Laundry Love

Clean towels and sheets in a hotel room. White tablecloths and folded napkins in a dining room. Laundered and pressed uniforms. No matter where you find it, clean laundry makes a good impression. It presents an aura of cleanliness, professionalism, and organization. The second week in July, Laundry Workers Week, honors those unsung heroes of the laundry industry who work with soap, starch, and steam to keep us feeling fresh and clean.

The earliest method of doing laundry was to rub and beat dirty clothes against rocks lining rivers in order to remove stains and let the currents carry away the dirt. Public laundries progressed to communal washhouses, where river water was diverted into tubs where women gathered to do their laundry and socialize. The Industrial Revolution brought us mechanized washers and dryers, transforming the way we do laundry and also creating an entire laundry industry. Wringer washers replaced washboards. No matter the method, one thing remains the same: clean laundry is an important part of our everyday lives.

Laundered clothes do not just make a good impression on others, as they also improve the self-esteem of the wearer. Throughout the month of July, Laundromats the world over will be participating in “Laundry Love,” a simple movement dedicated to helping those who live in poverty by doing their laundry. The story of Laundry Love began in California, when a homeless man explained, “If I had clean clothes, I think people would treat me like a human being.” Since those eye-opening words were spoken, Laundry Love has washed over 600,000 loads of laundry for the benefit of 450,000 people. Far from a tedious chore, doing laundry for the benefit of the community has become a social practice once again.

 

Read the full Southern Hills July 2016 Newsletter here.