changing the color of their clothes.”

So for those of you who don’t want to see your favorite outfit turn into your youngest sibling’s favorite hand-me-down, pay attention.

Here are a few tips that will make laundry in the residence halls a breeze:

Basic do’s and don’ts

First of all, don’t wait until you’re wearing your last pair of clean undies to cue you to start a load of laundry.

According to Fox, one of the most common problems is students overstuffing the machines to the point that nothing actually gets clean.

“Sometimes students will just stuff the machines so full of clothes that all they do is turn into a big, wet mass,” Fox said.

Instead, build it into your schedule to do a couple of smaller loads every week, and you’ll smell daisy fresh all semester.

Next, read your labels.

Like anything in life, the best way to not screw up is to follow the directions. And, thankfully, when it comes to laundry, they’re sewn right onto your clothes.

Read the tags to learn if anything needs any special attention (i.e., “Dry Clean Only”) and sort accordingly.

Changing change

At just a dollar for every wash cycle and $1.50 for every dry cycle, Fox said that doing laundry is so inexpensive that it can be somewhat of a hassle to keep single bills and quarters handy for when you’re finally ready to do the wash.

So rather than worrying about breaking bills and making change, Fox suggested a third option that is tailor-made to convenience CU students.

“Students can just use their Campus Cash cards right there in the laundry room, that way they don’t have to worry about saving up change,” Fox said.

Just swipe your card, punch the number of the machine you want to use, and you’re good to go.

Laundry etiquette

No matter where you choose to do your laundry, the first rule of laundry room etiquette is to pay attention to when you’ll need to remove your clothes from the machine.

This way, you’re not holding up the line and you won’t have to worry about anyone removing them for you.

Next, according to Fox, is, “If you do have to remove someone’s items, be respectful.”

Laying someone’s clothes out for them on a table is far better than heaping them in a pile on the floor somewhere. Just think about how you would want someone to leave your clothes if you forgot them, and do that.

Other options

Local cleaners abound for students in need of professional attention for tough stains — or, for those who are just plain too lazy to do their own laundry, you can always consider giving Lazy Bones a try.

“We pick the laundry up from the dorms or wherever the student lives,” said Charles Johnson, Lazy Bones’ general manager and a CU alum. “Then we wash it, dry it, fold it and bring it right back to them.”

So in case you still can’t manage to get by without mom when it comes to getting your clothes clean — even after reading this — you can still hand them off to somebody … it will just cost you a few extra dollars.

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