Laundry. It’s not many people’s favorite chore, but a very important one. No one wants to be the stinky person. Truck drivers face a unique challenge as you spend most of your time on the road and don’t have access to a washer and dryer to do your laundry on a regular basis like at home. Luckily there are ways to limit the amount and frequency that you have to do laundry so you can focus on driving and reaching your business goals.
Buy the Right Clothes
Buying clothes made with the appropriate fabric is important in remaining stink-free over your long-hauls. Most people will gravitate towards Polyester or Poly-blend shirts as they are often marketed as being better than cotton shirts. Sure, they may absorb sweat faster, but poly shirts tend to hold their stink longer. Plain cotton is the way to go. Brands like Carhartt are built to last longer between washes so pay attention to labels and quality when buying clothes for the road.  Also, dark colored shirts tend to hid dirt better than lighter colored clothing.

Laundry Tips for Truckers
Wear Your Clothes Longer
Yes, you can wear your shirt or pants longer than one day. You should probably change your socks and underwear once per day though, but other clothing items such as shirt, sweaters, and jeans can be worn more than once. Unless you get grease or oil all over your jeans then you can go several days or even weeks before needing to wash your jeans. If anything, you can always spot clean your jeans with a little water and soap. By wearing clothes slightly longer you don’t have to pack your cab full with clothes. No one will know the difference either.
Dealing with Dirty Laundry
Nothing is worse than mixing up all your clean clothes with your dirty clothes. Keep dirty cleans separate by purchasing a laundry bag that can be hung in the back of your cab. Laundry bags are inexpensive and can be purchased almost anywhere.
Doing Laundry on the Road
Unfortunately trucks don’t come with their own personal washer and dryer inside the cab. Laundry will need to be done at a Laundromat, which may make you shutter in fear a little. Most truck stops today have laundry facilities. Throw your laundry in the washer and go do other errands and chores. Laundry can be done while multitasking to ensure you’re being efficient and getting all your chores done before hitting the road again. If you don’t have any chores to do, I’m sure you’ll love a nap during your downtime!
If you need to clean something while on the road you can always spot clean a garment in the sink of a rest stop and hang it to dry in your cab. Dawn dish detergent does wonders on grease stains. Just rub Dawn into the spot, leave it overnight and wash the clothes with water in the morning.
Laundry doesn’t have to be a major chore for trucker drivers. By packing the right clothes and wearing your clothes a little longer than you would at home, you can extend the frequency that you need to do laundry. Your clean clothes will remain fresher if you keep your dirty clothes in a separate bag and don’t be afraid to spot clean and air dry items. As truck drivers you have too many other important things to think about so make laundry one of those necessary, but bottom of the list chores with these simple tips.

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Tara Schaub

Originally from Michigan, Tara started at ATBS in August of 2012. She began her career in the Administrative Services Department, and then moved on to become a Customer Relationship Representative in 2013. She now works directly with the enrollment team, and also assists the Marketing Team with a variety of different tasks. When not at work, Tara loves to play tennis, volleyball, hike and go on bike rides.

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Paul that is a great story thank you for sharing! Next time I do laundry in a public laundry mat I will think of this story and I will smile as I do not have it so bad!

June 28, 2015 5:56:38 AM

We used to throw a bar of soap in a large mesh bag of dirty laundry and drag it behind our shrimping trawler for an hour, pull it up and tie the clothes to the rigging till dry...I wonder if DOT will understand that a soapy Bag of Dirty Laundry tied to the front Grill on a rainly day is just another trucker trying to save the Planets' Water supply?? (Before long, it will be the law in California!..After all, tiny 1" smelt are lot more important than all those living, breathing HUMANS!

June 27, 2015 23:40:21 PM

Linda - That is really nice that you can use a debit card and that they will notify you when the laundry has finished.

June 15, 2015 8:08:21 AM

I was especially glad to read the section about wearing my clothes multiple times. As a Professional Driver-Trainer providing adequate space for all the clothes, equipment, tools, food etc. necessary to train a driver over a period of 3 - 5 weeks can be a daunting challenge. I have already cross-posted this article on my free forum targeted to driver-trainers, trainees and new drivers at and will be sharing these ideas with my all my trainees!!

June 12, 2015 16:31:21 PM

I don't drive but I travel a lot, and wear a lot of merino (wool) clothing. My workout gear is lightweight merino, including socks, and I don't have to wash it but every two-three weeks (socks, maybe a little more often!). Costs a lot up front but is super lightweight, wicks naturally and regulates body temps really well, even in warm weather. Looks for brands like Icebreaker, SmartWool, etc.

June 12, 2015 9:16:24 AM

We do laundry every weekend while away from home. On the weekend I wash our sheets as well as all of our dirty clothes. Clean clothes are kept in the cabinets and the dirty cloth bag is either kept under the bed or in a side box. Something nice that TA/Petro had incorporated is the use of debit card machines to start the washers and dryers. No more carrying coins. Also the machines will send you a text message when finished so that your laundry does not sit in the machine irritating the next person who is waiting to use that machine.

June 10, 2015 17:48:26 PM