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cleaning clothes

I will be hostelling in Italy for a few weeks and am packing light. DO I need to bring a board for hand cleaning my clothes. WHat should I bring. THis is my first long trip.

Posted by
57 posts

During our recent 2 week trip, my sisters & I did the hostelling thing (for the 1st time). We hand washed our clothes in the sink with shampoo (we just used our hands, a board isn't necessary). This worked well for us. The only thing I regret is not bringing a clothes line. We had everything draped over our bunks. Hope this helps.

Posted by
576 posts

Beisdes the extremely useful clothesline, I always pack a few plastic coa thangers that I use, then throw away before coming home. It makes hanging laundry in the showers and sometimes on windows and balconies easier. On my last trip, I found some inflatable hangers at a AAA travel store. They were great because when inflated they created more airspace between the fronts and backs of shirts, helping them dry quickly.

Posted by
1568 posts

We used 2 of Rick Steves' travel clothes lines. We also took 4 plastic clothes hanger and clothes pins. They really came in handy due to the fact we only took 4 sets of clothes for 8 weeks. We traveled light which made our trip go so much easier.

Posted by
1556 posts

Ditto on the inflatable hangers - I never (ever) thought I would say that but they were fantastic. Plus, when inflated they are much wider than regular hangers and thus your clothes dry faster. I take Dr. Bronners liquid soap for clothes (and me) but have also used shampoo. It's an adventure going soap shopping in Italy, so make that part of your adventure plan! Also, it may be obvious, but try washing and drying your clothes at home before you leave - you can weed out the slow-drying and find out how long things take to dry. Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
1568 posts

Agree with CL. We washed and hanged dried the 4 outfits we "thought" we were taking to Europe for 8 weeks. Two of the four slacks I was going to take took too long to dry.

Yes, best wash and hang before you go.

Posted by
75 posts

This must be laundry week, several questions on it. See my post to Jason's questions.I agree with recommendations on braided clothesline, inflatable hangers. I would add that you might want to bring a baby carabiner to help loop the one side of a clothes line to something if there are no hooks. Also, sink stopper is good to have. I respectfully disagree with using shampoo, as it has all these great-for-hair type conditioners in it that make it hard for the soap in the shampoo to get to the dirt, sweat, and oil that chothes pick up. I suggest powdered cold water detergent, solid shampoo (Liggett,Burts Bees), solid detergent (fels Naptha, Zote), or Woolite type liquid.
Wash on!

Posted by
19 posts

I'll be figuring this out for myself next week (14 day ETBD tour), but I found tiny one use packets of Tide detergent, specifically for washing in the sink. Found these in the section with all the travel size shampoos etc. Im also bringing a couple of plastic hangers that I plan on leaving behind if need be. Hopefully this will suffice!

Posted by
576 posts

Another helpful laundry tool...a small fingernail brush. It really helps to use the brush with the grain of the fabric when you're trying to remove a stubborn stain.

Posted by
160 posts

Skip the board, you don't need it. Just hand-agitate in a sink, or use a laundromat if you get really dirty.

On both of my trips to Europe, I've used the Lewis N. Clark Laundry Soap Kit. It comes with 8 Woolite soap packets and a drain stopper (you can use a sock for that as well). The kit worked well for me, so I'm bringing it again on my 3rd trip next month.

In addition, I brought along a travel clothesline (can't remember if it was Rick's, but they're pretty similar). You can also use shoelaces for a substitute.

Posted by
59 posts

I just returned from 4 weeks in Italy and did lots of hand wash. In fact, I only used a machine once in Siena. It was raning and I used the dryer at the laundry for my jeans and sweatshirt. I took a laundry line with suction cups on the ends and small hooks so I could stick it on the tile walls or tie it around a pipe. I didn't need the sink stopper this time but I needed it on the last trip.

I found that an extra large ziplock bag was good for storing laundry until it got washed and if the sink in the hotel was small, I could fill the bag with clothes and soap and make a little washing machine. Zip the bag and squish everything for a few minutes and let soak, then rinse. It uses less water if you are washing several items. The bag packs flat and doesn't take up much room and you can use it to wrap items like wine or oil on the way home.

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