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Doing Laundry in Shanghai


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Are there no public laundrymats in Shanghai or China in general?

What's the scoop here?

I'm at SISU and although they provide a washer, none of the dryers work. So I'm left with hanging my clothes in the window inside my room to dry. If I could find one, I could go to a public laundrymat and take care of it there but I have not found one around.

Thanks for any feedback.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Chinese people are not used to using public facilities to do laundry.

In our minds, it's unbearably dirty.

You never know what the people have done in the clothes in the last laundry. So generally every household has their own washer which is usually even more high-tech and delicate. And almost all of the washer available in the market can do a well spin-dry job.

When I first came to the US, I had to use public laudry facility provided by my univ. I once saw a bra left in one of the washer. The scene made me almost vomit.

I really can't understand you guys. How can you stand the thought of sharing the washer with so many strangers.

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Why would seeing a bra make you want to vomit?

There's nothing wrong with a public laundromat if it's well maintained by its owner. What do you think other people do in their clothes that makes it unbearable for you to share the washer with them?

Oh, one thing about washers in mainland China is that the washers are invariably only connected to cold water and not hot. That makes it harder to thorough clean the clothes. Moreover, very, very few people have dryers at home. Most people hang dry.

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I'm not saying stuff like spitting in public or letting your kid piss/shit wherever they want is OK.

My mom told me not to do things like that when I was very young and whenever I see kids piss/shit I would despise their parents.

It's just that the owners of the public laudry facilities here never/seldom bother to sanitize them. And students here even use the washers to wash their sport shoes. And the uncertainty of what the people have done in the clothes in the last laundry makes me even more unwilling to use them.

And if the laundry facility never gets sanitized, the washer may be contaminated by candida and various bacteria.

Maybe I'm overacting. But since my mom is a nurse and she is extremely squeamish, this makes my skin very vunerable. As a result, I can never use public laundry facility.

I'm just saying that it is more sanitary to use laudry facilities of your own and to dry them in the sunshine to let ultra-violet kill the left bacteria.

Ps. Washers in China are not connected to hot water bec generally hot water is not supplied. Just imagine the huge energy-consuming if China is like the US to provide hot water everywhere.:nono

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My mom was a nurse before she retired and my sister is a nurse. But we do not have the same concern as chichi. Actually they are not against using launderette / laundry service at all.

Of course it is best to have a washing machine at home. But if there is not, or if one is studying/travelling abroad, I wonder if there are better ways than using a launderette? (Washing by hand is what I do when I am on short trips and it is painful.)

I wish I could throw up when I see other people's underwear. That would make weight control much easier.

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The reason I ask is because I'm living in a multistoried student dorm. There is no place to hang clothes other than in the window. So, with two residents per room, that's a lot of clothes in the window. Also, in this situation, there's no opportunity to buy a washer for myself. A dryer would make things a lot easier. However, it's ok.

In the US, you will find yard sales in many cities, towns, and residential areas on the weekends. From here I always see people buying used clothing for their own personal use. (not underwear though).

For the most part, I don't see any problem with using a public washing maching. It's only when other people are less considerate and put dyes or too much bleach in the wash that would affect our wash. However, I have not had this happen to me.

After I first arrived in Shanghai I've seen many things that I don't normally see in the US. Yelling at a teller in the bank, Young child going "Da Bian" on a piece of paper on the sidewalk while his mother looks on, etc etc... Each place in the world has it's own characteristics and flavor. While I've seen less than wonderful things, I've also seen very nice things. Girl friends arm and arm, holding hands as friends. Father, son (teenaged) holding hands, water caligraphers in the park. People dancing in the park, singing and playing Erhu in the park. Kindness, smiles, etc. I wish the US could bring some of these things home. When I watch the news in from the US I wonder why I turned it on. Crime, killing, murders, beating homeless, etc.. Of course, the news promotes the most exciting, colorful stories so....

Anyway, I like it here.

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I always thought the idea was that the clothes went in dirty, but came out clean. Therefore, whatever might have been left inside by the previous person would be clean. It's your unwashed clothes which are dirty.

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I always thought the idea was that the clothes went in dirty, but came out clean. Therefore, whatever might have been left inside by the previous person would be clean. It's your unwashed clothes which are dirty.

Having studied biochemistry and microbiology, I'm with you. Some previous GF's didn't want to wash "clean" dirty laundry together with "dirty" dirty laundry. That was thinking qualifying them for the "previous" label. :tong

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If you really had studied biochemistry and microbiology, you should have realized that the damp environment inside a washer is good for microbes to reproduce. The alkalescence of the detergent is not strong enough to kill them. Wha't worse, it may help the microbes to become more and more resistent to alkalescence.

I'm not saying that my laundry is clean. But isn't your own washer more sanitary? Being hostile and misunderstanding others can't help anyone.:nono

Btw, whenever I saw some kid shit in a public place, I would stare at their parents right into their eyes until they couldn't stand my staring and moved their kids away.

For the kids without a parent beside them, that was even simpler. Stop them and scold them until they had to do their business in their pants.:mrgreen: Usually they are too young to fight back.

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skylee :

To lose weight, food is the key factor. Many poultry are raised with hormones. And after you eat them, those hormones go into your blood, which makes you grow fat. You'd better choose those not raised with hormones. But in the super market, all of the poultry is with those hormones.:tong

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It isn't a case of alkali killing germs. The dirt is dispersed in the liquid and rinsed away.

Regarding poultry, Swedish meat is sufficiently controlled. Mainly because of the Salmonella risk, I would never buy non-Swedish poultry.

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you never saw bras/panties hanging off balconies or power poles in china? how is it

different to see a bra in a washer? i guess we just have different standards as to what

is disgusting. here are some of my favorites:

***businessmen picking their noses and wiping their fingers on airplane seats,

conference tables, bystanders.


***open sewers.

***kids pooping in the street.

***chinese public toilets!!

***little plastic trashcans full of used toilet paper.

***and how about the recent run on adult diapers, for the zillions of migrant workers

returning home on the holidays on packed trains?

i haven't been here long enough for these to be disgusting, merely unpleasant. just

have to accept them as part of the experience.

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What you mentioned sound disgusting to me too. I can never bear any one of them and whenever I see them I will try to stop them.

And it's just my personal habit that I can't see other's underwears:tong

I guess I'm just on the other end of the extremes. I'm too 事儿 啦!:wall

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Most washers in Asia, even those made by Japanese name brands like Pasasonic or Sanyo, usually are not equipped with hot water. Those made in US, i.e. KitchenAid or Whirlpool, are definitely equipped with hot water.

But even if you use a Whirlpool washer in Asia, there is still no hot water. Because the apartment in Asian cities are usually smaller in area, a builky water heater (for supply of hot water to the washer) cannot find space to be installed.

In Hawaii, many mid-range condominium apartments ($400K+) also don't have their own washer and dryer. The owner/resident has to go down to the attached shared-use laundromat to do their laundry even though the apartment building comes with swimming pool and tennis court.

I don't mind using the public laundromat. But I think it is a nuisance because:

(1) Usually everyone is doing the laundry at the same time -- Friday evening or weekend. So whenever you go there, normally you have to wait until somebody finishes. And of course you are afraid to leave since somebody else may take your turn.

(2) Whenever the washing cycle is over and if you are not around, within 2 minutes the guy who is waiting next in line will take out your laundry. Just imagine how embarassed it is if you have a sock with two holes or sexy lingerine like T-back on exhibition.

(3) Think of it -- waiting for your laundry to be done in the laundromat is the most wasteful time in your life. And usually the laundromat is unbearably hot to stay.

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In Hawaii, many mid-range condominium apartments ($400K+) also don't have their own washer and dryer.

Ian, why don't the condo / apartment owners /residents buy their own washing / drying machines? Is there not enough room for the machine in the apartment? Or is there no water in/out points for the machine in the apartment? Or are these machines not sold in that part of the world? Or are they very very expensive?

I rent a small flat in HK (it is not that small in HK standard), and I have my own washing / drying (2 in 1) machine. So I find it hard to understand what you've described.

Also, why is it necessary to wash clothes using hot water? Wouldn't the clothes shrink? (real question, I don't understand ...)

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