best method to wash clothes in hotel room

If you are looking for the Best Method To Wash Clothes In Hotel Room, then look no further than this article. It includes how to dry clothes while traveling. Perhaps you are interested in the hotel laundry service price list, then reading this article may help you.

Doing laundry while traveling is one of the best ways to pack less clothing. While there are laundry facilities on the road some travelers prefer the flexibility of hand washing. Take a look at our hand washing tutorial (updated in 2021)!

Unfortunately, one household chore still remains whist you blissfully travel the world – washing your clothing! Doing laundry on the go is the smart traveler’s secret to packing light!

The following tutorial will teach you the best way to wash and dry your dreaded laundry and assist with some helpful tips and tricks to make the chore simpler.

Even though you have three different options to do laundry while traveling, it’s inevitable to handwash your clothing at one time or another. Follow this easy step-by-step tutorial!

how to dry clothes while traveling

Best Method To Wash Clothes In Hotel Room


Travel Laundry Liquid Soap | Travel Laundry Clothesline Kit

Plan Ahead

A few convenient travel tools will help make hand washing a bit easier. Pack a universal sink plug such as this one and a travel laundry line such as this one so you can easily wash your clothing anywhere.

It might help to start by trying to pack lighter clothing that are quick drying and wrinkle resistant, choose fabrics such as rayon or polyester that are pretty wrinkle resistant and dry very quickly.

Note: merino wool is the best fabric for travel because it can be re-worn several times without washing. If you attempt to wash this while traveling it may take forever to dry! Learn more about merino wool here.

Please read this post on how to pack for long term travel for more tips!

It’s not only classic laundry detergent that can be used for hand washing – you can also utilize your shampoo or even a bar of soap.

It would be beneficial to invest in a multipurpose product on shorter trips that can be used as a washing liquid, dish detergent, body wash AND shampoo but on longer trips you have to use what you can.

On shorter trips, you can also pack a few single use detergent packets such as these for a quick wash on the go.

Bring an extra packing cube and dedicate it just to your dirty laundry.

Step 1: Fill Up

Add your chosen detergent to fill the sink, tub, bucket, or even ziplock bag with cool/warm water. Follow the instructions from the garment care label, most will say hand wash in cold water.

Remember to stick to garments of similar coloring if washing newer clothing, colors can still bleed!

Step 2: Wash and Soak

Wash the clothes by swirling them around in the water. Apply extra “detergent” directly to any stains or particularly dirty spots, rubbing the fabric against itself to help get a thorough clean.

Leave the garments to soak for 20-30 minutes for a regular wash or 1-2 hours for dirtier items. If your clothing is very filthy, an overnight soap soak might be in order.

Step 3: Drain and Rinse

Drain the soapy water and rinse the garments under the tap to get rid of the excess soap and detergent. For an extra clean feel, let the clothing soak for 5-10 minutes in clean water to remove the soap with ease.

Step 4: Twist Out the Excess Water

Squeeze and ring out the water with your hands, removing as much water as you can before step five.

Step 5: Lay It Out

Step five and six are optional but are highly suggested as they will help your clothing dry much faster. Lay the wet garments in a single layer on a bath towel. A travel towel like this one works great for this!

Step 6: Roll and Squeeze

Roll the garment up in the towel, squeezing out the excess water as you go. For thicker garments, walking back and forth on the rolled towel works well, eliminating dripping in step seven.

Step 7: Hang to Dry

Hang the clothes overnight to dry ideally outdoors if the weather permits. Alternatively, the bathroom is a good location when you can’t hang the clothing outside.

When possible, hang garments close to the air conditioning, fan, or heater or leave the windows open (if suitable and safe) to allow air circulation.

Scrubba Wash Bag

Backpackers, budget travelers and long term wanderers love the Scrubba Wash Bag. It saves you money by allowing you to efficiently and effectively wash your clothes anytime, anywhere. This works especially well for adventurers getting off the beaten path with limited access to laundry facilities or those that would prefer the convenience of doing it themselves.

For delicate clothing, Scrubba has a new, more gentle wash bag called the Allurette.


Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag

Top Travel Washing Tips

  • Keep humidity in mind, garments will take longer to dry in jungles and rain forests than in deserts. Keep an eye out for sunny spots to ensure clothing gets as dry as possible but even “quick dry travel clothing” can feel moist on the skin in this climate.
  • Utilize your shower time – wash smaller items, such as socks and underwear. When you shower shampoo works as a great detergent.
  • It’s important to ensure your clothes are fully dried before you repack, if not you could end up with feet stinking garments, gross. A handy dry bag such as this one can keep any wet clothing from stinking up the rest of your belongings.
  • Don’t let your laundry pile up! Wash as you go.

hotel laundry service price list

How To Clean A Hotel Room In 20 Minutes

Enter the room following your hotel’s standard procedure. Most companies will have a mandatory two-knock, two-announcement rule. This is where housekeepers must knock twice and say “housekeeping” and upon entering the room again announce themselves once more in case the guest didn’t hear them from outside the room.

1. Strip the beds. Once inside always start the cleaning process by stripping the sheets. This enables you to use the dirty fitted sheet as a package for the rest of the items, helping to keep everything together and contained.

2. Inspect the bed for any damage or stains and smooth out the mattress. Make the bed following your hotel standards and ensure that once complete all sheets, covers and pillows are thoroughly checked for stains, tears and any hairs.

3. Make some space by removing the dirty linen and any rubbish from the room. Always make sure to check all visible surfaces for rubbish not forgetting inside the drawers. 

4. Next – dust. The room should always be well dusted from the top of the highest piece of furniture or fitting to the bottom of every chair. Don’t forget window sills, lamp shades and any hanging artwork.

5. Wipe down all hard surfaces. We thoroughly recommend using a colour co-ordinated cleaning system to prevent cross contamination. A clean set of cleaning cloths should be used for each room.
It is important not to forget to sanitise high contact areas/items such as the remote control, light switches, door handles and telephones paying particular attention to any devices in the bathroom area. 

6. Special attention should be paid to the cleaning of the bathroom including toilet seats and handles. From the showerhead to the floor all traces of the previous guest must be removed, especially any hair! Chrome is to be shined so no watermarks show, change the shower curtain if dirty and replace towels.

7. Make sure all other items provided by the hotel are replaced. This includes personal care products through to tea/coffee facilities, laundry bags, do not disturb signs, notebooks and guest guides. Always make sure fresh glassware and mugs are used and that any clocks are set to the correct time with the alarm off. 

8. Check all pillows, throws and curtains are in excellent looking condition and in the correct configuration. 

9. Always vacuum last and once finished in the room vacuum out the door. As you vacuum check the carpet for any damage or stains. Remove any spots from food, drink or makeup using spot remover. Vacuuming is so important as it helps to maintain hotel carpets, prevent the build-up of dust and if done correctly will lift carpet pile.

10. Once complete, leave the room with a neutral odour and at a balanced temperature.

hotel housekeeping tips and tricks

Why does my home smell musty?

If your home or clothing smells musty, chances are you have mold or mildew hiding out. While other things — like a lack of ventilation or high levels of humidity — can make a musty odor more noticeable, they typically are not the primary cause of the smell.

While the term “musty” often brings to mind an old library or your grandma’s attic, mold and mildew can grow practically anywhere—even your modern home or apartment. Essentially, all mold needs to grow is the presence of mold spores, a surface to grow on, warmth, darkness, oxygen, and moisture.

The last ingredient — moisture — is the biggest problem. When all of the other environmental elements combine with condensation, moisture from humidity, or leaking water, mold begins to grow. As mold forms, grows, and spreads, it emits gasses known as microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). So that musty odor you are smelling is not “just” mold but is a result of the chemical compounds released at different stages of the mold’s growth.

While volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are categorized as man-made or industrial chemicals, MVOCs are naturally occurring. They have a very low odor threshold, which means you may smell them easily and, when you do, the odor is strong. There are hundreds of different MVOCs formed by mold and mildew and many of them may pose health risks. Though more research is needed, some common symptoms of exposure to microbial volatile organic compounds may include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nasal irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Mold vs. mildew: identification and treatment

Mold and mildew — and the chemicals produced by them — are not great for your personal health or the air quality in your home. Though often used interchangeably, the EPA describes that mold and mildew are not quite the same things.

What are mold and mildew?


In a nutshell, the term mildew describes certain types of mold or fungus, and generically refers to mold that grows flat and remains on a material’s surface. Mildew likes to grow where moisture levels are high, like shower walls and windowsills. Thankfully, mildew can be treated easily and does not usually require hiring a professional. There are several ways to clean and remove mildew (we will go into more detail below) but no matter which you choose, it is best to wear a face mask and keep the area you are cleaning well-ventilated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mold are fungi that are found indoors and outside. No one is sure how many species of mold exist, but estimates range from the tens of thousands to maybe three hundred thousand or more.

You can find mold in many different places throughout your home — from the tiles in your shower to the crawl space in your basement. The majority of mold favor dark, damp, and warm environments, and anywhere that possesses those characteristics should be at the top of your list when you begin to look for the source of the musty smell in your home.

How mold affects your health and the health of your home

When left untreated for long periods of time, mold can cause structural damage to your home and the contents of it. Though moldy environments do not always cause health symptoms, the CDC says that exposure to moldy environments may cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing and wheezing, or eye and skin irritation. Those with mold allergies may have more severe reactions, and the EPA reports that for people with asthma who are allergic to mold, it can cause asthma attacks.

How to remove a musty smell from your home


It is not always fun to read about how mold and mildew can be affecting your home and health, but it is essential information to have. Now that we have gone over the basics, it is time to take action so you can get that musty smell out of your home.

Find the source of the musty smell:

As we have seen, the most common reason for a musty smell in your home is the presence of mold or mildew. And because the microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) emitted from mold and mildew have a low odor threshold, a musty smell does not necessarily mean that there is a lot of it. Before you try to cover up the odor, take some time to look around for patches of mildew or mold. Some places you may want to check for mold around your home include:

Your bathrooms — Moist and warm, bathrooms are like heaven to mold spores. You will want to check the most obvious places like the tiles in the shower but do not forget to check under the sink, around the toilet, and in the walls. Water leaks may not always be evident right away, but if you do a thorough inspection of your bathrooms, you should be able to tell if there is a moisture problem causing mold growth.

The kitchen — There are a lot of places in the kitchen for mold to hide out, so you will want to check thoroughly. Look inside of, underneath, and around your refrigerator, underneath your sink, and inside your microwave and stove. Oh, and do not forget to check your trash can — that is another dark place mold cannot resist.

In the bedrooms — True, your bedroom may not seem like a great place for mold to grow but it’s very possible. To keep your room smelling fresh, you will want to check for mold on your mattress, your bedroom windows and windowsills, and in any potted plants you have.

Your living room — Between your windows, your furniture, and your fireplace (if you have one), the living room is a pretty cozy place for your family and mold to hang out.

The attic, basement, and garage — Because you probably do not spend a ton of time in these rooms of your home, they are likely dark, warm, and damp. In other words, hello mold! You will need to look in quite a few spots in these rooms:

  • In your insulation
  • Around the water heater and furnace
  • Near any vents coming off the laundry room, kitchen, or bathroom
  • Around windows where condensation could gather
  • Behind or under any storage areas that do not get a lot of traffic
  • Other places you should check for mildew, mold, or moisture are in your air conditioning and heating ducts, inside and around your washer and dryer, and in the walls and ceiling around your home.

Fix any water leaks or moisture problems.

You can do all the cleaning you want, but if you do not take measures to fix any water leaks or other moisture problems, you will find yourself right back at square one. The CDC confirms this, saying, “Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding.” Once you have identified the source of the musty smell in your home, decide whether it requires maintenance that you can do yourself or if it makes more sense to hire a contractor to do the work for you. If you are renting, keep in mind that most leases require your landlord to pay for the repairs.

Clean the moldy or mildewy area thoroughly

If you did find places with mold or mildew, you would need to do a deep clean of the area (in addition to identifying what caused the growth and fixing that). Here are some tips for treating mold and mildew.

To clean mildew…

Though you can use bleach to kill and remove mildew, that level of cleaner is not usually necessary. If you do choose to use bleach, make sure you have adequate ventilation to the outside and wear protective equipment like rubber gloves and a face mask.

For a more natural (yet still highly effective) mildew treatment, you can:

  • Fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar
  • Let sit for several hours
  • Soak an abrasive sponge in hot water and dip it into baking soda
  • Scrub the mildew off of the surface

You will still probably want to turn on a fan and open a window, just to be safe.

To clean mold…

Mold clean up can be more intensive than treating mildew but that largely depends on how much mold there is, the type of mold, and how big of space the mold is covering. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends hiring a mold cleanup specialist if:

  • The moldy area is more than 10 square feet
  • If your HVAC system has mold in it
  • If the mold growth is on the walls, floors, or ceiling
  • If you have health issues that could be aggravated by more exposure to mold

In most other cases, you should be able to clean the mold up yourself. When cleaning mold, it is essential that the space you are in is well-ventilated and that you wear a respirator or face mask and cover your arms, legs, and hands to avoid exposure to mold spores that get stirred up from cleaning. The CDC recommends following these guidelines for cleaning up mold on your own:

  • Wear personal protective equipment
  • Toss out anything that cannot be cleaned within 48 hours
  • Use proper ventilation
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers to remove moisture
  • Do not mix cleaning products (when mixed, some cleaning products can create toxic vapors)
  • Scrub all surfaces that have mold
  • Fix the leak or moisture problem and clean up the mold before you paint or caulk
  • Dry everything as quickly as possible

To clean small areas of mold, you may be able to use the same process as you would clean up mildew. For larger areas, the CDC advises that you use a “solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach per 1 gallon of water.”

If the job feels too much, you may want to call a mold specialist.

Get the fresh air flowing

Now that you have gotten rid of the mold or mildew and have made all necessary repairs, you need to ventilate your home as much as possible. You can do this by opening windows, turning on fans, or both. The more you can get the air moving in your home, the better. Ventilation will help remove the musty smell from your house and make your home less attractive to mold and mildew.

Use an odor absorber

To get the last of the musty smell out of your house, use a natural odor absorber like activated charcoal or baking soda. These products will absorb the smell, so you’ll want to throw them away and replace them every two weeks or so.

If you follow all of these steps, your house will no longer smell like an old library or your grandma’s attic (whew!). All that’s left to do after this is keep mold and mildew at bay, so your house stays fresh and your family stays healthy.

How to remove a musty smell from your clothes

Now that you have removed the musty smell from your home, it is time to tackle your clothes (and any other fabrics, for that matter). No one wants to walk around with a moldy, stale smell clinging to them. Thankfully, getting the musty smell out of clothes is a pretty straightforward process.

  1. Inspect your washing machine

First things first, check that your washing machine does not have any mold or mildew growing inside it. This can happen, especially when you use a front-load washer. Even if you do not see any visible signs of mold or mildew, you can be proactive and clean your washer with a mix of white vinegar and baking soda. Once that’s done, wipe down all the inner surfaces of your washer with a towel and let it sit open so it can air out.

Even if there is no mold or mildew growing in your washer, letting your clothes sit could be a problem on its own. The City of Milwaukee shares that “washed laundry that smells musty or earthy is caused by leaving wet laundry in a closed washing machine. Molds and mildew grow quickly in dark, moist environments, particularly during warm, humid weather. Remove laundry immediately after washing. To remove the musty odor, wash the laundry again.”

  1. Time to clean the musty smell out of your clothes

If you have clothes that smell mildewy, stale, or otherwise just bad, there are a few different options you can use to remove the smell.

  • Add a cup of white vinegar to the washer when you wash the musty clothes
  • Wash your clothes with a cup of baking soda on the hottest setting your washer offers
  • Mix 1 parts Borax, a natural mold-killer, with 2 parts hot water and add it to the washing machine with your smelly clothes in it after it has filled with water
  • Let your clothes air out on a clothesline outside (weather permitting)

More tips for keeping your laundry fresh and must-free:

  • Do not leave wet laundry in the washing machine
  • Make sure all of your laundry is fully dried before putting in your dresser or closet
  • Toss sweaty clothes directly into the washer so they don’t make the rest of your dirty clothes smell bad
  • Clean your washer out every few months to prevent mold growth

Keep it fresh: banishing musty odors for good

Your home and your clothes are natural magnets for a musty smell. To keep them fresh and in good condition, you may want to take preventive measures. Preventing mold and mildew is always easier than cleaning it up. Eliminating musty smells for good also means you will be improving your home’s indoor air quality — it is a win-win!

  • Use a dehumidifier — Keeping your home at an ideal humidity level (between 40-50%) will go a long way in preventing mold and mildew and, of course, that musty smell.
  • Keep all surfaces dry — Your bathroom and kitchen, especially, should be kept as dry as possible. Taking a few minutes to wipe down hard surfaces after a shower or after cooking will help keep mold and mildew from forming. Do not forget to wipe away condensation that forms on your windows and leave your washing machine open between uses so it can air out!
  • Change your air filters regularly — Your HVAC filters can easily become filled with mold. By changing them often, you can avoid this and make sure your home’s air quality stays high.
  • Inspect for mold often — Mold happens. The earlier you catch it, the easier it will be to treat.
  • Do maintenance as needed — Water leaks can be prevented by performing (or hiring a contractor to do) regular maintenance in your home. This can include roof and plumbing inspections, as well as HVAC inspections.
  • Keep your home ventilated — Fresh air from the outside can help keep mold at bay. When air gets stagnant, humidity levels rise and mold thrives. Getting the air flowing in and through your home will help reduce condensation and will improve your air quality.

Prevention is key to a fresh home and fresh clothes

While musty smells sometimes just happen, your best bet is to take proactive measures that keep your home and clothes fresh. Though it may seem like many steps — regular maintenance, using a dehumidifier, cleaning out your washing machine, and wiping down damp surfaces — doing these things upfront takes far less time and (frustration) that trying to remove musty smells.

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