Archive: Laundry Tactics
Washing in the room, finding a laundromat, packing quick-dry clothes... Share your tricks to wash and wear over there.
I travel with small bottles of spray fresheners such as "febreeze" I use
it on shirts and pants every night and find I can usually wear them several
Baton Rouge, LA USA 06/20/01
as for going light I use Dr. Bronners castile soap,a bar,dont worry
about spills,you can clean everything with it,yourself,hair,clothes.My
choice is tea tree,but they have others,you can get it at most heath stores,i
mean it the stuff is great.get a bar and try it before your trip.
chula vista, ca USA 06/12/01
I tried to do my own laundry in the bathtub. Did a poor job of it, took
a few days to dry.here are 2 tips:1try to stay in a hotel that has a laundry
in the hotel or nearby. 2 press for time have alittle extra $$$ let the
hotel do if for you.
Bloomfield, NJ USA 06/12/01
I agree — go the laundromat. I used "Ondablu" in Rome and Florence.
It was really easy & to use and not too pricey. Found it was also a good
way to mingle with locals.
NYC, NY USA 05/22/01
I am a big advocate of bringing nice clothes to Europe. Europeans dress
well and so should you! I bring lots of blacks and greys so I can coordinate
the few clothes I that I take with me(plus with those colors you blend
in the fashionable Europeans). I also make sure I have PLENTY of socks.
They seem to disappear on the way (and good luck trying to find some of
your favorites at the store). As for laundry, come on..., go to that Laundromat!!!
I meet the most interesting people in Laundromats. I usually meet fellow
travellers and natives of the country I am visiting. You can't get insight
to a culture better than from a guy with plenty of free time to tell you
all about his homeland. GO TO THE LAUNDROMAT, you'll learn alot and smell
fresh and clean.
Islip, NY USA 05/19/01
In the past I have brought 10 ft. of strong fishing line with a loop
tied in each end rolled up in a 35mm film container with a handfull of
big paper clips for use as a clothesline.
reading, ma USA 05/17/01
To Missy: various official sources show statistics for serious diseases
contracted by travelers are more prevalent in Southeast Asia than anywhere
else in the world, mainly due to sanitation problems. I can appreciate
the differences in other cultures without sacrificing my common sense
and perhaps my life.
CA USA 05/10/01
Carol, I think you worry too much :) If you think washing clothes in
a hostel shower is bad...stay out of SE Asia. I watched my lunch dishes
being washed in the Perfume River (next to others clothes) when I was
on a river tour in Vietnam. People all over the world live less sterilely
than we do and get by just fine.
WA USA 05/08/01
to "someone who wishes she could travel more" in Seattle: Aren't you
worried about the fungus and other crap your laundry can pick up from
a hotel/hostel shower floor where you've been preceeded by numerous people
with varying hygiene habits? One cannot always count on cleaning personnel
to do a bang-up job.
CA USA 05/05/01
I tried 'Lovepats' womens undies (mentioned previously by someone on
the graffiti wall, available at Walmart)on a recent trip to France. They
are super fast drying, always dry the next morning after a wash in the
sink the night before. Ditto on nylon 'trouser socks' (which are ok for
under pants but look stupid with shorts). For men, the lightweight cotton
woven fabric (not knit) boxers dried almost as quickly. Also LOVED the
twisted elastic (attach items by pulling fabric between twisted strands)
clothes line with both clip and suction cup attachments i bought at AAA.
Just right for hanging over the length of the bathtub. Finally, rayon
shirts were wonderful, light and breezy, looked great and dried fast (once
i removed the shoulder pads).
NY USA 04/29/01
Actually..with a few mouseclicks, I found several places online to pick
them up should they not be at my local RiteAid www.christinecolumbus.com
in the shopping/apparel care section
Bellevue, WA USA 04/27/01
When I was in Los Angeles last year for work, I saw Woolite in "single
serving" packets. I just hope I can find some here before I leave for
Italy ..12 days and counting!!
Bellevue, WA USA 04/27/01
What I have used on two week-long trips to Europe was Woolite. It is
amazing how much dirt this will get out of your clothes, they will also
smell nice and fresh. The down side is that it comes in a bottle which
could open, the way to prevent a problem is to buy a good quality freezer
bag and put your liquids (Woolite, cologne, tc.)into one each. The upside
is you can reduce the amount of clothes that you need to take. I spent
two seperate trips, nine days each with a carry on bag.
Has anyone used a bar soap (I saw that Ivory bar soap was mentioned)
to clean clothes in the sink? It seems easier to transport (liquid or
powder may spill and bar soap would last a long time. Any thoughts?
Seattle, WA USA 04/16/01
My favorite laundry trick is to take the clothes with me into the shower,
squirt a little soap on them, then stomp as if I'm crushing grapes to
make wine. I find this method to be a lot less hassle than doing laundry
in a sink, even if it does create some strange sound effects!
someone who wishes she could travel more
Seattle, USA 04/14/01
Since my husband and I usually pack a small bath towel each, I use them
at night on the clothes we just washed and wrung out. Lay damp item flat
on towel, roll the whole thing like a jelly roll and hang item and towel
to dry overnight. If the hotel we're staying at has towels, I use theirs.
We've even used bathrobes to wring out our laundry when we've stayed at
fancier hotels (Golden Tulip Rijn Hotel in Arnhem, the Netherlands). Alternately,
you can carry one of those lightweight "pack-towels" to do the wringing,
since they dry very fast themselves.
Tallahassee, FL USA 01/21/01
I pack 3 thin wire hangers,a big black garbage bag,laundry detergent
& a small bar of Ivory. After washing ,hang up on hanger,strip g.bag over
item, tie a knot at each shoulder so bag is held secure. Bag catches all
water. Remove bag when clothes no longer drip to speed drying. No ruined
wood floors or wardrobes.
San Antonio, , Tx USA 01/08/01
For anyone who cares: Magellan's now sells those disposeable underwear
mentioned below. :) Remember, you don't necessarily have to take enough
laundry stuff to do your laundry for the entire trip. The whole world
has to wash it's clothes, and most laundry stuff looks the same on the
shelves even if you can't read the language. The stuff I bought in Germany
to wash my clothes called REI is not aailable here in the US. It works
500% better than anything else I have ever used. Some things I wouldn't
skimp on bringing, but laundry soap isn't one of them. By the way, I bought
one of those flex-o-lines, and it's worth it's weight in gold.
Before going to France, use the internet to find your local laundromat;
Go to www.pagesjaunes.fr — in field "Activité" write (or copy from here)´laveries
pour particuliers, laveries en libre-service" — in field "Localité" write
in town (if in Paris the arrondissement.no (750(01-16))were you are staying.
Pres "rechercher... It is quite easy once you get the hang of it ! The
links provide adresses, maps — and in paris even a photo of the laundromat,
and of the street were it is located! We go to france as often as possible,
and use the "pages jaunes" for all kinds of ressearch purposes. Try it
Nuuk, Greenland 01/01/01
Here's a trick I use at home (I'm hooked on Doc Bronner's liquid soap
for laundry on the road) to keep powdered laundry soap from congealing
on your clothes. Bring along an empty vitamin bottle, add some powdered
detergent and hot water, stir with anything on hand, cap, shake, then
use it in the washing machine. Prepare in advance if you think of it.
I got tired of powdered detergent smears on my clothing, so that's the
solution I devised. Dana ~~~ http://moretimeoff.com
somerville, ma USA 12/24/00
We always wash our clothing however in some countries and especially
the CIS we find that there is so much chlorine in the water that it ruins
the colored clothing. Any suggestions? Is there a tablet to remove chlorine?
Cleveland, OH USA 12/18/00
For my last trip, I purchased a bar of Fels-Naphtha soap to wash out my
clothes with in the sink. It worked great and I didn't have to worry about
leaking liquid or powder soap in my pack. The clothes came out smelling
fresh (I was a little worried because the bar smells quite strong).
Kenosha, WI USA 12/12/00
I'm with the minority that throws out dirty underwear and old socks. I buy a few packages each year and save the old ones for travel. I couldn't be bothered with all the washing and hanging of such a cheap and worn-out commodity. Besides — I'm one of those that will keep them until there is no elastic left, and this way I'm forced to throw them out and buy myself some new ones.
P.S. In Paris I saw disposable underwear(!) made out of the paper fabric
like handi-wipes — remember those? I didn't buy any and I laughed at the
time, but now I wish I had some for my next trip. How 'bout selling those
Santa Clarita , CA USA 12/12/00
We like to find the laundromat as soon as we get into a town and let
the attendant do the washing and drying. It is usually very cheap and
it lets us explore the sights and pick up the washing when we are ready
to leave. We have done this on all our vacations in a number of different
countries and have never had a problem...until I left a pen in my pants
pocket and ink got on a lot of my things, but that was my fault.
Nashville, TN USA 12/05/00
I went to Europe with a small plastic bottle of laundry detergent. I
didn't have any problems with it — except I didn't have enough. A nice
woman in Rothenberg helped me buy a tube of something called "REI in der
tube." It's a cream, and it did a great job. It only took a little bit.
It doesn't leak, dissolves instantly, and is very concentrated. Problem
solved — if only I knew where to buy some more!
When in laundromats, watch the temperature settings on the dryers. More
than once I have burned the elastic waistband on my boxers and had to
walk around Europe with baggy underwear. The medium setting was generally
Milwaukee, WI USA 11/30/00
Want your shirts and slacks to dry fast? Pack a bag of small balloons.
Put a blown-up balloon in your wet shirt and wet pants (towel-wrung first)
and hang up to dry. The items were mostly dry by the next morning (depending
on fabric content). I left balloons in many hotel rooms across Europe
Seattle, WA USA 11/28/00
Re: Dave Verigan's tip for powder soap vs. liquid — I find powder dissolves
very slowly, and prefer liquid. I just stop leaks before they start with
a small circle of Saran wrap placed inside the bottle cap, all the air
squeezed out of the bottle, then place the entire small bottle in a Ziplock
baggies — I use the snack size. This way my laundry's done faster and with
less wear and tear on my hands/skin, trying to dissolve those granules.
Palo Alto, Ca USA 11/18/00
After seeing Rick Steves' videos several times, I followed suit when it comes to laundry in a sink. Be sure to use powder detergent as opposed to liquid (to avoid leakage in your bag) and make sure it is tightly sealed in a bottle or container. I took a trip in Europe this past summer and when I opened up my case in the hotel, my clothes were riddled with specks of soap. It took a couple of hours to get all the detergent off but at least my clothes smelled nice.
I don't think the housekeeping team usually cared if I did my own laundry
in the bathroom. At least I never heard any objections from management
in any of the places I stayed in. I also had better chances of doing laundry
when my visit was more than 2-3 nights.
Hillsboro, OR USA 11/02/00
Boy, it was hard to find laundromats in central France, and conveniently-located ones in Sorrento, Italy and in Rome, for the timing in which we *wanted* to do loads of laundry. In our scant few weeks in France and Italy we were on the go and not inclined to sit in a laundromat!
Definitely carry some clothespins and/or safety pins, which double perfectly well as clothespins. We also carried a length of string which served as a clothesline both outside the window of our hotel in Sorrento and also in the cabin of our canal boat on the Nivernais Canal in central France.
Essential to test the drying time of what you pack — denim pants can take forever to dry, and polyester trousers and nylon underwear seemed to dry overnight in most places.
A lesson we learned is don't count on washing clothes while aboard a
canal boat in France in October. It was overcast and rainy five out of
six days we were on the canal, and it took *days* for clothes to dry even
with the boat's heater cranked up to high. Canal boating, at least where
we were, is not a neat and tidy pastime; we got dirty hauling lines, climbing
on and off the boat for locking, and cranking lock gates. Best to make
sure you know the nearest location of a laundromat at the end of a trip
Seattle, WA USA 10/29/00
I just found something very rare in Venezia, Italy — a self-service
laundromat! I don't have the exact address, but it is within 100 feet
(30 meters) of the Hotel Marin in the Santa Croce district (which is in
Rick's guidebook). They have 5 regular washers, 1 large washer, 3 dryers;
wash and dry an average load for maybe $5 to $6 U.S. Soap and softener
also sold. Friendly attendant/owner. A real find in Venezia, or anywhere
in Italy. Here's to clean living!
Los Angeles, CA USA 10/14/00
Make doing your washing easier by simply taking your clothes into the
shower or tub with you. In the shower, put a little soap on them, rub
any really dirty spots, then drop them on the shower floor and step on
them for further washing. You can also use the stepping after you turn
off the water as a way to get rid of excess moisture prior to wringing
them out. I don't recommend taking everything into the tub, but one or
two garments that are not disgustingly dirty are easily and quickly washed
Hilo, HI USA 10/12/00
I recommend packing a short, thin bungee cord to use as a portable clothesline.
I was able to "hook" the ends on the balconies discreetly in Spain and
dry my clothes. If it is windy just slip the cord through leg holes or
arm holes and your clothes won't blow away. I also used the little black
paper clamps for clothes pins. Neither object takes much room and has
Santa Cruz, CA USA 09/27/00
In the Rue Cler neighborhood in Paris there is a convenient laundromat ("Laverie Automatique"). It's on the corner of Rue Valadon and Rue de Grenelle, and is open pretty long hours. The only problem is you need change (5-, 10-, and 20-Franc pieces) to buy tokens, so plan ahead. One wash costs 1 token, which is 3 10-Franc pieces. About 15 minutes (I think) of drying is 5F. A typical drying is about 15 Francs, and as I recall, uses the actual coins.
Buy detergent at the market on the corner of Rue Cler and Rue Champs
du Mars, or at the laundromat itself (more expensive, of course).
Kate Lufkin Day
Syracuse, NY USA 09/22/00
I came back from a solo trip to Europe. Was OK in London and Paris with laundromats, but ran out of clothes by the time I got to Vienna. Couldn't do laundry there because I only spent two days — and one of them was in Salzburg. Was in central part of town — nowhere to do laundry there. So I waited till I got to Oslo.
What a rude awakening! No self-service available. Hotel sent me to somewhere
else in town. No idea where could do laundry. Asked couple of older Norwegian
women on street. One walked me to a couple places to do laundry. The second
was acceptable, but it ended up costing me over $60 for 2 small loads
of laundry! Would have been triple that from hotel.
Kapolei, HI USA 09/15/00
The best description of how to do laundry in Italy and also the funniest
is in the new book called "A Summer in Tuscany," at amazon.com and barnesnoble.com
and the other onlines. The Today Show talked about this, too.
NY, NY USA 08/21/00
One word: Febreze! It saved us a ton of time and money. A person
on the trip with us had to spend $50 in dry cleaning expenses. The nights
we stayed in hotels we sprayed a little Febreze in warm water and washed
socks and underwear; everyplace sleeps with windows open and often had
a little rack for us to hang the laundy over. By the time we woke up and
had to go they were dry!
nashville, tn USA 08/18/00
When traveling, I always take along a small bottle (saved from something else) of liquid laundry detergent. I do my laundry in the sink every night. Even places which ask you not to
To help my things dry quickly, I have devised a system. Each night,
I shower, then lay my towel out on the floor. I lay my clothes on it after
wringing them or squeezing them well. I fold up the towel and roll it
up and then walk on it repeatedly. This gets a great deal of moisture
out of it. The items are usually dry by morning.
WI USA 08/10/00
For women only: The ultra-thin sanitary pads keep your panties clean
for several days, if it's really necessary (i.e. traveling successive
night trains). They are also a big help for the perennial European bathroom
problem if you can't make it to the potty in time. For this post-menopausal
grandma, it was a bummer to have to use these, but much better than the
alternative of wet pants. A package of these pads takes up very little
space and weighs next to nothing. American brands (such as "Always") are
available all over Europe at any super- or mini-market.
Laundry facilities in Haarlem: There is a laundry called "My Beautiful Laundrette" just south of the main market square. However, rather than waste too much time doing it yourself, the laundry attendent will do it for you. Drop it off in the a.m. and pick it up in the afternoon. (MUCH cheaper than having a hotel service do it for you!)
If you insist on doing it yourself, you are only about 1 block or so
from the local library (bibliotek), so we went and surfed the Internet
during our loads.
Westminster, CO USA 07/12/00
Anybody who is worried about Europe being unable to handle
old underwear thrown out along the way should just stay home. It's probably
less of an impact on their environment than the detergent in the hotel
sinks to launder them. We're not talking about new items here. We're talking
about well-used, ready-to-toss underwear that have been saved to toss
on the trip instead of tossing them at home. This is global community,
Tigard, OR USA 07/08/00
We did a trial run of packing — very, very helpful your first time in deciding what to bring. Next time I will do a trial run of hand washing! We thought some of our fabrics would dry overnight (pique polo shirts) and we were wrong. The biggest clothing hits were the supplex zip-off-leg trousers and coolmax underwear.
The 2-gallon Ziplock bags work terrific for handwashing. Put clothes, soap and water in the bag and shake — you can really work the soap in.
Also if going to Italy bring some clothespins — many of the hotels have
clotheslines outside their window. If you don't bring clothespins, don't
panic — they are very cheap in the grocery stores ($.65!).
Dawn Vukson-Van Beek
Minneapolis, MN USA 07/05/00
One of the most memorable laundry moments on our BB&B tour in 1997 was
in St. Goar at the Hotel Kranenturm. Fatima (bless her heart!) said that
if we would put our laundry outside the room and mark our room number
in the morning, the laundry would be sent out and delivered back that
evening. Later that night, the clean laundry arrived back — but it was
all in one big bag! We had the best time in the Tacky Tiki Disco Lounge
going through everyone's clothes (undies included!) — drinking wine, dancing,
taking pictures and sorting laundry!
Renee Thompson Blanchard
Loveland, CO USA 06/02/00
I used the same laundromat in Arles and found the complicated process
to be quite a conversation starter. Someone ahead of me explained the
procedure to me, and I then explained it to the next person. This is one
of those travel experiences that helps you bond with fellow travelers,
so enjoy it.
Odessa, FL USA 05/20/00
Rick says to wash clothes when traveling but gives limited instructions
on how to do so. I found this out the hard way when in Arles, his guidebook
has a line and a half on the subject but it is actually more complex.
This may not apply to all of the laundromats in France.
1) Pick an open machine, load your clothes and note the machine number.
2) Go to the central control panel in the back of the laundromat to get detergent. Put your money in the slot marked detergent and then go to the dispenser on the other side of the room. Put the detergent in the second opening on top of the washer.
3) Start the machine. Put the correct change in the slot and push the machine number your clothes are in. It takes about 20 minutes so don't wander over to the A'rlatan Cafe like Rick suggests or your clothes will be gone.
4) Take your clothes from the machine and put them in the dryer on the other side of the room. Select A, B, C or D for the temperature with A being the hottests. Put your money in the slot on the central panel and push the number of the machine your clothes are in. Times are funny as we had to put more money in on the D and C settings than on A.
The whole experience took about an hour and a half and the laundromat was uncomfortably hot.
Fort Worth, TX USA 05/19/00
A travel size Febreze helps eliminate smoke odors from clothing. We
would spray our clothes at night and hang them around the room to dry.
By morning the smoke smell was gone. A hooded raincoat or jacket eliminates
the need for an umbrella.
Cary, NC USA 05/17/00
With regard to nylon underwear for men. For the past few years have
got very good performance for polypropylene underware available for any
outdoor stores — REI, RMS, LL Bean, etc. I would quess that the poly
would be more comfortable than just nylon.
Denver, CO USA 05/11/00
Just an opinion — I wouldn't dream of going to the Met in New York,
China Town in San Francisco or out to eat anywhere in "dirty" clothes.
Why does anyone think it is acceptable anywhere in Europe?? Having traveled
extensively overseas, I cannot understand the mind set...I use my laundry
time to do more reading about what I have seen, or am about to see, meeting
locals, eating etc. No down time, nor a waste in my opinion!! Not to "keep
clean" contributes to the Ugly American (see: Smelly!!) syndrome!!
IL USA 05/08/00
Regarding nylon underwear for men: JCPenney's catalogue has them. I'm
a woman — I bought them to sleep in and to put over bathing suit bottoms.
I only need one pair, of course. Price? $14 for a package of two. They
come in large sizes, too.
I carried 3 pairs of nylon briefs on my 10-day train loop through central
Europe this spring. Could have done it with 2, or for that matter, 1.
Wash it in the sink every night, dry by morning. I had a web chase to
find men's nylon, but Muldoon's has it. Nylon is a bit slippery compared
to cotton, so it takes just a bit of getting used to, but I'm old enough
to be set in my ways, and I was quite comfortable. Also carried only 2
nylon t-shirts to accompany my 2 sport shirts. The nylon t's dry almost
as fast as the briefs.
Apex, NC USA 05/02/00
If you must have shiny shoes, I recommend bringing an old nylon stocking.
It'll buff up your shoes and make them nice and shiny for the duration
of your trip. Lemon juice may work in the short term, but may ruin your
shoes in the long term. I must admit, however, I've never worried about
shiny shoes on a European vacation.
Belmont, MA USA 04/27/00
Finding self-serve laundromats in Italy is difficult and expensive. On the other hand, we met several wonderful travelers with great tips on the cities we were going to. Expect to spend more than $5 to do a load of laundry.
Quick-drying underwear is a godsend and worth searching out! Do some
testing before you go to make sure you really have quick-drying undies.
And pack extra socks....they always take longer to dry.
Menlo Park, CA USA 04/24/00
A lemon quarter will shine your shoes. Scrub in the juice, then buff
them up with a few napkins.
Harbor Springs, Mi USA 04/14/00
If your room has a bathtub instead of a shower, just take your clothes
in with you while you soak. There was a sign in one room warning that
doing laundry in the sink was prohibited, but it didn't say anything about
San Francisco, CA USA 04/13/00
After spending almost a year traveling around the world with a carry-on-size bag (thanks to Rick Steves' tips and suggestions) we learned a lot about laundry. The most valuable thing we purchased was quick-dry underwear...well worth the $. We purchased 3-4 sets from REI and Travelsmith and, although the Travelsmith Coolmax was softer, it took longer to dry and ended up pilling and looking awful after 1 month, whereas the REI (and women's Moving Comfort sports undies) continued looking great and dried much more quickly. Choosing some grey underwear instead of all white helped as well (and you can wear it as a regular t-shirt).
Use a detergent, not a delicates soap, unless you want to be stinky in the long run...gentle soap or bath soap just doesn't get the sweat out. There are lots of tube and bar detergents available as you travel.
Use wool socks — find some thick men's merino dress socks (boy's for
women with small feet) — they are soft and durable and dry very quickly
(faster than Thorlo's)...you can also wear them with polypropylene liners
that can be washed more often and dry extremely fast. Silk long johns
and fleece outerwear for cold weather are the best. Wash your undies often
and wear dark clothes on the outside, t-shirts under everything. Though
in our photos we appeared to have done the trip in a day (same clothes)
we were never smelly and had a great time! Thanks Rick!
Austin, TX USA 04/07/00
I agree with the others about not tossing out underwear. On a month
trip to Italy I brought 4 pair of silk-blend undies. Every three days
it took me about 5-7 minutes to hand wash and only overnite at the most
to dry. And the notion of wearing "mini pads" in order to wear underwear
1 more week is beyond my comprehension. I don't do this at home, why would
I do it anywhere else?
ca USA 03/22/00
Laundromats in Europe can be expensive, but I think worth the money. It
is more expensive to dry than it is to wash. Don't bother bringing laundry
soap; they have soap dispensers for only a few cents. In southern countries
in the summer, forget the laundromats — I wash by hand and hang my clothes
to dry. If you are worried about wrinkling, leave your potentially wrinkling
clothes at home! Otherwise, just blend in with the other wrinkly backpackers
and leave your worries behind!
Sacramento, CA USA 03/21/00
In the Graffiti Wall's packing tips section I pleaded for a "pack it
in, pack it out" philosophy. There must be thousands of ETBD travelers
by now. Throwing out underwear and tee shirts in the name of avoiding
laundry or traveling light means that our European hosts must carry the
burden of our garbage. Please, take it home: it is our problem, not theirs.
Nova Scotia, Can 03/18/00
My wife and I brought old T-shirts, socks, and underwear for a 3-week
honeymoon in Scandinavia. After we wore each item for two days, we threw
it out. Saved space, washing, and our bags got perpetually LIGHTER, not
Good places for travel clothes: REI Outlet, Campmor, Travelsmith, and Sierra Trading Post. Check out their web sites for clearance items and markdowns. Sierra TP and Campmor seem to have the best prices on Coolmax/etc. underwear.
Ditto all the comments on black or other dark colors to blend in with
the locals. However, I think bright colors are a good idea if you're crossing
lots of busy streets.
Marietta, GA USA 03/08/00
On this site many have complained that their socks take too long to
air dry. Try Thorlo socks. Mine always dry out overnight. They also have
extra padding over the bony points of the feet to reduce blistering. They
dry faster if turned inside out. Found mine in a sporting goods store.
We spent 5 weeks in Europe this summer and had varying laundry experiences.
In Stockholm, our lovely B&B host let us do laundry in her apartment basement.
In Nice, we used a laundry service and got all of our clothes back green!
After that we did all of our laundry in the sink with a squeeze bottle
of Wisk laundry soap and hung them on a clothesline. This worked like
a charm for underwear, bras, t-shirts and shorts. The socks were more
frustrating. They never did come clean, even after taking them in the
shower with me and jumping up and down on them! I took a pair of loose
carpenter jeans from the Gap and washed them only once — wore them on four
plane rides and many travel days. They kept their shape the whole time.
White Rock, BC CAN 01/23/00
While traveling in Italy it was hot in Rome; cold and raining in Florence;
colder, raining and windy in Venice. By the time we got to Venice I was
wearing 2 pairs of tights, 2 pairs of gloves, scarf, hat, long coat — basically
everything I brought, at once. The room heater never came on and we would
return to a room with the window open (for fresh air?). I would get in
the shower with my tights and underclothes on and wash them with my shampoo
as I washed my hair. We had good towels and I could wring them almost
dry and hang them for the next day. We never used a laundromat — too time-consuming.
Washing your clothes can be a real hassle on the road. I can always
stretch an extra day or two with a shirt, socks, or pants, but underwear
is a different story! My solution is that the year before I go, instead
of tossing old underwear in the rag bag, I save them up and take them
on my trip. A dozen pairs of underwear are light and don't take up space.
I then toss them after use on the trip.
Pleasanton, CA USA 01/01/00
Re: using safety pins instead of clothespins when doing laundry. I took
a long length of narrow elastic which I could tie to use as a clothesline.
Then I used the safety pins to hang underwear and socks. Worked well for
Mena, AR USA 12/10/99
For women, thong underwear is great! I know it's a controversal subject — to
thong or not? For me, they are more comfortable and less troublesome.
Pros: no panty lines, less fabric to wash and wait for to dry, and the
fun colors and patterns they come in! Cons: takes a couple days to get
used to, but then I think they are more comfortable then wedgies! Absolutely
trial run before you leave!
Cleveland!, OH USA 11/30/99
I take along large safety pins to use as "clothespins." If there is nothing
to use for a clothesline, you can pin through the edges of clothes, then
link pin to pin to make your own and drape it across the bathroom or bathtub
while you are out!
Two inflatable hangers worked great — no hassle with a clothesline. And
since many hotel wardrobes had nonremovable hangers, they came in handy...and
obviously took up almost no weight or space in the duffle.
seattle, USA 11/15/99
When we were in Austria, we stopped at a camping site and used the washing
machines and dryers. They were inexpensive and nobody seemed to mind.
However, do clean out the lint filter when you're finished drying a load.
I didn't (because I always do it before I start a load at home), and the
janitor really yelled at me in German I couldn't understand.