I'm in a training regimen at the moment and have very limited time after work & gym for laundry. I had a similar problem with washing up but managed to find disposable plates & bowls; that means I don't need to do washing up anymore. Is there anything similar I can be doing with laundry? I stopped using towels for showering and now use disposable single use towels in that respect. But still have of course shirts & jeans etc. that need washing. Is there a cheap disposable thing I can be doing here? Or any other ideas so I can reduce the time spent doing laundry saving myself the time & energy.

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    You can buy disposable underwear ;) But actually laundry takes rather less time than washing up – if you have a washing machine. A couple of minutes to load it, and couple+ to hang the clothes on a horse. But the question doesn't make sense: although you are on a training regime you can't do the laundry "because it takes energy". Perhaps you should try to solve the cause of a problem, and not its sympton. Is this an X-Y problem? Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 17:51
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    Hi David, Welcome to Lifehacks. Too bad that you're coming into a world newly motivated to do exactly the opposite to your chosen lifestyle. Reconsider your priorities… or get a valet service.
    – Stan
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 17:54
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    Not to mention that your way of time management is actually quite highly non-ecologic - creating a lot of garbage in the process.
    – virolino
    Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 13:16
  • What about sharing your life with a partner, then these jobs can be added together and done by one person, alternating weeks etc- halve the time you spend doing laundry/dishes because your partner is going them the other half of the time. This said, I'm not entirely sure this question qualifies as being an a life hack target - it seems less of a "application of an ingenious process or product for which it was not originally designed, to solve a seemingly intractable problem" and more of a time management issue
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 16:44
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    You're well on your way to becoming burnt out. Your regimen should include physical as well as mental downtime. Washing clothes and even dishes are low mental and physical strain tasks. If you aren't resting your muscles, you aren't letting them heal properly. If you aren't letting your mind rest, it's racking up on stress. Do yourself a favor and make yourself some more free time. If you don't, your body will forcefully do it for you, likely whenever it's least beneficial to you. Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 23:10

7 Answers 7


If you have the money, you can hire a service to do your laundry for you. This may be a local dry cleaner / laundry service; it may be a neighbor who needs extra money and has a washer-dryer; it may be someone who comes to your home just for that purpose; or it may be something else.

This would still take a little bit of time. You have to drop off your laundry with the service, and later you have to pick up your clothes when they're clean. Plus, that will take some of the money you made, which usually equates to time if you have a typical job: "I make $25 an hour, and laundry is $50 a batch, so I'm 'spending' 2 hours per load of laundry".


(I want to acknowledge Stan because he mentioned a "valet service" in his comment. This is basically the same idea, though I was thinking this already when I first read the question.)

  • @David That's it. Your clothes - their care. The down side is that they usually don't do dishes, too.
    – Stan
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 20:02

I propose a change in your general approach.

You write you use disposable plates and towels to reduce the time expended to wash them. How much time are you expending to go shopping for those in turn? How much time does it cost you to take out the garbage bags? How much time do you need to work to earn the money for those?

Looking at the great picture, you might be able to save time by not washing your dishes by hand. The next best alternative is a dish washer. Instead of putting your used dishes in a trash bag, you put them into the washer. Once it's filled, you push a few buttons and are done.

There's even less time to be saved by disposing of dirty clothes. One set of clothes almost fills up one trash bag (depending on the season and the size of your bags). You'd have to take out the trash daily to get rid of all your plates, towels and clothes of the day. Or you throw the entire outfit into the washing machine and be done with it. Once it's full, add detergent, push some buttons, and you're done again.

The only thing that' actually time consuming is clearing out the dish washer and the washing machine. But you can save time there, too.

You can have a rotation system going:

  1. Wash your laundry
  2. Put it on a drying rack or line
  3. In the next morning, take your clothes directly from the line
  4. Put your dirty clothes directly back into the machine
  5. Start the machine when it's full or there aren't enough clean clothes left on the line

You can hang the new load of washed clothes next to some already dried once to make sure you have a dry set next morning.

You can do the same with your dishes. 80% of the time we use the same type of dishes and utensils again and again. Instead of taking a clean plate from the cupboard, take one from the dish washer. Once it's dirty, pile it up in the sink. If the sink gets too full or the dishwasher is empty, put everything from the sink into the washer.

In the end, the only real time expenditure for doing your laundry is hanging the washed clothes on a line. It takes about 30 minutes for a full load. The rest is pushing a few buttons and waiting for the machine to be done.

Buying new clothes every time and disposing of the old ones might seem to require less time, but going shopping or ordering online and taking heaping piles of trash out adds up to more time spent.

  • And even better, if he wants to get a load of plastic cutlery and crockery, they can go in the washing machine along with the clothes rather than taking lots of time to stack nicely in the dishwasher :)
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 16:42
  • Tumble dryer takes care of most of the time needed to hang clothes. Pick cleans out of dryers, dump them in washer and to the laundry when you pick out the last set from the dryer.
    – Willeke
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 16:04

You can reuse clothes more often. As an example, I go running for 10-20 km twice or three times a week, and after the first run I often just hang my clothes to air/dry instead of washing them. Yes, they'll still smell a bit when I put them on before the second run, but a new pair of clothes would do too after 10 minutes.

  • Yeah it's a shame there isn't some really cheap wholesale shirts that would make it easier to just dispose & switch
    – David
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 16:22
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    @David Ultimately everything is disposable. The expense is relative to your financial situation. Yeah it's a shame that cheap for some is more of a cost to our ecosystem. The ultimate cost of consumables is far beyond their price.
    – Stan
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 19:41
  • I do this also. It may be a bit uncomfortable for others if you go to a gmy, but as long as you are just runnning alone outside this is fine. Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 14:29

To reduce the time spent on laundry, buy more clothes. Instead of having one set and washing them after every use: get enough sets of gym clothes to do laundry once a month. Consider wearing clothes more than once before washing them. It won't hurt you, and when you're working out you smell anyway so there's no downside. The same goes for towels. There's no need to wash them after a single use.

And you can use the same strategy for everyday clothing: buy a month's worth of underpants, t-shirts, socks, etc.

This helps you in two ways:

  • you reduce the number of times you have to do laundry
  • when you do, you can fill up the washing machine instead of running a cycle for only one set of clothes. This means the machine runs more efficiently, reducing the amount of energy, water and detergent you use.

Get rid of anything labeled "dry clean only" or "do not tumble dry". Important, move into a place with your own washer and dryer. Only buy grey or dark colored clothing. No whites or bright colors.

Undress and dress in the laundry room. Immediately toss used clothing in the washer. When it gets near full, add some detergent and turn on (cold water only). Carry on with the rest of your day. When you come back and a wash is done, chuck in dryer, and tumble dry on low heat. Leave and carry on some more. When the dryer is done, take your clothes out and throw in closet/wardrobe. You'll probably want to stick to buying wrinkle-free clothing too, because then you don't have to fold anything.

You now spend barely five minutes doing laundry.

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    Consider a washer dryer too
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 16:43

There's a whole technology that has come to your aid.

While it's not disposable, it doesn't need to be washed which is almost close enough to be a hack. I'm happy to say that it fulfils all kinds of green environmental objectives as well

New apparel can go for as long as 100 days without washing. Fast Company, Wool&Prince, ODO, and Unbound Merino have developed fabrics and weaves to keep you comfortable, odour free (that's the trick), and relatively free from sweat.

More and more products are being brought to market every day. Start your search with "no wash clothing."

Great timing. You're a lazy um, lucky guy.

Continued Good Luck.


If the clothes do not get dirty because of the outside world (dirt, grease...), then your biggest enemy is odors.

As long as your sweat does not stink, you can reuse the clothes many times.

Tried and tested successfully: apply baking soda on your body:

  • as a layer, rubbing it on your wet body, if you take a shower; let it stay on your body for at least 30-60 seconds; rinse afterwards;
  • dissolved in the water, if you take baths.

Do it at least once a week. You need to "adjust" the frequency of using the baking soda according to your exact life details.

Why it works? The baking soda kills the micro-organisms living on the surface of your skin, which make your sweat stinky.

If your sweat carries a lot of minerals / salts, which in turn spot your clothes white (or some other colors), then washing your clothes is quite a must.

Have many clothes. Use a big(ger) washing machine. Washing less times reduces the overall time spent with washing.

This is pretty much my strategy. My big problem is that I am at home only late in the evening, and I do not want to bother my neighbors with the noise of washing. So I can only use the weekends for that purpose.If I cannot wash during one weekend, for whatever purpose, it means that I cannot wash clothes for 2 weeks.

But having enough clothes for changing, that is not a problem. One "big" wash and everything is clean. "Big" is actually a joke, because the washing machine is a standard slim, nothing industrial, but I fill it properly, and use good detergent.

From the Wikipedia article on baking soda

(relevant selections only)

Pest control

Sodium bicarbonate can be an effective way of controlling fungal growth, and in the United States is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency as a biopesticide.

Mild disinfectant

It has weak disinfectant properties, and it may be an effective fungicide against some organisms. Because baking soda will absorb musty smells, it has become a reliable method for used book sellers when making books less malodorous.

Personal hygiene

Sodium bicarbonate is also used as an ingredient in some mouthwashes. It works as a mechanical cleanser on the teeth and gums, neutralizes the production of acid in the mouth, and also acts as an antiseptic to help prevent infections. Sodium bicarbonate in combination with other ingredients can be used to make a dry or wet deodorant.

Cleaning agent

Baking soda is commonly added to washing machines as a replacement for water softener and to remove odors from clothes. It is also effective in removing heavy tea and coffee stains from cups when diluted with warm water. Also, baking soda can be used as a multipurpose odor remover.

  • @Stan: I have fact cheks of my own. Fact check 1) I said "micro-organisms" not "bacteria". Fact check 2) Baking soda is well known in fighting candida albicans, especially if localized orally (just google it). Fact check 3) As I said, I tested the baking soda stuff on my own body, after getting the advice from others, and it is guaranteed to work. It also works in removing the stink from the inside of winter boots - also experimented by myself. Fact check 4) I am not a chemist or a biologist, but fortunately baking soda works despite my "ignorance".
    – virolino
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 10:36
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    Most of the microorganisms on you skin are symbiotic. Killing them on a regular basis may not be healthy.
    – Hobbes
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 11:33
  • @Hobbes: you are right. It is already known that excessive "hygiene" is unhealthy. The main difference between soap and baking soda is that soap will target everything, while the baking soda will focus on the stinky stuff - although this is mostly speculation.
    – virolino
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 11:43
  • Mechanism (how it works): Baking soda does not kill bacteria. Baking soda NaHCO3 (a base) neutralizes acid in acidic odour compounds. It does not affect odourous compounds which are basic. For that stuff, you need an acid (such as vinegar which has its own odour which may not be desirable.) – Stan 2 days ago
    – Stan
    Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 1:09
  • @Stan: I rest my case. Please continue advertising your brands, as you did in your answer.
    – virolino
    Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 5:32

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