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Old 01-10-2019, 08:55 AM   #15
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Laundromats...

So far on our journey we are relying on laundromats and thought I'd share a few things we've learned.

1. Choose one with an attendant. If you are somewhere and there is more than one laundromat to choose from, see which one or one's have a full time attendant. Usually these facilities are cleaner and better maintained. Ask the attendant about the local water and if hard or soft and adjust the amount of detergent you use accordingly. Ask the attendant about the washing machines and whether or not they work OK at all the temperature settings (E.g. hot may not work because of their water heater or water pressure).

2. Do a walk through. Before bringing in all your stuff just do a walk through the facility to see if it is fairly clean, check the machines (see below), make sure you are comfortable with the place, etc.

3. Take a good look at the washing machine. What we have seen over and over is folks putting way too much detergent, fabric softener, etc. in the machine. My wife has multiple chemical sensitivities so having someone else's detergent (and the nasty fragrances) in our clothing and sheets can be a big health problem. At one facility we learned that the staff from some carnival had recently come through and overloaded all the machines. An attendant at the laundry we are currently using told us that sometimes there is so much detergent in the machine that she has seen soap suds coming out of the coin slot! We have run loads where we did not add any soap at all, and our wash was so full of soap from the previous person that we had to run the load a second and even a third time just to rinse it to get all the soap out. So what we have found is a) examine the soap/softener loading compartment and see if it is caked with detergent, etc. Avoid if so. b) Give the washer a "sniff" test. Does it reek of someone's perfume or cologne? Avoid if so. c) Before putting in your load, if a front load washer close the door and pour a gallon or so of fresh water through the soap loading compartment (this was a recommendation from a laundromat attendant in Ohio, bless her heart) and use a paper towel to wipe out excess detergent. d) During the rinse cycle, add a cup of white vinegar. This acts as a fabric softener and helps reduce the detergent level.

4. Take a good look at the dryer before you put your clothes in. Spin the drum and see if anything is in it. We have found all kinds of things in dryers, such as chewing gum, cat poop, screws stuck in the drum that could wreck your clothes, etc. Also, check the glass on the front to see whether it is smeared with something (like too much soap still in the clothes) from the previous person's wash.

Hope this is helpful.

Steve
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:47 AM   #16
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I would like to add one more "lookout for"

Front loading washing machines running cold water only, that don't pump out the full tub. There is a water level below the spinning tub you can hear if you rotate the spinning tub by hand.
Unit smells like mold, signs posted to leave the door open, , ,
Danger
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:21 AM   #17
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Super advice! Thanks.

Would also add that laundry day can be made a lot easier in the stage of packing for the trip. We try to get by with only dark clothes so that everything can be put into the same load, and they don't show every spot to begin with. Even underwear: dry her itsy bitsies in the shower or on a discrete outdoor line, if they're a must, but underwear that can go in the drier is a big help.

Every clothing item packed goes with every other clothing item packed. This cuts down on the need for a lot of clothes to begin with.

Microfiber towels (available at mountain shops if not elsewhere.)

We're constantly saving quarters for our travels. In Canada these would be loonies ($1 coins.)

Concentrated detergent takes up less space, and requires less schlepping. There are some green brands.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:04 AM   #18
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Martinsburg , West Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDONA View Post
I would like to add one more "lookout for"

Front loading washing machines running cold water only, that don't pump out the full tub. There is a water level below the spinning tub you can hear if you rotate the spinning tub by hand.
Unit smells like mold, signs posted to leave the door open, , ,
Danger
Luckily haven't seen this one yet but will keep our eye out for it from now on!

Thanks

Steve
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post
Super advice! Thanks.

Would also add that laundry day can be made a lot easier in the stage of packing for the trip. We try to get by with only dark clothes so that everything can be put into the same load, and they don't show every spot to begin with. Even underwear: dry her itsy bitsies in the shower or on a discrete outdoor line, if they're a must, but underwear that can go in the drier is a big help.

Every clothing item packed goes with every other clothing item packed. This cuts down on the need for a lot of clothes to begin with.

Microfiber towels (available at mountain shops if not elsewhere.)

We're constantly saving quarters for our travels. In Canada these would be loonies ($1 coins.)

Concentrated detergent takes up less space, and requires less schlepping. There are some green brands.
My point as well in earlier post. Organization beforehand. I travel full-time for work. Same fabric types (washing requirements) is the big one. 25’ for wash cycle and 18’ for dry cycle. Ten days of clothing.

How fast it’s done may not matter for most, but as it does for me it’s no longer much of a chore. About an hour to where it’s re-hung and I can leave.
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