Doing laundry while on the road.

Ack! Laundry duty follows me!

We are in Oakland, California….still. Waiting for our trucks going to Las Vegas to be ready. Probably tomorrow night, more likely Wednesday.

This is a great opportunity to get some laundry done.

When you make a hotel reservation – over the phone or online – ask if there is a guest laundry. Most, not all, of the major chain hotels do have a laundry facility.

It is, usually, behind a locked door your room key will open.



Fortunately this hotel has two washers and two dryers. Most hotels have one each and you have to hope that no one else has called dibs.


Check with the desk clerk when you check in. Ask if there are laundry products for sale in the laundry room or purchased at the front desk.


At $.75 a pop this can get expensive.


Especially when one wash load is $2.00 and all in quarters.


While the dryer is an additional $1.25, also in quarters.


Thankfully these machines are “Heavy Duty Commercial” and can handle a bit larger load than what you may have at home.

The washer has an agitator.


At home I have a front load…..yes, I’m a snob. A washer snob anyway.

The dryer in most hotels are “Heavy Duty Commercial” as well with a large drying drum.


I found a water tight plastic box at my local grocery store. It is a 5.8 quart “Lock & Lock” brand.



The lid has a blue gasket inside the lip of the lid. The four sides have holes that match up to corresponding, teeth for lack of a better word.



This particular box has a divider, of sorts, that I use to keep my Ziplock bags of detergent separate from my dryer sheets.


With these new concentrated laundry detergents it is easy to carry the amount you use at home. I scoop my cup in the box at home, eyeball the fill line, then dump into a ziplock bag.


I carry 10 to 15 bags of detergent in this plastic box.


A regular sized box of dryer sheets fit nicely in the box. I have a spot in the back of the pickup where this lives until I need it. Most times I’m home for a night or two and don’t need to find a laundry facility.

Maybe, if you are fortunate, you can get a jump on your laundry from the family vacation. Get away from the fighting and noisy kids for a couple hours. Leave the care and feeding of the young to your spouse 🙂

Just in case you need to know. The washers have a cycle – start to stop – of between 28 to 30 minutes. The dryers have a cycle of about 45 minutes.

Be sure to check inside the washing drum before you dump your clothes.


Someone left short pieces of a blue construction crayon in the washer. Of course I didn’t check first. That crayon made the trip to the dryer stowed away in a garment somewhere. I had lovely bright blue waxy stains on our clothes from undergarments to outer wear.

Just another traveling tip you may find useful….or not 😉



About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

10 responses to “Doing laundry while on the road.

  • Jann Gray

    Amazing organization! I need you to come help me get organized….I am working and crafting in mayhem right now…feels like I have 20+ projects/designs that have deadlines screaming at me….and for the first 8 I just kept moving….now the studio looks like a hurricane went through and I am having to stop and ORGANIZE just so I can pick back up where I left off! Glad you all will have some clean clothes! Hang in there! XOXO Jann

    • Message In A Fold

      How exciting for you! Well, not the hurricane part but the projects and design work.

      Out of “Jann’s Studio” there is always fabulousness that is left in the wake of a creative storm :D. I can’t wait to see what washes up this time 😀

      Love you – Leslie

      • Jann Gray

        You do make it sound like there will be some good to come of the current mayhem and mess! *smile* Thanks for popping over to my blog today…and for your kind encouragement! I realized that in the whole craziness of my computer dying and me trying to get everything from the old computer onto the new computer that I do not have your email….so if you have a chance, would you drop me an email to so I can get you in my address book once again? Thanks friend. By the way – that “Post It Note” type roll is called Eclipse Tape. I have found it on-line when I needed to replenish – I think the last time was at – it is quite handy…and I think better in the roll like I have than in the sheets that are available…but there is probably pro’s and con’s to each kind.

      • Message In A Fold

        Thanks for the link to the Eclipse stuff. I’ll have to check it out.

        I have the day to fritter away and have decided to give your masking technique a try. Thanks for the inspiration to play with markers – something out of my comfort zone 😀

        I’ll send you my email address.

        Love you – Leslie

  • Pati Mishler

    OH!! Smart!! I like your box, container,? Anywho, i like the way you section off your detergent in baggies, you CAN get allot of those in your box, GOOD JOB!!. And your softner also, SUPER!! Way to save money, space, and still have things convienient for yourself. No i apparently cant spell, lol. OMGOSH!! yes, those washers and dryers you have to pay for are SO expensive, i do laundry at home, and i STILL find coins, ear plugs, marking sticks, WHATEVER in my washer, i think thats everywhere. At least while your still in Calif, you dont have to pay for the hotel, right? You can sorta relax, take in the sights, while you wait for your next load of trucks. Les and i discovered the arm and hammer little, gosh, whats it called? dang, the laundry soap Its like the dishwasher soap, just a little pocket of soap, throw it in the washer, one will normally do it, and off you go. Now i am still using my downy ball, yep, still in the dark ages, lol, told les, if i can find softner in the tiny pouch also, i will change to that, so convienient. Well, gotta go, love you, stay safe, my sis.

    • Message In A Fold

      I’ve thought about those little soap packets. What stops me from getting them is the results of expansion and contraction from the various altitude and temperature changes we go through as we travel.

      I’ve had little shampoo bottles squeeze themselves into strange shapes as the air gets sucked out of them sometimes. Water bottles, especially the thinner bottles, really get twisted.

      I love Downey! Dryer sheets are used on the road for the same contortion reason. You stick with your Downey Ball. That was the best thing invented ever! Well, before the fancy machines with the little dispenser cups that are filled at the start of a wash that is.

      Sounds like you get a surprise in nearly every wash 😉 from things left behind by Les. How funny!

      Good luck and prayers sent up on your house selling in Tribune. May all go without a hitch.

      Love you Sis

  • gardenpinks

    Have had to use a laundrette only a couple of times and the expense is shocking! I am not convinced that the laundry comes out as clean as it does at home and, although those agitator machines are great for heavy items such as towels and sheets they wreck t shirts! Still I suppose we have to pay for convenience and at least the laundry room looked clean and you didn’t have to pay for soap or fabric conditioner and all your clothes are now clean and sweet smelling 🙂 I tend to find nails, screws and washers in the drum after a wash of Rod’s trousers! Occasionally small coins but it is the dreaded tissues that drive me nuts and that is my fault. I have a habit of putting tissues up my sleeve and then forget to check sleeves when doing a wash. So annoying when the clothing comes out covered in bits of white fluff that is so hard to remove! Love and hugs Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Convenience always has a price 😉 but at times the price is necessary 😦

      I bet you roll your eyes as you empty the washer and hear the metal tinkling noises :-). Joe leaves me pennies and an occasional dime 🙂

      Yes, thankfully, this was a clean and well kept laundry room. Plus the dust and sweat have been washed away and replaced by a nice clean smell.

      Your laundry gets hung on a clothes line, if I recall. There is nothing sweeter smelling than freshly washed clothing and linens hung outside in the air to dry. That is a smell from my youth that I cherish.

      Do you have a can or bucket to put Rod’s wayward bolts and nails in? Or do you hand them back to Rod to go take care of ? 😀

      Thanks for your comment and a bit of your life.

      Love you – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    Yes Leslie all our laundry is pegged out on a clothes line to dry which is great when we have lovely sunny/breezy days but a pain when the weather isn’t quite so conducive then it is hung out to partially dry and finished off inside on a clothes horse but I do hate wet or damp washing hanging around the house 😦 With our electricity set up there is no way we could have a tumble dryer. The nails, screws, washers accumulate in a dish on the windowsill until I get fed up with them being there and then they get dumped into a container amongst the collection of screws, nails, washers, etc in his ‘workshop’! LOL Love and hugs Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      I had a good belly laugh when I read what you said about Rod’s nails, bolts, and washer collection bin 😀

      Ah, our men. We love them anyway 😉

      When I was a child I made the mistake of hanging wet laundry out to dry on a sunny winter’s day. Now that is “Stiff as a board” for sure! Lol.

      Love you – Leslie

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