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Laundry Soap

What is the easiest type of soap/detergent to take for washing out clothes?

Posted by
487 posts

The shampoo that comes in your hotel room, at least for sink washing.

Posted by
2628 posts

I use whatever's around the room. In a hotel, I use the soap, the shampoo, whatever. In an apartment, there's usually laundry soap there for me.

Posted by
1068 posts

I don't do much sink laundry anymore but have used various hotel soaps and shampoos. When I did a lot, I always liked Dr. Bronner, which I used to get at REI. (always preferred the peppermint myself.)

Posted by
14067 posts

Like others, I like to use hotel shampoo or shower gel. It's formulated for hair and/or body oil so I figure it can manage my clothes while I'm on vacation. At the end of a trip when I know I am going to have enough of my shampoo to last, I start using my own shampoo for washing clothes.

The bad thing about taking detergent formulated for washing machines is that it is sometimes hard to rinse out. If you take dry detergent you need to go easy on it with your sink washes until you figure out the amount to use.

Posted by
4452 posts

you can get small packets of Woolite and use each one for several loads. Tide also makes little travel size bottles. Or buy something locally and leave behind what you dont' use.

Posted by
21 posts

Forever New travel laundry detergent. Small packets of soap crystals-no worries about spills. You can purchase package of 16 on amazon and have enough for several trips.

Posted by
8178 posts

My wife takes a Tide stain eraser--pen style. It does a remarkable job.
And she takes a few Tide Pods in a zip lock bag if we run up on washing machines in our accommodations.

Posted by
139 posts

I have perfume and skin allergies. The Rick Steves soap works well for me.

Posted by
7347 posts

We use the little Woolite packets for washing underwear, and use the leftover hotel shampoo for washing clothes. Both types rinse out easily and leave a very light fragrance.

Posted by
3521 posts

I take my preferred powdered high efficiency laundry soap with me in premeasured zip close plastic bags along with some dryer sheets in another sandwich size bag and put all of these into the thickest zip close quart size bag I can find. Powder means no issues with going through security. High efficiency means no worries with the majority of the European washers that are of the HE type. Pre measured means I just dump the whole contents of each bag into the washer at a laundromat.

I rarely do in room sink laundry because I find it takes more effort than I want to spend and my clothes end up taking too long to dry and feel soapy. At a laundromat, I throw everything into a single machine and then read my guide book, catch up on emails, and other things I would normally be doing anyway until done.

Or I just use the hotel service and don't worry about it.

Posted by
19118 posts

Ivory. It 99 and 44/100th percent pure. (If you can remember that you are almost as old as I am.

But seriously, I take along a bar of ivory soap. No 100 ml limit; it's not a liquid. I shower with it, and I wash my clothes with it. I only need one bar for everything.

Posted by
173 posts

Since I usually wash out clothes when I shower, I just use shampoo. I like the idea of Ivory soap!

Posted by
23343 posts

We use a backpack soap that we get at REI. I think it is called CampSuds. It if primarily designed for backpacking when water is limited. It is extremely concentrated - three or four drops in a sink full of water. A 3 oz bottle has lasted through three to four months of travel washing nearly every night.

Posted by
4535 posts

Target (and I assume other big box retailers) sells small packets of Tide. Perfect size for sink washing. I stick them in a zip lock baggie just in case they get crushed.

Posted by
5697 posts

For laundromat trips, there will often be product available for purchase in one-wash packets. Some machines automatically dispense detergent (not good if you don't like their chosen product, but easy)

Posted by
15276 posts

My new preferred way of doing wash is to use the soap leaves that come in little plastic packs of 50 and a two gallon ziploc bag.

I put some water in the zip loc bag and add 2-3 soap leaves per load. (I consider one days worth of clothes a load.) Then I seal the bag and shake. It makes a decent amount of suds. Then I add the clothes, more water--to cover the clothes--seal the bag and shake making sure the clothes are well covered. Then I let them sit for a few minutes.

Empty the water and then add new water one or two times to rinse out the clothes. Shake each time to help remove water.

The other product you could try is Zote soap. It's available at Walmart. The bar weighs about a pound and costs about a $1, Shave off what you need for your trip.

About once every two weeks I hit a laundromat for a full wash especially pants.

Honestly, that is what I do when I hand wash. On this trip, I'm getting lazy and sending out my clothes or hitting a laundromat more often. It's fun to try to figure out how to use them. If you look lost, a local will usually come up and show you how to do it.

Posted by
5407 posts

Like James, I find that the hotel service's laundry soap is great. To reduce packing weight and if I am really willing to sacrifice my precious vacation time scrubbing my underwear, I go to a shop in whatever town I am in and buy the smallest packet. Europeans do wash their clothes too.

Posted by
19 posts

I will give my two cents of what not to take. Tide Pods. They work excellent in US washing machines but that's not the case in Europe for me. In my experience, the pods don't break down well at all and then leave the plasticky residue on your clothes. We switched to a local washing powder and it worked just fine. The residue came out right away when we rewashed back in the US. Strangest thing.

Posted by
14067 posts

Sewbeachy...sometimes what not to take is as valuable as what TO take!

Posted by
4 posts

I just found these very cool eco laundry sheets Dizolve that take up no space in your luggage at all. I was told on another forum that you only need 1/2 a strip for handwashing. I've used in my washing machine at home and supposedly it works in both regular and HE machines. Another liquid product that I used for my delicate scarves and cashmere is Eucalan No Rinse Wool Wash. The no-rinse aspect is particularly attractive for sink hand washing. I hate fragrances in laundry (bought the latter after forgetting and using Woolite on a favorite sweater only to be repulsed by the strong fragrance) and both of these products are available in unscented versions.

Posted by
15276 posts

I knew that on my current trip I would be using coin laundries in addition to doing some hand washing. I also can't tolerate laundry detergent with heavy odors. So I use the following:

Washeze

They're are also available with a light scent.

They take up very little room.

Posted by
9363 posts

I generally use the hotel's shampoo. I also carry a Tide stick in case of stains.

Posted by
7347 posts

I recently read a book of a person who moved to Europe and was washing their clothes in SALT for a month before realizing it! Confirms that it's good to bring something with you or use something known like shampoo at the hotel. : )