Close up photo showing someone loading laundry from a basket into a machine

New to CWRU: Orientation leaders share the unwritten rules of the laundry room

Stepping onto campus for the first time as a Case Western Reserve University student is exciting as you consider your future, what knowledge you will gain here and who you will form friendships with along the way.

But there are plenty of uncertainties, too. Even the most basic everyday activities—such as grabbing a bite to eat or doing your laundry—will look different from your life at home. To help you find your footing, The Daily teamed up with some of the university’s orientation leaders to hear their advice on what new Spartans should know. Each day this week, we’ll share some of their tips to help you feel more prepared as  classes start next week.

Today’s advice: Use LaundryView to see the washer and dryer availability in most residence halls.

When your clothes hamper starts overflowing, it may be time to head to the laundry room. As you gather your detergent and dryer sheets, our orientation leaders want you to know: There are unwritten rules of the laundry spaces you’ll be sharing.

First, finding the right time to snag an open washing machine can be difficult, but LaundryView takes some of the guesswork out of the equation. When it’s time to do laundry, you should check the site to see how many washers and dryers are currently available in your building, plus how much time the cycle has left on each of those in use.

For orientation leader Natalia Chandra—a junior studying psychology and social work—midnight and 1 a.m. seemed to be the best times for her to get her laundry done during her first year. If you end up in the same spot, she gave some advice: “Make sure you set an alarm so you don’t leave your clothes in the washer overnight or fall asleep.”

What should you do if you find that someone hasn’t moved their laundry after the cycle has finished? The orientation leaders have some suggestions.

Elizabeth Fielding, who is studying biology and sociology, suggests waiting a few minutes before touching their laundry or to send a quick message to your building’s group chat.

If you absolutely must move someone’s laundry, Hannah Macias, a senior majoring in psychology and cognitive science, advised not to put it on the floor. Instead, look for a hamper or other clean spot where it can easily be found.

Something else to keep in mind: The washer cycle takes about 15 minutes less than the dryer cycle. Macias recommends making sure there will be a dryer available when your clothes have finished washing.

Other things to consider while doing laundry at CWRU? Know what the washer settings mean. For example, Sedona Jolly, a second-year economics major, shared that “brights” indicates cold water, “whites” means hot water and “colors” means something in between.

As for the dryer? Be sure to clean the lint trap when your load is done.

“Please, please, please clean out the lint traps,” Marion Hartwell, a fourth-year biomedical engineering major, said. “It’s a huge fire hazard and if you don’t clean it out, it also impairs the dryer’s ability to actually function well.”

Hear what other advice Miquela Hampton has for new students.