A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

Washing

0 Euro Camino Bank Note

Chris&his_long_walk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino either this year or early 2020
Good evening
Sorry if this has been asked before, I'm new here so still finding my way around.
What do people do to keep clothes clean?
Are there good places to do a bigger wash and then travel a few days and repeat?

Thank you for any help

Chris
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Many of us hand wash what needs washing every day. Albergues have a designated area for washing and hanging clothes. Some albergues have washing machines.

Some people wash the clothes when they can't stand the smell any longer.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Good evening
Sorry if this has been asked before, I'm new here so still finding my way around.
What do people do to keep clothes clean?
Are there good places to do a bigger wash and then travel a few days and repeat?

Thank you for any help

Chris
The albergues have laundry sinks and clotheslines. Quite a few also have washers and often dryers too. I usually hand wash my clothes every day, and maybe once a week or so, combine a load for the washing machine with another pilgrim or two to split the cost, which is usually about 3 euros to wash/3 euros to dry. Laundry detergent is usually supplied for the machines.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I have come up with a hand washing routine that works very well for me. As I enter the shower I put my clothes in a lightweight 12 liter dry bag (I rinse my socks first if they are really dirty), I add a half a laundry detergent strip (or you could use shampoo, liquid soap, etc.), fill the bag about halfway with water and seal it up. I give it a shake or two and let everything soak while I shower, dress, etc. Then I shake the bag a bit more to agitate it before emptying it into the laundry sink and rinsing the clothes. The detergent strips that I use don't make a lot of suds that need to be rinsed out, but get the clothes clean. Then I wring out the clothes before laying them out on my towel. I then twist and wring everything in the towel to get as much moisture out as possible before hanging everything on the line.
My clothes seem to get cleaner with less effort than when I just washed them by hand in the sink. I think that the long soaking time makes the difference.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
An important thing to be aware of concerning the washing machines and dryers: Often the hospitalero will start the machines for you or empty them when the cycle is finished. Pilgrims who think they know what they are doing but who really do not have broken machines then everyone suffers. Ask if in doubt.
 

Theo59

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2022
Hand wash on the arrival so cloths are dry at next down for departure. Cloths need only a couple of hours in summer but I use wool socks for boots and they need time.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
A common response to a computer related issue back in the day when I worked for a living was ‘RTFM*’ which indicated less than politely that the complainant should have spent some time doing their own research before waking up the help-desk operative from their well-deserved sleep.

Thank you for you considered non-judgemental reply!

* ‘Read’, ‘The’ and ‘Manual’ are as much as I can offer on this family-friendly forum.
 

Juspassinthrough

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May-June (2017)
Ingles, June (2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Le Puy-Santiago (2023)
Some may point fingers because I’m not Pilgrim enough but unless I have to, I share a wash/dry with 3-4 of my new Camino friends. In larger towns or if I’m washing more or larger items, I find a Lavanderia, wash and dry in less than a hour. Don’t get me wrong, I have and will hand wash (and dry) as l did on a very rainy day in Meson do Vento in early June.

9A0157B8-11C8-4B76-8F67-419599D87B77.jpeg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
Be sure that you have colorful socks so that they look good hanging on your pack to dry! Some members of the forum will suggest red socks as the best. I myself prefer purple ones.
I’m confused - is that so that one can convincingly pretend to do laundry?

I wear two pairs of socks in boots, one thin inner liner and a thicker cushioning layer.

On one Camino - to save weight when, to be honest, I could just skip the occasional lunch and achieve much more - I decided to take just one spare thick sock. Whether it’s age related or not, I simply couldn’t remember which foot the almost-dry clean(ish) sock was to go on.

I threw the spare sock away eventually.,
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
Some may point fingers because I’m not Pilgrim enough but unless I have to, I share a wash/dry with 3-4 of my new Camino friends. In larger towns or if I’m washing more or larger items, I find a Lavanderia, wash and dry in less than a hour. Don’t get me wrong, I have and will hand wash (and dry) as l did on a very rainy day in Meson do Vento in early June.

View attachment 64032
Done that and felt like I’d just accomplished the Camino equivalent of splitting the atom, until it set off the fire alarm ten seconds later.

I really need to get off this thread.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
I’m confused - is that so that one can convincingly pretend to do laundry?

I wear two pairs of socks in boots, one thin inner liner and a thicker cushioning layer.

On one Camino - to save weight when, to be honest, I could just skip the occasional lunch and achieve much more - I decided to take just one spare thick sock. Whether it’s age related or not, I simply couldn’t remember which foot the almost-dry clean(ish) sock was to go on.

I threw the spare sock away eventually.,
I am sorry to have confused you. That was just my silly way of saying that it is not uncommon to hang your socks on your pack to dry as you walk if they did not dry overnight.
 

O Peracha

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
Some people wash the clothes when they can't stand the smell any longer.
Which, unfortunately, rarely coincides with when others can't stand the smell any longer. Don't be that guy/gal.

But in response to the op, I rarely hand wash. And because I don't wear the same hiking clothes twice and don't want to use the washer/dryer every day, I took more than two sets of hiking clothes. When I did hand wash, I used the same soap for showering, shampooing, shaving and clothes washing.
 
Last edited:

TatiLie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues Variante Espiritual July 2019
Finisterre next!
We washed by hand on the bathroom sink, squeezed most of the water on the towel, left to dry overnight and wore slightly damp clothes for breakfast the following morning (by the time we left for the Camino, they were dry). It lasted a week. We got really fed-up of this routine. In the second week, we searched for laundromats. The ones closer to SdC have cycles without softener, maybe because of the number of pilgrims needing to wash their technical and merino clothing.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
Another little trick if you wash by hand and your wool mix socks take a long time to dry: Wring them out as much as you can, hold them by the ends and swing them around as fast as you can for a minute or two. Works like the spin cycle in a washing machine.

PS: Only do this outside, as a lot of water will spray out.

PPS: Also good exercise for the arm muscles.
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2010j, Primitivo (2013), Plata (2014 + 2015), Salvador (2016), Torres 2017), Portugues (2018
Another little trick if you wash by hand and your wool mix socks take a long time to dry: Wring them out as much as you can, hold them by the ends and swing them around as fast as you can for a minute or two. Works like the spin cycle in a washing machine.

PS: Only do this outside, as a lot of water will spray out.

PPS: Also good exercise for the arm muscles.
Doesn’t your arm come off if you do this fast enough to have the desired effect?
 

Jamieb

New Member
I handwashed daily when I could and used a washer/dryer once a week - I didn't feel handwashing got the clothing clean enough.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I don't mind hand washing but I never know if there will be a clean sink with stopper. I just bought one of these specialized wash bags, based on a couple 2018 pilgrims saying it worked great for them and got clothes cleaner than simple handwashing: https://thescrubba.com/collections/all/products/allurette-washer
I was inspired by the Scrubba when I developed my washing system - see my post above. Instead of a more expensive and heavier Scrubba bag I use a less espensive and much lighter weight Osprey dry bag.


This method does get my clothes cleaner than simple handwashing, and I don't have to worry about a stopper for the sink.
 

Evvie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
I have some super-concentrated liquid laundry soap. Takes only about 1/4 teaspoon for a full washload so even less for a small amount of handwashing. I'm taking a mesh laundry bag with a drawstring that I'll bring with me to the shower. I'm going to put dirty clothes in it and a bit of soap, wet it down, and squish it around really well -- kind of agitate it like a washing machine. Rinse it, squeeze out the water, then hang everything out to dry.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I have some super-concentrated liquid laundry soap. Takes only about 1/4 teaspoon for a full washload so even less for a small amount of handwashing. I'm taking a mesh laundry bag with a drawstring that I'll bring with me to the shower. I'm going to put dirty clothes in it and a bit of soap, wet it down, and squish it around really well -- kind of agitate it like a washing machine. Rinse it, squeeze out the water, then hang everything out to dry.
Much easier to soak and agitate the clothes in a dry bag. I think that the soaking is what really helps get them cleaner.
 

Chris&his_long_walk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino either this year or early 2020
Some may point fingers because I’m not Pilgrim enough but unless I have to, I share a wash/dry with 3-4 of my new Camino friends. In larger towns or if I’m washing more or larger items, I find a Lavanderia, wash and dry in less than a hour. Don’t get me wrong, I have and will hand wash (and dry) as l did on a very rainy day in Meson do Vento in early June.

View attachment 64032
Haha that is genius.
 

malingerer

Active Member
Another little trick if you wash by hand and your wool mix socks take a long time to dry: Wring them out as much as you can, hold them by the ends and swing them around as fast as you can for a minute or two. Works like the spin cycle in a washing machine.

PS: Only do this outside, as a lot of water will spray out.

PPS: Also good exercise for the arm muscles.
not recommended for the aged with Meniere's disease and balance problems: ME! :) Ya likely to be mistook for one o they whirlin Dervishes when u scrape yersel off the ground!

Yours aye,

the Malingerer!
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
not recommended for the aged with Meniere's disease and balance problems: ME! :) Ya likely to be mistook for one o they whirlin Dervishes when u scrape yersel off the ground!

Yours aye,

the Malingerer!
You are right Sir! I should have been very specific about that. Always consult your physician before applying this method and only execute under qualified supervision.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Some may point fingers because I’m not Pilgrim enough but unless I have to, I share a wash/dry with 3-4 of my new Camino friends. In larger towns or if I’m washing more or larger items, I find a Lavanderia, wash and dry in less than a hour. Don’t get me wrong, I have and will hand wash (and dry) as l did on a very rainy day in Meson do Vento in early June.
I shared a pleasant evening after a rainy day with a party of ladies from Germany in an Hostal somewhere in the wilds of Eastern Galicia. The proprietor, a lovely lady, insisted we all bring our "ropa" to be dealt with. After we had had a good supper and a few beers we were still sat around the dining table, as you do, when she appeared with all our clean and dry clothing heaped in one of those plastic lattice work tubs. The German ladies pounced. Their was much laughter as they sorted and compared the various socks, shirts and undergarments. Periodically one would turn to me clutching a something-or-other "Deine?" There was one enormous pair of under-pants that I could not in all honesty claim. The room went silent for a moment, and then the laughter got louder than ever.
 

Dandabika

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed GR65 (2016)
Good evening
Sorry if this has been asked before, I'm new here so still finding my way around.
What do people do to keep clothes clean?
Are there good places to do a bigger wash and then travel a few days and repeat?

Thank you for any help

Chris
My hiking pal and I would take our end of day shower fully dressed, soap up and wring out the clothes, then change into our super light evening kit. Most albuerges and gites forbid you to wash clothing in their bathrooms or kitchen because it encumbers those stations for others waiting to use them. The shower trick saves time, water and soap, plus most of the usual clothing wash stations only have cold water.
 
Last edited:

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
Be sure that you have colorful socks so that they look good hanging on your pack to dry! Some members of the forum will suggest red socks as the best. I myself prefer purple ones.
You need a rotation of three sets of socks (wear,wash,drying). So you could adopt the flag colours of your country and cycle through them and see how many people can guess from which country you originate.
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
Good evening
Sorry if this has been asked before, I'm new here so still finding my way around.
What do people do to keep clothes clean?
Are there good places to do a bigger wash and then travel a few days and repeat?

Thank you for any help

Chris
If you throw your dirty clothes in the bottom of the shower after applying some soap. You can then do the tarantella dance under the surprisingly cold shower and use your feet and toes to agitate the clothes.
Clean clothes, healthy exercise and the scrunching of toes over a soft surface aslo helps alleviate plantar fascitis! (the last bit is true by the way)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
If you throw your dirty clothes in the bottom of the shower after applying some soap. You can then do the tarantella dance under the surprisingly cold shower and use your feet and toes to agitate the clothes.
Clean clothes, healthy exercise and the scrunching of toes over a soft surface aslo helps alleviate plantar fascitis! (the last bit is true by the way)
Oooh - dancing on thin ice there - sit back and prepare to take flak!
 

Mycroft

Member
I handwashed daily when I could and used a washer/dryer once a week - I didn't feel handwashing got the clothing clean enough.
Yes I never feel like I can get things rinsed well enough when I wash by hand. I recall years ago at one of the Pamplona albergues I gave in and used a washing machine--later I put on clean, dry underwear--I was amazed how wonderful it was to have such a simple thing as clean undies be so delightful!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
If you throw your dirty clothes in the bottom of the shower after applying some soap. You can then do the tarantella dance under the surprisingly cold shower and use your feet and toes to agitate the clothes.
Clean clothes, healthy exercise and the scrunching of toes over a soft surface aslo helps alleviate plantar fascitis! (the last bit is true by the way)
I had some friends that did that last year and ended up with bleach marks on their clothes.
 

GinaMarie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010, 2017
What do people do to keep clothes clean?
I learned some washing habits while walking the Camino & now I use the same habits every time I travel. Instead of liquid laundry detergent I bring a bar of solid laundry soap (it is called "Sunlight soap" in Canada but you can buy it by other names in other places). It is also good for body washing or even dishes if I am camping somewhere. And of course it never spills.
I also bring along a sink-stopper. Takes up almost no room & is sometimes very handy.
My travel clothes are ALL quick-drying materials. No heavy cotton jeans etc.
I found the handwashing to be an easy routine & I find it cool to be sometimes washing my socks & undies right next to a brain surgeon or member of parliament :)
 

Pattisills

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
Good evening
Sorry if this has been asked before, I'm new here so still finding my way around.
What do people do to keep clothes clean?
Are there good places to do a bigger wash and then travel a few days and repeat?

Thank you for any help

Chris
I am just now on the plane destined for Madrid and Camino del Norte. I’ve never hiked any of the casinos but I love my Scrubba for hand washing clothes. Cheap on Amazon.
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
I'm on the Camino Frances right now with my husband. We do laundry by hand daily in albergues (in sinks or showers) with a shampoo bar and visit a laundromat 1-2 times a week.
 

sambajammer

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Camino del Norte 2018
We washed every day in order to keep the packs light. I included and used a very light cord to make my own clothesline and a package of twenty large safety pins to use as clips on the line. No wind could dump them on the ground or whisk them away.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Yes I never feel like I can get things rinsed well enough when I wash by hand. I recall years ago at one of the Pamplona albergues I gave in and used a washing machine--later I put on clean, dry underwear--I was amazed how wonderful it was to have such a simple thing as clean undies be so delightful!
Almost as good as crisply starched bed linen.
 

sambajammer

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Camino del Norte 2018
Yes I never feel like I can get things rinsed well enough when I wash by hand. I recall years ago at one of the Pamplona albergues I gave in and used a washing machine--later I put on clean, dry underwear--I was amazed how wonderful it was to have such a simple thing as clean undies be so delightful!
I like the albergues that have the clothes spinner. Not only do these machines make the drying time shorter--they also get out a lot of the final dirt.
 

Mycroft

Member
I like the albergues that have the clothes spinner. Not only do these machines make the drying time shorter--they also get out a lot of the final dirt.
Dang, I must have missed those--I'll look for them as I muddle through the Portugues next week. One time I was 'caught' by a hospitalera one morning trying to dry a damp sock using the hand dryer. If looks could kill!!
 

Mycroft

Member
Zote from Mexico is what I have access to for my laundry soap bar--the white version is unscented. No idea if the fancypants clothes I recently bought will be happy with it since the labels say don't use X, Y or Z when washing them, but hopefully all will be well. Otherwise next week I'll be wearing a new wardrobe from Portugal!
 

MechEngr69

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP to Burgos 2014. Burgos to SdC arriving 5/5/2015. C2C (2016) Le Puy to Moissac April (2018)
For those who wash their clothes while in the shower, I don’t think it’s fair to use additional hot water, and shower time, that might be needed by others. That’s why hot water is not provided for clothes washing. Besides, modern laundry detergents work with cold water, a lot better than shampoo or bar soap.

A tip for line drying: If you’re staying high in the mountains and it’s too cool/damp for the mud on the ground to dry out, the clothes you hang outside on a line will not dry either.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Dang, I must have missed those--I'll look for them as I muddle through the Portugues next week. One time I was 'caught' by a hospitalera one morning trying to dry a damp sock using the hand dryer. If looks could kill!!
I've done that! But only at hotels.. not albergues.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
As I enter the shower I put my clothes in a lightweight 12 liter dry bag
@trecile, thanks for the tip. I want to try this on our camino, leaving in October. Does the fabric or coating of the Osprey dry bag suffer any ill effects from having detergent sloshing around in it in it? I ask because I remember that one time when I washed some old coated stuff sacks, their coating peel off.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
@trecile, thanks for the tip. I want to try this on our camino, leaving in October. Does the fabric or coating of the Osprey dry bag suffer any ill effects from having detergent sloshing around in it in it? I ask because I remember that one time when I washed some old coated stuff sacks, their coating peel off.
No, I think that the fabric is impregnated with silicone, rather than coated with something. I have been using the same dry bag to wash clothes for a couple of Caminos now.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
Another little trick if you wash by hand and your wool mix socks take a long time to dry: Wring them out as much as you can, hold them by the ends and swing them around as fast as you can for a minute or two. Works like the spin cycle in a washing machine.

PS: Only do this outside, as a lot of water will spray out.

PPS: Also good exercise for the arm muscles.
One could always use a salad spinner ... one’s hairdryer and travel iron could be stored inside it - to save space ....
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
Good to know where the clothes spinners are Trecile and Kelleymac - I've got another one to add to the list. There's one at Refugio Gaucelmo at Rabanal. Have your shower, wash your clothes, get them spinned, hang them out in the Huerta if the weather's good or in the salon if not, and then wait for the English afternoon tea that the hospitaleros serve every day ... albergue bliss!
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

Mamama13

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future (Sept 2019)
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2018
(Camino Ingles 2019)
Looked for detergent sheets in UK and found Lifeventure make a great little pack. 50 sheets in a handy container weighing 15.5g (about 1/2oz). I am already taking a 12l dry bag so now I'm even excited about doing my laundry. Start walking CI 3 weeks today.
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2008, 2009), Camino Frances (2011)
Porto to SDC (7/2017)
I have come up with a hand washing routine that works very well for me. As I enter the shower I put my clothes in a lightweight 12 liter dry bag (I rinse my socks first if they are really dirty), I add a half a laundry detergent strip (or you could use shampoo, liquid soap, etc.), fill the bag about halfway with water and seal it up. I give it a shake or two and let everything soak while I shower, dress, etc. Then I shake the bag a bit more to agitate it before emptying it into the laundry sink and rinsing the clothes. The detergent strips that I use don't make a lot of suds that need to be rinsed out, but get the clothes clean. Then I wring out the clothes before laying them out on my towel. I then twist and wring everything in the towel to get as much moisture out as possible before hanging everything on the line.
My clothes seem to get cleaner with less effort than when I just washed them by hand in the sink. I think that the long soaking time makes the difference.
By the way, thank you for this suggestion, I plan on using it in two weeks when I begin the Salvador and the Primitivo.
 

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)




Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 6 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 43 4.0%
  • April

    Votes: 165 15.2%
  • May

    Votes: 265 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 83 7.6%
  • July

    Votes: 21 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 23 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 311 28.7%
  • October

    Votes: 134 12.4%
  • November

    Votes: 13 1.2%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.6%
Top