How to avoid frustrations in residence halls’ laundry rooms


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Students living in residence halls can download the official NIU app to check if washers and dryers are available to use.

By Daija Hammonds, Managing Editor

Moving to campus in a different city can bring a lot of exciting times but also some challenges. You’re essentially living on your own, having to take care of yourself. One of the things that you have to start doing is your own laundry, if you weren’t already.

Whether you arrive on campus knowing how to do laundry or not, there are some simple guidelines to think about when you’re getting ready to do laundry for the first time on campus. 

Use eSuds on the NIU app to plan ahead of time

When you walk into the laundry room, either in Neptune, Stevenson or wherever you live, there are going to be multiple washer and dryer units for you to choose from. You might walk in there to find all of them are unavailable, but a good way to check availability ahead of time is by downloading the official NIU app and checking the eSuds box. 

When you check eSuds, the app shows you every laundry room in every residence hall on campus, and it tells you which washers and dryers are available for use in real-time. So, before lugging all of your laundry down there, make sure to check out the app.

Etiquette in the laundry room

Depending on how full the laundry room is, consider only using one washer and one dryer at a time to leave space for others in your building to do their laundry. Along with only using one machine, make sure to take your laundry out in a timely manner. You’re sharing the space with others in the building and should be considerate. 

“I worry about like stealing, like, somebody stealing my clothes or people not taking out their clothes on time,” said Denise Rodriguez, an undeclared first-year. “So, you’re just stuck with no dryers or washers.”

If you have noticed that someone has left their clothes in the machine for a long time, patiently wait for either them to take it out or choose another machine entirely. Do not take their clothes out because you wouldn’t want someone to do that to you.

“I would want to tell people to take their clothes out on time and to put a timer on your phone,” said Ally Rodriguez, a first-year psychology major. “Oh, and to clean the lint too.”

If you don’t want to be the person who keeps their laundry in the machines for too long, try setting a timer on your phone to alert you when it’s finished. The washers and dryers will show how long the cycle will last, typically 35 minutes for the washer and 45 minutes for the dryer. 

Cleaning out the lint doesn’t take long to clean, plus you’re preventing a fire hazard. 

Don’t just clean out the lint traps, clean up after yourselves in general. If you spill detergent or drop detergent pods, try your best to clean it up so others can wash their clothes in a clean environment. 

Don’t be afraid to reach for help either from your CAs (community advisers) or your roommate(s). You’re not alone in this laundry journey, and there are resources to help you figure out how to wash your clothes in a timely manner that make the process easy.