Many nursing homes wash your clothes, though some only wash linens and do not provide laundry services for clothing. When searching for the right senior living community for your loved one, be sure to ask what type of laundry services are available.

If the nursing home does wash residents’ clothing, you also want to find out if it includes these services in its monthly costs or if it’s an add-on service with additional fees. Having these basic details upfront can help you compare nursing homes to find the community that best meets your needs.

Some Limitations May Apply

While many nursing homes do offer personal laundry services, most don’t handle delicate garments or those marked for dry cleaning only. The staff may separate whites from the other clothing, but otherwise, they likely wash and dry everything together. Nursing homes also tend to use high-temperature dryers to help kill as many germs as possible.

With this in mind, it’s best to make sure your loved one’s clothes are machine washable and can be tumble dried. For example, clothes made from cotton, polyester and denim are good options. If your loved one has delicate pieces of clothing, such as silks, wool or tights, you may want to take these home to handwash and bring back.

Label All Clothing

Washing clothes for every resident in a nursing home can get confusing. To ensure residents don’t lose their belongings, most nursing homes require you to label each piece of clothing your loved one brings with them. You can label these clothes with a permanent fabric marker, iron-on labels or sew-on labels. Be sure to include your loved one’s full name on each piece of clothing and not just a room number.

It’s recommended to put labels on most of your loved one’s belongings, including shoes, blankets and jackets. Even delicate articles of clothing that you plan to wash at home should still have a label on them. This can reduce the risk of your loved one losing any of their belongings while living at the nursing home.