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Laundry Day: How To Save Time On This Chore In Your RV

a white washer sitting next to a bed with a vase of flowers on the side of the washer

How To Make Laundry Day In Your RV A Breeze

Whether we’re at home or on vacation, laundry is one of those chores that needs to get done. There’s really no way of escaping laundry day if we want to maintain some aura of civility when we’re RVing. However, your pile of dirty clothes doesn’t have to represent a mountain of drudgery.

You’ll be surprised at how organized, efficient, and effortless (well, nearly) laundry chores can be. A little planning and the right preparation can make all the difference. The tips in this article will give you everything you need to make RV laundry days a cinch.

Make use of a wash-and-fold laundry service

The best way to avoid the drudgery of laundry day is by getting someone else to do your laundry for you. Many laundromats (and a few RV park laundromats) help make this a reality by providing a drop-off service. You just drop off your laundry and then come back and pick it up in a few hours, washed, dried, and perfectly folded.

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The only drawback to getting a drop-off service to do your laundry is that it will cost you a lot more than doing it yourself. Rates for wash-dry-fold services are almost always by the pound with a minimum of 15 lbs per service. The cost ranges between $30 and $75 depending on how much laundry you have.

Avoid having to sort laundry by packing like colors and fabrics

Pretty much everyone I know has tried washing whites with colors once. Whites never come out looking better when you mix them with colored fabrics. As a matter of fact, whites don’t often survive camping life well at all.

Your RV laundry days will be a lot easier without packing white or light-colored clothing. Leave the light stuff at home and just bring easy-care clothes in dark or bright colors. You’ll be able to avoid the entire chore of sorting your laundry.

Use laundry detergent strips instead of bulky detergent

Laundry detergent strips are a game-changer when it comes to doing RV laundry. These ultra-thin strips of highly condensed laundry detergent come in a cardboard envelope and take up very little space.

In addition to packing a very powerful punch to get rid of stains and odors, laundry strips are phosphate-free. Phosphates are what cause toxic blue-green algae to flourish in our lakes and waterways. Using phosphate-free laundry products can help eliminate blue-green algae.

The plastic packaging used for laundry detergent pouches takes up unnecessary space in the RV. It’s also made with astonishing amounts of petroleum. The production of plastic packaging increases the demand for fossil fuels. Higher demand for petroleum results in higher prices at the pump.

In addition, disposing of plastic detergent packaging isn’t easy either. Plastic doesn’t decompose–it lasts forever. Although plastics can be recycled, recycling plastic packaging uses a lot of fossil fuel and ends up being very expensive.

As a result, when we put plastic in a recycling bin, it almost always ends up either in a landfill or being shipped to overseas companies where it can be recycled using cheap labor, without a lot of government regulations. However, these overseas recycling companies frequently dump recyclable plastics into the ocean when manufacturing costs are high or prices for finished products are down.

The dumping of plastic recyclables originating in North America has resulted in the 620,000 sq. mile environmental catastrophe known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In addition to cleaning our clothes, using laundry strips allows us to avoid contributing to an environmental nightmare that has become hard to ignore.

Get coins before you go

It’s a good idea to have a stash of coins ready before you leave on your trip. This is because you won’t always be able to count on the RV park to have change for you, and there might not be a change machine in the park laundromat.

Use the RV park laundromat at odd hours

Using an RV park laundromat at less popular times will often allow you to have the laundry machines to yourself. The best times to do laundry are early in the morning or later in the evening on weekdays.

Scope out the RV park laundry room ahead of time

It’s a great idea to scope out the laundromat before you need to do laundry. That way, you’ll be able to see how clean they are, how many machines there are, how big the machines are, etc. You can also find out how many coins you’ll need, and if there’s a change machine.

Use laundry bags instead of baskets

Laundry bags take up less space than laundry baskets. They make it easy to store laundry. Then on laundry day, you can just tote it to the laundromat. It’s easy for each member of the family to have their own laundry bag. So when you get it to the laundromat, you can easily separate laundry into individual machines as appropriate. Toss the bag into the wash too so it stays fresh and clean.

Use a fold-up wagon to get loads to and from the RV park laundromat

Fold-up wagons are handy to have around the campsite. However, they are particularly handy when you need to get dirty laundry from the campsite to the RV park laundromat. You can easily stash your wash loads and any other supplies you need in these little wagons. The best ones have high sides and big wheels that turn easily. 

Check the interior of machines carefully before you put laundry in

It’s never any fun trying to get mystery stains out of your clothes and linens after they’ve been washed or dried in a dirty machine. It’s better to take a few extra moments to carefully check the interior of machines before you put your load in than to have to deal with mystery stains when you pull your wash out.

Always set a timer

In most laundromats, you’ll be able to find out how long the washers and dryers take. It’s a good idea to set a timer on your smartphone or watch to remind you to check your load. This is because if you leave it in a machine for too long, you’ll either prevent someone else from using the machine or some laundromat desperado might take your clothes out for you. You might find your just-cleaned wash in a disheveled pile on a dirty table or wherever. Setting an alarm allows you to prevent that scenario.

Get tips from other RVers

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.

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