Laundry is your best friend when it comes to travelling light on longer journeys. Would you want to pack just half as much for a two-week vacation and only have to do laundry once, or would you rather bring enough hand-wash clothes for both weeks of the trip?
What should you do if you’ll be gone for a month or longer? Learning how to hand wash clothing is a useful skill that may reduce the number of belongings that need to be packed.
You may pack less while still ensuring that you look and smell well by doing your laundry before you go. In this piece, we will discuss how to wash your clothes by hand, which is the most straightforward method, as well as a few additional options for doing laundry while travelling.
Backpacking is a great way to see the world and get some exercise, but it’s important to know what a good pace for backpacking is for your trip. This blog post will help you figure out how fast you should be walking so you can enjoy your journey.
You can bring a quarter of the number of clothes in your vacation bag if you hand wash some of it sometimes or go to a wash and fold service occasionally.
How to Hand Wash Clothes in a Sink
Washing your clothing by hand is the quickest and easiest choice. You may reduce the number of goods you need to pack for a vacation by washing your underwear, socks, and other minor items by hand if the trip is not too long.
Get all of your materials organised and ready before you start. What you must have:
- Dirty clothes
- Sink or tub
- Mild detergent or dishwashing liquid
We’ll cover some additional, optional tools later in this article. Hand washing is ideal for a few items per “load.” The more clothes you wash, the more drying space you have to find.
Step 1: Separate Colors
When doing any load of laundry, it is important to keep colourful items and white clothes apart from one another to reduce the risk of colour bleeding.
I never bring anything white with me because I don’t want to have to do two loads of washing. No white undershirts, no white tights, and no white sports socks allowed. Those are the rules.
Step 2: Fill the Sink with Warm, Soapy Water
Warm water should be added to the sink or bathtub. The presenter of the nationally syndicated radio programme The Clothing Doctor, Steve Boorstein, recommends a temperature of 85 degrees, which is “slightly warm to the touch.” If you use water that is too hot, you risk getting burns on your hands, and it may also cause colours to run.
A few drops of a gentle detergent or dishwashing liquid should be added to the sink while it is being filled with water. You can plug the sink with a sink stopper, but I never bother to bring one with me when I travel. When I stay in an apartment booked via Airbnb, the host almost always provides a sink stopper. If there is nothing else available, I will utilise whatever is laying around.
For those looking for a bar of soap, I suggest trying the liquid formulation of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. Due to the high concentration of the soap, you will only need a few drops to wash your garments by hand.
Step 3: Do a Spin Cycle
Put your clothing in the water with the detergent and give them a gentle whirl around the sink. Use the fabric itself to scrub dirty garments by pressing it against itself. Apply more detergent specifically to the areas that are the dirtiest, and scrub those areas more thoroughly.
Step 4: Soak Your Clothes
After you have scrubbed the garments, hang them up to soak. If the water already seems to be contaminated, you may drain it and then replace the sink with clean water that has been soapy.
The majority of items of clothing should just need a five-minute soak. If the load is really dirty, let the clothing soak for up to half an hour.
Step 5: Rinse Out the Soap
Empty the sink of the water that contains the soap. To eliminate any residual detergent, rinse the garments immediately under the running water from the faucet. You will know that the item has been fully washed when the water runs clear rather than murky and there are no soapy bubbles present.
How to Dry Hand-Washed Clothes
After you have given your garments a brief washing, you may perform some quick preparation work to assist them in drying more quickly.
Extract the maximum amount of water from each object that you can. However, you should not leave your garments tangled up in twists and knots. You should reshape your garments so that they will dry more quickly, preserve their form longer, and wrinkle less severely. If you expose more of the surface area of your garments to the air, this will help them dry more quickly.
You may speed up the drying process even more for materials that dry more slowly, such as cotton or wool, by doing the following:
- Place the item flat on a towel (full-sized or travel towels will do).
- Roll your towel tightly to remove even more water from your clothes.
- Re-shape the clothing item as described earlier by unrolling the towel.
Dry your clothing by hanging them up. The more air that is moving about in close proximity to them, the better. Clothes will dry more quickly if they are hung out outside, in proximity to a fan or window, or both. Air that is not moving and is damp is the worst possible atmosphere for drying.
The vast majority of performance textiles that are quick-drying will be dry in a few hours. Items made of wool need at least one night to dry. The drying time for cotton is the longest. Some tourists advise bringing along a clothesline in order to hang wet or damp garments to dry.
Because each load of laundry that I wash isn’t too large, I merely look around my room for a few available spaces and hang the items there. You may drape your clothing over the backs of chairs, hang them from the doorknobs, or use the hangers that are supplied.
Also Read: Is a Backpack a Personal Item?
Travel Laundry Tips
Utilize a Wash and Fold method.
You may have clean laundry delivered to your door the following day for the price of a cup of coffee in many circumstances.
Instead, bring your laundry to a wash and fold service and leave it there.
During the course of my travels around Asia, I have made frequent use of the wash and fold service, and I can honestly say that I have never once regretted doing so.
Keep your clean and dirty clothes in separate piles.
Keep your clean clothes and your filthy clothes in separate compartments when you are travelling. The clean clothing will stay clean, and you’ll be able to identify which ones are clean and which ones are filthy more easily if you store them in separate piles.
If you want to take things a step further, you may consider purchasing a set of packing cubes for added organising. Purchase a set that has a top panel made of mesh so that you can see what’s within and determine whether or not it’s been cleaned and is ready to be worn.
Wool from the Merino Sheep
Merino wool is an excellent travel material since it not only looks nice but also packs well and naturally inhibits the growth of odour-causing bacteria. Merino, which may be worn many times before needing to be washed yet is sensitive, responds nicely to being hand-washed in the manner that was just explained.
Yes, pants made of denim are a surprisingly decent choice for travelling. Why? Because you never need to worry about washing your jeans again.
You are free to wear your jeans during the whole of your vacation if you so want. After you come back to your house, wash them. It’s all OK, according to the CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.
Antimicrobial Garments for the Lower Half
The majority of individuals attempt to handle this issue by carrying extra bras and more underwear, but it is not a solution that is suitable for carry-on luggage. Rather than packing your underwear by the dozen, consider making an investment in only three to four pairs of travel underwear and washing them all anytime you are getting low.
Keep an eye out for these four characteristics while shopping for decent travel underwear:
- Fabric that is antimicrobial
- Wicking away moisture
- Drying quickly
- Fits comfortably
The antibacterial properties of the fabric prevent any unpleasant odours from developing, w
Fabrics that are either dark or patterned
Fabrics with a pattern and dark colours are wonderful options since they have a tendency to conceal stains. If you’re going to buy a travel shirt or pair of jeans, be sure to purchase low-maintenance, dark hand-wash clothes that will withstand the usual slips, spills, and falls that occur all the time while you’re on the go.
How to Get Rid of Stubborn Marks
Utilizing the appropriate equipment is going to be the most straightforward method for removing stains. The Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover Pens are a great option for eliminating stains on the go; in addition, they are affordable, lightweight, and TSA-compliant.
If you do not have a stain removal pen, you might try using regular soap and warm water instead. Be kind. You should be working to lift the stain off the cloth rather than making it more entrenched in the fibres. Move-in rapid, short movements as though you are trying to pull the offending spot out of the fabric. This is not the time to put forth the extra effort.
If you do some washing while you’re away, you’ll only need to bring along half as many outfits, saving you both time and space. Perform a little load once every few days throughout the evening. By the time morning arrives, everything should be spotless and dry.
You should go to the wash and fold if you have longer excursions or more articles of hand-wash clothes. They will take care of everything for you and send your laundry to you the next day all washed, dried, and folded.