how to do laundry on holiday

Keep Calm and do the Laundry

I’m one of those weird people who like laundry.  I really do.  I like the process of taking baskets of dirty, crumpled clothes and turning them into clean and fresh clothes.  There’s something quite soothingly therapeutic about it, don’t you think?  There’s the sorting, the washing, the shaking, the hanging, the folding, more sorting – it does have a certain systems junkie appeal!

The other reason I like laundry is that I like clothes.  In fact, I love clothes!  I look after my clothes by reading the care labels, using specialist laundry products and being very careful about how I dry my clothes.  I haven’t used a clothes dryer for a good five years.  I even hand wash!

Crash Test Mummy used some of my Laundry Queen tips here!

When I go on holiday, I like to take some of my favourite clothes with me.  I know lots of people subscribe to the theory of taking old clothes so you don’t have to worry about them, but I’m on holiday.  I like to look nice!

I’m fully down with the idea of room service, poolside cocktail service, eating out three times a day and having my room serviced daily.  Oh, no problems with that at all.  But I baulk at laundry service.  I don’t want to hand over my clothes to a commercial laundry where they won’t give my babies clothes the attention I would give them.  No lingerie bag for delicates.  Commercial washing machines and dryers.  Do they even use fabric softener?!

I’m going to share my patented Laundry Queen hotel laundry system with you.

I pack a portable laundry line, cunning pegs that double as hooks, metal over the door hooks, a bottle of quality body wash (Trilogy is my favourite) and a cake of Sard Wonder Soap.  Boyo can be filthy before breakfast.  Trust me, the Sard is essential!  Sometimes I even pack a folding umbrella hanger.

IKEA Pressa – only $4.99. You need one or three!

I use the bath or bathroom sink as my “washing machine”.  I partially fill it with warm water and add a few squirts of the body wash.  The Sard Wonder Soap gets used for stains and I gently agitate the fabric by rubbing it between my fingers until the stain is removed.  However, I’ve also discovered that a hotel cake of soap will work in a pinch.  Like you would at home, separate items into darks and lights and wash accordingly.  I handwash things like lingerie, undies, kid’s clothes, pyjamas and my tops and dresses.  I am a Laundry Queen, not a masochist, so I send shorts, jeans, men’s tops, anything needing dry-cleaning, to the laundry service!

Once I’ve washed all the items by hand, I then partially fill the sink with clean cool water and soak the items.  I take each piece and using the detachable shower head (I so want one of these at home!), I rinse each piece until the water runs clear.

If I’m washing silk items, I use the hotel hair conditioner as fabric softener.  Just mix in a few squirts to the clean cool water prior to rinsing with the shower head.

Next, each piece of clothing is wrung out by hand until it is dry as I can get it.  You can use a towel as well – just lay the item inside a towel, then fold closed until you have a rectangular shape.  Put your foot on one end and twist the other end with your hand.

Then to dry the clothes.  Some hotels have laundry lines in the bathroom.  Feed the line through the items and hang them so they’re evenly spaced so air can circulate.  I love my travel laundry line, which has suction caps.  If there’s nothing to stick it to, you can remove the suction caps and the hooks work perfectly around a balcony railing.  Best of all, the travel laundry line has twisted elastic that holds your items. I use my peg-hooks (hook-pegs?!) over the shower door or door handles.  Hotel clothes hangers get pressed into service for other items.  The skirt hangers can be used to hang a pair of undies from each clip.  Here’s where the over the door hangers come in handy!

So, not only have you looked after your clothes, you’ve been environmentally friendly and saved some money too!

This is the point at which I realise I’m on holiday and take myself off to the pool bar for a happy hour cocktail pronto!

Are you a member of the Laundry Queen Club too?


Kimba Likes // a style blog with a fun family twist! @kimbalikes

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  • […] down from $69.95.  It will be a fabulous summer holiday piece as it packs beautifully, will wash easily in the hotel bathroom sink, will dry overnight and can be dressed up or down.  Plus the stretchiness will help streamline my […]ReplyCancel

  • She's Sonic - 2 May 2012 - 5.40 pm

    OMG you really are the Laundry Queen!! I am not a fan of laundry. At. All. But I do take care of our clothes and have mastered the art of hanging them so that minimal ironing is required. Love your tips though!! xxReplyCancel

    • Kim-Marie Williams - 5 May 2012 - 9.25 am

      Yes, I really am.  I’m choosing to think of it as a skill and talent, rather than as a sad and pitiable affliction! I hang absolutely everything humanly possible on hangers (none of those cheap and nasty wire ones permitted in my house) and I even peg things onto my clotheshorses, so they dry better.  I love laundry.  I loathe and detest ironing! *shudders*ReplyCancel

  • Kim-Marie Williams - 2 May 2012 - 9.27 am

    Use a smaller amount of detergent, no fabric softener, a deep rinse cycle and hang your towels outside. You will get fluffy! I even hang towels on my Pressa!
    Thanks, Ingrid!ReplyCancel

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