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How Long Does It Take To Do Laundry? (Complete Guide)

At Corry’s, we’ve set out to solve your laundry woes. We get the question all the time: “How Long Does It Take To Do Laundry?” 

The following are common questions people ask us about the laundry process — and you may be shocked how all the time adds up.

How Long Does It Take To Do Laundry?

Laundry refers to the washing, drying and/or folding of clothing and other textiles. Depending on your living situation, access to machines, or financial status, the laundry process can take anywhere from 0 minutes to hours per week.

Here is a basic breakdown of the laundry process, assuming that the typical laundry schedule is two loads per week:

Laundry Prep Time

If laundry was as simple as throwing your dirty clothes in a washing machine, the task would get done much quicker. When your favorite t-shirt needs to be cleaned, it has to be put in a hamper or bag first. Gathering up your bedding and towels can take some time as well. Getting everything in one spot (the laundry room) can sometimes be a lengthy task. Total: 30 minutes per week.


This all depends on how dirty your clothes are. Most modern washing machines have a standard run time of 40 minutes, but if the soil level is significant, you could be looking at upwards of an hour. Total: 80 minutes per week.


The average load of laundry takes between 30 and 45 minutes. While there are some items that take longer to dry — towels, jeans, etc. — most items are dry in about 40 minutes. Total: 80 minutes per week.


This stage is what many people consider the worst part of doing laundry. Once your clothes are out of the dryer and smelling fresh, the last thing you want to do is sort through them and fold them neatly. For an average load of laundry, it takes a person about 20 minutes to fold clothes. This may differ based on load size and how fast you are at folding. Total: 40 minutes per week.

Putting Away

Everything is folded nicely and you’re done with laundry. Right? Wrong! Instead of leaving those folded piles of clothes out, you need to put them back in the drawer or closet from which they came. This aggravating process usually only takes about a couple minutes, but adds up over time. Total: 10 minutes per week.

Total Time

Prep: 30 minutes per week;
Washing/Drying: 160 minutes per week
Folding/Putting Away: 50 minutes per week

For many people in Seattle, the time drain that is laundry can be overwhelming. Organizing and streamlining the process can make it less of a headache, but for those that absolutely do not have hours each week to do laundry, options like Corry’s’ wash & fold laundry service are an efficient way to cut that time to nearly zero.

How Long Does It Take To Wash Clothes?

Luckily for most of us, the modernization of laundry means we don’t have to physically scrub and wash our clothes by hand. By the 1940s, over half of American homes with electricity had an electric washing machine. Today, the washing machine is as American as it gets.

Many of our clients ask us: “How long does a washing machine take?” It’s tough to give an exact answer, as washers vary by brand.

So how long is a wash cycle? That depends on your washing machine’s settings. Most washers need 32 to 38 minutes to clean your clothes, though some allow you to purchase an extra-long wash and/or rinse cycle. Alternatively, some washers are extremely efficient and give you the option to wash your clothes under 30 minutes.

How Long Does A Dryer Take?

Most items in a modern residential washing machine take between 30 and 45 minutes to dry. Most items are dry at about 32 minutes.

How Long Does A Load Of Laundry Take?

From start to finish, you may be surprised how long a load of laundry takes to complete. Once you factor in prep time (15 minutes), washing and drying (80 minutes), as well as folding and put away time (25 minutes), you are looking at close to two hours.

How Much Is A Load Of Laundry?

In this post, we’ve referred to laundry by the “load.” How much laundry makes a “full load” depends on the capacity of your washing machine. Many smaller washers in apartment buildings are low capacity and only take 6 pounds of clothing to be full. A medium-capacity washer can handle 7-8 pounds. High-capacity top loading washers can fit 12-15 pounds. Finally, front-loading machines can hold as much as 18 pounds of clothing.

Now you are likely wondering how many clothing items are in a pound. The easiest way to determine the weight of your clothing is to weigh yourself on a scale with and without your full laundry basket — subtracting the weight of the laundry/basket.

Another easy way to estimate your laundry is to total up the number of items you have. The following items total about 10 pounds of laundry:

  • 7 underwear
  • 7 pairs of socks
  • 5 t-shirts
  • 2 long-sleeve shirts
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 2 pairs or 4 shorts
  • 1 set of sheets
  • 1 towel

2 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take To Do Laundry? (Complete Guide)”

  1. I have no idea how to properly wash my clothes because I just recently moved out of my mom’s house, which is why I’m searching for some laundry tips. Well, it’s quite surprising to learn that washing and drying may take up to 80 minutes. Well, if this is the case, then maybe it would be better to look for a laundry pick-up service that will handle this matter for me.

    1. Hi Rachel –
      We hear you! And that’s why we make our Wash Dry Fold Laundry service such a No Brainer! Corry’s Clean Club gives you freedom from the time and worry it takes to properly do your laundry. Pick Up and Delivery is FREE and we can come twice a week if you like. Contact us at 206-525-8266 and ask for Destiny. She can get you set up in a flash! THANKS!

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