Laundry on the Go: Tips for Keeping Your Travel Clothes Fresh - Broke in London

Laundry on the Go: Tips for Keeping Your Travel Clothes Fresh

Guest post by Nicole Due

Traveling comes with its fair share of challenges, and if you want to ensure that your travels stay smooth, you have to use several strategies to make things convenient during your trip. For instance, keeping your clothes fresh can be difficult, especially if your accommodations don’t come equipped with a washer and dryer. You may use the hotel’s laundry services or go to the nearby laundromat, but doing so might put a major dent in your wallet.

Fortunately, there are many inexpensive and easy tips and tricks out there to keep your clothes fresh during your travels. Here are some you can consider.

Pack Clothes Made of Moisture Wicking Fabric

Traveling can be a sweaty business, especially if you’re exploring under the sun or rushing to catch a flight. That’s where moisture-wicking clothes come to the rescue. Moisture-wicking t-shirts, leggings, and socks for women are made of fabrics like polyester or merino wool, and they’re designed to pull moisture away from your skin.

By wicking away sweat and moisture, these types of clothes can prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria, leaving your clothes smelling clean throughout your journey. You also get to feel dry and fresh because you’re less likely to end up wearing damp, smelly garments at the end of a long day of travel.

Place a Dryer Sheet in Your Luggage

Dryer sheets are designed to release a pleasant scent while reducing static and wrinkles in your laundry. Thus, you can leverage their benefits by adding them to your luggage. This might seem like a small, simple trick, but its advantages are undeniable. Placing one or two dryer sheets among your packed clothes can infuse them with a fresh fragrance and help repel any unwanted odors that might develop during your travels. Additionally, dryer sheets can help minimize static cling, keeping your clothes neat and wrinkle-free.

Pack Your Clothes Tightly

When it comes to keeping your travel clothes fresh, how you pack them matters. Packing your clothes tightly not only maximizes space in your luggage but also helps prevent them from becoming wrinkled and stale-smelling. When clothes are packed tightly together, there’s less room for air to circulate, which can slow down the development of odors. Moreover, tightly packed clothes are less likely to shift and rub against each other, reducing wrinkles and creases on your clothes.

Bring a Portable Clothes Steamer or Iron

A portable clothes steamer or iron can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your travel clothes fresh and wrinkle-free. These handy gadgets allow you to quickly and easily remove wrinkles and creases from your clothes, giving them a fresh, crisp appearance wherever you go. While both appliances can help keep your garments looking crisp and crease-free, one may work better on certain fabrics than the other.

A portable clothes steamer is a lightweight, handheld appliance that uses steam to smoothen out clothes. It doesn’t require you to press against the surface of your clothes, making it the best choice for delicate fabrics like silk and cashmere. It’s also particularly useful in removing wrinkles from garments that are difficult to iron such as dresses, blouses, and suits, thanks to the mobility it provides.

On the other hand, a portable clothes iron provides a more traditional approach to wrinkle removal. It uses heat and pressure to flatten out creases and give your clothes a smooth finish. While slightly bulkier than a steamer, a portable iron can still be compact enough to fit in your luggage. It’s versatile and suitable for a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, linen, and polyester.

Keep Worn Clothes in a Laundry Bag or Packing Cube

Your clothes will become worn and potentially dirty after a long day of exploring a new destination. To prevent these worn clothes from mingling with your clean ones—and causing unwanted odors—it’s essential to keep them separate by putting them in a laundry bag or a packing cube. Doing so will contain any odors and prevent them from spreading to the rest of your luggage. Plus, this separation makes it easier to identify which items need to be laundered when you have the opportunity.

Treat Small Stains Quickly

Accidents happen, especially when you’re on the move. Whether it’s a spill from a sweet drink or a splatter from a thick sauce, small stains can quickly become big problems if left untreated. That’s why it’s essential to address stains as soon as they occur. This way, they won’t have a chance to set into the fabric and become permanent.

Carrying a stain remover pen or pre-moistened stain removal wipes in your travel kit can be a lifesaver in these situations. As soon as you notice a stain, simply apply the stain remover to the affected area and gently blot with a clean cloth or tissue. This quick action can help lift the stain from the fabric before it has a chance to become ingrained, keeping your clothes looking fresh and stain-free.

Hand Wash Your Clothes

When you’re traveling, access to laundry facilities may be limited. Thus, it may be necessary to find alternative ways to keep your clothes clean and fresh. One solution is to hand wash your clothes in the sink or shower of your accommodations. Hand washing your clothes allows you to remove dirt, sweat, and odors without the need for a washing machine.

All you need is a small amount of gentle detergent and some water. Simply fill the sink or basin with water, add a small amount of detergent, and agitate the clothes gently to loosen dirt and grime. After soaking for a few minutes, rinse the clothes thoroughly with clean water and wring them out gently to remove excess moisture.

A great tip when hand washing your clothes is you can buy everything you need at your destination. This way, you won’t have to bring laundry detergent with you, saving space in your luggage.

Hang Your Clothes Outside

One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep your travel clothes fresh is by airing them out regularly. Hanging your clothes outside, whether it’s on a balcony, clothesline, or even over a chair near an open window, allows fresh air and sunlight to work their magic on your garments. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer, helping to kill bacteria and remove odors from your clothes.

Additionally, the fresh air helps to circulate and refresh the fabric, keeping it smelling clean and crisp. Whenever possible, take advantage of opportunities to hang your clothes outside, especially after wearing them multiple times or if they’ve been packed away in your luggage for an extended period. Even just a few hours in the sunlight can make a noticeable difference in the freshness of your clothes.

It can be frustrating to keep your clothes smelling and looking fresh while traveling. However, with the help of these tips, you can rest assured that your clothes will stay clean longer, no matter where your travels take you.