One thing that no one really tells truck drivers before hitting the road is how to manage laundry. I know, I know, this may seem like a bit of a trivial topic, but it’s very real and very practical. Trust me, this is something ever trucker must face at some point! And if you don’t find a way to manage laundry fast, it’ll soon manage you.
We do our laundry once a week. With the two of us normally that would be a lot of clothes, but it isn’t because of the way we’ve learned to manage it. Here’s our tips for making it work…
Laundry Tips for Trucker Guys
From a man’s perspective, this is how Bobby manages it: he doesn’t change his jeans and shirt everyday, only when he showers, generally every 3 days. That’s why he only stores 4 pants and 4 shirts — this takes up much less room as far as our limited storage. As for socks and underwear, those get changed daily. He stores 10 pairs of each, more than needed, just in case we get stuck on a run and can’t do laundry.
As for workout clothes, if you roll your shirt up in the sweats and use them more then once they will be stinky, but not too bad. It’s important to wash up after working out obviously, using a washcloth and bottled water or baby wipes. There’s no point in washing your workout clothes every time you use them though, you’re just going to sweat and get them smelly again. Not all guys, but most guys with gym memberships leave workout clothes in their locker up to a week and just change at the gym.
Laundry Tips for Trucker Gals
As for me, being a girl, I change clothes more often, I wear my jeans for 2-3 days, but usually change my shirt every 1-2 days. With my workout clothes I make sure to buy them with moisture-wicking material so they do stay fresh a little longer. I wear them 2-3 times in a row. Honestly, I have way more clothes then I should!
I hope that helps, it’s a system you figure out over time. I can’t imagine how much laundry we would have to do and how often if we changed everyday, not to mention the truck space it takes up. Taking 2 hours out of our day to do laundry doesn’t seem like much, but out here it’s valuable!
Where Do Truckers Put Dirty Clothes?
We keep our dirty laundry in a canvas or net laundry bag available at truck stops or Walmart. We store ours behind the drivers seat. I’ve seen truckers use laundry baskets, but honestly I have no idea where they put it, unless you drive solo and use the top bunk as storage.
I kind of “dry out” my workout clothes before folding and putting them back in my closet, and store them away from my clean clothes.
How To Do Laundry As A Trucker
If we don’t have to do our Walmart shopping and other errands, we’ll stop at a truck stop and do our laundry there either at the end of our workday or if time allows, during a run. And a little tip, park as far away as possible for 1) you have less chance of an inexperienced driver running into you (I mention this because most drivers park as close as they can to the truck stop and spaces are tight) and 2) you can get some extra exercise.
If we need to do our shopping we take our car from our terminal and go into town to a laundromat. While the clothes are drying we do our shopping etc..
There have been a few times when we’ve gotten stuck because of a load taking to long and have stopped (if parking was available) in our big rig at a local laundromat in whatever town we’re in.
4 Tips to Help Truck Drivers Manage Laundry
So, to recap, here are some of the tips we use on the road to manage our laundry:
- Pack light! Learn to wear your clothes for longer before doing laundry.
- Air out workout clothes and reuse them before laundry day.
- Keep dirty laundry in a space-saving bag.
- Multitask and do laundry along with other “chores” and errands.
I would say something we’ve learned is to wear our clothes longer so you have less laundry. Get it down to doing it only once a week and be efficient with your time. Make the most of that two hours by running other errands if possible or get a workout in. It’s definitely an adjustment from living a “normal” life when you can change clothes and shower everyday, but you need to readjust the way you think about it out here.