How To Save Time Doing Laundry While Traveling

Whether you RV full-time or not, laundry is an inevitable chore that must get done even though most people have a list of other things they would rather be doing.

Using a laundromat has a whole list of challenges on its own, but there are other ways to minimize the time spent doing laundry.

Minimize your time stuck in a laundromat (Photo via Tracy O./Flickr)

1. Drop-off laundry services

Many laundromats offer drop-off laundry services, usually at a per pound cost.  You bring your laundry pile in and leave it for the service to sort, wash, dry, and fold.  Most places even allow you to give your preferences for the type of detergent and whether you want fabric softener.  When you pick up (usually a 24-hour turn-around, but often you can pay more for faster service if needed), your laundry is neatly folded and bagged, ready to go!

BONUS 1:  You don’t have to spend any time sitting around in hard plastic chairs people-watching while your laundry spins around.  You could be fishing, shopping, hiking, or relaxing instead.

BONUS 2:  The laundry services often have preferred machines they use that are cleaner and more efficient than the “general assembly” of machines, so you don’t have to worry so much about what was floating around in the machine before you put your clothes in it.

2. Line-dry your laundry at home

Personally, I love line-dried laundry.  If you find you need to venture to a laundromat, you can always get things washed, then bring the wet clothes home to line-dry, cutting your time in the laundromat in half.

If you don’t like the stiffness of line-dried clothes, there are laundry additives you can use during the wash to increase the softness of fabrics.  You do have to line dry promptly so that clothes don’t get mildew, but hanging clothes in your own environment may be preferable to hard plastic chairs.

There are several ways to hang dry clothes in an RV space, from portable outdoor lines to collapsible, space-efficient systems you can use inside your RV.

BONUS 1:  Save time away from home, environmentally-friendly, and costs nothing!

BONUS 2:  Clothes dried under the sunshine just seem to smell better.

3. Use clothes that can be washed together

Plan ahead and pack clothes that can be washed together in the same water temperature.  By doing one full load of clothes instead of 3 smaller loads of whites, darks, and delicates you are increasing your laundry efficiency.  This saves water, detergent, energy, and time.  This also prevents you from being “THAT person” who hogs all the machines.

BONUS 1:  Better for the environment.

BONUS 2:  Save time from not having to sort laundry.

laundry
Wool dryer balls speed drying time, keep fabrics soft, and trap allergens (Photo via Wikipedia)

4. Use wool dryer balls

Felted wool balls thrown in the dryer with a load of wet clothes can help speed drying time by as much as 45%.  The balls work by helping to separate wet fabric allowing for a greater surface area for the hot air to work its drying powers on in the dryer.

As a side benefit, the weight of the dryer balls helps fluff up fabrics and act as a natural fabric softener–without the irritating chemicals, smells, and waste of dryer sheets.

Four to six wool balls in a normal size dryer will last over 1,000 loads (several years) before they start getting tattered and need to be replaced.

BONUS 1:  Environmentally friendly and inexpensive.

BONUS 2:  The natural wool fiber can trap and reduce common allergens (pollen, dust, pet dander) from your clothes.

See also: Save Money On Laundry With These Portable Washer/Dryers



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