I wasn’t responsible for my own laundry until I had moved away to college. I was a freshly minted 17-year old faced with a a roll of quarters someone had given me for a high school graduation present (which I thought was completely ridiculous), an individual load size box of wash powder, almost every article of clothing I owned, and several aging machines that looked more like steampunk art pieces than what I now know as laundry appliances. So while it may seem trite to talk about laundry on a “grown up blog” it is an oft-forgotten about “need to know” skill.
Because we live on the road it seems as if laundry is now an adventure each and every time. Sometimes we are fortunate enough to have a nice commercial set of appliances at our campground while other times find us hand washing in the bathtub and drying either over towels or outside in the sun. We have paid as little as $1.00 per load and as much as $2.00 per load. Some machines have wash cycles of 25 minutes while others seem to wash almost indefinitely. Whatever the case though there are a few tips that seem to apply no matter what the conditions are.
1. ALWAYS HAVE QUARTERS. Even though the rest of the world seems to work on debit/credit card 99.9% of laundromats and laundry rooms do not. They still work on quarters. When you get a quarter, keep it. You will almost always need it!
2. PROVIDE YOUR OWN DETERGENT. A few laundromats have vending options for detergent, fabric softener, etc. Most do not though and even when they do they are usually 200% the cost they are anywhere else. Therefore bring your own detergent. Even if it is just a travel size from the drugstore. Have it with you.
3. FOLD ‘EM WHEN FINISHED. Take your laundry to the laundry room in either a garment bag, laundry bag, or cart. You will want it to carry your fresh, clean clothes back home in. There is no reason in being so meticulous about laundry if you are just going to stuff it into a trash bag when finished.
4. CONSIDER AN EMERGENCY FUND. You never know when you’ll have to do laundry in a rush. (Parents of potty training kids know what I am talking about!) The last thing you want to have to do is search in between seat cushions for a few quarters at 7am to do a load of laundry.
5. KEEP UP WITH IT. Don’t let your laundry pile up until you are on your last pair of skivvies. Inevitably that will be the day the laundry machines are being repaired.
BONUS TIP: Keep a 911 Laundry Kit on hand, in your tiny house, in your day bag, etc. In it you should have a travel size of Woolite, a travel bottle of Febreze, a change of undies, and a Tide -To-Go pen. Those few items will keep you looking (and smelling) your best no matter what the situation.
Did we miss any tips? Could we somehow make laundry-on-the-go easier for ourselves? Let us know in the comments section.