Back to School Washing

3 October 2017


There’s always a big build-up to people going back to school, college or university. We hear a lot about preparing for it – what to take and what to expect – but not so much about the mechanics behind it all, the things that keep things running once everyone has gone back to school.

One such essential is laundry. We’re talking about piles of the stuff here, from uniforms to sportswear and gym kit; and everyday clothes for the UK’s thousands of students – because there’s only so many times you can turn your underwear inside out to make it last another day!

Laundry services are a back to school essential. It’s just that they only become essential after everyone is back in school.

We see providing specialist laundry equipment to schools, colleges and universities as how we can support these institutions and the people attending them. Because laundry isn’t something any educational establishment can afford to take too lightly.

Here are our thoughts on the modern school laundry; and some tips for first-timers at college or university, for using the on-site laundry facilities.

Laundry Memories


For many, memories of boarding school and institutional laundry services are not always fond ones. There are stories of weekly laundry washes with quite stunning results. These include such things as melted duvet buttons and amazing shrinking jumpers.

There’s a sense that everything would be subject to the same vigorous wash-cycle, regardless of what it was made of. This would be followed with a severe blast of tumble-drying.

The result was a kind of horrific uniformity, with everyone’s clothes reduced to a selection of bobbly woolens and greying, starched shirts and geometrically pressed underwear.

Fortunately, times, and technology, have changed. With the right commercial laundry equipment, schools can have efficient laundry services which still look after people’s clothes.

There’s always this question of being able to provide the technology for the demands to the job, and the results that leave individuals with clothes that are clean and comfortable to wear.

We’ve got professional options for small, medium or large education sites, depending on the kind of laundry installation, and the numbers to process. In some cases, it’ll be more specialised, in others, it’ll be about the numbers involved.

But whatever the size of school, with the right laundry equipment, we can help ensure that no one is stuck with clothing that feels like it’s been through a real rough and tumble.

Our equipment supplied for small, medium and large sites includes Miele, Ipso, Girbau, Electrolux, Primus and Huebsch.

Students and Laundry


For many young people going to college or university, not only is it the first time they’ve been away from home, it’s also the first time they’ll have to do their own washing.

You know what it’s like: dirty clothes are something that goes into the basket, or onto the bedroom floor, only to mysteriously vanish then miraculously reappear.

And when the clothing re-materialises in the physical world, it’s crisp, clean and comfortable. It’s as if it’s new all over again.

Going away and having to do your own laundry strips away this Wizard of Oz style illusion. Because suddenly the awful realisation dawns that doing your own laundry will be a process you must engage with.

There are then two parts to this: the process of washing and drying clothes; and the location where students will do it.

Doing Your Own Laundry


For those who haven’t every done it, laundry reveals itself to be full of mysteries: which settings to choose, how many clothes to load, what detergent will be best, and how long should it take?

There are the fundamentals, of course: having an actual laundry bag or basket, and a detergent to wash your clothes in.

So, the first thing the student must do is acquire these essential supplies. Many on-site laundries will have detergent dispensers, thought this might not be the most cost-effective way to get it.

Next is the question of what you’re washing. If you crudely load it all in together you’re more likely to end up eventually with everything being a shade of grey.

Therefore, separate your items. Whites separate from colours; jeans separate from bedding; and delicates from hardwearing items.

Of course, the temptation is to shove it all in together to save time, and money, and hope for the best. But such a scorched earth approach will leave your laundry looking very far removed from what you’ve probably been used to at home.

Professional washing machines come with instructions for a reason: for you to follow them according to the type of items you’re washing. This way success lies.

You will probably need the right coins for your machine – check first. Also check which compartments for things like detergent and fabric softener (if you’ve got that advanced).

Choose the correct setting on the machine. For example, you can do towels on a hot wash, but not woolens. A warm wash will work for most everyday items.

Don’t overload the washing machine.

Once you’ve done the washing part, it’s time for the dryer. A word of caution here: some things, such as woolen items, will shrink if you put them in the dryer. For these items, be patient, and let them dry naturally, hung up.

The Laundry Site


Were you’ve got a dedicated laundry site, be tactical about using it. Try and choose times of day, or evening, where there’ll be less competition for the machines. Some places even have websites where you can check on machine availability. Take full advantage of this luxury, if you have it.

Remember, there’s a certain amount of etiquette in the college or university laundry. Respect other’s privacy, unless they’re clearly up for a chat. Don’t make disparaging comments about other people’s clothing and underwear. And never, ever jump the queue for a machine or dryer.

Also, make sure you’re on hand when your laundry finishes to take it out of the machine. There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for a wash that’s finished but still loaded. And you run the risk of someone unloading it for you, in a way that’s less careful than your own.

Get In Touch


We’re specialists in commercial laundry appliances, supplying, installing and servicing across a range of sectors, including schools, colleges and universities.

If you’ve got laundry demands to meet now that the schools are back, give us a call on 0800 988 8058, or email

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