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Let’s face it, laundry is one of those necessary evils we all have to deal with, whether at home or on the road.
Traveling can be tough on your clothes. From long days of exploring to spills and stains, your wardrobe can take a beating when you’re on the go. So, what’s a traveler to do when their clothes pile up and they’re running out of clean options? Wash them, of course! But doing laundry while traveling can be a bit of a challenge. Here’s a handy guide on how to get the job done without any hiccups.
5 Things You Need To Do Laundry While Traveling
Sure, you could just pay for laundry in your hotel or hostel, but that can get expensive, and it’s not always convenient. If you’re planning on doing your own laundry while traveling, there are a few things you’ll need to bring along.
1. Laundry Detergent
You don’t need much, just enough for a couple of loads. We recommend filling up a travel-sized bottle with your favorite laundry detergent or buying a travel-sized packet when you’re on the road. We truly love using laundry detergent sheets as lightweight and eco-friendly options. They take up almost no space and work with all types of washers. You can also use them to hand wash your clothes in the sink.
2. Stain Remover
Accidents happen, especially when you’re traveling. Be prepared for any stains by packing a small bottle of stain remover or some laundry pretreatment sheets. You’ll be glad you have them when that inevitable spill or stain happens.
3. Travel Laundry Bag
You’ll need a place to store your dirty clothes while traveling, and a travel laundry bag is a perfect solution. These bags are usually lightweight and breathable fabric so your clothes can air out as they wait to be washed. Many even have a built-in drawstring or snap closure to keep everything contained.
4. Clothes Line or Clothes Pins
You’ll need a way to hang up your clothes to dry, so pack a lightweight clothesline or some clothespins. If you’re staying in a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb, you can usually find a clothesline in the laundry room or ask the staff for one. If not, you can always improvise by hanging your clothes on a towel rack, over a shower curtain rod, or even on the back of a chair.
5. A Sink Stopper
This one is optional, but a sink stopper can come in handy if you’re planning on doing any hand-washing while traveling. It will keep your clothes from falling down the drain as you wash them in the sink.
How To Do Laundry While Traveling
Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to get to business. Here are a few tips on how to do laundry while traveling without any drama.
Find a laundromat
This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. When looking for a place to wash your clothes, your best bet is usually a laundromat. They’re designed for laundry and usually have all the necessary supplies, like detergent and dryers. You can usually find them in cities or larger towns.
Ask about washing machines in your accommodation
If you’re staying in a hotel, Airbnb, hostel, or another type of accommodation, they might have a washing machine that you can use. It’s always best to check with the staff before using it to ensure there are no extra charges or rules you need to follow.
Wash your clothes in the sink
If you’re really in a pinch and can’t find a laundromat or washing machine, you can always hand-wash your clothes in the sink. It’s not ideal, but it will get the job done in a pinch. Just make sure to use a sink stopper, so your clothes don’t go down the drain.
Drying your clothes
Once your clothes are clean, it’s time to dry them. If you’re using a dryer, just follow the instructions on the machine. If you’re hanging them up to dry, make sure to find a well-ventilated spot where they can air out. Clotheslines or towel racks are usually your best bet.
Pack your clean clothes
Once everything is dry, it’s time to pack up your clean clothes. Ideally, you should use packing cubes or a compression sack to make the most of the space in your suitcase.
The Laundry Process For Washing Your Clothes In The Sink
- Step 1 – Sort your clothes: Start by sorting your clothes into light and dark loads. This will help prevent any color bleeding.
- Step 2 – Pre-treat any stains: This is an important step for getting your clothes as clean as possible. Be sure to use a pretreatment product that’s designed for the type of fabric you’re dealing with.
- Step 3 – Fill up your sink: Add enough water to cover all of your clothes. Then, add the detergent and mix it around until it’s fully dissolved.
- Step 4 – Wash your clothes: Gently agitate the clothing in the water to loosen any dirt or debris. Let them soak for a few minutes before draining the sink.
- Step 5 -Rinse your clothes: Fill the sink back up with clean water and give your clothes a final rinse. Be sure to get all of the detergent out, as it can irritate if left on the skin.
- Step 6 -Hang them up to dry: This is where that clothesline or drying rack comes in handy. If you’re using a clothesline, be sure to weigh the bottom of your garments down with something like rocks or clothespins, so they don’t blow away.
Expert Tips For Doing Laundry When You Are On Vacation
1. Plan ahead and pack light
One of the best ways to avoid having to do laundry while traveling is to plan ahead and pack light. This can be difficult if you’re traveling for an extended period or going to multiple destinations, but it’s worth it in the long run. Packing light will save you time and money, and it will reduce the amount of laundry you have to do while on the road.
2. Find a laundromat
If you find yourself in need of doing laundry while traveling, your best bet is to find a laundromat near your hotel or rental property. This way, you won’t have to lug your dirty clothes around with you all day. Most hotels will have a list of nearby laundromats that you can use. Just be sure to call ahead and check their hours so that you don’t waste time searching for a closed laundromat.
3. Wash your clothes by hand in the sink
If you can’t find a laundromat or if you’re short on time, washing your clothes by hand in the sink is a good option. Just be sure to use cold water and mild detergent, so you don’t damage your clothes. And don’t forget to hang them up to dry!
4. Pack versatile clothing items that you can wear multiple times
Another great way to avoid having to do laundry while traveling is to pack versatile clothing items that you can wear multiple times. For example, invest in a few nice pairs of jeans that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. And don’t forget about scarves! They can be used as accessories or as an extra layer of warmth when necessary.
Doing laundry while traveling can be a pain, but it’s doable. By following the tips above, you can make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. So go ahead and enjoy your trip – laundry included!