It’s time to tackle that floordrobe and get some valuable lessons for life as we take on laundry! Getting your clothes washed can be a daunting task for the uninitiated and there are a few pitfalls to avoid, but we here at Help! I’m a Student are about to take you on a magical journey through all things detergent and spin cycles.
- Get it sorted
Unless you’re a member of the Addams Family (or our own Madi Davis) you’re unlikely to have an entirely black wardrobe to deal with, so it’s important to make sure you get your clothes divvied up to avoid the dreaded colour run.
The best way to divide your clothes is like this:
- White clothes
- Colourful clothes
(NB: check the labels on your clothes to see what kind of washing they’ll survive, otherwise you’ll end up with some ruined clobber)
- Turn out your pockets
The last thing you want is to forget that important note or £10 in a pair of jeans only to find them ruined by the unrelenting force of the washing machine. So don’t forget to double check any and all pockets so you don’t get that horrible sinking feeling halfway through the second rinse…
- Chemical Bothers
It’s time to start adding detergents! You can get these in all shapes sizes and forms now, and they all have their own easy to follow instructions for use. For ease of use we recommend tabs, since the amount is already made up for you and you can just fling it in with your wash. If you want to get that extra comfort, you can also add fabric softener (make sure you check the amount!) into the washing machine’s drawer.
- Hot or Cold?
Whatever product you choose will tell you exactly what temperature it works best at, though the safest way to think of it is the colder the better, since hot washes can shrink clothes down if you’re not careful. Plus it’s that bit nicer on the energy bill when you get your own place!
- Don’t Overdo It
Now we get to the whole point for this hassle, get your clothes in the machine and get washing! Only piece of advice here is, don’t put too much in at once. It’ll just end up with a lot of clothes not washed properly and can get a bit unpleasant. Think of laundry day as a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time and it’ll be worth it.
- Dry Hard
Now you’ve got your clothes nice and clean, what next? It’s no good to just hang around with a pile of soggy scants and hope for the best, so you have a few options. On a sunny day, if you’re in a place suited for such activity, you can always hang your washing out on a line and let Mr Sun do his thing to get your clothes nice and dry (at the mercy of winds and/or birds desperate for the lav).
For everything else however, there’s the humble tumble dryer. First up you want to make sure your dryer is fit for purpose, so you want to check the lint trap (found on the bottom of the dryer, it should pull out) and empty anything on it into a bin. This is quite important to avoid things like fire. Once you’re ready, throw your wet clothes into the dryer and get it to the right setting.
Before you know it you’ll have clean, dry clothes to keep you going. For those added hassles, like creases, we’ll have to explore a whole other side of laundry-doing, but that’s for another time…