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Doing Laundry in Shanghai


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You need to make sure the temperature is appropriate for the type of clothes, or yes they will shrink. If you check your labels it should tell you what temperature you can wash them at. If you get it wrong they will shrink.

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.

I think you're guessing. Wall-mounted electric water heaters take up no real space and are commonly used for shower heating. These are sometimes plumbed into whereever the washer takes water from but not usually, presumably for reasons of cost, hassle of the extra plumbing - and perhaps because like Skylee, people don't think it's necessary.

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There is no water out points in apt or condo. People have to put the pipe in a sink to let water out.

I feel it's not quite convenient. Besides, most property managment here doesn't allow their tenants to buy their own washer bec they have a contract with a laundromat supplier. If you use your own washer, their income will be reduced 啦!:nono

It's too troublesome to adjust the tempratures for every top or pants. I simply use cold water so that no clothes will shrink.

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In Europe, washing machines used to take both a hot and cold water feed. However, they now all take cold only. This is for efficiency as they can now control the temperature accurately withou relying on the tempoerature of incoming water.

In other words, they only require one water supply and heat everything to the temperature required, from "cold" to, in mine's case, 95 degC.

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With clothes I really don't care so much about clothes. How about eating in the ShiTang 食堂? In the states there are requirements of water temperature when washing eating utensils in restaurants. In the 食堂, I see no evidence of this so in this case, can diseases be transmitted through poorly washed eating utensils?

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When the architect did not leave the space of washer/dryer, it is well nigh impossible to add on afterwards by yourself since (1) US-made washer/dryer is usually quite bulky; (2) To add on in and out water points is a big job and sometimes even impossible; (3) and I think because most likely the apartment is usually just occupied by 1-2 persons, maybe they think it is not worthwhile to keep washer/dryer.

(The US washer/dryer is usually more expensive since they are made in metal. It ranges from US$500~$1,000+ each while those Japanese brands are usually made in plastic which is just about US$200~$300. But that is just what I recalled since practically no Japanese brand washer/dryer is sold in US.)

Even though my washer comes with hot water, usually my wife just uses cold water. According to her opinion, hot water also shortens the life of fabric.

And even though I have dryer, I just use it for bath towels and bed linen/blankets. I read somewhere that the high temperature in the dryer can more thoroughly kill the bacteria in the towels.

For all other laundry items, my wife hangs them for natural drying. Also according to her opinion, hanged clothers have less wrinkles and easier to iron.

For American apartment architectural design, sometimes I also wonder why they like to put the kitchen in the center and design bathroom without window.

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Hanging clothes dry in the sunshine can grant the clothes a scent of sunshine.:mrgreen: 太阳的香味。Very natural and soothing

In 食堂,usually they use 消毒柜 to disinfect those utensils when 食堂is closed, the ultra violet lights are turned on to kill germs. Usually 食堂 of schools are equipped with these facilities

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Hanging clothes dry in the sunshine can grant the clothes a scent of sunshine. 太阳的香味。Very natural and soothing

In 食堂,usually they use 消毒柜 to disinfect those utensils when 食堂is closed, the ultra violet lights are turned on to kill germs. Usually 食堂 of schools are equipped with these facilities

If by 香味 you mean the foul and musky stench of polluted air and construction dust.

Are you misophobic? Maybe I should go streaking in the daylight to "disinfect" myself.

No offense. It just seems to me that your rationale is outdated and very old-fashioned. Plus nothing beats putting on a warm pair of boxers that just came out of the dryer. Or oven a la Seinfeld.

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I always thought clothes became cleaner if you wash them with warm water then if you wash them with cold. Am a bit surprised by Skylee's remark, you mean you never ever wash your clothes in warm water?

can diseases be transmitted through poorly washed eating utensils?
They probably can. Mei banfa, just eat at the shitang anyway, it probably won't kill you. Ask for a new plate if the one you got really looks dirty, or rinse your bowl with tea before you use it.
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I am the world's leading expert on doing laundry in China, and always respond to laundry questions at Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree forum (Northeast Asia branch)

I am here to save the day for the original poster and enlighten all others who have submitted nothing but 2 pages of absolute rubbish. One person mentioned a place that exists in Kunming that will do a sack for about 20 RMB, and that's the only useful reply in this thread until now.

First of all, anybody who tells you that there are no laundromats in China or that they don't have any dryers is completely out of their mind. Welcome to the 21st century, where folks in China are slowly but surely learning laundry lessons from their compatriots in civilized Hong Kong.

In Beijing, for example, I have been telling people for the last 3 years that you can drop off your laundry at Peking University's southwest corner laundromat in the morning and retrieve it at night washed, dried, AND folded for less than three US dollars. You won't get that tip from your hotel concierge, and most local Beijing people beyond the gates of Bei Da are totally unaware of this cheap but reliable service.

I can confirm that similar wash-dry-fold laundries exist in other cities that I have spent time in over the last 5 years, including Shenyang, Guangzhou, and even the town of Xinhui in Guangdong province. It's not always available same day, but usually within 3 days.

As for Shanghai, I have not been there for a long time but recently confirmed with my colleague "ellyse" that similar laundry services exist on a few college campuses there.

You can inquire at Fudan and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music as to the availability of drop-off laundry service. Those are your best bets.

The situation is changing as I type this message. The liberation of Chinese laundries is spreading from city to town and from municipality to province. More laundries are beginning to charge by weight instead of by each article of clothing, so there is hope that Olympic delegations and tourists won't have to pay hotel rates when doing their laundry in Beijing, Qingdao, and Dalian.

If you are living in a city that does not yet have this service, then try to negotiate terms with a family owned laundry. They will likely not have a scale to measure the weight but you can give them your price for a sack of laundry each week. They will either appreciate the weekly business or tell you to look elsewhere, but I guarantee some shopowner will be glad to earn your money. I am undefeated everywhere I go around China; in every major city I have found at least one laundry that does things Hong Kong style or is receptive to the idea on a long term contract basis. (6 weeks in Tianjin, for example)

Good luck! Happy laundry!

Best wishes,


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  • 1 year later...

Well I'm not an expert and I don't know if my experience is valuable compared to Confucius wisdom :-)

But after many painful tries, I finally found the perfect place to get my laundry done in Shanghai.

If you are looking for an affordable cleaner that knows what an expat expect, I recommend :the Sophisticated Cleaners

They have an impressive range of services :

• Free Pick-up and Delivery service

• Clothes ready the next day!

• English speaking employees

and I can tell : it's really helpful !!

They have a small website : www.shanghai-drycleaners.com if you want to know more ...

Admin Note: This user registered with an email address from shanghai-drycleaners.com, so is unlikely to be an unbiased source of information.

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