In college, jokes about college student’s not being able to do their own laundry are rampant. But, as I’ve started my college career here at NSU I’ve discovered that for some reason, this stereotype is true. When most residence hall students head to the laundry rooms they might run into issues of crowded dryers and washers and mountains of clothes with the occasional sock on the floor. It may seem like chaos but it is an organized chaos of sorts. But the state of the room isn’t the issue, it’s the state of the washers and dryers themselves that’s the problem.
When a washer is empty, the next user of the washer can run into a few problems. The inner lip of the commercial washers can be pulled back to reveal a sea of lost socks, broken pens, loose change etc. I always find myself cleaning out this pile of oddities and to my amazement, not many other users are aware they need to follow this step. Before I learned this crucial step, one load of my mixed colors were stuck together by a pretty sizeable fishing hook. It created holes in a few of my t-shirts and forced me to have to rewash the entire load because the stains didn’t get cleaned properly.
After this experience, I’ve become a scavenger of the forgotten inner flap and have found multiple broken pens, markers and other oddities which could have permanently ruined my loads by washing my clothes with ink directly from the pens tossed in the last load. Or I may find something like a pin or another sharp object which can cause my clothes to become slashed or cut by someone else’s property left from a previous load.
The washers also become a problem to those who use pod-based laundry detergent. This is a common practice in college since they are easier to use as there are no measurements to abide by or need to carry and purchase large amounts of liquid detergent and softener. However, the settings on the washers tend to run on 30-minute cycles and most of these pods are built for 60-minute cycles. Users of the pods or packs find issues with the pods not dissolving fully or even sticking to the clothes and melting onto clothes, leaving blue and green stains behind.
As someone who doesn’t use pods, I still find stains on my clothes from leftover liquids from unused pods left in the drums of the machines. I also find grease stains on my clothes after I wash them. I’m still unsure where this is coming from, possibly from the drum of the machine and the overuse of them, but it has become a real annoyance when I’m trying to wash a shirt or dress for an interview and have to investigate the washer thoroughly and hope that it doesn’t get ruined.
College is stressful enough, and I shouldn’t have to worry that my clothes might get ruined in the machines provided by the school. Not many students can afford to replace their destroyed items or have enough time or experience with laundry systems to know what to do to fix this issue. We can always go to a coin-laundry chain off-campus but why would I pay for my laundry when I should be able to do it for free with the appliances provided by the university?