How to Do Laundry
We’re sure you already learned this at home, but just in case you need a reminder, here are the steps for doing laundry here at U of I.
1. Divide and conquer - Separate the colors and the whites, as well as the items that require normal wash v the delicate cycle. Check the tags if you’re not sure. Here’s a handy list of what the symbols on the tags mean. It’s also helpful to separate towels and sheets from clothing.
2. Be prepared - Gather up your supplies before you head out of your room. Make sure you have enough detergent and fabric softener plus any specialty detergents your loads require. Laundry is free in the residence halls, so don’t worry about bringing quarters!
3. Load up the machine - Put your separated loads into their machines, making sure to leave a little room. If the washer is overloaded, your clothes won’t get clean.
4. Add the detergent - If you’re using detergent pods, just toss them in the washer with your clothes. If you’re using liquid detergent, pull out the detergent slot on the front of the machine. Pour it in the compartment labeled for detergent. If you’re using liquid fabric softener, there’s a compartment for that, too.
5. Choose the right cycle - Remember that info you checked on the tags before? Choose the right cycle: Hot, Warm, Cold, Delicate or Permanent Press. Check the actual washers in your residence hall to see what cycles are available.
6. Press start - Before you walk away, make sure the machine has started and does not show an error message. This is also a good time to pause and set a timer on your phone to remind you when the wash will be done.
7. Switch from washer to dryer - Move your clothes from each washer into a dryer. Remove anything that shouldn’t be tumble-dried, like wool or delicate fabrics. When in doubt, check the tag! Take a good look to make sure there aren’t any socks or small items still stuck in the washer.
8. Add dryer sheets - If you didn’t use liquid fabric softener before, toss a sheet inside the dryer with your clothing now.
9. Choose the right cycle - Again, choose the right temperature for the load: High, Medium, Low, Delicate or Permanent Press. Check the actual dryers in your residence hall to see what cycles are available.
10. Press start - Make sure the dryer started up, set your timer and come back later. Laundry time is good study time!
11. Unload your clothes - When the dryer is done, unload your clothes into a laundry basket to take to your room or fold in the laundry room. Check again for socks and small items. Clean the lint trap before you leave!
12. Folding - Fold your clothes before they sit too long to prevent wrinkles. There are many methods — use whatever works best for you and fits into your drawers!
Unspoken rules of the laundry room
- Follow the instructions - Use the recommended amount of detergent, or you might end up with a sudsy mess. Don’t overload the machines or load them with anything except clothes and linens.
- Don’t leave your stuff in for too long - Set a timer to remind you to get your clothes. A couple minutes late is okay, but remember...
- After 15 minutes, you can move things - If someone’s laundry has been done for over 15 minutes and there are no more available washers or dryers, gently remove their things and place them on the counter or table.
- Leave some washers for others - Trying to do eight loads at once? Not a good way to make friends. Do laundry more often or split up loads on different days so you’re not taking up everything.
- Clean up after yourself - Check the machines for left-behind socks, or pens and change that might have been left in pockets. Clean out the lint trap after you’re finished with the dryer. Throw away any used dryer sheets.
- See something, say something - If a machine is broken, tell your resident assistant (RA) so that it can get fixed promptly.