Laundry tips to lighten your load

Laundry day. It’s the worst day of the week – or month, depending on a student’s hygiene.

But knowledge is power, and the best way to conquer an overflowing laundry hamper is to understand some common mistakes and ways to avoid them.

Morgan Herzing, a sophomore occupational therapy major, said she found herself in a laundry quandary when she lived in North Hall last year. After running a load of polka dot towels in one of the building’s washers, she discovered the person before her used bleach – and a lot of it. White splotches covered the once gray towels.

Herzing said she was obviously surprised, but not upset.

“I really didn’t care that much,” Herzing said. “I thought it was kind of funny.”

Skhosi Mgobozi, a junior marketing major and men’s soccer player, took his laundry mishap in stride as well. Mgobozi’s white Under Armour shirt came out of the wash a rosy hue.

“I washed it with my tracksuit top, which is maroon, and boom – it came out like I had butchered someone,” he said. “My initial reaction was laughter because that was a rookie error.”

Even so, Mgobozi had to play his next soccer game with the light pink shirt under his jersey.

Tom Chido, owner of Chido’s Cleaners on State Street, said Mgobozi’s mishap highlights the importance of color separation.

Chido said he would encourage students to follow a few fundamental rules. Rule No. 1: Buy mild detergent and only use half the recommended amount.

“Just because you don’t see suds doesn’t mean your clothes aren’t getting clean,” he said. “Suds do not clean things. The mechanical action and the chemistry clean things.”

For those finicky “hand wash only” garments, Chido said he suggests a dish soap like Dawn because it’s gentle and removes grease. Another method, he said, is to place delicates inside a pillow case and wash with regular load.

“Not only are you protecting it,” he said, “but you’re protecting everything else from it.”

The pillowcase trick comes in handy for women whose wardrobes include lots of sparkly material, he said. Without it, every item in the load could end up looking like it once belonged to Tinker Bell.

“You’re going to have to wash them again,” Chido said. “There’s going to be mildew.”

Chido also said it’s important not to over-dry clothes. In fact, they’ll remain in better condition if they’re taken out of the dryer early and hung on plastic hangers.

For students who absolutely despise laundry and can’t get the hang of it – not no way, not no how – many businesses offer laundry services at reasonable prices.

Chido’s washes, dries and folds laundry for customers for $1 a pound. The average laundry bag holds around 15 pounds, Chido said.

Still some days, that 15 pounds feels closer to 50.



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