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One of the five key principles of light travel is to wash clothing along the way.  This allows the traveler to wear clothing items more than once, reducing the number of garments that are packed.  There are several methods of doing laundry.  Some people send their laundry out, while others stop at a laundromat.  I prefer to do sink washing.  I usually do this in the late afternoon after I’ve arrived at my destination.  This gives lots of time for the garments to dry.  I’ve listed my method in the steps below.  Please note that there are a few extra steps using this method.  They practically guarantee that the garment will be dry and wrinkle free by morning.

wash the clothes in a sink

Step 1 – Launder your clothing using your soap of choice. I like to use powered laundry detergent that I keep in a small zip-lock. Others prefer packets of Woolite, bar soap, or even shampoo. Let the clothing soak for a few minutes to loosen the dirt.

rinse the clothing

Step 2 – Perform an initial rinse. This will get rid of most of the soap.

soaking the garment

Step 3 – Let the garment soak a bit to get rid of every last bit of soap. Soap is sticky and will attract dirt if you don’t rinse all of it out of the garment.

squeeze the water out of the garment

Step 4 – Squeeze as much water as possible out of the garment. Do not wring the garment out – this will stretch the fabric and cause the garment to lose shape.

Lay the garment out on a towel

Step 5 – Find a clean place to lay the garment out on a large towel. A large counter top works, or in this case – the bath tub. Place smaller garments, such as underwear and socks, on the towel together.

folding the towel over the garment

Step 6 – Fold the towel over the garment.

Roll the garment up in the towel to squeeze out excess water

Step 7 – Roll the garment up in the towel to squeeze out excess water.

fold the rolled up towel in half

Step 8 – Fold the rolled up towel in half, placing pressure on it. The goal is to squeeze out as much water as possible.

hang the garment up to dry.

Step 9 – At this point, the garment has most of the water squeezed out of it. Hang the garment up where it can dry. Inflatable hangers spread the front and back of this shirt apart, allowing air to circulate for faster drying times. Smaller garments are hung up to dry using a travel clothes line.

smooth the fabric to get rid of wrinkles

Step 10 – Smooth out any wrinkles in the garment. As the garment dries, the fibers in the fabric will shrink a bit, pulling the threads tighter. This will get rid of most, if not all, of the wrinkles.

hand the garment up where there is good air circulation.

Step 11 – Once the garment has stopped dripping, hang it up in a place that has good air circulation. In this case, I’ve hung the shirt up on a hinge in the main part of the hotel room.

My next post is about the gear I use when I do laundry. Not absolutely necessary but it sure speeds up the drying times.