How much time do we spend doing laundry?

How long does it take to wash a load of laundry? Dry it? Fold it? Put it away? For a single person living alone, the task of laundry-doing probably doesn’t take up every free minute, but it might be more time than you think, or that you want to calculate. Let’s break it down and figure out just how much time you spend washing and caring for your clothing, based on a laundry schedule of two loads per week.

Laundry prep time

The process of laundry doesn’t start at the washing machine. When a piece of clothing needs washing, it has to make its way to the hamper first. Gathering dirty clothes doesn’t take up that much time, but let’s factor in the time spent on towels and sheets as well. Getting everything ready to go in one spot should take an individual about 15 minutes per load. Since we’re factoring on an average person washing two loads of laundry per week, so prep time would be 30 minutes total.

Washing and drying a load

How dirty are your clothes? The running time on a standard Kenmore washing machine (for example) is 40 minutes, but if the soil level is above average, it can take over an how to wash a load. If you’re one of the organized types who can combine washing time with prep time, you’ll be able to cut that time down a bit. Transferring the clothes to the dryer and starting the load adds another 5 minutes, and, depending on where you live and how the humidity is in your area, it should only take about 40 minutes to dry a load in the machine. That’s a total for 85 minutes from wash to dry. Calculating for two loads, that’s 170 minutes per week.

Folding and putting away

Ready, set, go! See how fast it takes you to fold a shirt and put it away. For an average load of laundry, let’s guess it takes about 20 minutes to fold and put away clothes. This time can differ based on load size and how many loads are done at a time. If you’re a fast folder, or if you prefer to just shove your unfolded clothing in your drawers, you might only need 10 to 15 minutes for this step. For two loads, let’s estimate that the folding and put-away time is 1 hour total per week.

Total time

Let’s add up the time per week it takes to complete each step.

  • Laundry prep: 30 minutes
  • Washing and drying: 170 minutes
  • Folding and putting away: 60 minutes

Based on these estimates, the average person spends about 260 minutes per week on laundry, or roughly four hours. If that seems like a lot of time dedicated to keeping our duds free of dirt, there are a few simple ways to cut down on washing time. Energy efficient washers and dryers can do their work in less time, cutting down on wait time. And keeping your clothing sorted into lights or darks with an organized hamper system will shave off minutes spent separating out colors.

For some, the time-suck that is laundry can be overwhelming. Anticipate streaming and organizing the process can make it less daunting, and, for those that absolutely do not have four hours a week to dedicate to de-dirtifying their clothes, options like Red Hanger’s wash n fold laundry service are an efficient way to cut that time to nearly zero.