College, as you’ve probably been told a thousand times, is a time for new experiences, trying new things, having adventures and so on. People never tell you what they’re talking about when they say “new experiences,” but I can tell you, they are most definitely, without a doubt talking about doing laundry. You’d be surprised at how many people have never had to do their laundry before coming to college; I know I didn’t. I didn’t want to wait until my 20s to learn how to do my laundry, although Rachel from FRIENDS made it seem cool. I actually had to call my mom to have her explain how to do laundry over the phone. Evidently, there are many ways to do laundry and all of them work pretty well. Heed my advice, so no one laughs at you while you’re standing in front of the washer and dryer on the phone with your mom asking what the difference is between using hot and cold water.
- Unnecessarily Complicated Way: With this method of doing laundry, you wash different items separately. You have to wash your shirts in one load, your towels in a different load, your undergarments in another, and maybe you can throw in your jeans and socks together if the planets are aligned the right way and pigs have gained the ability to fly. This is one way to ensure that no damage occurs to your clothes, but it will take all day and it is an obvious waste of water and energy.
- Emilie’s Way: The second time I did laundry, my mom didn’t answer her phone so I called my cousin, Emilie, to have her explain the process to me again. She said she wasn’t going to do that, instead she told me to throw everything in the washer and use cold water. This prevents the colors from running and any stretching. This method saves time and energy, but not all of your clothing should be washed with cold water.
- Ebonies and Ivories: Unfortunately, by the third time I did laundry I still doubted myself. So I called my mom who was in a meeting, then Emilie who was at work, and then, finally, my Aunt Getta. I told her about the previous two methods and she said just separate the darks from the lights, to which I wanted to respond “That’s racist!” but I resisted. You wash the dark clothes with cold water and the lights with warm water; towels and undergarments can go together in warm or hot water.
You must also remember that you will be sharing the washer and dryer with around thirty other people, not only do you have to be patient, but you must also be responsible. You may not always be able to do your laundry when you want to and you can’t just leave your clothes in the machine and peace out. Also, it’s best to handle your own laundry. People mean well, but they don’t know what can go into the dryer and what can’t. It’s best to set a timer so you know when your laundry will be done.
Of course these are not the only ways to do laundry. Everyone does laundry differently, and you’ll eventually figure out your own method, too. For now, don’t be afraid to double check with friends, family, Google, or get on Netflix and watch the FRIENDS episode “The One with the East German Laundry Detergent.”