Maintenance Minute: Doing Your Laundry

Red washing machine line iconFor some of you, living in the residence halls may be the first time you have to do laundry on your own. Others may have lots of experience, and some residents may have experience levels somewhere in the middle. Wherever you are in your laundry knowledge, we have a few tips for you to keep your clothes clean and keep the washers and dryers from developing problems.

Tips for Using the Machines in Your Residence Hall

  • Review signage posted in your laundry room for instructions on using the washers and dryers.
  • If you are using pod or sheet detergent, please put your detergent in the washing machine with your clothes instead of in the detergent dispenser tray to avoid clogging the machine.
  • Do not use the Purex 3-in one detergent as it clogs the water outlet strainer.

General Laundry Tips

  • Double check your pockets. Items like ink pens and electronics do not do well in laundry equipment. Small items may clog the drain and/or the pump.
  • Remember to check and empty the lint trap before using the dryer! Lint is very flammable, so making sure you clean the lint from your load of laundry helps reduce the risk of fire and is courteous to the next person looking to use the dryer.
  • Read the tags on your clothing, bedding, towels, or anything you may be washing. Make sure you follow the instructions to keep your items in good condition.
  • Don’t use too much detergent. This can cause soap overflows, blockages in the machine, can cause the machine to shut down before the cycle is complete, and might leave your clothes smelling a little…off. 1/4 cup of soap is sufficient for a load of clothes.
  • Don’t overload the washer or dryer. If you have to forcefully push clothes into the machine, there is too much inside. Laundry may not be sufficiently washed or dried if there is too much.
  • Sort your laundry based on colors. Some may say this is an antiquated rule and that using certain detergents eliminates the need for this, but you don’t want your brand new pair of red and white striped overalls for Badger games get stained from the dyes of other clothes. Common ways to sort your laundry look like this:
    • Reds (clothes that are primarily red, orange, or purple)
    • Whites (clothes that are mainly white)
    • Darks (dark-colored clothes, including dark jeans)
    • Lights (lighter-colored clothes that don’t fit the above color categories)
  • Sort your laundry based on type of material being washed. This could look like:
    • Washing towels on their own
    • Washing bedding on its own
    • Washing delicate clothes on their own and with delicate washer/dryer settings
    • Washing new jeans and denim on their own. These often are heavily pigmented and the pigments could bleed onto your other clothes in their first few washes.
  • Use “high-efficiency” or HE liquid soap for the best clean.
  • Remove your laundry promptly after each wash and dry cycle so that others may use the machines. Doing so will also keep your wet clothes from smelling slightly like mildew and keeps your dry clothes from wrinkling.
  • Do not dry shoes or oversized bedding in the dryers.

Washer or dryer not working correctly?

It happens! Let us know by submitting a maintenance request.

Submit a Maintenance Request