While Thailand’s sunshine may make for some beautiful sunsets, it sure does makes you sweaty! Shortly into your trip you will realize that it’s time to do laundry. Check out these easy tips on how to do laundry safely and quickly so you can get back to your vacation.
Option 1: Have Your Hotel Do Your Laundry
Even the smallest hotels usually offer some kind of laundry service. This is both your easiest and most expensive laundry option – it can cost 2-4x as much as doing laundry at a local laundromat. The price is usually determined by weight or piece. Your hotel may do your laundry in-house or outsource it to a local laundromat, taking 24-48 hours. Your clothes will come back dry and folded, delivered straight to your room.
Option 2: Use A Local Laundry Service
Bring your pillowcases and trash bags full of dirty clothes to a local laundromat! Keep an eye out for “Laundry” signs in windows of shops in the touristy areas. You won’t find these on Yelp, so the best option is to explore the area near your hotel and look for signs! Also, remember that everyone in Thailand has a side hustle – sometimes the lady who makes roadside smoothies will also do your laundry.
Option 3: DIY Sink Laundry
Want to do laundry the cheapest and easiest way possible? Grab some laundry soap (or pack some soap packets) and do your laundry in the sink or shower. Hang it up to dry when you’re done and it should dry fairly quickly.
Option 4: DIY Machine Laundry
Where would I find a washing machine in Thailand, you may wonder. Well, you’ll be surprised to know that there are often random washing machines outside shops and even locals’ homes that are coin-operated. Bring change for the local washing machine and throw your clothes in along with some soap. Some of these areas have benches where you can sit and wait but we opted to go back to our hotel and hang out in the air conditioning since it was close by.
Now that you know your options, check out our tips below.
Pro Tip: Bring A BIG Laundry Bag
In most situations, you will need to carry your own laundry. I recommend bringing a trash bag or pillowcase to carry your clothes to the laundromat.
Pro Tip: Use the Hotel Balcony & Hangers
Forgot your clothesline? Grab the hangers from your hotel’s closet. Some hotels have a built-in clothesline in the bathroom but it’s usually better to bring one that has clips on it for easy hanging. Remember that air conditioning, sun, and humidity dry clothes the fastest!
Pro Tip: Dryers are Rare in Thailand
Great, you found a local washing machine! But where is the dryer? In our two week trip to the Thai islands, we didn’t see a single dryer that was available for public use outside of a laundromat. Most Thai people just hang their clothes out to dry in their backyards.
Pro Tip: Don’t Wash Anything Fragile
Your favorite velvet shirt may be very comfortable but bringing any delicate clothing to Thailand is a bad idea. It could get damaged from sunscreen, bug spray, being washed incorrectly, etc. Leave your expensive or delicate clothing items at home so you don’t have to worry about washing them in Thailand.
Pro Tip: Use Dryer Sheets to Make Clothes Smell Cleaner
Between washes, you may want to keep your clothes smelling less musty and fresher. Pick up some dryer sheets before your trip and keep a couple in different parts of your bag. I suggest putting one dryer sheet in each packing cube and swapping it out weekly. This will help your clothes smell cleaner and make you feel better about not doing enough laundry.
Pro Tip: Wash Frequently-Worn Items Out Often
That bikini you’ve worn the whole trip – if you wash it out in the shower after each wear, you won’t need to do laundry as much. Items like bikinis and swimming trunks get abused with sunscreen, chlorine, and seawater so be sure to give them a rinse each time you wear them.
Pro Tip: Just Wash Your Own Delicates!
Many travelers are worried about handing over their underwear to be washed by a stranger in a foreign country. If you’re concerned about this, just buy some laundry soap from your local 7/11 and wash your delicates in the sink, hanging them to dry on a portable clothesline.