So, your course is going great, you’ve settled in fine… Problem is, you never listened when Mum and Dad showed you how to use the washing machine and you’re finally facing the reality - you have to wash your own clothes. Luckily, we’re on hand to help. Check out these tips on how to do it right
1. Buy a Washcard. You can buy one from the vending machine at your laundry. They cost £2, so you'll need the right coinage. then follow the Wash Station instructions and top your card up online.
2. Buy a laundry basket, and some detergent. It doesn’t need to be pricey, if it smells nice and won’t bring you out in hives (ask your mum), you’re good to go. ‘Non-bio’ basically means there are fewer chemicals so it’s less harsh on skin, but ‘bio’ is slightly stronger. So it’s up to you. Don’t forget fabric softener too, to make the clothes nice and soft… obviously. You might also want to get a clothes horse for delicate stuff that can't go in the dryer.
3. Read the label. Labels in clothes don’t just tell you size/brand! Although most laundry instructions are pretty generic, look out for ‘Dry Clean Only’ – before you make a huge mistake! Need more guidance - Watch this video on washing symbols.
4. Rescue remedies. There are ways of salvaging something ‘damaged beyond repair’. If you act quickly, red wine on your new cream dress can be gone in a flash – just pour on salt. Coat reminds you of an ashtray? Steam out smoke in the shower. Chewing gum on your hoodie? Stick it in the freezer and wait for it to harden so you can snap it off.
5. Separate light and dark clothes. If you can’t be bothered, at least don’t stick red jeans in with white underwear, okay? Trust us. If you’re going to ignore that advice, at least try using a colour catching sheet, found in pound shops.
6. Check your pockets. Your bus driver doesn’t accept soggy passes and you definitely can’t afford to be blamed for breaking the machines because you’ve left a 10p in your jeans. Beware of tissues and pens unless you want white fluff or ink stains on your clothes!
7. Keep it low. Washing clothes at a low temperature is generally the way! 30 or 40 degrees is best. And remember don’t overload the machine! Pour your detergent and conditioner in the correct slots and follow instructions.
8. Using the dryer? Clean the lint off the filter first. Make sure your delicate stuff is suitable and won’t shrink! Otherwise, invest in a clothes–horse – great for saving money and energy.
9. Don’t overload the dryer – or it will take forever.
10. Hang things up – or at least fold them neatly – that way, there’s no need to iron them.
You survived! What to do if it all goes wrong? Dip-dye, anyone?