How to Instill Mindfulness While Doing Laundry With a Manual Washer

How to Instill Mindfulness While Doing Laundry With a Manual Washer

How to Install Mindfulness While Doing Laundry With a Manual Washer

Doing laundry can often feel like a mundane chore. However, it presents an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness. Washing clothes by hand with a manual washer requires focus and presence – making it ideal for instilling mindfulness. Here’s how to make laundry a meditative experience.

Be Present

The key to practicing mindfulness is being present and focused on the task at hand. When doing laundry manually, give the chore your full attention. Avoid distractions like phones or TV. Instead, notice the sensations of washing:

  • Feel the texture of the clothes as you sort and load them. Notice smooth silks, rough denims, and soft cottons.

  • Pay attention to the temperature of the water. Is it cold, lukewarm, or hot on your hands?

  • Listen to the sounds of the washer churning and clothes swishing. Be aware of the splashing noises.

  • Smell the scent of the detergent blooming in the water. Breathe it in.

  • See the colors brightening as stains lift. Watch the whirl of the agitator churning the clothes.

Bringing beginner’s mind to observing these sensations keeps you grounded in the present moment.

Focus on Each Step

Washing clothes manually involves a sequence of steps. Bringing full awareness to each one can induce a meditative flow.

  • When sorting, examine each item mindfully before putting it into piles. Feel their textures and hold them up for inspection.

  • While soaking heavily soiled clothes, notice the water changing color as the dirt lifts. Watch the clothes swirling gently.

  • As you load the washer, arrange each piece deliberately. Feel their weight and shape.

  • When washing, observe the hypnotic motion of the agitator and clothes. Listen to the churning sound.

  • During the rinse cycle, watch the water turn from gray to clear.

  • While extracting water, be mindful of the spinning force. Feel the vibrations under your hands.

  • When hanging clothes to dry, pay attention to how you clip and arrange each piece on the line.

This step-by-step focus anchors you in the present while forming new habits.

Be Curious

Bringing curiosity to ordinary tasks like laundry can unveil their hidden wonders.

  • Notice how the clothes move and behave in the water as they’re washed. See how the physics of agitation removes dirt.

  • Observe how the clothes change as they wash. See stains fading and whites brightening.

  • Consider all the hands that have touched the clothes before you. Reflect on this intimate domestic history.

  • Appreciate how the chore of laundry connects you to generations stretching back for centuries. People have hand washed their clothes for thousands of years.

Cultivating curiosity adds richness and connection to a humble task.

Proceed Slowly

Rushing through chores like laundry makes it hard to be mindful. Slow down your pace to fully engage the experience:

  • Move in slower motion as you load and arrange clothes in the washer. Feel their textures and weights.

  • When washing, take time observing the clothes churning in the soapy water. Listen attentively to the sounds.

  • Be patient during rinse cycles. Watch the water run clear without hurrying.

  • Hang clothes leisurely. Don’t just pin them up and rush off. Arrange them with care.

  • If your mind wanders, gently return your focus to the sensations of laundry. Don’t criticize yourself.

Slowing down helps you tune into aspects of laundry you may never have noticed, infusing mindfulness into this humble domestic ritual.


Doing laundry manually creates ideal conditions for practicing mindfulness. By fully engaging your senses, focusing on each step, cultivating curiosity, and slowing down, you can transform an everyday chore into a meditative exercise. Bringing your complete presence to laundry enables even this humble task to anchor you in the moment. Washing clothes by hand guides you to be more mindful, creating calm in the midst of a busy life.