Hostels are popular and affordable for travellers and backpackers alike, offering a place to sleep and often additional amenities such as shared kitchen facilities and common areas. But one question that often comes up for those staying in hostels is whether or not they have washing machines and dryers onsite.
The answer to this question varies depending on the hostel. Many hostels have washers and dryers available for guests, while others do not. Hostels may also offer laundry services for an additional fee, while others may not have any laundry options at all.
For those hostels that do have washing machines and dryers on the premises, they are often located in a shared laundry facilities room or area. These machines are typically coin operated, and guests are responsible for providing their detergent. However, I’ve found you can also purchase some from the hostel reception or a vending machine next to the machines. It’s important to check with the hostel staff for specific details on how to use the machines and any rules or guidelines.
Hostels that do not have washing machines and dryers on-site may still offer laundry services for an additional fee. This can be a convenient option for travellers who need to wash their clothes but don’t have access to a machine. In some cases, hostels may also have partnerships with nearby laundromats or laundry services, so it’s always worth asking the staff for recommendations if you need to do laundry while staying at your hostel.
If a hostel does not have washing machines and dryers and does not offer laundry services, there are still options for cleaning your clothes. Many cities and towns have laundromats nearby where you can wash and dry your clothes for a small fee.
Laundry Room Etiquette
When using the washer or dryer, ensure you only do one washing cycle and use the appropriate amount of washing powder. Try not to leave your clothes unattended in the dryer or washer for too long, other people might be waiting to use them, and you don’t want your clean clothes dumped on the floor.
It’s always good to check if someone else has already started a wash cycle before you prep to wash your clothes so you don’t have to wait too long. If there aren’t any washing machines or dryers, hand-washing facilities or doing your laundry in the sink is your next best option.
Following these simple rules will help ensure that everyone enjoys their stay in a hostel without any unnecessary stress around laundry room etiquette.
Travel Sized Laundry Detergent
There are all types of laundry detergent, but when backpacking, you want the travel-sized versions. It allows you to bring your laundry detergent wherever you go, so whether it’s for a weekend away or a longer trip, you don’t have to worry about finding or buying a big pack of detergent.
It comes in liquid detergent capsules or powered sachets, so it’s easy to store and use in your washing machine anytime. Plus, eco-friendly versions are fragrance free and unscented, meaning they won’t leave any unwanted scents on your clothes after the rinse or hanging in your dorm room for others to smell.
I like to have a few of these stored in a safe, dry container in my backpack just in case the hostel doesn’t provide detergent, you can’t buy any from them, or the laundromat you go to has run out.
It’s also a good idea to carry a bar of laundry soap when washing items in the bathroom sink.
How to Hand Wash Clothes in a Sink
Hand washing clothes in a sink may be necessary if no washing machine or washing facilities are available. While I don’t recommend it to wash your jeans or a large amount of clothing, it’s a quick, easy solution when you need it.
First, fill the sink with warm water, grab your soap bar, and mix it. Then add the clothes to the mixture and let them soak for around 10 minutes.
Agitate them gently in the water to help release dirt and stains. You may need to rub the soap bar directly on stains or heavy clothes to lather them up to clean them. After that, rinse the clothes in cold water until all soap is removed. Finally, wring out excess water and hang your clothes up to dry.
When washing your clothes this way, it’s important to use gentle detergent specifically designed for hand washing, as regular laundry detergents can be too harsh and damage delicate fabrics. Also, read any garment labels before beginning the wash process, as some items may require special care. With these tips, you will be hand-washing your clothes like a pro!
Drying Your Clothes
Whenever possible, aim to dry your clothes using the dryer or if there is a drying room or place to hang clothes to air dry, use that. As a last resort, you may string up a laundry line in your dorm room or hang clothes over the end of your bed.
It’s not the best option, as wet clothes can cause smells in the room that fellow travellers may not appreciate. So use this as a last resort, or hold off doing laundry till you can get to a nearby laundromat.