Travel Laundry Tips
Doing laundry on a trip is usually the very last thing you want to think about. However, doing laundry on a trip is a good way to save money and space when traveling. When you do laundry as you travel, you won't need to pack as many clothes making it easy to re-wear clothes on the trip. You'll also save money doing your laundry in your hotel room, rather than using the hotel's laundry service or a laundromat.
Faucet by Jarmoluk
Necessary items List
Microfiber Towels: microfiber towels hold more water than a regular hotel towel, and can be wrung out time after time to use on more laundry. Travel laundry detergent is available in various forms. You can take your normal powdered laundry detergent in a ziplock plastic bag to use on a trip. However, you might find using laundry detergent sheets easier. Use the detergent you prefer, keeping in mind you want to pack light.
Bar soap. Another helpful item to have along is bar soap. A medium-sized bar of soap is easy to pack, and is helpful to use on the dirtier and smellier parts of clothing such as underarms, collars and the soles of socks. If you do use bar soap, make sure to choose soap that rinses clean like Dove or Ivory. Either of these work well.
Flat sink stopper. The flat sink stopper is necessary for doing laundry in hotels. Some hotels, at least in Europe, ask you not to do laundry in your room. To prevent guests from doing laundry, hotels often remove the sink stopper from the bathroom sink. This is frustrating when you need to do laundry. A sink stopper will sit flat on the bottom of the sink or tub, holding in water while you wash clothes.
Hangers. Lastly, you can pack about four plastic hangers. The hangers not only give you more room to hang your clothes, but they offer a place to hang and dry your laundry. Plastic hangers can be hard to pack, but there are inflatable hangers you can take along. These hangers deflate and take up little space in your luggage.
Hanging Laundry by Sabina_Bends
How to Wash Your Clothes
Here's a short video showing how to wash your clothes in a sink. I use this same method when we travel, but I use the flat sink stopper to hold water in the sink for washing and rinsing. The video shows the water is left running, but this is a waste of water resources.
Other Laundry Tips
Pre-treat your clothes: pre-treating spots and other soiled areas on your clothes. You can pre-treat using the bar soap, or even shampoo. After pre-treating, allow your clothes to sit for a few minutes to help the soap loosen the dirt.
Soak heavily soiled clothing: after pre-treating spots and other soiled areas of your clothes, you can soak your clothes for 30 minutes to an hour to help fabric release the stains, smells, etc.
Use correct water temperature: it's very important to wash your clothes in the correct temperature water. Be sure to read the garment care labels on all clothes you plan to wash by hand, and follow the manufacturer's instructions in order to avoid damaging your clothes.
Rinse well when using bar soap: be sure to thoroughly rinse the areas where you've used the bar soap or shampoo in order to get all the soap out. This will keep your clothes from getting stiff with soap.
Hanging your clothes to dry: hang clothing on your plastic or inflatable hangers, and then hang the hangers on a shower curtain rod, door handles, etc. If your clothes drip, be sure to put newspaper under them. This will keep the floor and/or carpeting from spotting and help to avoid water damage.
Travel Laundry Benefits
Doing laundry on a trip doesn't have to be hard or expensive. This method of doing laundry will help you to pack light, save money and time, while keeping in clean clothes for your trip!
© 2011 Sherry Vacik