Washing and Drying Clothes

After about one to two weeks at university you will have to start washing some clothes. This may involve using your hall of residence or union launderette, the washing machine in your student house or a third party launderette. Which ever way it is there are a few things you need to remember before stuff all your clothes in!

Student Washing Tips

  • Firstly, unless it’s your own machine, you are going to need some spare change. Last time I checked my university halls machines it was £3 per wash and around £1-2 to dry.
  • When it comes to washing powder I would strongly advise getting washing tablets, Bio or Non-Bio is fine, but it saves thinking about how much to measure out.
  • If you use fabric conditioner be careful to use only the recommended amount and not clog up the machine!
  • Washing tablets and fabric conditioner do not go into the washing machine drum directly; they go into the tray at the top. If you do this you may end up with soap suds all over your washing.
  • Don’t overload the machine/  The average machine can likely only cope with around 1 weeks worth of washing maximum.
  • Wash your towels and bed linen separately from your washing, and only put them on spin cycle if the machine can cope, some machines will state not to spin towels and linen as they can damage the drum!
  • For most clothes putting them all in at 30 or 40 degrees will be fine, however very new colourful clothes and towels will run when first washed so be careful not to put your whites in with them!
  • To ensure your whites don’t end up another colour put them in their own wash, however I’ve found that if you generally only wear clothes that have already had a few washes then the colours don’t run much anymore at the lower temperatures.
  • Before drying your clothes put them on for an extra spin, you’ll find it saves hours of drying!
  • Finally read the instructions for your machine, see what it’s capable of and it’s maximum capacity limits.

Student Drying Tips

  • The less you put in the dryer the more likely they will be to dry!
  • Some things don’t like the dryer and will shrink, especially wool clothing. Things like socks and underwear really don’t need to be dried in a dryer.
  • Your first choice should always be to use a washing line, outside is always faster at drying clothes even if it’s not a sunny or particularly windy day.
  • Get a clothes horse, over door hooks or a radiator rack for your room to store wet clothes on, this will save you money not having to use the dryer.
  • Make sure your clothes are not drying over your books or electricals if they are in your room, they may drip water a bit and you don’t want anything damaged.
  • Towels will take ages to dry, especially if they haven’t been spun enough in the washing machine.
  • Don’t put wet or damp clothes back into your draws they will never dry that way, and will make your room smell bad.

My biggest advice tip is to prevent washing building up by limiting yourself to only 7-10 days worth of clothing. Then you simply have no choice after this time, you have to either use your dirty clothes again or clean them. Below is a list of how long you can wear clothing for under NORMAL conditions. If you do exercise, roll around drunkenly in the street or go to a nightclub your clothes will smell and you’ll not be able to wear them the next day.

These estimates will also depend on how sweaty a person you are. Always judge how smelly your clothes are before you go out. Deodorant really doesn’t cover up smells, you will just smell of both!

  • Jumpers and Fleeces up to a week.
  • T-shirts up to one day/every other day usually.
  • Trousers and Jeans up to three weeks.
  • Socks and Underwear up to one day.
  • Coats usually until they get covered in mud or worse!
  • Dressing gown, if you wear it nightly then every term, if not then yearly.
  • Pyjamas, once every couple of weeks, really depends on whether you are sleeping with someone or not!
  • Bed Linen, officially every week (that’s what mum says!) but realistically every 3-4 weeks is fine.
  • Towels, weekly, but take two so you don’t have to do them weekly. Keep your towel spread out when it’s not in use, otherwise you will have to wash it more and it won’t dry you very effectively.
  • Shoes, not really a good idea to wash shoes they tend to lose shape. Try using shoe sprays and clean them in a sink with a scrubbing brush.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *