Interesting Laundry Facts and Trivia

Amaze Your Friends and Family - Even Complete Strangers

Woman texting on laundry room floor

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Picture my end of a conversation at a party:

"I'm a laundry expert and I write about laundry for a living."

"No, I never run out of things to write about."

"Yes, laundry can be interesting."

So just for you, I've put together some facts and figures about laundry that will amaze your friends and give you something to talk about with that cutie who is waiting for the dryer to finish at the laundromat!

  • 01 of 09

    Laundry at Walt Disney World

    Laundry at Walt Disney World

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    If you wash and dry one load of laundry every day for the next 44 years, you’ll clean as much as the folks at Walt Disney World do in a single day. The laundry cast members wash an average of 285,000 pounds each day. Also, between 30,000 and 32,000 garments are dry-cleaned daily. Gotta keep Mickey looking sharp!

  • 02 of 09

    Clothesline Signals Aid Victory in Revolutionary War

    White clothes on clothesline

    Geir Pettersen / Getty Images

    In August 1776, British forces occupied New York City. Getting information from New York about British troop movements and other plans was critical to General George Washington, but the Patriots had no reliable intelligence network at that time.

    That changed in 1778 when a young cavalry officer named Benjamin Tallmadge established a small group of trustworthy men and women from his hometown of Setauket, Long Island. Known as the Culper Spy Ring, the group would become the most effective intelligence-gathering operation on either side during the Revolutionary War. A tavern-owner Patriot would observe the ships and troops from a Long Island post, travel to Manhattan to buy supplies for his bar, and share the information with other Patriots.

    Anna Smith Strong, whose husband local Patriot judge Selah Strong, was confined on the British prison ship HMS Jersey used the laundry on her clothesline to leave signals regarding were spies should gather to share information.

  • 03 of 09

    Civil War Washerwomen Earned More Money Than Soldiers

    Civil War Laundry

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    The salary of the laundress during the Civil War was paid by the Army by deducting the frees from the soldiers' pay. Each enlisted man had 50 cents withheld monthly, unmarried officers $1 to $2 monthly and married officers paid $4 monthly. If the officers had family traveling or visiting with the company, additional fees were negotiated. Since each laundress was responsible for 20 to 30 men, she was well-compensated for her back-breaking labor.

  • 04 of 09

    Laundry Statistics for the Average American Family

    African American Family Laundry

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    The average American family does 8–10 loads of laundry each week.

    A single load of laundry, from wash to dry, takes an average of one hour and 27 minutes to complete–unless you streamline the process.

    Only 21.2 percent of American households use a clothesline.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Mumbai Home to Largest Outdoor Laundry


    Bethany Clarke / Getty Images

    The largest outdoor laundry, Dhobi Ghat, can be found in Mumbai, India. Dhobis (washer men) and their families start their business early in the morning. The laundries are row upon row of concrete wash pens each with a flogging stone. The clothes are dipped in lathery water, hammered on the flogging stones, and then dried on clotheslines. The next day, the clothes are neatly pressed and delivered to the respective owners.

    The dhobis are specialized in laundry only. They have agents who gather and deliver the clothes to customers.

    Take a look at how the rest of the world does laundry.

  • 06 of 09

    Laundry Water Usage

    Filling Washing Machine
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    If you want to conserve water, laundry accounts for only 21 percent of your indoor water usage. Forty-one percent goes for flushing the toilet. Do what you wish with this information.

  • 07 of 09

    Laundromat Front for Counter Intelligence Information


    Muriel de Seze / Getty Images

    The British military is always thinking. Here's a great story of how they saved countless lives while doing laundry.

    During the terrible war in Northern Ireland, many troops and civilians were lost to bombings, the Brits needed to determine who was making the bombs and where they were being manufactured. One bright fellow recommended they operate a laundry and when asked "what the hell he was talking about," he explained the plan and it was incorporated—with much success.

    The plan was simple: Build a laundry and staff it with locals and a few of their own. The laundry would then send out "color-coded" special discount tickets: "get two loads for the price of one." The color-coding was matched to specific streets and when someone brought in their laundry, it was easy to determine the general location.

    While the laundry was being washed, pressed or dry cleaned, an additional cycle was added. Every item was sent through an analyzer that was disguised as just another piece of laundry equipment that checked for bomb-making residue. Within a few weeks, multiple positives of bomb residue had shown up. To narrow their target list, the laundry simply sent out more specific numbered coupons to all houses in the suspected area, and before long they had good addresses. Military teams swooped down on the multiple homes and arrested multiple personnel and confiscated numerous assembled bombs, weapons and ingredients. During the entire operation, no one was injured or killed.

    Now, that's putting laundry to really good use.

  • 08 of 09

    Laundry in Dreamland

    How to Wash Winter Bedding

    Oktay Ortakcioglu / E+ / Getty Images

    Once you've nestled in your nice clean bed, you might fall asleep and experience several dreams. If you dream about doing laundry, perhaps these explanations will help you interpret your dreams.

    • If you dream that you are doing your laundry, it suggests that you are cleaning up your act or changing your image because you are concerned about how you appear to others.
    • If you dream that you are having someone else do your laundry, you've been gossiping. Someone's dirty laundry is out there.
    • If you dream about sorting the laundry, it indicates that you are trying to understand your feelings and sorting out your attitudes.
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Laundry Bag Saves Lives

    US Army Parachute

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    In the United States Air Force, no one goes on any flight without his or her laundry bag.

    In military lingo, a laundry bag is a parachute.