How to take care of clothes in college

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Living independently, little time and a lack of resources are no longer acceptable excuses when it comes to laundry.

Having clean and tidy clothes is a personal reflection and shows much how a person values their appearance. Potential employers, peers and professors take notice of how you dress. The easiest way to care of one’s clothes and ensure they look great and last longer isn’t so complicated.

1. Schedule a ‘laundry day’

With a laundry schedule, mounds of dirty clothes are less likely to build up and get out of control. Busy schedules and school can prevent students from having clean clothes all the time but if students set a specific day out of the week to do laundry they will prevent build up and stay more organized.

Chandler Hoffman, a BYU student majoring in Family Life from California says school is her biggest obstacle in having clean laundry.

“Being busy with school brings the task of laundry very low on my priority list,” Hoffman said. “Normally, I do laundry about once a week, but when I’m taking classes and overwhelmed with tests and papers, I sometimes only get to it every two weeks.”

2. Water temperature

The water temperature when washing your clothes plays a huge factor in the the overall lifespan, appearance and cleanliness of your laundry. Pay close attention to the tags on the inside of clothes and try to categorize your laundry loads by water temperature.

According to blog ‘Mama’s Laundry Talk,’ cold water is the most cost and energy efficient water cycle you can choose. The cold water cycle is not the best for heavily soiled laundry, as it does not dissolve detergent or laundry boosters well. Use cold water for materials including: Lace, silk, delicates, tights, brightly colored items and lightly soiled clothes should be washed in cold water.

Warm water cycles are going to be your go-to water temperature, since most fabrics do good on this cycle. Wash dark colors and moderately soiled items in warm water.

Reserve the hot water cycle for items you want to be sanitized and cleaned thoroughly such as: washcloths, bedding, heavily soiled towels, sturdy fabric clothes, any item with grease or oil, and dish rags. Hot water will get rid of dust mites, bed bugs and bacteria but if used on colored clothes, it can make it fade faster or bleed on other items.

3. Stains and delicate laundry

According to the Martha Stewart website, it is important to act fast to remove unwanted stains, “The sooner you get to the stain, the more likely you are to get it out.” Stewart also suggests to always blot stains, to avoid spreading to more surface area. Blotting with cool water will work for most stains.

Dry hanging delicate or costly clothes is essential to prevent shrinking or deterioration of the fabric fibers. Invest in a standard hanging rack to hang clothes after washing.

Delicates can be washed by hand or if done in the washing machine, should be placed in a mesh zipper bag to make sure they stay safe. If you have a washing machine with an agitator, you should always wash your nicest and most delicate clothes in the mesh bag as clothes can rip and wrap around it during the wash.

3. Sweaty and damp laundry

Diana Wakefield, a BYU alum and mother of four living in Highland, Utah, said her she has seen mold grow on her kid’s sweaty soccer clothes when left in a pile overnight. “If it was spread out so that it could air out, it didn’t have the same effect,” Wakefield said. “In a dryer climate the clothes dry quite fast, even in a ball but the smell does not fade. The clothes get stiff and smell something awful.”

Always hang your workout clothes up on a hanger after you workout to avoid mildew and bacteria build up. Hang up used wet towels on a bar or rack to make sure it gets thoroughly dried before using it again. Damp items left on the floor can attract a host of nasty bugs such as silverfish, cockroaches and fleas.

4. Storing clothes

While college students don’t usually have a ton of space to store clothes, it is important that they are put away by either hanging or folding so they last longer. Seasonal clothes such as summer or winter clothes can be stored under the bed in storage bins. Having out only what you need for that season leaves more space to see what clothes you have, and it is easier to organize and clean.

According to the small space website Apartment Therapy, some of the best ways to store clothes in small spaces is to add an extra extender rod in closets to double the amount of space.

Hanging your clothes with velvet hangers is the best for your clothes. It is important to fold delicate or knit sweaters that could get stretched out by the hanger. Never fold and put away clothes that are not completely dry as they will cause mildew and mold which can ruin your clothes and your furniture. Laundry hampers can help keep your room more organized and help sort your laundry for future loads.

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