Peace Corps Ukraine: Doing Landry

Hello Hello!

As I sit in my little room and do work on my converted table, the view I see is this:

that gave me the push to finally getting around to writing a blog post on what doing laundry is like in Ukraine.

Lets talk access:

Most everyone I know has a washing machine in their house. A few volunteers have host families who don't and they hand wash their clothes. I don't know any one with a dryer. I've never seen a dryer in Ukraine.

I would say it is a safe bet that if you come to serve in Ukraine you will have a washing machine and will not have a drying rack.

The washing machine:

All of the washing machines are a lot smaller than I have seen in America. They are pint sized and usually stored in the bathroom. Although I have been to a PCV's house who has it tucked away in the kitchen.

For the most part the washing machines I have seen look just like the front loading ones I am used to in America, just smaller. However I have seen a few that are top loading. I know a few volunteers are at a site without washing machines ( GASP the horror, no washing machine in the posh corps) (we make fun of ourselves so it is fine) and they do hand wash their clothes.

Drying your clothes:

So my host family here has a large fold out drying rack that they dry their clothes on. A lot of volunteers apartments that I have visited have a similar one.

(also these pictures make me really happy because I really like lines! )

For a while my first host family at my permanent site was using theirs but right before I moved out I got to use it and it was life changing! Anyway below are some pictures of how I dry my clothes in the summer when there is not access to that amazing rack!

Training host site

Permanent site host family number 1

At my training host family's apartment they had a clothes line outside that the whole apartment building shared. It was a much smaller apartment with maybe 15 units. The apartment I currently live in is about 9 stories tall and 7 or 8 sections long. ( 4 apartments a floor per section) There are no clothes lines on the ground for people to use.

However some apartments have an apparatus attached to the edge of their balcony that is basically the same as the drying rack above... just outside.

At my training site, my host family had these:

When it was cold I would hang all my stuff on over the radiators in the house and it dried pretty quick ( a few hours) and was nice and warm when I put it back on which was a plus.

The heating is controlled by the city so the radiators shut off someone in April. Once the radiators stopped being a nice heating rack, my training host mom showed me their radiator racks ( pictured above) Those were pretty helpful and saved a good amount of space.

The radiators at my current apartment are different, and pretty consistent with what I have seen in most of the apartments in this city. They don't really have room to hand more than a few socks.

So for now, until I move out, I will stick to hanging my clothes over every drapable surface. My room kind of looks like a bomb exploded but hey clean clothes are important.

Is washing clothes here "safe"

So I would say a fair warning that most of the clothes you bring here, expect to leave here because the washing machines will take a toll on your clothes. I try to wash my clothes after maybe 3 wears (which is harder in the summer because the lack of AC leads to a lot of sweat) so that they don't get as much wear and tear if I washed them every time.

Washing less often is also out of respect for your host family and trying to not drive up their water bill.

I haven't had any of the washing machines eat any of my clothes but I have had them leave a lot residue or a lint type substance.

Detergent:

Thankfully due to the global nature of big brands you can find a few American brand detergents here in the local shops. As far as which to use, definitely involve your host family in the decision. If they have a specific brand they prefer it is usually safest to use that.

If you have to hand wash your clothes they are also a good resource for which of the specifically branded hand wash detergents to go for.

Wrapping it up:

Overall doing laundry here isn't so hard. My biggest struggle is finding the washing machine being open. I have found with both host families they leave clothes in the machine for days on end.

#FutureVolunteers #PeaceCorpsUkraine #laundry #homelife #blog