How to wash your clothes on the Camino de Santiago?
When someone asks us when they walk the Camino for the first time how to manage with dirty clothes, we also remember our first time on the Camino. How many washing machines would there have in an Albergue to wash the clothes of the pilgrims in August? But the truth is that a lot of albergues had no washing machine and much less dryer.
I remember when we arrived at a modern hostel in Triacastela and saw the washing machine in which for 3 euros you could wash … 3 euros !! We thought it was a lot of money, but it was so comfortable and hygienic after spending days washing clothes by hand and, in any way, that we met the three, my friends and me, together to contemplate that miracle of whiteness and freshness in exchange for one euro per head.
Nowadays, washing machines and even dryers have already been included as part of the business as well as a service for pilgrims. But the memories and the special thing about the fact of washing by hand still survives in Albergues and although it is archaic and uncomfortable, it is something faster and “romantic”.
Said this we will give you some practical tips to wash clothes on the Camino de Santiago in case you want to do it by hand:
- Soap: It is always advisable to carry a small amount of soap powder or a portion of Lagarto soap (brand name). In addition, the Lagarto soap is highly recommended to heal wounds (advice from a coach of a cycling team). Within this tip, another tip for lazy people is included: start showering with your clothes on and take the chance to “wash” it.
- Clothesline: The most normal thing is that the shelters have places to hang clothes, but you have to be careful in case they are full. That’s why we recommend a simple and practical solution that also does not add much weight or takes much space: add a piece of thin rope 2 or 3 meters long to make an improvised tent.
- Clothespins: In the Albergues, there are almost never any clothespins because many pilgrims take them as “souvenirs” to be used on another occasion so if you do not want your clothes fallen to the ground take half a dozen clothespins or a few safety pins You can place on the line or in your backpack in case you need to take something drying.
- Our main tip: When you reach the end of your Camino, whether it’s Santiago or if you go through stretches in another place, we recommend that you give an homage to your clothes and your backpack, in order to avoid possible surprises, of bugs. Go to a laundromat and put all the clothes and even the backpack to wash and dry. Today for 4-6 € it is possible to wash and dry in a self-service laundry and there are more and more laundry services. In fact, we have our service to pilgrims in which for 8 € we pick you up and return your 5 kilos laundry in your accommodation.
If you have other tips on how to wash clothes or want to know more, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org