Thursday, May 16, 2013

Laundry 101

Laundry is as easy as throwing all your dirty clothes into the washer with soap right? Well no, not exactly.  If you want your clothes to last and look their best you need to put a little more care into your laundry.  Doing laundry in college is more than just handing it over to your mom.  First of all if you aren't lucky enough to have an in home washer and dryer you'll have to find a laundromat.  Laundromats can get expensive, not to mention you have to haul your laundry across town.  At Haverkamp Properties we make it easier by offering washers and dryers in every unit in Des Moines, Ames, and Ankeny locations, as well as a community laundry room for Cedar Rapids residents. 


When you're sorting your laundry pay attention to color and material.  At the very least clothes should be sorted into lights and darks.  Read the tags on items you're unsure about.  It will let you know if the garment needs any special care. Remember to keep loads of laundry the appropriate size for your machine.  Putting in a small load wastes water and money and large loads can take much longer to dry.  While you're sorting it's a good idea to check the pockets of your jeans, jackets, etc.  You never know when you're about to find $5.


It's time to pick a detergent.  Most people will purchase detergent based on price, smell, or brand.  Knowing what products to buy can be confusing, but a general all purpose detergent is fine for most college students.  The choice between powder and liquid is up to you and the space you have for storage.  If you're still unsure read the labels and directions on the detergents to help you decide what will work best for you.  Many people like to use fabric softener along with detergent. Think of it as a conditioner for your clothes.  You don't have to use it, but it's a nice touch. 

So what settings should the washer be on and when do you add the detergent? Well this can vary.  If you're using powder, let the washer fill up with water before adding it.  Liquid detergents dissolve quickly and can be added right away.  Be sure that you are setting it to the correct load size, this way you're saving water and time. The temperature is an important factor when doing laundry.  This is why we sort! Dark or new colored garments should be washed in cold water.  This ensures that the colors wont bleed, keeping your clothes looking new.  Whites go in on hot to keep them bright, this also applies for particularly dirty clothes.  The hot water helps to wash out the dirt and grime.  Everything in between can go in on warm.


The first thing you need to do is empty the lint filter EVERY TIME.  Clean filters make sure the dryer is working to it's full capacity.  Uncleaned lint filters can be hazardous and are known to start small fires.  Unless you want your clothes crispy, empty the lint filter! Throw in a dryer sheet to keep your clothes soft and static free. Keeping the load size reasonable can make your dry time a lot quicker, keep that in mind when your sorting your laundry. Be sure to fold or hang your clothes right away after drying. You wouldn't want all that hard work to go to waste on a wrinkly shirt! 

Did you learn a laundry lesson the hard way? Send your stories to us @

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