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The longer you travel, the more likely you'll need to wash your clothes. You can:

  • Use a laundromat (if available) - common in Europe, but not so common in Asia and South America
  • Use the hotel's laundry service (often expensive)
  • Pay some locals to wash them for you
  • Wash them yourself - e.g. in the hotel bathroom (some don't allow this)

Note that if you are charged by the kilo and the clothing is already wet, you'll pay a whole lot more. Allow the items to dry out first, or negotiate a lower rate.

Hand washing[edit]

The cheapest way to do your laundry (albeit not the most thorough) is to do it yourself. If staying at a hotel, make sure this is not against the rules.

  • In the bathroom, fill the sink or bathtub with water, some sort of soap (or shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent), and your dirty clothes. You can use a universal sink stopper or just a dirty sock.
  • Let it soak for about 15 minutes
  • Swish the clothes around. Scrub each item individually by rubbing the cloth together, concentrating on areas such as the armpits and stains. Apply additional soap as needed.
  • Rinse each item under a faucet (e.g. the shower) until the water runs out clean, not soapy.
  • Wring the excess water out of the item.
  • Hang up your clothes: outside is best or use a portable clothes line. Try to let them dry as long as possible, e.g. overnight, or if you're in the same room for several days, for a full day..
    • You can also try using a hairdryer, if available, but be careful not to allow fabric to become too hot (which can cause shrinkage, or in extreme cases, scorch.)
    • Some hotel bathrooms have electric heaters designed for drying towels. They may be used to dry the laundry, but are often quite small.
  • If your clothes are still wet, pack them in a separate, plastic bag.
This travel topic is an outline and should either be merged into an appropriate parent topic or else developed further. It has a template, but there is not enough information present for it to be of real use. It was last edited on 2012-05-9 and will be merged or deleted if not modified for one year. Please plunge forward and rescue it!