How to Use a Washing Machine: The Student Friendly Guide

Prepare to say goodbye to your luxury life at home, and hello to your new independence at university!

Just a word of warning…It’s going to hit you RIGHT in the face if you don’t learn the basic skills of housework. 

We know it sounds boring but that’s life and we’re all swaying in the same boat. 

If you’ve landed on this page in particular, we’re hazarding a guess that you’re looking for a simple step by step routine of how to use a washing machine – right?

Don’t worry – we have the perfect guide here for you so you know exactly what you need to know about using a washing machine in your new student accommodation!

Keep on reading to find out more…

What Do I Need?

laundry detergent

First things first, you need to make sure you have a list of essential items for washing your dirty clothes.

This can be organised before or after you move into your accommodation and bought from your local shop or supermarket!

  • Laundry tablets, or
  • Laundry powder, or
  • Liquid detergent

Usually sold in boxes, laundry detergent comes in many different forms, however, the main job they have is to clean your clothes. 

If you pop into your nearest supermarket, you’ll find a huge range of different brands to choose from and it’s up to you what one to choose from. 

It’s important to know that different laundry detergents can trigger skin irritation. If this is something you feel like you might suffer with, make sure to choose brands that’re fragrance and dye-free. 

  • Fabric softener and conditioner

Fabric softener contains lubricating ingredients that help coat and soften fibres in your clothes. 

It’s one of the best ways of getting beautiful, smelling clothes to come out of the washing machine.

If your skin won’t react to it, try out some of the different scents of fabric conditioner scents…we promise you’ll fall in LOVE.

How To Use A Washing Machine – Student Friendly Guide

Step 1: Separate Your Laundry Into Three Piles

how to use a washing machine

The first step before loading the washing machine is to separate your dirty laundry.

The three piles we suggest are:

  1. Dark clothes
  2. Mixed clothes
  3. White clothes

This will save from any colour mixing and will also make you feel super organised. 

It’s also important to separate items based on their care instructions (which can be found on the label inside the items of clothing). 

Doing this will ensure you’re protecting your clothes from any damage. 

Step 2: Set Up The Washing Machine

settings students need to know

Depending on the load you’re washing, set the washing machine properly to suit. 

Most washing machines will have settings set up for you to select. These could be Cotton, Mixed Fabrics, Sports or Synthetics. 

There are even settings such as a quick wash, which is fab if you need a quick fix before a night out!

If your washing machine doesn’t offer these settings, this is the time when you set your water temperature and speed.

Step 3: Put Your Detergent In

powder in the detergent drawer

Make sure for this step that you choose the correct compartment suited to your detergent.

Your washing machine will usually have a manual so deffo check that out if you have access to it. 

Front-loading washing machines usually have a detergent drawer and will have separate compartments to place fabric softener or bleach.

Top-loading washing machines mean you have to pour the detergent right into the drum before you start your cycle. 

Step 4: Load Your Washer

how to use a washing machine tips

This is a pretty simple step – just pop your clothes into the washer and close the door!

It’s probably the most simple step, but it’s important that you only pop in small loads. 

If your washing machine drum is too full, this could cause issues and leave you with some wet clothes and some completely unwashed clothes…who wants that?

So, we suggest having a rinse cycle with the perfect load amount!

After the wash is done, you can remove the wash clothes and let them dry naturally, or pop them straight into the dryer. 


And that’s a wrap! We hope you’ve learnt something from this blog and can take your newfound skills into your university life. It’s going to help you SOOO much, so look forward to it! If you’re looking for other skills, such as cooking, make sure to check out these 6 student recipes you need to know!