You know how it goes. It’s been about three weeks now and your dirty laundry is piling up. It’s starting to take over your closet or one part of your room and you’re down to all your ill-fitting clothes or your clothes you said you’d only wear during the warmer months. And those jeans you’ve been wearing for four days straight need to desperately be washed. You have to cave in and do laundry. Students avoid laundry for many reasons. Sometimes we don’t have time or the cash to do laundry. Laundry costs can really add up throughout the year and while a few colleges have started offering free laundry services to students, it really hasn’t caught on much. Here are some great tips to help you save money on laundry, detergent, and more.
Only Do Full Loads
You may want to just wear your favorite shirt tomorrow, but if you’re just washing a few clothing items, it may not be worth it. Generally all college dorm washing machines and dryers cost the same no matter how big the load is. If you’re only washing a few items, you definitely won’t be getting your money’s worth. Instead, it’s a good idea to do a large load. Larger loads will save you time and help save your college water and energy since it will be using less water and electricity per article of clothing. This will also help keep laundry costs down for the next year. If your school sees that more water and electricity is being used then they’re be more likely to raise the costs for the next academic year. Remember not to overload washers or dryers either. This can sometimes damage the machines and it will sometimes take a second round to fully wash or dry your clothes.
Share with Friends
So back to the favorite shirt scenario. If you want to wear your favorite shirt tomorrow and need to wash it, there are some options. One thing I do is ask my roommates if they have a few clothing items they’d like washed at that time. I can usually find one or two friends to do laundry with. Of course, if they’re getting their clothes washed too, make sure they pitch in a little with a few quarters or maybe some detergent. This way you can save money, energy, and you’ll still get to have your favorite cleaned by tomorrow.
Don’t Use Too Much Detergent
Whenever I’m in the laundry room I see my fellow dorm mates using too much detergent. Many times they’ll pour several cups of detergent into the washing machines or use more than one sheet of fabric softener. While this will get your clothes extra clean, you’re pretty much washing your money away. The great thing about many detergents today is that they’re concentrated, so you can get away with using less. Also, if you do use too much detergent, it’s pretty likely the rinse cycle won’t get rid of all the soap that’s on your clothes and you’ll need to do another load without any soap at all. So just be mindful of how much laundry detergent you really need and follow the instructions on the bottle.
Dry cleaning should be a last resort for your favorite top, pants, or dress. Dry cleaning is both pretty expensive and detrimental to the environmental. However, it is necessary sometimes, especially since some clothes aren’t meant to be put into a washing machine. However, to save money, you can buy an at-home dry cleaning kit that will steam your clothes in any dryer. It’s a great option for college students because dorm clothing dryers work just as well and you don’t have to go to a dry cleaner and spend the money either.