jiffy handheld steamer / laundry machine

It's almost Fall, the season where everyone begins to break out their hoodies, sweatshirts and thicker clothing! To all the college freshmen who have been putting off laundry as long as they can, it's going to become mandatory in the coming weeks when cozy layered clothing becomes essential. After all, the more clothes you have to wear, the more laundry piles up!

Many kids head off to college without ever having done their own laundry, which can make it seem like a daunting chore. It's easy to learn how to steam clothes to keep them fresh but figuring out the communal laundry room in your dorm is a different story. Fret not, freshmen! We have a full set of laundry tips to make your laundry life a little easier.

Jiffy Steamer's Laundry Tips for Freshmen

First, stock up on supplies.

There's three necessary components when it comes to laundry... detergent, dryer sheets and a basket or hamper. A basket that's split down the middle can come in handy for separating your light and dark items. Or, keep one side for clothes and the other as a convenient and logical storage space for your laundry supplies. We'd also recommend picking up a bottle of stain remover. We won't judge you for that 2 am pizza sauce stain, but your professors might.

Know what to wash, and how to wash it.

Your parents probably gave you a lesson on how to do laundry before moving you into your dorm, but if you forgot (or didn't really listen), we'll give you a quick rundown. Thanks to our extensive experience with clothing steamers and garment care, you can trust our tips!

First, separate your laundry into whites, colors/darks and towels. You don't want to wash these items together, as colors can bleed into whites and towels can leave lint on your clothing. Use the hot water setting on the washer to get out dirt and stains, use cold if you're worried about color blending or fading or use warm if you're just not sure what option is right. Then, add your detergent. Detergent pods are a convenient, easy option and prevent over-soaping.

After the wash cycle is done, get the load into the dryer ASAP. Not only because the longer the clothes sit the more likely they are to get musty, but also because another student may want that washing machine and dump your wet clothes on the floor so they can use it. It's not nice, but it happens! Also, remember to read the tags on your clothing until you know which items are safe to dry and which aren't. Some items, like undergarments and 100% cotton clothing, can shrink or be damaged by the dryer.

Keep your quarters.

This one seems obvious, but if you haven't made it down to the laundry room yet, you might not know that you'll need quarters for the campus washing machines. Hold onto your quarters and keep them in a safe spot. You can also trade $10 bills in for rolls of quarters at any bank. Always make sure you have enough to run both the washer and dryer. To really be safe, make sure you have enough on hand to run the dryer twice, in case the first time through leaves your clothing damp.

Get a routine going.

Just saying "I'll do it when I feel like it," rarely works... because nobody ever feels like doing laundry. But if it becomes part of your routine, then you can easily do it on a regular basis without a thought! Find a time of day that you know you won't have other commitments, pick your day of the week and make sure it fits into your busy school schedule and social life. Keep in mind that Sundays are the busiest days in the laundry room, so finding a machine then could be tough.

Always fold and hang your clothes.

The biggest mistake you can make is leaving your clothes in a big heap after washing them. They'll start to form creases and folds in all the wrong places, and they won't look as good as you'd like when it comes time to wear them. Always hang them up or fold them properly right away so that they'll be available and looking good. Of course, some folds and creases will still find a way to sneak into your favorite clothes. That's why investing in a small and convenient steamer, like the ESTEAM® handheld clothes steamer, is a smart move for any college student.

We hope these tips help you as you begin your journey into the joys of adult chores! For more advice on getting clothes cleaned quickly, check out our top 5 ways to streamline laundry day. And don't forget, our travel steamers can also help keep clothes looking and smelling fresh in between laundry days, and won't take up space in your small dorm. Happy washing!