For most people, doing laundry on a Sunday afternoon is not their definition of a good time. Is it fun to haul a hamper full of clothes down to the basement of a residence hall and spend two hours sorting, washing, drying, and folding? Absolutely not. Is it a necessary chore? Unfortunately, yes. (Febreeze only goes so far, people!) Here are some tips that will help you get your laundry done in a timely manner.
Sort It Out
Whites, darks, colors; what goes where? I advise sorting your colors before going to the machines; then you will have everything separated and ready to wash. You have probably received a lot of free, colorful t-shirts throughout the year or have a plethora of reds on your hands. I would recommend washing your red IU shirts once or twice before mixing them with your other colors. If you are unsure of what cycle to use and can’t find the instructions on the tag, go with the delicate cycle. Almost anything can be washed in cold water, and it’s more eco-friendly.
Check, Wash, Then Check Again
One load of wash in the residence hall costs $1.25. The wash time depends on the cycle. Cold water takes less time than a warm cycle, but overall they last between 20 and 30 minutes. Before loading in your laundry, check to see if the washer you’re using works. If the machine displays “150” on its timer, that usually means the washer is functioning.
The detergent slot is easy to use, but if you want to be quicker, toss a detergent pod in with the load. Beware: the pods sometimes get caught in the crevice between the machine and the door, causing the soap to run straight to the drain instead of through your clothes. (That crevice may also gobble up your socks, so check to make sure you have everything before switching over to the dryer!) Pods can also explode on an article of clothing without fully disintegrating, and the waxy substance will harden in the dryer if you don’t catch it.
Don’t let this happen to you!
A single dryer load takes one hour (no matter the cycle) and costs $1.00. One thing I’ve noticed with the residence hall dryers is that it’s always a gamble whether they will work and fully dry your laundry. Sometimes the heat doesn’t function if the machine is out of order, and there isn’t a foolproof way to determine that until you try to use it. Other times, the load will only fully dry if you put it on the highest temperature setting. Here’s how to decrease your chances of damp clothing: if you have a big pile of laundry or you’re drying towels and sheets, separate them into two different machines so they can dry more thoroughly. If you are unsure about drying delicates, either use the delicate cycle or just hang up these articles around your room to air dry.
Don’t forget the dryer sheets! The last thing you want is static. When you take the laundry out, double check for stranded socks, especially if you’re short and can’t see inside the top dryer. Also, please be courteous and use your dryer sheet to clean out the lint tray before the next person uses the machine.
Paying to use the machines is super easy when you use your Crimson Card. The money comes out of the pre-loaded amount you put on the card, not from I-Bucks. The machines take quarters if you’d rather pay that way, but it does cost 25¢ more than normal.
It’s no fun to bring down your laundry just to find out that all the machines are taken. Luckily, the RPS Laundry Status app on One.IU shows how many washers and dryers are available. It has the estimated wait time for machines in use and can even notify you when the next machine will be available.
RPS Laundry Status
Doing laundry can take a while, especially because you can’t stop the cycles early. Make the most of your waiting time: do homework, complete other chores, or go get food. Whatever you do, don’t leave your laundry in the machine long after the cycle is over, because other people need to get their laundry done as well.
The best way to get laundry out of the way is to schedule a time each week or however often you need to do it. I would avoid weekend afternoons because that’s usually a busy time, but weekday mornings and early afternoons are usually promising. If you think your schedule just doesn’t allow the time to do laundry, or maybe you just don’t want to do it, campus does offer a laundry service in which you drop off your load each week and pick up the clean clothes later. This is definitely a time saver, but it is another hefty expense.
There you go – some helpful tips to use on the dreaded laundry day. Just remember: the sooner you go do it, the faster you’ll have clean clothing!