So. Your course is going great, you’ve settled in fine… Problem is, Mum and Dad are nowhere to be seen and you’re finally facing the reality - you have to wash your own clothes.
Luckily, we’re on hand to help...
- Invest in a laundry basket and some detergent
It doesn’t need to be pricey just needs to smell nice and not bring you out in hives (ask Mum). Non bio basically means there are fewer chemicals so it’s less harsh on skin, and ‘bio’ is slightly stronger. Don’t forget fabric softener too!
- 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!
- Made a mistake? Don't worry...
There are ways of salvaging some things. Red wine on your cream dress can be gone in a flash – 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 you can snap it off.
- Separate lights and darks
If you can’t be bothered, just 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.
- 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.
- Don’t overload the machine!
Pour your detergent and conditioner in the correct slots, following instructions. Washing at 40 is generally the way! But just read the label inside your clothes to be sure.
- Keep an eye on the time
Take your stuff out as soon as the load is done. It's polite (you don't want to annoy your housemates!) and great for your piece of mind to know your clothes are safe. Besides, damp clothes can get gross.
- Use the dryer but clean out the lint!
Make sure your delicate stuff is suitable and won’t shrink! Otherwise, invest in a clothes–horse which is great for saving money and energy.
- Don’t overload the dryer
Mainly because it'll take forever and you'll probably annoy your housemates. Be sensible – if you know your drying is going to take ages, try hanging some of it up in your room.
- Hang things up...
Or at least fold them neatly – that way, there’s no need to iron them.