Need to do your laundry in Thailand but don’t know how? You’re in the right place. After traveling in South East Asia and Thailand for over 8 months, I have my fair share of laundry advice to share with you. So, in this guide, I’ll show you how to do your laundry in Thailand quickly and easily, for a low price. The cheapest way to wash clothes is using a local Laundromat (they are everywhere and cost $2-3 max for an entire load with drying). The fastest way is using a laundry service, which costs around 60 baht per kilo $1.68/kg. You’ll find both many Laundromats and laundry service businesses all around Thailand with 7/11s on every corner, so you can do your laundry almost anywhere you go (unless going off the beaten path). In this article, I’ll show you how to do laundry in Thailand and share some tips on how to dry your clothes without smelling in monsoon season as well as tips for washing by hand when you’re off-beaten-track!
Important note: if you do your laundry in a laundromat, you won’t lose your clothes. There have been many times I’ve used a laundry service/hotel service and they haven’t given me back all the clothes I left with them, so be careful if you have nice items you don’t want to be misplaced.
Laundromats/Launderettes in Thailand (Cheapest Laundry in Thailand)
|Wash (Hot)||50 baht ($1.40-50)||20-30 minutes|
|Wash (Cold)||40 baht ($1.10-20)||20-30 minutes|
|Dryer (Hot)||50 baht ($1.40-50)||20-30 minutes|
|Dryer (Cold)||40 baht ($1.10-20)||20-30 minutes|
|Detergent & Softener||10-20 baht ($0.40-50)||None|
Laundromats are everywhere in most towns, cities, and even some villages in Thailand. There are a few different branded places that offer free WiFi while you wait, and some lesser-known places too. The cost is roughly the same at both the fancy, shiny branded ones and the corners where you’ll just find a random line of coin-operated washing machines.
You will pay around 100 baht for an entire load including detergent costs and drying. Don’t worry if you’re worried about clothes shrinking in the dryer, I’ve personally put clothes that “aren’t supposed to go in the dryer” and chucked it on low – nothing has ever shrunk. However, wool or something delicate like that might.
To wash your clothes at a Laundromat in Thailand:
- Take at least 100 baht with you
- Purchase some detergent from the vending machine
- Purchase some laundry token coins (or simply put the baht in the machine)
- Pay 30-50 baht depending on the wash cycle you choose
- Wait 20-30 minutes for the cycle to be finished
- Remove your washing and put in a dryer
- Pay 30-50 baht for a cycle
- Wait for the cycle to be complete
- Laundry done!
Getting The Correct Money & Getting Detergent
In some laundromats (not all), you will have to change your money for laundry tokens. To do so is very easy, just take your baht notes (or coins) and put them into the machine. It will spit out a token for each 10 baht that you put in. You can then use these tokens in the machines.
When doing laundry here, it’s often better to get your detergent and softener at a local 7/11. Some machines don’t take notes, so you can pay for your detergent and softener with a 100 baht note and ask the cashier if they could give you change in 10 baht coins for the laundry machines.
If you want to say it in Thai, you can say “Laek ngen dai mai krap” when the assistant is giving you change. “Sib” means 10, so you can say “sib baht krap”.
Alternatively, most of the shiny branded laundromats in Thailand, also have detergent vending machines there which you can use. These do not take notes. If you have some spare change, detergent and softener is about 20baht ($0.50-70)
Paying For & Doing Your Laundry
This is pretty self-explanatory. You put your clothes in the machine, put your detergent in, put your laundry tokens in, and press “start”. Depending on the laundromat you go to prices will vary between cold wash, hot wash, and delicates (usually 40 baht for cold, 50 for hot wash). Personally I think putting everything on cold is best because it prevents anything from shrinking.
To open your detergent there is usually a pair of scissors hanging around in the corners of the laundromat, attached to a piece of string on the wall. You can use these to open your detergent and softener.
Once it’s on sit in the waiting area, turn on the fans if it’s hot, and connect to the free WiFi, chill, and wait for it to be done.
Drying Your Clothes
Drying your clothes is more or less the same as the above. Take your washed clothes from the washing machine to the dryer, place them in it, then put your laundry tokens in and select your cycle. Personally, I think cold drying is best because it doesn’t shrink clothing. Be careful putting delicates in the dryer on a hotter setting. I’ve never had a problem with shrinking on cold.
Wait for 20 minutes and your clothes should be fully dry!
Local Laundry Shops (Best Option For Holiday)
Slightly more expensive at 60baht/kg ($1-2/kg), you can take your clothes to a laundry service, get them washed, dried, nicely folded, and sometimes ironed (for an extra price). This is the most convenient option for someone on holiday because you probably don’t want to spend your time waiting for the laundry to be done. This way you can pay for it, go sightseeing, to the beach or do something else and return when your clothes are complete.
Your average wash might be around 5-10kg depending on how large it is, so expect your total laundry to cost between 300-600 baht ($8-17)
Be careful: most laundry services, most will use the hot setting for drying to speed up the process, so if you go to a service make sure you ask them to use cold. I’ve had quite a few clothes come back from services shrunk which is why I don’t use them anymore, even though they’re convenient.
Laundry & Delivery Services
In the bigger cities like Chiang Mai or Bangkok, you’ll also find laundry services that will pick up your clothes, wash them, and then return them directly to you. This is the most convenient option if you really can’t be bothered to do your laundry while on holiday. It’s also a good option for expats/digital nomads who spend a lot of their time working.
There are many services you can choose from, and the cost ranges depending on the services you want. You can get wash & iron, you can get them to revive the whites/blacks from your favourite tops that may have faded, and a load of other options that I never knew were possible with laundry.
If you just want a basic wash, dry and return it’ll set you back around 500-700 ($14-20) baht for 20-30 items.
Hotel Laundry Services in Thailand
Hotel laundry is the most convenient option and the one you’re least likely to get shrunk clothing or be missing a few items when they return it to you. Many hotels will also iron and fold very neatly when they bring it back. However, it’s pretty costly to get your laundry done in a hotel in Thailand as many charge per item.
If you’re in a guest house some might use per item or the per kg pricing, so it really depends on where you stay.
You can expect to pay anywhere between 60-150 baht per item in a hotel depending on what it is. For instance, trousers will cost you more to wash than a shirt. Additonally, it’s important to note that some hotels will refuse to wash underwear and socks (understandable) so you might end up having to do that by yourself also.
Handwashing is another good option if you’re on the move and traveling to more off-beaten-path places in Thailand. There are very few places where you won’t find a washing machine on a corner somewhere in Thailand, but they exist, so you might have to resort to hand washing.
The most convenient way to do this is wash it in the shower while you’re having a shower. You can purchase detergent to use, or just use regular soap. Unfortunately (unlike India), I’ve yet to find any laundry soap bar in Thailand, so I just usually opt for regular body soap when I’m traveling in the more off-beaten-path locations – it’s only for a few days anyway.
Drying when you’re handwashing in monsoon season is pretty difficult since Thailand rains a lot. During these times if you want to dry your clothes quickly, put them in front of a fan, or lay them out under the air conditioner. It’s not very cost-effective, but if you need drying done quickly that’s the best way to do it.
If you want to hang it out, make sure you find a high space so the clothes get a lot of air and don’t get that musty, damp smell.
Travel Fabrics: Making the Right Choice For Drying
When you’re going to Thailand, it’s best you travel with lighter fabrics that are more breathable and dry more quickly. Heavy fabrics like cotton can absorb water up to 24-27 times its own weight. This means, if you’re wearing cotton and you get caught in a downpour, don’t have a poncho or any umbrella, your clothes are going to take forever to dry.
Personally, I recommend taking gym-style fabrics – a nylon/polyester mix is great for lightweight clothing that doesn’t lose its shape, crease and dries incredibly quickly. Without the sun during monsoon season you can dry these indoors rapidly and they won’t take on a damp smell like cotton does. If you’re conscious about the environment it’s best to go for merino wool.
Merino wool has the same properties as a nylon/polyester mix and is all in all the better choice for travel clothing as it can keep you warm in colder conditions and cool in hotter conditions. Not sure how it does it, but it’s a fantastic material to invest in if you’re traveling around a lot.
Dry Cleaning in Thailand
If you need your clothes dry cleaned in Thailand just do a simple Google search for some dry cleaning stores. They cost around 30 baht per item and usually have a turnaround time of 3 days. Many dry cleaning services also offer pickup and delivery options if your order is over a certain amount.
We’re Harry & Iris – and we were tired of the same old “10 best places I’ve never been but I’m writing about for some reason” blog posts. So… we’re two young travelers on a mission to travel the world and share our true, unfiltered experience, including all the gristly details. From packing our life into one bag for a year to traveling Vietnam by motorbike, to sorting out Visas for specific countries – we’ve done it all, are doing it all and only give our advice on things we have done – not regurgitated cr*p from another source *cough* most publications *cough*. So bear with us! This project will take some time to grow, and will take a fair bit of money. But we’re determined to make it the single best source of information about traveling on the internet.