Student learns loads

Tim Downer

College life brings about many new responsibilities, especially for those living on campus. Among these responsibilities is the dreaded task of doing laundry.

I can’t say I’m much of a laundry expert myself, as I had the luxury of having my mother do my laundry the past 18 years.

Now a freshman living on campus, I have no choice but to dive into the world of laundry. To enlighten myself with a “load” of knowledge, I decided my best bet would be to visit the campus laundry facilities, hoping to find some experts in the field.

I began my adventure by dropping by the Norse Commons facility, where I ran into freshman Allen Faulhaber.

When Faulhaber started working at McDonald’s, he said he realized how often his work uniform had to be washed. Feeling sympathy for his mother, Faulhaber decided to help out by learning to do laundry on his own. For the past two years, he’s done all of his laundry himself.

“I just asked my mom, and she showed me how,” Faulhaber said.

Norse Commons features both an arcade game and foosball table in the laundry facility to occupy students while they wait for their laundry.

“It only takes about 20 minutes for the washing machine,” Faulhaber said, “so I usually just get a drink and sit while I wait.”

However, the dryer takes a bit longer. Forty-five minutes, according to Faulhaber. During this break, he said he goes back to his dorm room and plays games on his computer.

Faulhaber said he’s never had any laundry blunders to date, “but I’m still waiting for it – not having my pants fit – but so far, so good.”

I next descended into the basement of Kentucky Hall to see another campus laundry facility, where I met freshman Julie Brown, who was doing laundry for the first time. Brown lives three hours away, so she had no choice but to learn the tricks of the trade before she went off to college. She said her mom’s primary advice was to separate whites and colors.

Brown was doing homework when I encountered her, and she thinks that’s what she’ll continue to do while she waits for her laundry.

“I would just take (my laundry) home if I could!” she said.

The day after my laundry adventure, I ran into Brown in Commonwealth Hall, and she happily informed me that her first laundry experience went great.

While walking towards my next stop, I ran into another freshman, Lauren Vlad, with a laundry basket.

She had the look of a laundry pro, so I stopped her for a few questions.

After finding out that she has been doing her own laundry since the fifth grade, I knew I had made a good decision.

“My dad told me I had to do my own laundry,” Vlad said. “He said I was old enough and tall enough to reach everything.”

Vlad had an endless list of laundry tips and stories to tell.

“Always check your pockets,” she said. “Once I left gum in a pocket of my overalls, and I had to cut the pockets out.”

Vlad told me that every time she wears the overalls, she forgets about the pocket and puts items in it only to find them missing.

“This past summer I left a pen in my pocket,” she said. “It exploded in the dryer, and I had to clean it out and rewash everything.” Vlad, unlike the other students I had talked to, said she doesn’t separate her clothes by color.

“Unless I absolutely have to bleach something,” she said, “I don’t separate my clothes, and it’s never damaged them.”

The price for on-campus laundry facilities went up this year, from 75 cents to $1. However, if you use your NKU All-Card, the fee is reduced to 75 cents.

By this point, I felt confident, so I decided to put it to the test. My clothes came out perfectly clean and undamaged. If I can do it, there’s hope for everyone.

Some tips on laundry from the professionals at the Soap and Detergent Assosiation:

Treat the spot. Get into the habit of checking freshly washed wet clothes for stains that don’t wash away. Instead of drying them, pretreat the stains and wash them again. Drying can permanently set the stains.

Sort by color. Wash all whites separately; pastels and medium colors together; brights and darks by themselves.

Lose the lint. Fuzzy sweatshirts, chenille robes, flannels and new towels have a tendency to share their lint with other garments during washing. Wash them in a load by themselves.

Save room. Clothes need room to move freely both in the washer and dryer. Don’t overload!

Keep it hot. Detergents work best in warm-to-hot wash water. Consider using cold water only for washing clothes whose colors might fad.

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