As society attempts to return to in-person outings, PCC students are asked to venture out into a dirty world. While pajamas and sweats are okay to wear at school, it may be taboo at a student’s job, place of worship, and other public settings. Keeping up with a more extensive wardrobe can be expensive to maintain, require more planning, and challenge student’s time management skills. Until garment technology advances and we can buy self cleaning clothes, the struggle to sustain our closet goes on.

What are the choices for washing clothes and how can we be more efficient with our time and energy when completing such a daunting task? For those who are lucky, dirty laundry can be washed at your parents’ house free of charge and sometimes with full service, you may even get a meal while you wait. If this is the case, please be mindful and appreciate what you have. You have a comfortable semi-private place to take some of your most private possessions, such as underwear, which your parents have most likely seen before anyhow. It could be embarrassing and humbling to let strangers witness the dirty side of your undergarments, and developing an efficient routine with your parents’ machines can be a good way to keep this privilege. Drag this on for as long as you can and thank your parents.

Having a place of your own outside of your parent’s house is ideal, yet a trip to the hardware store or the internet will show you a washer and dryer combo that can run you around $2000 after taxes and delivery. Then you have to have a space big enough to store them, as well as water and power hookups specifically for your units. With the housing market in southern California at an all-time high, renting or owning can cost a student almost their whole net income. It’s almost impossible unless you’re really good at saving and budgeting, you’re being supported financially, or have an independent stream of income that allows you to attend school. Maybe you are that friend with their own washer and dryer, it’s definitely a flex, you can do laundry almost anytime, and for any reason. You should extend a hand and help your friends and comrades stay fresh, spread the wealth and allow the good karma to come your way.

The coin-operated self-serve laundromat is where the community gathers to wash their clothes when all else fails. Usually, close by, but you definitely should plan ahead to avoid peak hours in order to avoid having any situations that will add time on to washing. When it’s not busy, you can get away with using multiple machines, which is the difference between spending a few hours versus your whole day washing, drying, and organizing. You almost always need to have quarters at the laundromat, unless you get lucky and find one that accepts cards. Most people do not carry cash these days, so finding change can take time, sending you to Trader Joe’s, the bank, or finding a change machine, usually located at the laundromat, but never a sure thing. It is typically about eight dollars for the giant washing machines, which gets more laundry done, and saves time. Then there is 25 cents for each half-hour of drying, but be ready to go for broke and use more change than you estimated. You also have to make sure you have detergent, fabric softener, a hamper, and maybe something to do while you wait, so save your money and try to make the chore a good time. Enjoy a beverage, do homework, or catch up on your favorite binge-worthy show while you wait.

All in all, washing dirty laundry is an exhausting and expensive part of adult life that is never spoken of in contemporary media. It’s a responsibility in many cultures for both genders, especially in academia. Almost everyone has to wash their own clothes. You would think something as crucial to a student’s well-being would influence schools to have facilities available. We are on our own, unless your parents or someone close to you has a washer and dryer. So save your quarters, be efficient with time, and stay clean, because someday the masks will come off.


Michael Leyva
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