Laundry Packing List Items & Tips

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For a trip that last longer the amount of clothing you are willing to take, you will need to consider how you are going to deal with doing your laundry.

I hate having to deal with laundry on a trip, so I tend to take more clothes so I can go longer without dealing with the task. It is such a nice feeling after the laundry is done though, as it means I don't have to think about it for a while. On the other scale, you can pack light and even do some nightly washes, taking advantage of quick drying materials.

If you plan on getting someone to do it all for you, then you do not need to think much further, although you will need to find an acceptable place to do your laundry. This can save you time and reduce the items you will need to take.

Doing your own laundry can be for modesty reasons, to save money, reduce the chances of harm to your clothes, or them being lost etc.

Here are some tips and items you might need if you are performing laundry related tasks on your trip:


TitleItem TypeDescription
Check Pockets-

Always remember to check pockets for items like paper, cash, IDs etc, before doing a wash.

Cold Washes-

Sometimes the only choice as cold water is cheaper. Less likely to cause shrinkage, fading and damage to your clothes. Cold water is generally not as good at removing stains or sanitizing clothes. Pretreating with stain remover and soaking may help with tougher stains. Check your laundry detergent works well in cold water.

Finish Laundry-

The quicker you get it done, the quicker it will be dry. Don't leave it lying wet too long or it may go missing or get smelly.

Hot Washes-

Hot water is good for killing germs and removing grime, but is more likely to damage clothing, cause shrinking, fading, color leakage onto other clothes and set protein stains.

Laundry Hours-

Take into consideration when the laundry will be opening and closing. Especially if you are cutting it fine for when you are leaving the area. I have nearly lost my laundry due to transport being late and nearly missing closing time before and early morning flight.

Leaking Colors-

Remember clothes with colors can leak, especially the first time you wash them. Make sure you do not mix other items that may be ruined.

Shake Clothes-

Shaking out clothes like t-shirts after washing can reduce wrinkles and lead to quicker drying by removing some water.

Washing Undergarments-

Some people like to pack a minimal amount of small and quick drying undergarments they can easily wash and dry each day or so.

Check DetergentLaundry Detergent

Get a good quality laundry detergent that is up to the job and works well in cold water as often that is all that is available.

Test Stain RemoverStain Remover

You may want to test a stain remover on a small section (least visible area) of the clothing to make sure it will not cause any damage.

Packing Items

Item TypeSelect
Lint Remover

There are different types, like rollers, or battery operated machines, but they help remove that lint that is not meant to be on your clothes.

Portable Ironing Board

You can get quite small ironing boards to make your ironing duties easier.

Stain Remover

For when normal washing detergent is not getting the job done, apply this to a stain for extra cleaning power.

Laundry Bag

Can be used to store dirty laundry in your bag and transport your clothes to and from where they will be cleaned.


If you need your clothes wrinkle free and have the room to spare. There are some portable irons as well.

Delicates Bag

A special bag you put into the washing machine with delicate items like lingerie, shirts etc. Often made of a mesh material that reduces the chance of items being damaged.

Laundry Detergent

Laundry without detergent is just wetting your clothes. Single use packets can be useful for travel.

Clothesline (Portable)

A compact and stretchy clothesline that can attach (often loops or hooks) between items to create hanging space for items you want to dry (often inside a room).

Fabric Softener

Normally used during the rinse cycle in a washing machine. Optional, but its job is to make fibres "stand up" given the material a softer feeling.

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