Fall is slowly but surely creeping up on us – have you thought about college laundry yet?   Going off to college is all about independence. Finally, your parents won’t be there to nag you about schoolwork, enforce a curfew, embarrass you in front of your friends – or do your laundry! Between creating the perfect class schedule, learning the campus map inside-out, coordinating “who’s bringing what” with your roommate, and mastering microwave cooking, college laundry is typically pushed to the back-burner when it comes to preparation.

But don’t worry, there’s no need to send your laundry home, hire a college laundry service, or be known as the “smelly” kid on campus. The key to maintaining your independence, finances, and hygiene is just a click away with the Institute of Fabric Science College Laundry 101! It’ll be your easiest class to ace this semester.

Simply review the tips & tricks below before heading to the college laundry room, and you can make loads of friends by being the laundry expert on campus!


It’s laundry time! You go to grab your laundry basket, and – uh oh. Some of the essentials can often be overlooked when packing for college. Don’t let this happen to you two weeks in; make sure you pack the following must-haves to make the transition to the college laundry room as smooth as possible.

Laundry Basket/Bag

There are a variety of college laundry baskets and bags available. From pop and fold laundry hampers to laundry bags to hampers with wheels, you can easily store and transport your dirty clothes – no matter where the college laundry room may be.

Iron & Board

Whether getting ready for a presentation or going on a date, an iron and board is always great to have to make sure you look your best.  While space in the dorm room may be limited, the ironing board can also serve as a lap desk or an alternative to the laundry room table.

Drying Rack

No idea what to do with those clothes that read “line dry only”?  Protect your delicates with a drying rack. By letting your clothes air dry, you can save money while doing your part to save the environment. And, most racks fold up for easy dorm room storage.

Laundry Detergent

With dozens of detergents to choose from, navigating the detergent aisle can be almost as difficult as navigating your new campus. Your safest bet – a detergent with color safe bleach.  It can be used for whites and darks and eliminates the need to use multiple bottles.

Dryer Sheets

Keep your clothing static-free and smelling fresh with dryer sheets.  You can even use the dryer sheets to help freshen up the dorm room by lining drawers, garbage pails, and sneakers with them.

Stain Remover

You may be procrastinating on school work, but don’t procrastinate on getting that pizza sauce stain out of your new shirt.  With a stain remover stick on hand, you can easily treat stains as they happen, instead of waiting until the next trip to the college laundry room.


Will you need quarters to use your laundry room? Will you need to place money on your student ID card?  Check with your school’s housing department to make sure you are prepared to pay for your dorm room laundry services.

Basic College Laundry Steps

Between going to class, making new friends, and finding your way around campus, getting acclimated to college life doesn’t always leave a lot of time for laundry. With the following tips from the Institute of Fabric Science, first-time college laundry room visitors can cross laundry off the to-do list quickly and easily while cheating stains.

  • The laundry process begins before you head to the college laundry room. First, treat stains by blotting, not rubbing, from the back of the fabric to the front. Next, divide your loads into lights and darks. While you sort, check that zippers are closed, hooks clasped and pockets emptied.
  • Once in the college laundry room, pour detergent into the machine according to the size of the laundry load-specific amounts are shown on the box or bottle of detergent. Be careful though when pouring the detergent – extra suds actually inhibit proper cleaning by holding onto soils and re-depositing them on your laundry.
  • Add dirty clothes and select cycle preferences. Use hot water to keep white loads bright and switch to cold to prevent darks from fading.
  • Once load is complete, select items to place in dryer. Place more delicate items to dry on a drying rack.
  • Empty the lint trap in the dryer to increase energy efficiency and speed up the drying process.  Insert a dryer sheet to keep your clothes static-free.
  • Select the dryer cycle and press start.
  • Once clothes are done, fold immediately to avoid extra wrinkles.

College Laundry Room Efficiency Tips

With your roommate leaving the light on and the communal trash cans filled with recyclables, it may seem like the green movement has yet to hit your campus.  Regardless of your floormates’ habits, you can do your part to help the environment right from the college laundry room. Follow the tips below while doing laundry to conserve energy and water.

  • Not only can you sort clothes by lights and darks, but also by fabric types.  Wash and dryer similar fabric types together to ensure even drying. This also reduces the amount of time needed in the dryer.
  • While you can’t control the temperature on the water heater, you can control the temperature of your load when washing clothes. When possible, use cold water for rinsing. Warm and hot water require more energy for heating.
  • You may want to quickly wash yesterday’s jeans so you can wear them out again this weekend, but wait until you have a full load. Washing full loads can save up to 3,400 gallons of water annually.

college laundryMonica Teague, senior manager, PR & Brand Experience, Whirlpool Corporation

Monica has been with Whirlpool Corporation for the past four years. From 2006 to 2008, Monica was the manager of corporate media relations. In early 2009, Monica took on the role of PR & Brand Experience senior manager. In this capacity she leads strategy and execution for the company’s mass brand portfolio including Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, and Gladiator GarageWorks as well as water filtration and Affresh products. She also acts as the communications liaison for the entire portfolio of brands which also includes KitchenAid and Jenn-Air. Prior to that, Monica served as the communications director for a gubernatorial candidate in the state of Illinois and previously spent 17 years working in broadcast news including producing shows for The Oprah Winfrey Show. Monica resides in St. Joe, Michigan after spending 17 years living and working in Chicago.

For additional important tips and reminders, visit Whirlpool’s Institute of Fabric Science website on college laundry.