Dorm Life: How to Care for Your Clothes

Now that you’re in college, you can no longer rely on your parents to wash the heaps and heaps of laundry scattered over your dorm room floor. You’ve gotten the basic Tide Pods, but now is the time to learn how to wash your favorite button up or that perfect vintage dress without shrinking and-or ripping it in the process.

Drying Rack

For your more delicate items, you definitely can’t dry them in the dorm dryers as they tend to shrink or even burn. A compact drying rack will let you hang your delicates out to dry and won’t make a mess across your room while you are airing out the laundry. These racks can be bulky and take up a lot of space, but you can opt for one that folds away neatly in your closet.

Washing Bag

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The washers and dryers toss around clothes without a care in the world. Mesh washing bags provide that barrier between super delicates, like bras and underwear, and the washer’s tumultuous spin cycle. Just place a few items in the bag, zip it up and toss it in with the rest of the laundry. Don’t overload these bags or else your clothes will barely get washed.

Stain Remover Pen

These little pens are a godsend when you’re out having lunch with friends and all of a sudden, you accidentally drop a piece of food on your pants. The most well-known stain remover pen is the Tide To Go pen, which you just brush over the stain. In a matter of seconds, the stain is gone. But be careful with dyed clothing as the stain remover pen tends to take some of the dye with it.

Mini Steamer

If you’re into looking clean and pristine, get yourself a steamer. Irons plus the ironing board take up way too much space, but a steamer takes up less space and has less parts. Specifically, try getting a mini steamer which can easily be stored under your bed. Make sure to dry out the steamer each time as mineral deposits will build up and eventually transfer onto your clothes if not cared for.

Sewing Kit

We’re all prone to a little wear and tear on our clothes. Get a mini sewing kit to avoid having to rock holes in your favorite sweater. Look for one that comes with multiple thread colors to make an easy thread match to all of your clothes. Just note a sewing kit is only going to fix the smallest snags — not necessarily an entire seam rip.

A version of this article appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 27 print edition. Email Pamela Jew at [email protected].

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