By Alicia Tan
26 September 2021
Are you a freshie who's too scared to ask your neighbours how to use the washing machine even after 1 month? Or are you a senior who's secretly been bringing their clothes back home for your family to wash every week? Fret not! This guide will serve as a guide for all RHesidents on the basics of doing laundry in hall.
Hall is the best place to start learning to become more independent. For many of us, we are used to letting our family members, be it parents or older siblings, take care of us. For many of us, this is the first time we are solely responsible for cleaning our room, managing our own time and taking care of ourselves. One of the most daunting challenges of hall life is learning how to do our laundry. Do I need to sort light and dark colours? How do I wash the different fabrics? What am I even supposed to do???
I've had my fair share of laundry struggles when first stepping into Raffles Hall last month, but through trial and error (think countless last-minute google searches to get a quick fix) and by interviewing countless RHesidents, I've developed the perfect strategy to tackle the laundry for college students living on our own.
Note: this article is non-exhaustive. It only covers the basics of doing the laundry. For more information, Google is your best friend.
Look at all that laundry.
Heheheh, how does everyone else do it?
Planning your laundry day
Assign a day or two in the week to do your laundry. A few spare hours would do. It could be on Friday before you leave for home or on a day you do not have many classes. Either way, it is good to plan your laundry day in advance so that it will cause less anxiety throughout the rest of the week. Plan to complete all your laundry, from washing to drying to folding your clothes, within that time frame. You will thank yourself for it.
Sorting the clothes
Before doing any washing, it is always good to sort the laundry. Most day clothes can be washed in the washing machine using the standard setting. It is advisable to separate clothes by light and dark colours, although many lazier RHesidents will combine both together, which is fine too. However, combining fabrics may be unadvisable for newer clothes as the dye from these clothes may leak out during washing and stain your light fabrics. Do check the labels too! Some clothes may be unsuitable for the washing machine and this should be clearly indicated on the clothing label (in that case, why are you putting it in the washing machine? Hand wash it or find an alternative!).
Towels and bedsheets/pillowcases can be washed in the washing machine as well but should preferably be washed on a long cycle with hot water to kill any germs or dead skin cells. It is advisable to change and wash them about once a week.
Lastly, delicates such as socks and underwear should always, always be hand-washed unless absolutely necessary, in which case you should always put the delicates into a mesh bag before throwing them into the washing machine. I learnt this the hard way with my own delicates, so trust me on this one. Hand washing is the way to go.
One thing to note about hand-washing: it almost always never goes wrong. If in doubt, always hand-wash. It is also the quickest way to wash any clothing with stains on it or if only one piece of clothing needs to be washed. In other words, please don’t be this guy for the sake of the environment: https://www.quora.com/Can-you-wash-a-single-item-in-a-washing-machine
Using the washing machine
“Wait, you’re telling me that you don’t know how to use the washing machine?” says your neighbour as they give you a judgemental look. This is the worst nightmare of every Rafflesian who does not know how to do their laundry (yet). Well, the washing machines in Raffles Hall are relatively simple to use, even though there may be different brands of washing machines around the hall.
Raffles Hall uses top-load washing machines which may be different from the front-load washing machines used in some of our homes. For those not familiar with this type of washing machine, it is not very different from any washing machine you have used before. Simply dump your desired laundry into the machine and pour the washing detergent into the drum.
Washing machines in Raffles Hall generally look like this. The washing machine brand may differ, but most of the functions roughly remain the same.
Once you are done, turn on the washing machine. There will be different settings available, such as “normal”, “cotton”, “delicates” etc. Choose the setting of your choice and start the washing machine. Water should fill up the washing machine and voila! You managed to do your laundry! Simply wait for the washing machine to run its cycle before taking out the laundry to dry.
Hand-washing clothes, on the other hand (no pun intended), is relatively simple. This method is usually used when washing delicates or when you need a quick fix. It is also good for quickly removing any stubborn stains such as blood or dirt. You can use either a bucket or sink to wash your clothes. Simply fill up the bucket or sink with cold water and add a suitable hand-washing detergent. Then, add your clothes inside and scrub any stains off with extra detergent if needed. Let the clothes soak in the soapy water for about 5-30 minutes to get rid of any stains or odours, at your discretion. Rinse the clothes and soak up excess water either by squeezing gently or by using a towel.
Drying the clothes
For Kuok and non-Kuok RHesidents, drying your clothes will be very different. Kuok contains many dryers on the 8th floor. To dry your clothes, simply stuff them into the dryer for 1.5-2 hours to allow time for the laundry to fully dry. Do not put delicates in the dryer as the heat could potentially damage the fabric. It is still better to air-dry them.
Everyone loves using the Kuok dryer, don’t they?
If you do not live in Kuok, air drying is the more traditional option most RHesidents use. Simply air dry your clothing using clothespins or on the many clothing racks that can be found around each block. Personally, I reserve clothespins for my towels and delicates, but everyone has their own strategies for air drying.
Do hang your clothes out to air dry, but it is best to avoid hanging your clothes with a clothesline stretching across the block…
Disclaimer: This was a prank played in one of the blocks. In no way is this representative of everyday RH life.
Congratulations! You are one step to becoming more independent in university and in life! Hopefully, this guide has saved you the trouble of countless Google searches online or the embarrassment of asking others. With the laundry settled, you are more ready to tackle university life and enjoy your stay in Raffles Hall!