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Old 04-30-2009, 07:19 PM   #1
 
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Question Washing clothes in Hostels w/o laundry service!

How do you do it? Obviously you'd be washing in a sink...but what kind of soap do you use? Can any type of liquid soap work? Also...how would you DRY the clothes if where you are is very hot and humid??
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:35 AM   #2
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Not that I really did any washing in hostels on the road, but when I did, this is key: https://www.roughgear.co.uk/Product.aspx?product=344

But if you're going into a big european city or any place with laundry facilities, its better to spend the extra dollar and have that springtime-fresh smell of your clothes =)

Hand washing and hang drying is a pain in the ass, and I could only get it about 60% clean... maybe I'm just not a good washer
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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I second the fact that I can't get my clothes totally clean either. However, in between washings I do sometimes rinse my socks or some t-shirts. I would not recommend hand washing anything denim, or any heavy fabric for that matter.

The washing is the easy part, it is the drying that suxs. If it is the winter sometimes you can get away with a radiator in your room. But this time of year air drying is the only way. It takes a long time.

P.S. Continental lost my luggage for 5 days on my first trip backpacking. I had to learn the hard way.
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:47 PM   #4
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ick...tried it once and never did it again...pay the few extra bucks for the wash...and if you're in a hurry or feel like treating yourself pay for the dry too
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:36 AM   #5
 
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*facepalm* i didnt even think of the possibility of a laundromat..LOL! i wonder how costly these are in central american countries
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:49 PM   #6
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Laundromats in Central America are like everything else in Central America - damn cheap! I can't remember the exact costs, but they will not impact your budget at all.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:54 PM   #7
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Washing in the sink can save some money, but I found it to be more annoying than worthwhile. I did make sure to bring clothes that dried pretty quickly so that can help make things easier. I bought these tiny individual tide packets that they sell in the dollar section of a target or grocery store. They were useful and I didn't have to bring too many of them. Not sure if that helps if you're already on the road. Sometimes hostels will run a laundry service that doesn't cost too much and they do everything for you. Like everyone else mentioned, laundromats are also an option and usually aren't too expensive.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:30 PM   #8
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In south america the hostel's usually have laundry service...you bring down a bag by some deadline and they have the laundry done for you the next day. Really nice too, washed, folded, smelling nice and in little plastic bags like it came from the dry cleaner.

I think I paid something like $10 to get everything in my pack laundered. Not a bad deal for full service! I saw a lot of people taking advantage of it...
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:16 PM   #9
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yep, laundry in SA is cheap. although, when i was in lima last winter i had worn everything in my pack at least thrice and when i tried to find a laundromat everything had like a four day wait. luckily i finally found a place that would let me do it myself, otherwise it could have been unfortunate...
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:36 AM   #10
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I've always been good at washing clothes in the sink...... I make sure I do it a day before leaving a city.... Wash that night, spend the next day touring, then by the eve, its all dry and packable.... I usually buy a bottle of cheap shampoo to use.... It may got get them super clean, but it atleast gives then a decent smell
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:25 AM   #11
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I'm not too picky about my jeans & t-shirts being super clean when I'm on the road and usually I have found facilities when needed (about every 10-12 days. my usual is 2 pairs of jeans, 4-5 t-shirts, a button up shirt, a hoody & a light jacket). but I definitely don't take enough socks & underwear to last from one machine washing to another. At most 5 pairs of each, usually less. So what I do is bring socks & underwear that are a synthtic, partly synthetic, cotton blend, etc. That way they air dry way quicker. I just use whatever is available for free to wash them, usually hand soap or if there is none than my own shampoo. it's always enough to freshen stuff up until the next time I can machine wash.

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Old 05-07-2009, 06:42 PM   #12
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Baby shampoo is a good bet - it won't damage anything you'll be wearing. I even machine wash my wool sweaters (in cold, delicate) with a couple of drops o baby shampoo and air dry them - doesn't wreck the wool, and beats handwashing. But that's at home. A bar of Ivory soap is also pretty effective. And you can wash your hair and body with it too, so practical.

On the road, you can fashion a pretty effective clothesline with two bungee cords. Just twist them around each other and clip the hooks across your bed or wherever works in your room. Slip a corner (as small as possible, or move it periodically, otherwise the fabric between the cords won't dry) between the twisted cords and you're done. Heavier fabrics are tough. In Singapore it was so damp, even inside our a/c'd room, that it took three days for some cotton jersey (t-shirt) dresses to dry. In hot, humid climates rayon, bamboo, silk or those funky travel synthetics are a better option.
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:52 AM   #13
 
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I know the Tide brand makes little sink-wash sized packets. It was probably the best thing I ever found. Common sense about washing clothes in a hostel. Jeans- dont even try unless your are in a super hot arid country. Shirts, underwear, socks-easy. They can dry the same way as you dry your shower towel, hanging off your bunk or on an extra chair in the room. Kein Problem!
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