Laundry (Washing Clothes)

If you live in an apartment building and you don’t have a washing machine and dryer in your apartment, then there is probably a laundry room [buanderie] in your building. If there is no laundry room in your building, then look for a laundromat [buanderette] in your neighbourhood. It is a public laundry where you can wash your clothes.

The machines will be coin-operated, which means you have to put 25¢ or $1 coins in it to make it work. At some laundromats you can pay the store to wash your clothes for you, but it is expensive.

You need to buy laundry detergent (other kinds of soap will not work properly). Don’t put too much soap, if you do, there will be too much foam (too many bubbles).

When you wash your clothes, it is important to separate the white colours from the dark colours. If not, the colour from the darks will change the colour of the white clothes. Also, be careful using hot or warm water, they make colours come out, and can cause your clothes to shrink (become smaller). You can buy soap that works well in cold water. Always read the washing instructions label on your clothes. If you aren’t sure what the symbols mean, click on the picture to get a Laundry Guide.

In Canada, most people use dryers to dry their clothes, especially in winter. In summer, if they have a house with a back yard, they sometimes hang their clothes in the sun to dry them (and to save electricity). Dryers are not good for clothes – they don’t last as long if you use the dryer all the time. And when the dryer is hot, it can shrink clothes too. However, in winter, and if you live in an apartment, you don’t have much choice.

Another thing with dryers is static electricity. The clothes stick together because of the static electricity in them. You can buy dryer sheets to put in with each load to reduced static.

Finally, don’t forget to clean the lint trap on the dryer. There is a screen to catch dust and lint from the clothes, to prevent them from blowing in the air. You have to clean it after each load, because if it blocked, the dryer doesn’t work as well and it can cause a fire.

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