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Hand washing clothes

howlingmouse

New Member
At the typical accomodation along the Le Puy to St Jean section of the camino is it easy enough to find a sink/tub to hand wash your clothes in? Otherwise we have a collapsible soft material bucket we could take along for the purpose. Thanks
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Hi howlingmouse,
No, no need at all to carry a bucket of any kind. It is part of the daily pilgrim routine to wash what you were wearing, and I don't think I came across an albergue without a place to wash clothes then hang them up. What I did buy along the way though was a few plastic pegs, as most places didn't have those.
Margaret
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
We asked our CSJ members for hints and tips to put into our quarterly newsletter. One of the guys sent his tip for washing and showering:

"Shower with your clothes on - that way you get to clean yourself and your clothes at the same time. No need to queue in two places."

(I haven't tried it yet but might do so on my next trip!)
 
I did this at the convent albergue in Santo Domingo. Mixed showers, no room to change in private, very good water pressure. Worked like a charm. :) Should have done it again in Hornillos where there was only one tiny sink to wash clothes & a queue a mile long. :(

Kelly
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
sillydoll said:
"Shower with your clothes on - that way you get to clean yourself and your clothes at the same time
WolverineDG said:
I did this at the convent albergue in Santo Domingo. Mixed showers, no room to change in private, very good water pressure. Worked like a charm.

Sounds a good idea. But did you have to take the wet clothes off to get them (and you ) dry, or did you just sit in the sun?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Jul-Aug 05, Frances, Jul-Aug 06, Portugues, Oct 2010
Instead of clothes pegs why not use safety pins? They take up less space and can also be used to pin your wet socks to your backpack, so they'll dry in the sun on the next day's walk.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Whalleyranger said:
Instead of clothes pegs why not use safety pins? They take up less space and can also be used to pin your wet socks to your backpack, so they'll dry in the sun on the next day's walk.
It was actually my original plan to use safety pins - a tip I had read on the forum, and I had taken some with me. And there definitely were occasions when I pinned my socks to dry on my pack during the next day's walk. However, I found they didn't hold the clothes firmly enough on the line, and things like t-shirts etc would end up all bunched up, and would take longer to dry. The plastic pegs I bought weighed little, and for practicality they were a weight I was perfectly happy to carry.
Margaret
 

Telluridewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1988)
I wonder if anyone has any experience using the lavaderos along the Camino? In an attempt to "go native", I bought myself a bar of laundry soap and tried a couple of times but I found that I often had a pile of sodden clothes in a town or area of town that I didn't want to wait around in while my clothes dried. I also tried pinning it all to the back of my backpack to dry but it was very heavy, didn't dry thoroughly and got wet again when it rained!

To be concise, I'm talking about the lavaderos that are essentially covered clothes washing places (no walls) with cold running water routed through a series of concrete flumes and pools. It's like a civilized version of washing your clothes on a rock by the riverside. I always got the strangest looks and plenty of giggles from the senoras when the big American white guy started washing his clothes alongside them. ("They all moved away from me on the Group W bench..."). Lately, it looks like the Spanish word lavadero also means laundromat (i.e. washing and drying machines).

A few times, however, I found the lavadero to be an excellent place to get out of the midday sun.
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I used one of the lavaderos on the VDLP-but only once as there was a surprisingly large colony of algae which coloured my clothes green-and it was one the towns people used.
As for washing in the shower-I used to do that too,seems like a sensible option
 
No, I took the clothes off, put on a dry set, then let the clothes dry on the clothes line. Afterwards, I found the laundromat in Santo Domingo, right across from the new albergue & the machines already had soap in them too! Oh well, live & learn.

Kelly
 

howlingmouse

New Member
Thanks very much everyone for your thoughts on clothes washing. Very handy tips indeed. I'll take a little washing powder and a few pegs and should be ok.

While we're on the subject of clothes, does anyone have suggestions about types of socks which dry quickly? I need thick socks for the boots I have but they take a long time to dry so I end up hanging them off my pack. This isn't too successful however if it's raining
 
Mouse, I later discovered how to make the shower laundry work better. Take your clothes off first. ;) As for getting socks dry, I use wicking socks for liner socks & wool hiking socks with wicking in them on top of that. To help the socks (& anything else for that matter) to get dry quicker, I roll them up in my towel & twist it, stand on it, sit on it, then unroll the towel & hang everything out to dry. Works like a charm!

Kelly
 

howlingmouse

New Member
Thanks Kelly. I have a travel chamois and not a towel so can't dry socks with that but I might try the liner sock option and buy synthetic socks that dry quicker
 

Lynn52

New Member
I am going to walk the Via Podiensis from Le Puy starting on the 1st Sept. It will be my first time on the camino and I am very much looking forward to it (and walking everywhere at the moment!) I was thinking about a soap bar that would do for myself and for washing clothes - has anybody encountered something like this? I think it would be more practical but am aware of the differing needs of body, hair and clothes. Can one buy these supplies in Le Puy to save bringing them over.

Also I am trying to decide between walking boots - potentially too hot for me, and walkers - not necessarily goretex but similar. Is the path likely to be very muddy at places? not just for short stretches but for long distances. I have tried looking for data on rainfall but the path is too long to get a sense of averages. Whilst every year is unique to itself is the South East of France very wet or windy in Autum? I am looking at a Mont Longitude Jacket - 3/4 length, womens and with pit zippers as I become very hot when I walk, it rolls up very small so is quite practical.

Thanks for any help and reading the forum is very informative <g>
Lynn
 

viajero

Active Member
Although I think washing clothes in the shower works well, I do not like the practice as people are in the shower longer and it uses up the hot water. I walked in the winter so the hot or even tepid shower was fairly important. A couple of times there were just 2 other pilgrims at the albergue ahead of me but the hot water was gone by the time I showered--they did have clean clothes though. I guess in summer a cold shower wouldn't be so bad.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
One thing about washing clothes in the shower--if there is any fungus (athletes foot) from previous folks, you are nowing grinding that into your clothes ready to grow on your body. Just a thought. I agree also that it uses a little more hot water because it distracts us and we should be especially kind to one another after a day of walking to conserve however possible. Washing clothes in tempid or cold water is just fine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
When you get to Spain go into any hardware store or grocery store and purchase a bar of Fels Naptha soap. Split it up into 2 or 3 pieces and share with other pilgrims.

No need to purchase it here... it's everywhere in Spain.

It is MADE for handwashing clothes in cold water on a scrubboard!
It is much easier to carry than liquid detergent, just put it in a little plastic soap box or baggie.
Works GREAT, is lightweight, and is very inexpensive. (under 2 euro)
It can be used for many things - do a Google and check it out:

 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
I walked from SJPP to Santiago between April 6th and May 9th this year and am planning to start Le Puy next year. I used shampoo for pretty much every aspect of washing myself, my hair and my cloths. The type of shampoo didn't seem to matter. I did try the washing in the shower technique but this was dependent on the state of the shower tray. Better yet was the one occassion I got a proper bath and did my laundry in situ. The only downside was rather wrinkley skin as it took a long time.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Campsuds are good for hair, body, clothes, and dishes. Just a few drops are sufficient for laundry in a sink or tub:

http://www.rei.com/product/692852

I have found that four ounces will last a Camino. Take 8 ounces if you plan to use it liberally.
 

geoffandgwyneth

New Member
Trampling your clothes underfoot as you shower works a treat,and soon becomes speedy, efficient and automatic ;I have just found my husband fully clothed in the shower ,and we've been home 3 days. G.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Lynn52 said:
I am going to walk the Via Podiensis from Le Puy starting on the 1st Sept. It will be my first time on the camino and I am very much looking forward to it (and walking everywhere at the moment!) I was thinking about a soap bar ...

Also I am trying to decide between walking boots - potentially too hot for me, and walkers - not necessarily goretex but similar. Is the path likely to be very muddy at places?

HI Lynn, I am starting from Le Puy on 22nd of August. I have walked the Camino Frances in boots and shoes and the Austrian Camino in boots and shoes. Both boots and shoes have their pros and cons depending on the terrain which is very varied. I have not managed to complete either track in the same pair of shoes/boots as there was always something which created problems and I needed a change. Main thing is to have good support around the heel, good roll off from the sole and a really good grip on your sole and cushioning, for hard surfaces. Make sure if you have things like inverted ankles, the shoes correct that. Make sure they don't rub under the arches. I had a pair of fantastic Solomon shoes, but the ortholite sole irritated my arches and I ended up with Plantar Fasciitis.
If it is muddy boots are better and who knows what the weather will be like. The Massive Central is a high plateau and anything can happen. I am taking Womens Teva Ossagon boots this time. They are light leather with waterproof lining and all the other benefits I mentioned.
Re soap, I have used Kathmandu packsoap which washes everything from hair to body and clothes, but did not find it great for washing clothes. You can use sunlight soap for hair and body and clothes. I have bought a shampoo and body bar and I am taking a little bag (snaplock variety) of detergent. Most of the gites have washing machines where you can share a load with others and share the cost, often also driers. They have laundry powder there, so I only need some occasionally when I handwash clothes. For clothes I am taking a long Gortex Jacket, then either a fluffy Merino Possom sweater and very lightweight fleece or a heavier windfleece and longsleeved merino skivvy. Can't quite decide on what is better. Regards, Gitti
 

Lynn52

New Member
Re: shoes and socks

Thank you Gittiharre,
sorry not to reply sooner but I had a family emergency.

I have bought a pair of Kathmandu Event midi boots - I was told they were goretex but I dont think that they are but gortex-like. I thought about the mud and went with the boots but I also have Keens sandals as an alternative (and possibly better if it is muddy - walk through and wash off). I have been wearing the boots around the city and they are very comfortable. Socks though are more complicated than I would have thought lol. I have bought coolmax liners and am trying out some outer layer socks - all of them dry well overnight after I handwash and leave them hanging somewhere. I have two pair of pants with zippers in the legs to turn them into shorts (love it!) and they dry very quickly as well. I think I am getting there but would never make the mistake that I actually know what I am doing. I am listening, reading, watching in the stores and picking up tips that I am trying to utilise. I was given a small first aid kit yesterday - it was a freebie from a drug representative to a friend who passed it on to me, and it appears to be very comprehensive though the scissors need to be replaced.

I found a bar of soap that is supposed to be ok for everything - it is called Savon D'Alep and from Aleppo. It is made from olive oil and laurel oil and also wards off moths! lol only problem with it is that it is hard! I have tried cutting it in half but cant so am going to heat up some wire to see if I can cut it into smaller pieces that way. Despite its hardness it lathers really well!

its all very exciting at the moment - I am nervous about the hard slog of the walking, though know that I can do it if I am determined.

warm regards
Lynn
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Another soap suggestion.
It is possible to buy 'soap leaves' - 30 in a very small, light, plastic container. There are two types for laundry and personal washing. I have used the laundry leaves on holiday and think they are great, especially for socks and undies. I would plan to use these when I walk the Camino, probably taking 2 packs as they are so light.
In England they are available in Lakeland and maybe in hiking/walkers stores such as Milletts. Being very thin soap leaves also means they cannot spill or leak, but you do have to avoid touching them with wet fingers or they stick together.
My husband preferred to use the small face soap he carried with him on his Camino, then also looked for a washing machine occasionally.
Keep your feet happy!
Tia Valeria
 
In the US, Purex is now marketing laundry sheets, similar to the dryer sheets that have been used for years. One part detergent, one part rinse, one part dryer sheet. I'm considering getting them to use whenever I come across a washing machine.

Kelly
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Normally, the charge for a washing machine includes the soap. Hospitaleros do not expect pilgrims to carry detergent.
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
I like the idea of a soap that will do for washing body, hair and clothes. But whenever I follow up anything I read about on here it's either very expensive (like the soap leaves) and I do not like to spend excessively for my pilgrimage, or I can't find it in the UK or on the web.
Does anyone know of a soap in the UK which does this?
or what about a small bottle of Stergene (liquid detergent for hand washing wool) - my mother used to use that in camp?
 

Sansthing

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino (2009), French Camino (2011), Via de la Plata (2012), Camino Inglês (2014),
A bar of ordinary toilet soap works perfectly well for washing yourself and clothes. It's cheap, easy to carry, won't spill and is available everywhere.
Sandra :arrow:
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
falcon269 said:
If you can get this outside of the U.S., it is multipurpose:

http://www.rei.com/product/692852
Thats the stuff I can't find available in the UK.


Sansthing said:
A bar of ordinary toilet soap works perfectly well for washing yourself and clothes. It's cheap, easy to carry, won't spill and is available everywhere.

I must try washing my hair with some and see if I can bear it for several weeks. My memory of using soap on my hair years ago was that it was really nasty. Mind you, I usually get my hair cut really short before we go, so perhaps it wouldn't feel so bad!
 

Sansthing

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino (2009), French Camino (2011), Via de la Plata (2012), Camino Inglês (2014),
I must admit I didn't use soap on my (very short) hair. A little plastic 50ml bottle of shampoo lasted me the whole Camino, the kind you get as a freebie in a hotel.
Sandra :arrow:
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
I wouldn't wash my hair in ordinary or laundry soap as it might itch. Like Sandra I would take a mini bottle with some shampoo like I do in the caravan. I have short hair and wash it in the shower so that as I rinse off it doubles up as shower gel. A mini toilet soap is then all I need extra (hotel freebie size).
If you are in England Boots sell mini bottles (30ml ?)and also travel packs (to fill) fairly cheap, as well as travel toothbrushes where the head can be stored in the handle. We put some toothpaste in the small round pot from the pack (2cmx1cm) and it lasted Terry for his whole Camino.
If you don't like laundry leaves you could wash your clothes in the shampoo or with the soap, it probably depends on how much you are able to carry.
Buen Camino
Tia Valeria
 

johnie99

New Member
A bar of soap is perfect for clothes washing. All you need is a stream with reasonable flow and a rock to scrub. Alternatively, we used the outdoor washing areas (pure luxury), even while it was snowing! After washing we usually let the clothes dry for a while in the sun then attached with safety pins to rucksack. So long as u don't mind being called a tramp, it works.

Washing yourself - well, cold water even in winter is a good idea. It sorts your aches and pains very quickly. I didn't wash my hair for the first 2 weeks of our walk - no itching at all. Actually, you will really only smell for the first couple of days of your walk. After that, not many toxins left in body to get rid of. We were camping so showering not always possible - mainly used streams and rivers, etc. when no water was available we used "wipes" instead. 3 or 4 for the entire body is sufficient, on a daily basis, at night. We were quite surprised at the effectiveness of them.

John.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Bronner wants to convince mankind of the virtues of the "All-One-God-Faith," which, together with the "Moral ABC," his answer to the Ten Commandments, will unite the human race. The details of this can be a bit hard to follow. For example: "Replace half-true Socialist-fluoride poison & tax-slavery with full-truth, work-speech-press & profitsharing Socialaction! All-One! So, help build 4 billion Hannibal wind-power plants, charging 96 billion battery-banks, powering every car-factory-farm-home-monorail & pump, watering Babylon-roof-gardens & 800 billion Israel-Milorganite fruit trees, guarded by Swiss 6000 year Universal Military Training," etc.
 

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