Chapter 6: Laundry Lore

140630 Beat Amherst

One of the many college rites of passage, laundry is one of those things best experienced and mastered early on. Williams makes it relatively painless – each one of the first-year buildings has a large number of washers and dryers available. The online LaundryView system allows you to monitor the status of washers and dryers through a Web browser on your phone, tablet, or computer – you can check from the comfort of your own room whether there are machines available in real-time, and how much time is left on machines in use. It’ll even send you an alert when your laundry is done. Handy!

Laundry costs $1.50 per wash or dry cycle. Laundry can be paid for by conveniently adding points on your student term account – visit the Dining Services web site and choose “Purchase EPH Points” to enter your value. You can also use cash if you prefer. You can save money and reduce energy use by drying your clothes on a collapsable drying rack.

Some advice from those who have come before you:

“Word of advice, do your laundry during the day time, usually they are empty then. Also, you should totally put two loads in the washers at one time and then you only have to use one dryer cycle. Nifty!” – Mauro Renteria ’19
“Buy some detergent, some stain remover, and some of those nice dryer sheets. Lump all of your clothing together in the washer, load up your quarters or Eph Points, press “COLORS,” and voila, you just washed your clothes. Stick them in the dryer with some dryer sheets and you’re done! Honestly, laundry is one of the least complicated things you’ll do at Williams.” – Maria Hidalgo Romero ’20
“Laundry Laundry Laundry! Definitely get your JA/parent to help you figure it out on the first try. Or try and figure it out with the other freshmen there with you, it makes great teamwork and new friends.” – Nana Ama Ofori Atta ’19
“I didn’t used to do laundry before coming to Williams, and at first, I was a bit intimidated by the thought of lugging dirty clothes around and washing them on my own. I know, I sound like a spoiled brat, but hey it’s the truth. But now, laundry has become a nice break for me. I almost always meet someone new on laundry day and so, the small talk can make a tedious task into a great way to socialize and meet new friends.” – Omar Kawam ’20
“Who needs quarters when you h ave Eph points? It’s so easy to realize you don’t have enough quarters and thus saving to run around with your laundry not getting cleaned. Also, it’s a great way to have someone pay you back… just make them swipe for you!” – Alexia Barandiaran ’19
“The trick is to get the right size hamper…one that can fit all your clothes for however many weeks strong you can go without doing laundry, but not so big that climbing five flights of stairs (less if you’re lucky) becomes your workout for the day. And remember to put EphPoints on your swipe, it’ll make laundry so much easier when you’re not trying to scrounge up a ton of quarters every time.” – Erica Chang ’18
“The best way to keep up with your laundry is to establish a routine. Do it at the same time every week (or two weeks or whenever), when you know the machines are empty, and then it doesn’t become a struggle when  you have no clean clothes left. Also, set a timer to remind yourself to get your laundry or move it to the dryers when it’s done – other people are waiting to use the machines and you might not want them moving your clothes. The laundry room can get really crowded before and after breaks, so plan ahead for those times too.” – Erin Denham ’20
“My secret to laundry is you don’t actually have to use the dryer – you can save a ton of money by just hanging it up on a rack in your room! Plus, it helps keep the room more humid in the winter.” – Emma Reichheld ’19
“Laundry doesn’t have to be a chore! I actually find it quite relaxing. Grab a friend, turn the music on, and fold some laundry together. (It’s only stressful when someone takes your clothes out of the washer/dryer for you. Be courteous and don’t move people’s clothes!)” – Cristina Mancilla ’20
“Admittedly, there were periods of time where I would avoid doing laundry for a few weeks. And besides running out of clean clothes, it made trying to do five loads of laundry at the same time as the rest of Frosh Quad pretty heinous. I don’t recommend slacking on laundry. You hear horror stories of the ruthlessness of doing laundry at some schools. That is not Williams. People are generally really respectful of your clothes and conscientious of the order of the waiting line for the washers. On the second day of school a complete stranger agreed to bring up my clothes out of the dryer while I was at practice, and now she’s one of my good friends!” – Miranda Weinland ’19
“There’s no getting around it, laundry is one of the least pleasurable things to do on campus. Figure out a day/time to do laundry early on, and try to stick to that schedule. A good way to do laundry is to start the cycle before dinner, and by the end of dinner, you can just grab your load on the way back!” – Ayami Hatanaka ’18
“Laundry Life Hack: If you’re in a pinch for clean clothes, the dryers in Mission can hold loads from two washers.” – Francesca Barradale ’19
“Try not to leave your laundry sitting around for hours after you do it. No matter how clean it is, it’s still gross to have to move somebody else’s wet clothes out of the machine because they didn’t come to pick it up.” – Megan Siedman ’20
“If you don’t want to use EPH points all the time, get some quarters! There is a change machine in Paresky and one in Mission (the one in Paresky takes only $1 bills though!). – Toni Wilson ’19
“Don’t worry about it! It will probably be a lot easier to manager than you think, and it doesn’t have to be something to stress out about. Don’t be afraid to call your parents to ask for advice; they will love the chance to help out however they can! Using Eph Points for laundry makes it so much easier, and you never have to worry about running out of quarters. Load some on in the beginning of the semester and you won’t have to carry around a bag of quarters!” – Janelle Gowgiel ’20
“You only need one capful of laundry detergent, even for a big load of clothes (or else you will run out very quickly). Also, try not to over-stuff the washing machine or your clothes won’t dry.” – Emily Harris ’19
“I was actually really surprised at how easy it was to do laundry here. The machines are super easy to figure out and I didn’t really have much trouble even though I had never had to do laundry before college. I got into a routine where I would do my laundry before my class mid-day every Tuesday, and I never had any trouble finding an open machine during the morning on a weekday!” – Josie Maynard ’19
“You know you’ve become a pro when you no longer have to walk back to your room in frustration because all of the washing machines are full or you forgot your quarters or detergent. Getting the laundry app which tells you the vacancy of the laundry machines is absolutely a great idea.” – Xiaoyong Cui ’20
“I’ve been washing all my clothes together using the brights and tumble dry settings on the washer and dryer, respectively, and it’s worked fine for me.” – Zihan Ye ’18
“It really isn’t that hard! All you need are dirty clothes, a hamper, detergent, and quarters. If you don’t want to use quarters, then put Eph Points on your swipe the day before! Do your laundry at least once a week. You don’t want to be carrying tons of clothes up and down the flights of stairs. But if you need help, call your mom or the person right next to you. I’ve asked for help when my white pants turned pink after I washed them with my red clothes. So don’t worry, ask for help!” – Jessica Munoz ’19
“Doing laundry is far easier than I expected it to be. Even if you don’t really know what you’re doing, there are instructions posted on the wall in the laundry room. The one thing you need to do is be very punctual about taking out your laundry on time – if you don’t, other people will remove your laundry and often carelessly throw it aside so they can use your machine. You can avoid this though by doing your laundry early in the morning or in the evening during the week, when it’s usually less busy.” – Katarina Mattmuller ’20
“Laundry isn’t too difficult even if you haven’t done it before. You could do it the “right” way and separate loads by color, etc., OR you could do the efficient way of just throwing everything in on colors&whites and call it a day. I will say this, however, it is a good idea to invest in a drying rack whether it be for things that say hang dry or if the dryer stops working – it’ll come in handy.” – Dorothy Gaby ’18
“You’ll reach a point in the semester when you procrastinate homework by doing laundry. Embrace it.” – Erikka Olson ’19
“I wash my clothes and then dry them on a rack in my room. You wind up spending half the money! And it’s great if you’re lazy like me – you never have to fold your clothes if you just grab them off the rack when you wear them. My other advice is to do laundry in little breaks you have during the day. I like to do mine Tuesday mornings before class because I can choose any machine I wants (and some are better than others).” – Louisa Nyhus ’20
“Avoid the pain of quarters and simply load up your card with EphPoints instead! Establish a routine to make things easy; I get up early on Sunday morning to do laundry, and there’s never a fight for machines. Biggest tips I learned the hard way? Check the machine and your pockets for any stray items, and don’t tumble dry for too long – unless you want child-size sweaters!” – Angela Chan ’19