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Clothes washing?

Bright Eyes

New Member
Hey All,

was wonderings whats the story with clothes washing in the hostels?

What is the well traveled pilgrims way o keeping their clothes relatively clean as they walk the camino? Im trying to decide how many pairs of boxers etc. to bring with me..

thanks
 
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evanlow

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
After 11 Caminos, want to Ruta de la Lana next...
Besides what you are wearing, 2 tops, 2 socks and 2 underwear. Shorts can be the walking pants with zippers. This means that you have to do some washing at least every other day.

Some people bring soaps for laundry. I just used my bath gel for everything, including the laundry.

http://camino.wificat.com
 

pjdine

Member
This is where modern fabrics come into their own - in normal life I stick to the natural materials rule, but for the Camino I raided charity shops for all the lightweight polyester hiking gear I could find. I found it well worth road-testing everything - to make sure that trousers and shirts didn't cause chafing when sweaty, and would dry overnight when handwashed. I took a concentrated laundry soap, but it isn't really necessary - and as suggested, a combined shampoo and shower gel can be used for everything.

You can wash yourself and your clothes in the shower, wring them out well, then after drying yourself use your towel to roll them up and wring them out again.

Socks - both wool and liners (and occasionally my towel) usually needed to be pinned to my pack the next day to fully dry - on the advice of forum members, I took a length of elastic that went round my pack and acted as a washing line, and used diaper/nappy pins to secure everything.

You can easily get by with one change of clothes, but I was happier taking 3 lots of socks and underwear - and did take an extra smartish pair of hiking trousers and a shirt for going out in the evening, and as backup in case of rain. Even with wet weather gear, cold weather gear (for early May) lightweight sandals, a pair of 'going out' soft leather shoes and everything else - it was still possible to weigh in under 6.5Kg. And it all came from charity shops - but took a fair amount of obsessive packing, repacking, weighing and discarding. But I will probably take all the same stuff again next time, as it all worked well.

All part of the fun!

There was a ad for Rohan gear (in the early 80's?) that I loved, with an endorsement from some mountaineer along the lines of: 'you can descend from the summit, wash your clothes in a mountain stream, dry them on a rock in a jiffy, and it's drinks at the Embassy at six!'

That's the sort of gear you need...
 

Lora

Member
Bright Eyes, do you mean alberques or the hostels which are two different things.

In the alberques, their was always a place to do laundry, some even had machines to do the work. Don't forget your clothes pins! I lost a couple of articles of clothing to the wind on my camino.

Hopefully you will have nice weather and your clothes will by dry by morining.

If you stay in the private hostels, which are like 1* hotels, doing laundry is difficult as there is no place to hang your wet stuff.

Lora
 

Rambler

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
One Pair of Pants?

evanlow said:
Besides what you are wearing, 2 tops, 2 socks and 2 underwear. Shorts can be the walking pants with zippers. This means that you have to do some washing at least every other day.

You would really only use one pair of pants? What do you wear when you are drying them? I am familiar with hikers on the AT wearing their rainpants at the laundrymat when they are washing all their clothes, but I don't think you are talking about that... :eek:

Rambler
 
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Fret not, Rambler & Bright Eyes, and follow the advice of pjdine and evanlow. Travel very lightly indeed and you will be fine. I took hiking shorts and a pair of hiking pants with me, the latter more for evening wear -- the Spanish are very tolerant of peregrinos' wear, but they do have a formal side. I felt very decadent with a 3d pair of socks. but 2 pair of undershorts were fine. I now have superlative handwashing skills.

As far as the hostales were concerned, I never had trouble with using hangars or backs of chairs to help clothes dry. In any case, I found the staff/owners very helpful about clothes washing. Entering a casa rural in Belorado, quite drenched to the amused sympathy of the senora, I received a spontaneous (and free) offer of clothes washing & drying-- the next day other peregrinos admired the knife-sharp crease on my Tilley shorts. Generally, clothes-washing took 2-4 euro.
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
After 11 Caminos, want to Ruta de la Lana next...
Rambler,

You are right. I forgot to mention one more zipper pants. That's for rotation when you washing. So 2 walking pants will double up as 2 shorts.

http://camino.wificat.com
 

michael

Active Member
Apologies if this is too obvious.

There was a previous posting which I thought very sound advice which was to wash and air dry under ‘camino conditions' the clothes that you were planning on taking.
The object of the exercise is to work out the logistics of washing yourself and your clothes in the shower and to test the drying ability of the clothes fabrics. Modern fabrics for hiking clothing claim to be quick drying so if under home conditions it does not dry overnight then it might be worth finding something that does.

Buen Camino
michael
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John H

New Member
First of all, you have to accept that you are not going to be able to keep yourself as clean as you would at home. If you hit a bout of wet weather, you will have difficulty drying your clothes. Some albergues have driers, a lot don't, so you make do. The worst thing you can do is take too much.
That is definitely the biggest mistake to make when planning the camino. Take a maximum of 4 boxers, t-shirts and socks. A warm jersey will always be a good idea, even if it is only to sleep in on a cold night or if you decide to start walking before dawn. Remember you are in the hills a lot of the time. Also remember that Spain is a very civilised country. You can buy anything you need along the way.
 
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evanlow

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
After 11 Caminos, want to Ruta de la Lana next...
Hi Spursfan,

Probably on the Antarctic but don't forget the sun, heat, dirt, sweat on the camino. In addition, with the close proximity with other pilgrims in the albergue, I don't think one should make other pilgrims suffers for not washing one's clothes.

Washing is part of the camino. It's simple enough, you walk, sleep, eat and do a bit of laundry on the camino every day.

-Liverpoolfan-

http://camino.wificat.com
 

wichanee

Member
Happiness is a clean clothe...

We always ask the tourist office for lavandaria (in big towns like Logrono, Burgos, Leon ,etc). My husband and I plan for a week of wearing the same pants(the zipped off one is the best - drip dry type),two shirts being washed every other day in the bathroom depending on the weather. I carry 2 sets of undies and handwash every day. Once after a very cold and rainy day, I have to hang my undies on my hubby´s pack to dry. Lucky for him we walked the lonely Meseta for miles before we met other peregrinos so his honour and manly feelings are kept in tact.
Once we enter a big city, we chase up a lavandaria and have our combined load of clothers washed and dried that afternoon.
Lavandaria (automatic or manual)doesn´t cost much and I enjoy the smell of clothes well washed and dried from time to time especially the sweatshirt or jumpers we wear day in and day out.
 

Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Time of past OR future Camino
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
I had two sets of top and pants in ultra fine merino wool, one for day, the other for evening. This meant I could wear my day set for days on end, the same with the evening set, it really saved on washing. One of my favourite pieces of equipment was a little twisted elastic washing line with a hook at each end, weighed nothing and was perfect for making a clothesline between any two things (chairs, bunks, etc) I got it from the travellers section at a chemist.
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Turga

Camino tortuga
Time of past OR future Camino
Pondering 2023
one of my unspoken worries is where to dry my undies.

Just for your information, you are responding to a thread that “died” in 2007. Try the search function and search for ‘washing’ or ‘drying’ or similar – you may find some more recent advice.

Anyway, Buen Camino :)
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
After arrival at the albergue - I make my bed, shower, then hand wash my clothes every 1-2 days, then take a nap before getting up and wandering town and looking for dinner. Once to twice a week, I do like to find a real washing machine to wash clothes - but there is a lot of waiting around for the washer and then for the dryer. Unless you are in a place that does the wash for you (loved that). BTW, I have 3 sets of clothes, making it more possible to skip a day of laundry here and there if I want to. Anyhow - most albergues have a laundry sink and/or wash basins for pilgrims to use and clothes lines outside to hang dry. If you do your shower and wash when you check into the albergue - they should have time to dry before you go to bed, which makes packing much easier. And I had lots of cold days, some rainy days and didn't have a problem with dry clothes most days. Once in a while I had to let dry overnight - but only the heavier items.

For soap - I just used my shampoo bar when handwashing (it was multipurpose - I used it for everything). When I machine washed - the fee for the machine covered the cost of the soap. This time - I am taking some laundry detergent sheets cut in half. I am going to test them out. If I don't like them - I will either donate or trash. But they are sheets of dried soap that dissolve in the wash.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
You made me laugh @wichanee . I am doing a first Camino this june, and one of my unspoken worries is where to dry my undies.
I walked with 2 lovely ladies and I had to laugh at them. Crossing the Pyrenees their laundry didn't dry. So - somewhere at the top of one of the mountain peaks they found a place to take out all of their damp clothes. Then one of them stood guard to watch for other pilgrims. When I caught up to them, they were relieved it was just me and left their undies out... but when they saw the next pilgrim coming they raced to hide their "unmentionables"! LOL It was cute. I wouldn't have cared myself. And where to dry them? On the clothes line is where most of us dry them! But you can get creative if that bothers you.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I have camino underwear and bras that are the quick drying travel kind. I am going to take three changes of clothes this summer (gasp--I know, the weight of it all!) Will hike in either a merino shirt and capri hikers or a tank top with bra built in and board skort (LL Bean slightly longer length for both walking and swimming) I have a dress for evening and when I am washing everything else. I have a long sleeved white fishing shirt for sun protection and a sun cap with a sundrape packed inside it. Everything is fast drying. We use safety pins instead of clothespins so stuff does not blow away on the clothesline. Many albergues now have washing machines and since there are two of us, we tend to use that every few days since our combined wash will make a small load. Otherwise handwashing at least socks and underwear is a regular daily chore.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I walked with 2 lovely ladies and I had to laugh at them. Crossing the Pyrenees their laundry didn't dry. So - somewhere at the top of one of the mountain peaks they found a place to take out all of their damp clothes. Then one of them stood guard to watch for other pilgrims. When I caught up to them, they were relieved it was just me and left their undies out... but when they saw the next pilgrim coming they raced to hide their "unmentionables"! LOL It was cute. I wouldn't have cared myself. And where to dry them? On the clothes line is where most of us dry them! But you can get creative if that bothers you.
We pin ours to our pack if they are not dry and it is not raining.
 
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jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
We pin ours to our pack if they are not dry and it is not raining.
Yes, this is why I bring safety pins instead of clothes line pins. They work for clothes lines (although slide around more) AND the backpack. I didn't need to pin clothes to my pack myself. Maybe 1 day I could have, but didn't bother.
 

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