8 tips any teen can use to learn these laundry basics
Published: July 31, 2021
It’s not uncommon for college students to return with many loads of laundry and expect mom or dad to wash, iron and fold them all. One thing every teenager should know before venturing off to college is how to properly do a load of laundry. With all the settings and fabric care rules, it’s a pretty daunting task! And although they might not want to learn, (cue the eye-rolling and groaning) you’ll be thankful when they don’t come home with duffel bags stuffed full of laundry. Here’s how:
- Get your teen and their dirty clothes to the laundry room: The first, and most important step in the teaching process is getting them where they need to be, the laundry room. This may be the trickiest step as you may endure some eye-rolling, pouting and complaints, but you’ll be teaching an essential skill that they’ll use in college and for the rest of their lives.
- Help them find the labels: The next step teens need to understand is the importance of reading their clothing labels. Labels tell a lot about a fabric – how it should be washed (dry cleaned or washing machine), the temperature, whether it can be washed with other fabrics, and how it should be dried.
- Teach them their colors, again: You already taught them their colors years ago. But it may be time for a review. Have them sort their laundry by color. Lighter colors should go in one pile, while darker colors go in another. Next, have them sort each pile one more time but by type of fabric. For example, the dark colors, separate t-shirts and jeans from lighter weight items like blouses and dress shirts. Teaching them to also wash by fabric type allows them to use the correct water temperature and keeps drying cycles simple.
- Incorporate a helpful gadget: Washing sheets used to be a long and laborious process. We all know how the sheets inevitably would tangle, twist, and ball-up, sometimes sending the washer off-balance, never coming out fully clean, and always taking several cycles to dry…which can be expensive in a college laundry room. But now thanks to a new laundry gadget, all those problems are solved. Send your student off to college with the new, game-changing laundry gadget, Wad-Free® for Bed Sheets. This innovative gadget attaches to the four corners of both the flat and the fitted sheet and prevents the dreaded sheet wad. Not only do sheets come out cleaner, but they also dry in a fraction of the time with fewer wrinkles to boot. Using Wad-Free, your teen can fill their machines to capacity and run mixed loads, so their laundry time will be slashed at least in half, leaving more time for studying or socializing….outside the laundry room!
- Pre-treat stains: Getting teens to recognize when a stain has occurred is often a challenge in its own right. And there’s a strong possibility that more than a few stains will go untreated. But it’s clearly important to explain the basics of stain removal to your teen as you teach them to do their own laundry. Start by encouraging them to pre-treat stains with a commercial stain remover with a bit of liquid detergent. Then let them know about the magic of Google, a quick search about a specific stain can solve pretty much any problem as there is a variety of information about stain removal on the internet.
- Ready, set, load: Finally, it’s time to load the washer. First, have your teen turn textured fabric, knitted items, corduroy, and sweatshirts inside out to protect fabric finishes and reduce wear and tear. Next, tell them to load their items piece-by-piece, making sure they are not in a wad. Teens love gadgets so have them set a timer on their phone to remind them when the cycle is finished. This way they are prompted to come back and get the items out of the washer.
- Go from wet to dry: Make sure you emphasize the importance of removing wet laundry from the washer right away to prevent mildew from growing and avoid wrinkles. When loading the dryer, first point out the different cycles and their purpose. Then have them load the dryer with the appropriate items – delicate items should never go into a dryer. After loading, have them set another timer for when the dryer is done.
- Fold and put away: While you may not be perfect at folding and putting away your laundry right after it comes out of the dryer, it’s worth it to let teens know the benefits of this practice. Also helpful is a quick tutorial on the best way to fold certain items. Fitted sheets and socks, for example, can be tricky and it may take teens a few times to practice folding these items before they get them right.
Any teen can learn these laundry basics. Start them out with something like sheets – most people think washing sheets is a burden, but they don’t have to be. Incorporate a Wad-Free and make your teen’s sheet washing experience a breeze!