Spin Cycle – Laundry Around the World


Colorful clothes hang on the side of a building along the Anapurna Circuit in Nepal


I had someone recently ask me how I do my laundry since I’m nomadic and constantly traveling.  Quite frankly I do my laundry any way I can; in the sink, in a washing machine, at the laundromat, or have someone do it for me for the right price.  My travel clothes have little numbers written on all of the tags from when I leave my bag of dirty clothes with a random lady to do my wash; the numbers help them keep track of all of the different bags of laundry they do.

No matter where you are from in the world – every person has to do laundry.  However they way we do laundry certainly varies from country to country.    This is my collection of laundry around the world.



























Your Comments

48 Comments so far

  1. Caitlin says:

    I love this – such a slice of life!

  2. I love my washer/dryer but have to admit there is beauty in the everyday life of those around the globe. Beautiful photos Sherry.

    • Sherry says:

      Thanks Shannon! I have always naturally taken pictures of drying clothes – and I was looking through photos one day and wondered what I would do with them all…they look much better all together!

  3. NLM says:

    During my visit to Shanghai, I kept thinking that whoever brought the clothes dryer to China would be an instant millionaire. I know…it’s not green, but hey, it was just a daydream!

  4. Hi Sherry – I love the stories these photos tell. When we were in New Zealand, I was struck by the fact that households in this modern, well-off–and often rainy–country mostly used clotheslines instead of dryeres. If they can do it, so can we Americans! I’ve tried to cut down my use of the dryer since traveling to conserve energy. Also, I wanted to recommend to your readers to travel with a braided clothesline — a stretchy rubber clothesline with velcro tabs at the end so it can be strung across almost anywhere. Since it’s braided, you can stick lots of pieces of clothing in it to hang & dry without needed clothespins. Our family used it several times a week.

    • Sherry says:

      YES – that travel clothesline is great! I don’t have one yet (should have bought one at sports basement when I was there…darn!) – but Dave and Deb used one during the Mongol Rally and I loved it!

  5. Sophie says:

    Lively, colourful, down to earth – a great photo essay idea!

  6. Lisa says:

    I love how they make due with any surface they can find. Great post!

  7. Melissa says:

    What a fascinating insight! I can’t remember the last time I saw clothes hanging on a line (or actually hung any out to dry!) which doesn’t say much for our washer’s and dryers! Great shots!

  8. Clever idea for a post! Very interesting to see.

  9. DAD says:

    I recognized the first picture from Nepal and the last from Singapore. We could sure save a lot of energy with the old way of air and sun drying


    • Sherry says:

      Yes – and to think we were renegades in the US always hanging our clothes our whole life! I didn’t know it was so popular until I left and started traveling!

  10. I love it that you “string” like-images together. Wonderful blog and photos.

  11. Michael says:

    What a great concept Sherry! Some amazing photos here too. I’m tossing up between Cambodia and Singapore for my favorite.

  12. Joe says:

    Love your projects… what program or app do you use for your photos watermark? It is very professional and unobtrusive.

    • Sherry says:

      Thanks Joe. I use Aperture to do any photo processing and editing. I put the watermark on it from that program. Most photo editing/storage programs have watermarking available. Thanks for following along!

  13. Maria says:

    Nice photo essay on everyday life. The look, the feel, the colors and completely relatable.

  14. This is great! I really loved the picture from Italy and found Singapore very interesting. They have special poles for wash day. . ingenious!

  15. Donna Hull says:

    Great photos in this post. The one thing that strikes me is that most people hang their clothes out on a line. In the U.S. we rarely see that anymore. Creative post!

  16. Amanda says:

    What a cool, creative photo post! Love it!

  17. Margo says:

    Nice post, Sherry! I love it… each photo tells a story by itself, and next to the others is beautiful.

  18. Megan says:

    In South America most of the time the laundries would stitch a little coloured string into the label (or into the clothes if there was no label)…writing numbers seems like it would be much faster!!

  19. Brian says:

    This post is a great example of how to make the ordinary interesting. Nicely done.

  20. Mark H says:

    Stellat photos and story.

  21. Great Photos!Such a nice and cool observation on the small detail of life. :)

  22. Cailin says:

    that Singapore photo is the best! So interesting how its something so universally similar everywhere :)

  23. I can’t even believe how beautiful these photos are! Who knew laundry could be so captivating! Great work! I especially love the Cambodia shot!

  24. Lara Dunston says:

    A woman after our own hearts. My husband and I find the details of the everyday the most compelling when we travel too. A wonderful collection of photos, Sherry!

  25. Thanks for your post, Sherry – the everyday mundane and chore seems so beautiful now. Excuse me, I feel the need to do some laundry … !

  26. As I started at the top I was wondering if there might be a photo from Singapore! I really noticed the laundry there (wouldn’t normally!). Driving north across the island I was struck by the huge apartment tower blocks all draped in exactly the same way with highly regimented rows of laundry!

    • Sherry says:

      Thanks for stopping by Alastair! Yes – the Singapore laundry is always a favorite of mine! I love how no one uses dryers around the world except in America!

  27. Michael says:

    A great collection of great shots!

  28. Love this! Great idea for a photo essay.

  29. Tiffany says:

    This is great! I especially love the photo from Singapore – it took me a second to really see what I was looking at! Great job!

  30. Cam says:

    Fun post! Interesting to see that it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, everyone has dirty laundry!

  31. Amy Moore says:

    Stumbled here and I love this post. You’ve made a beautiful composition of an everyday thing.

  32. Laura says:

    Great photos! Doing the laundry and being proud of it :)

  33. Kelsey says:

    I love this! I kind of miss having a laundry line on my balcony.

  34. Great focus on one topic and the fact you had all of these photos

  35. Anne Marie says:

    I have always taken “laundry” photos when we have travelled. The commonalities of people across the globe always amazes me. I’m now inspired to hang my laundry photos. In the laundry room I think.

  36. Michael says:

    As a loyal user of a Clothes Line, I love the selections of photos that you have taken.

    Here is one that my daughter took on her phone when she was in an Ultra Orthodox neighbourhood in Jerusalem. I think it was definately a dark wash!!!


  37. cheryl chan says:

    Wow, a great understanding of the world culture through its laundry with great photography. *salute*

  38. Hi Ms Runaway – We love that you are living the dream and have run off into the great unknown :))

    Just saw all your lovely laundry pics and thought we’d give you a heads up on our new soon to be product the SockLock which is just about home n hosed on KickStart.

    Take a squizz if you have a mo betwix winging between over ponds!


    Cheers from the crew :)

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