Washing clothes in Europe

Old Jul 31st, 2007, 08:23 AM
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Washing clothes in Europe

If I leave my clothes to be washed at a laundry in Europe, will they read the labels and treat each item as recommended. That is, wash and dry at lower temperatures as needed. Line dry if the label says so? Separate darks and lights?

I've always been reluctant to leave clothes at a laundry for this reason. Still it would be a great convenience to have the wash done while we're touring.

We recently rented an apartment in London. It had a combination washer/dryer. (Incidently, why do they insist on putting the washer in the kitchen? I envision greasy food spots on clean clothes and lint on food.) As far as I could figure out, there was no way to stop the cycle between wash and dry to remove those items needing to be line dried. Is this common?
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 08:27 AM
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Hi Mimar: My husband & I left our clothes with the hotel to wash and dry on our last trip to Venice. If you chose to have someone else do your laundry don't make the same mistake we did! Ask FIRST what the COST will be.
We were charged over $100 dollars for a tiny, tiny load of clothes. (In all fairness, they did iron everything even our undies!!)
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 08:31 AM
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I hope you mean at a laundry and not using the hotel like nanabee mentions. Hotels generally (but not always) charge a fortune.

As for your question - I don't know what they read but I've had things washed in laundries in several countries and never had anything ruined. Not to say it couldn't happen, maybe I've just been lucky.
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 08:31 AM
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hi, honestly, i think that the best idea would be to find a laundry mat, very easy somewhere big like rome, and do your laundry yourself. That is what I did. Then you can wash everything how you want to and will have no problems at a low cost. some places also have internet access while you wait so that's a nice feature! have fun!
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Hi M,

If you want to send your laundry out and have it to your specs, be prepared to pay handsomely.

If your travel clothes are that difficult to deal with, I think sunny has good advice.

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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 08:59 AM
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"f you want to send your laundry out and have it to your specs, be prepared to pay handsomely."

Not necessarily so. Many launderettes in Europe offer a wash/dry/fold service for very little more than you'd pay to sit there watching the dryer go round and round.
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 09:04 AM
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I try to travel with clothes that are simple to wash and dry and don't need a lot of special care.
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 09:11 AM
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Recently( in Spain) we went to a wash,dry,fold laundry and they asked if we wanted it all to go in one large washing machine, or separated, colors and whites, in two smaller machines at a higher cost. We chose the two machines. We also washed by hand with quick dry clothes and used laundromats. The only ititems we had done in hotels were pants and shirts that needed to be pressed. The apartments we rented had the combo washers and dryers, in the kitchen. If we did not want to use the dryer, we pushed the dryer button to a different level. We could not use the dryer without the washer, but could use the washer without the dryer. Hope this helps. Also,European washers and dryers take longer than ours do in the US.
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 09:33 AM
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I've used laundromats in Europe on more than a few occasions, and I would definitely not expect anyone to read all the labels and wash and dry everything to you/the manufacturer's specifications. They'd dprobably separate darks and lights - if you brought the clothes in that way especially - but beyond that, I highly doubt you'd get that kind of precision care from personnel at a laundromat. And keep in mind they may not be able to even read the instructions on the labels, if they're only in English. Most grments have universal symbols on them, but still, I doubt anyone's going to take the time to look at every label.

And do heed the warnings about expense - we once dropped of a very small bundle of clothing at a laundromat in France, waited 5 days to get it back, and the cost was absolutely exorbitant - something like $3.00 per pair of socks!
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 09:45 AM
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The problem with doing the laundry yourself is that you have to be there all that time. Isn't it a waste? You could do some sighseeing instead.
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 09:45 AM
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Mimar,

On our recent trip, we tried laundry several different ways. We washed some in the washer in our apt. in Paris. The manual was only in French and none of us are great at reading in French, so wound up waiting hours for one load to finish washing. The second load we figured out how to get a shorter cycle. We dried all of those clothes at a nearby self service laundry place quickly and inexpensively.

In Bath, I had forgotten to bring the print out from fodors of local laundromat locations. I asked at our hotel and they directed us to a location in Bath that does the laundry for you. Our clothes were grouped into two loads - I'm not sure if they were sorted into lights and darks. I know that no special care was taken of individual items. The two loads cost 20pounds total and my son swears that all of his clothes were faded (I haven't really inspected to see if that is reality, but it is quite probable).

If I had it to do again, I would make sure that I had the names of local self serve laundry places and I would do the laundry my self. The full serve was just too expensive for my budget.
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 09:46 AM
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"Many launderettes in Europe offer a wash/dry/fold service for very little more than you'd pay to sit there watching the dryer go round and round."

That way you can do both - sightsee while the laundry is being done . . . .
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 09:48 AM
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There are places you can leave laundry to have it done - but I would leave only things that don;t require any special handling.

If you have any items that require only cold water, or delicate cylces or being turned inside out etc - I would never give them to any laundry anywhere. (I have learned the hard way that even trusted cleaners in New York can make a nonsense - when they put my brand new pink silk shirt into the washer with a bunchof men;'s shirts - and it came out wearable by no one over the age of about 6.)

For anything that requires special handling - simply don;t take it with you to europe. OR - have the hotel do it, with specific instructions from you - and pay the price. (I have found they charge almost as much to wash and iron a pair of panties as I have paid for them - everyday ones, not the silk fou fou kind.)
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 11:03 AM
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I suppose it just depends on what works best for you.. if you want to save a little expense and are very concerned about how carefully they would treat your clothing than you would want to do it yourself, dependson what kind of time frame you are looking at (like if you have any don time) Either way... have a great trip!
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 11:13 AM
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Laundry Adventures in Europe

Switzerland: found a laundramat and ate Chicken Bombay Pizza with Chutney while doing laundry.

Austria: Washed clothes at hotel and dried half of it on a line outside. (dried one load in a dryer since DH had no pants!)

Germany: Stayed at Hotel Uhland and they did our laundry for 30 Euro. (about 2 loads or one very large load)

Bath, England: Found laundramat. One washer spilled water everywhere, the first dryer didn't have any heat. Eventually the clothes got washed & dried.

Moreton-on-Marsh, England: Took clothes to laundry service. Toured a bit & picked up clothes around noon. All was OK.

London: Took clothes to laundry service down the street. Picked them up the next day. They lost one of DH's shirts.

Doing laundry is part of the cultural adventure that is travel. Just don't take clothes that you are too attached to.
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 11:21 AM
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Date: 07/31/2007, 01:46 pm

"Many launderettes in Europe offer a wash/dry/fold service for very little more than you'd pay to sit there watching the dryer go round and round."

That way you can do both - sightsee while the laundry is being done . .


Or find a self serve one near a pub/cafe/restaurant nearby. Put the washing on, have a drink or two, then go back and put it on to dry. Most launderettes are open late so that people who work can use them too. Can be a good way to meet the locals too.

The reason the washing machine is in the kitchen is because that is where the plumbing is and it is easy to take the washing into the garden to hang up to dry. It is tradtional, unless you have a utility room, so builders still put the plumbing in the kitchen, even if you no longer have a garden. Here in Holland the washing machine is usually in the bathroom. Which means lugging wet washing downstairs to hang out to dry.
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 11:47 AM
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No.

In Europe (or anywhere else) I would not expect a drop-off laundry service to read tags and do each piece of clothing differently.

I would only drop off things that can machine wash without fading and machine dry fully.
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 11:54 AM
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A drop off laundry will just throw everything together and wash them. If you have something delicate, don't pack it! More trouble than it's worth anyhow.
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 02:02 PM
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The few times we have used a drop off service in Italy, they offered 2 services - One was just simple wash, dry & fold which they charged per Kilogram not by the item. They also offered individual cleaning (even dry cleaning at one) with pressing etc...with each item charged separately. We always choose the KG rate and it cost us 15 Euro or so for both of our mixed clothes (2 big bags). They were very quick (next day service). One was in San Gimignano and the other in Positano
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Old Jul 31st, 2007, 02:05 PM
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nanabee, I prefer my "undies" ironed
 

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