Having to do your own washing at uni can seem like a pretty mountainous challenge…but you won’t be able to bring your washing home forever! To help make things just a little bit easier, we’ve gathered some of our top tips for getting your clothes clean whilst you’re away at university:
Separating your washing
The first – and arguably most important – step in doing your laundry is separating it into lights, darks, and different temperatures. Take a look at the labels on your clothes to see what kind of wash they need. Towels and bedsheets are usually fine on hotter washes, but some fabrics can shrink in warmer temperatures so should be put on a cool wash.
You can save the hassle of sorting your washing with our lights and darks laundry bin – so each load is ready to go without having to sort it first.
Top tip: If you can’t be bothered to sort your washing into colours, throw a colour catcher in the machine with your washing to prevent colour runs.
If you get a spot of curry, ink or red wine on your clothes, make sure you treat the stain as soon as possible for the best chance of getting it out. It’s always a good idea to keep a stain remover to hand in your cleaning cupboard or kitchen.
Before you treat your clothes, scoop off any excess and blot the stain by gently patting (not rubbing) with kitchen roll or a clean tea towel to remove as much of the wine or sauce as you can. Then rinse (or if possible, soak) in cold water – make sure it’s cold though, as warm or hot water will set the stain more!
Apply a suitable stain remover before you stick your clothes in the wash. We like the Vanish stain remover pre wash bar, which is great for all-round stain removal, and the Stain Devils survival kit which has specially designed treatments for more specific stubborn stains such as ink, cooking oil and red wine.
Before you wash
Fasten any zips and buttons, and tie together the ends of drawstrings to stop them coming out in the wash (they’re a nightmare to feed back through!).
Turn all your clothes inside out to protect the outer fabric and any designs or decorations.
Empty all the pockets, making sure there are no pens, tissues, pennies, or mobile phones hidden away. Also, beware of hair grips as they can break the washing machine if they get inside!
Double check the label on your favourite clothes for any special washing instructions (like ‘dry clean only’ or ‘hand wash only’) to avoid damaging them.
Detergent and fabric softener
You can’t wash clothes without detergent, so make sure you’ve got plenty before you load up your laundry basket and head down to the washing machines!
You can use whichever detergent and fabric softener you prefer, but if you’re taking powder it might be easier to put a smaller amount into a plastic tub (rather than carrying the whole box with you!). You might find it easier to use liquitabs, which you can just chuck in the machine with your washing.
Using university washing machines
University halls of residence usually have a communal laundrette, with large coin-operated washing machines and dryers, which can be a very different experience to the ‘normal’ washing machine back home.
These are generally straight-forward to use, and will have instructions on the front of the machine – just make sure you actually read them before you start!
The wash will probably take a while, so take a magazine, book, or maybe a bit of uni work to keep you occupied. If you’d rather go away and come back, take a note of when the wash is due to finish and make sure you’re back before then so that other people can use the machine – you don’t want to come back and find your wet washing unceremoniously emptied onto the floor (it can and does happen!).
Top tip: Make sure the washing machine is empty before you use it and check any detergent drawers. If someone’s left a black sock behind and you’re washing whites you might end up with a load of dirty-grey sheets.
Storing and carrying your laundry
Our pop-up laundry hampers are perfect for your dirty washing if you want to save space (as you can collapse them when not in use) and they have handy carry-handles, too.
If you’d prefer a laundry basket for carrying your clean washing, have a look at our flexible duck egg laundry basket or simple purple hipster laundry basket – both are designed for the comfortable carrying of heavy washing.
Hanging it out to dry
In student accommodation it can be hard to find the space to hang up your washing. So why not use our fold-away airer instead of having to cover all your furniture with damp clothes? It provides plenty of hanging space for at least a couple of loads of washing, and folds away neatly to save space in your room.
Shop our full range of laundry essentials online at wilko.com.