13 Steps To Successful Laundry

College life often brings a lot of firsts. Maybe it’s the first time you’ve had so much freedom. Maybe it’s the first time you’ve shared a room. For many, it’s the first time you’ve had to do your own laundry. With mom hundreds of miles away, it’s time to learn to do it yourself. But don’t fret! To make sure your clothes don’t end up ruined or smelling like a garbage dump, follow these 13 easy steps:

  1. Read the care instructions on the label of your clothes to make sure they’re machine washable.
  2. Sort your laundry into separate piles: one for whites, one for brights, one for darks, one for towels and one for blacks.
  3. Make sure that all zippers are closed, and buttons and snaps are fastened to ensure that the snagging doesn’t ruin your clothes.
  4. Apply a stain remover to any spots.
  5. Put the clothes in the washer and add a cap full of detergent. You can also add fabric softener if you’d like.
  6. For whites and blacks, set the water temperature to cold. For lights, darks and towels, set it to warm.
  7. Set the cycle. You’ll want to use the regular cycle for most loads, but for more delicate pieces, go with a gentle cycle.
  8. Close the lid and start the washer. Expect the cycle to take around 35 minutes.
  9. Transfer the clothes to your dryer. Some pieces like heavy sweaters and delicate underwear may need to be hung to dry so make sure to read the care instructions.
  10. Add a dryer sheet for softness and make sure the lint tray is clear.
  11. Set the drying temperature. Low is good for delicates. Use high for cottons and medium for everything else.
  12. Close the lid and start the dryer. Expect the drying cycle to take about an hour.
  13. Remove the clothes immediately after the cycle’s finished to avoid wrinkles and either hang or fold them.
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