Are you still doing your grown-up children’s washing?

The launderette of mum and dad is alive and kicking. 

If you’re a parent, you may be under the impression that when your child moves out, you are also waving goodbye to the piles of washing which comes with them. Remember the sports kits, party outfits and school uniforms?

However, research undertaken by Beko has uncovered the truth about the laundrette of mum and dad: it’s still open for business, sometimes long after children have left home.

Many children don’t stop relying on parents or requiring help until they are in their early to mid-20s – and 11% of people in their 30s said they rely on their mum and dad to help with washing. Now while your weekends are no longer taken up with washing school uniforms, it’s their work uniforms and Saturday-night outfits. So when it comes to doing your own laundry, you may need to factor in extra shirts or blouses, some shorts and a pair of jeans.

Even children who no longer live at home are turning to their parents, with 38% of people asked saying they would travel up to an hour to have help with their laundry.

When do we say enough is enough?

There are reasons why they need help. Some are understandable, such as the previous load hasn’t dried; they live in small flats where it’s difficult to dry more than one load; they’re busy at work; they are just unsure of what they’re doing.

However, there are some reasons which are not as understandable. In fact, 18% of people believing mums enjoy washing. Another reason is that they prefer their parents’ washing powder.

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Not wanting to make a mistake is quite a common excuse with a quarter of people saying they don’t know how to wash clothes correctly.

One way around this could be making a chart or tick list for them to take with them when they move out, such as:

  1. Separate colours (whites in one pile and colours in another)
  2. Check the labels on clothes you’re unsure about
  3. Wash on a low temperature to save energy
  4. If tumble drying clothes, remove any wool items or use a clothesline or a clotheshorse in a well-ventilated area. Regardless of the drying method – do it straight away to avoid rewashing.

On average, just over half of people would ask for mums’ advice on laundry, compared to 40% who would ask Google. So if they are still unsure, maybe offer to help over a video call to make it easier.

Teaching them and providing advice on how to do their laundry will be much more valuable and rewarding for them – and could ultimately see the laundrette of mum and dad shut up shop shop for good.