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How to Do Laundry While Camping: A Campground Owners’ Guide

How to Do Laundry While Camping: A Campground Owners' Guide

Camping should be invigorating and stress-relieving, but campground visitors often have to wash their clothes by hand while on a camping trip — a less-than-ideal solution for campers and campground owners alike. This guide explains how people wash clothes while camping, why these methods are not the best choices for your customers or your business, and how you can solve the laundry problem with one easy decision.

Table of Contents

Common Ways to Wash Laundry While Camping

Although a proper washer and dryer will produce quicker, easier and cleaner results, not all campgrounds offer laundry facilities. The do-it-yourself solution for cleaning clothes at a campsite is to do it by hand. Campers will need to bring their own detergent and containers to scrub their clothes in, and they’ll need a drain for their soapy laundry water so the natural beauty of your campground stays safe from pollution.

1. Washing Clothes in a Bucket

When campers use the bucket method, they use one container to wash their garments in soapy water and one container to rinse off the detergent. Campers then hang their wet laundry on makeshift clotheslines tied between trees or poles, hoping for good weather to dry them off naturally. The bucket method takes valuable time and energy from campers — energy far better spent enjoying the amenities of your location. It also produces a lot of water waste and potentially harmful chemicals that could end up in a stream or lake without proper disposal.

2. Doing Laundry in a Washbag

Washbags are designed to replace the two-bucket system with one waterproof bag. They usually have flexible washboards inside them against which campers can scrub their dirty clothes. While washbags save campers some packing space, they still require significant manual labor and time, as well as a clothesline. 

Campgrounds without dedicated laundry facilities should provide easily accessible drains for campers to dispose of their soapy water. Without drains, the natural resources at your campground could become polluted.

3. Refreshing Clothes Without Washing Them

While nothing can clean clothes quite like an hour’s agitation in detergent and water, there are a few hacks campers sometimes deploy to refresh clothes without washing them. These include spritzing garments with freshener sprays and shaking dirty clothes with baking soda in a plastic bag. While enterprising, these methods don’t properly clean campers’ clothes and aren’t appropriate for delicate fabrics like silk, wool, cashmere and leather. The plastic bags and bottles could also end up littering your campsite, posing a danger to indigenous wildlife and increasing the need for waste disposal services.

How Laundry Detergent for Camping Threatens Campgrounds

While environmentally friendly and biodegradable laundry detergent designed for prolonged skin contact exists, many campers simply bring along the detergent they use at home. These strong detergents are made for machines, not hands, and should never be emptied directly into rivers, streams or lakes after use. Studies have shown that laundry detergent can harm fish, animals, plant life and even humans when not properly disposed of through plumbing systems.

How Laundry Detergent for Camping Threatens Campgrounds

Can Campers Use Dish Soap to Wash Their Clothes?

Campers also sometimes use dish soap to wash their clothes without realizing the adverse effects it can have. The chemicals in dish soap are only meant to make brief contact with the hands during dishwashing and are not supposed to rub against large areas of skin for long periods. Additionally, if dish soap residue remains on a person’s clothes, they may develop contact dermatitis and will not know until a rash has already formed.

The Benefits of Campsite Laundry Facilities

The bucket and washbag methods are time-consuming, costly, inconvenient for campers and potentially damaging to the environment. They require extra packing space in campers’ vehicles, and the detergent, gloves, rope, bags and clean water — which campers may need to bring in plastic bottles — cost money. For large families, hand-washing clothes can add up to hours of work since a person can only wash a few articles at a time.

Permanent camping laundry rooms are the best option for both campers and campground owners. 

1. How Camping Laundry Rooms Benefit Campers

Choosing a campground with laundry facilities saves campers significant packing space, time, money and effort. They’ll be able to do laundry as they would at home, letting robust machines take care of the labor while they enjoy the great outdoors with their loved ones. Plus, laundry takes much less time to dry in a commercial dryer, so campers will have clean, wearable clothes in a few hours or less, even if it’s raining or foggy.

If your campground chooses mobile app laundry management technology, payment can be as easy as a few taps on a smartphone. Campers’ phones will let them know which machines are available, let them customize their wash and dry cycles, and notify them when their laundry is ready for collection. You and your guests will also have access to 24/7 customer support should you need any help or advice with the system.

2. How Camping Laundry Rooms Benefit Campground Owners

Studies have shown that, as of 2021, campers expect campgrounds to provide a wider array of amenities. For campground owners, installing or upgrading a camping washing machine facility can be a complete game-changer for your business. There are many benefits to providing campers with commercial washers and dryers on-site:

Which Laundry Equipment Should You Use?

Campground owners should use high-quality laundry equipment that offers easy, modern payment methods, such as card and mobile app solutions. This technology streamlines the process for both the business and the campers and encourages them to use the service.

Washers and dryers should be safely delivered, expertly installed and regularly serviced by a team of trained technicians. If you lease your laundry equipment from Caldwell & Gregory, we’ll provide you with all these services. Your monthly revenue covers the equipment leasing costs, and any extra income will go right back to you!

For more information on which equipment to install and whether to lease or buy, consult our handy washer-and-dryer guide or discuss your needs with one of our dedicated advisors.

Let Caldwell & Gregory Upgrade Your Campground Laundry Setup

Let Caldwell & Gregory Upgrade Your Campground Laundry Setup

At Caldwell & Gregory, we’re passionate about helping our customers maximize their camping location’s potential. Our unending commitment to quality and customer service means you’ll always have a team of commercial laundry professionals on your side to inform, advise, assist and provide for your business. We’d love to hear from you, so if you’d like to add a cost-effective laundry solution to your campground, reach out to us online today.