Behind the scenes: never ending piles of laundry


A sad, lonely sock

Most of the people I know (me included) go into the massage field because we want to help people, or learn about how the body works or get into a flexible and in-demand field that is rewarding and meaningful. What most people don’t realize until after they fall in love with massage and it’s too late to quit us now, is that there will be piles and piles of laundry. Sure, we could hire a laundry service, but this is not always a viable option for small operations. I do tell our students that this is one HUGE perk to working in a larger clinic as an employee when they’re not sure what path to take out of school (more on that topic in another post).


Why would the school have to deal with this? Aren’t the students responsible for their own linens? 

All the school laundry ready for some attention!

You bring up a good point, imaginary question-asker. We do provide students with 2 sets of sheets that they can use during class and in clinic. What sometimes happens is graduates and instructors donate their sheets to us, or some get into the lost and found. Sometimes it’s a mystery, much like the partner-less socks you find in your dryer after every load. So we collect what we have and lend them to instructors during class and rent them out to students who forget their sheets at home.

So then what happens? Who washes them? 

We take the rental money and wash loads of laundry when we see the basket get full. For the past couple of months, as all of us have been adjusting to new normals navigating Covid, we have let the laundry go. And now the piles have mounted and the oil has set. Not a good sight (or smell: oil is not meant to sit in sheets for long periods of time!) for these wonderful linens that should provide a welcoming oasis for a tired body to slip in between.


Now we take action!

Massive 100-lb machines!

First step was to soak the linens overnight in the bathtub. I chose to add OxiClean Odor Blasters (but there are many degreasers and other laundry additive out there) to the hot water soak and stirred the sheets a few times and let soak. In the morning, the linens got loaded to my washing machine to go through a quick spin and then off to the laundromat I went with a trunk-load full of sheets and towels.


Laundromat adventures!

Folded laundry

I thought I could get it all in the 100-lb machine, but I ended up using a 100-lb and a 40-lb machine to wash. I did get all the washed items into 4 dryers. The longest part was the folding part, but with some Netflix on my phone, I was done before I knew it. Everything smells like it should and thanks to the machines and folding stations at the laundromat, it was as painless as it could be, despite letting things add up.


Final words for massage students out there?

All folded and organized!

Do your laundry regularly and don’t let the oil and set in the sheets. Every so often, a good soak with a degreasing solution can help with any oil stains or oils that tend to accumulate in the sheets. It’s always good to have extra sets around but don’t let that allow you to pile up that laundry!

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