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College brings about a lot of changes—including potentially being solely responsible for your laundry for the first time! Even if you’re already a laundry pro, doing laundry in a dorm is a different experience than using your home washer and dryer. Here’s some advice for how to best plan your laundry routine—and what to do when life gets in the way!

The first thing you will want to do when planning your college laundry routine is get a laundry bag or basket. Look for a bag with handles or a strap that’s easy to carry. The dorm laundry room may be on another floor, so try to balance practicality with aesthetics when choosing what to carry your laundry in! Instead of buying heavy plastic jugs of detergent, try Dropps Laundry Pods and Fabric Softener Pods. Dropps are small but concentrated, meaning you need just one pod per load. Just toss one in your pocket, head to the laundry room, then toss it in the drum!

Try to do laundry at off peak hours. There’s nothing worse than running out of clothes and finding every machine is full! Evenings and weekends are prime laundry hours. Try to set aside a few hours on a free weekday morning or afternoon to do your laundry. You’ll want to stick nearby so you can move your clothes from the washer to the dryer, but you don’t need to stay in the laundry room. A 20-30 minute wash cycle is a great time to get some focused study time in, or finish that reading that’s due tomorrow! The dryer can take a bit longer, but you can speed up the drying time by adding one of our XL Wool Dryer Balls

Odds are the machines in your dorm will be different than the ones you’re used to. You may be able to swipe a card to pay for your laundry, or you may need to use cash—so start saving those quarters! Before doing your first load of laundry, take a look at the different settings that are available. Make sure to check your clothing for washing instructions and select accordingly. We recommend cold water to reduce energy usage. An estimated 75 to 90% of all energy your washes uses goes to heating up the water, so this small change can go a long way! Using cold water is also less likely to cause fading or shrinking, making it a great choice overall.

What if I run out of clothes and don’t have time to do laundry?

No worries—it’s happened to the best of us! Sometimes cramming for midterms takes priority over chores, or you discover that the outfit you were dying to wear hasn’t made it out of the laundry bag. Your secret weapon in these cases? Hand washing! Hand washing your clothes is quick and easy—perfect for when you need to freshen up just a few items. You can hand wash your clothes in a bucket or basin, if you have one—but your sink will work just as well! First, give your sink a quick rinse to make sure it’s clean. Next, fill the sink with cold or warm water. You want to fill the sink before you add your laundry, as running high pressure water through your clothes can stretch them! Add a Small Loads Laundry Pod, which are perfectly portioned for handwashing emergencies, and allow the pod to dissolve and the detergent to mix in the water. Soak and swish your clothes in the water for a few minutes, then drain the sink and rinse your clothes in clean water. Voila! Your clothes will be so fresh and so clean—and ready to wear so fast!

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