Douwe Osinga's Blog: Laundry Service

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Some people don’t like the fact that you can have almost anything done by somebody in India because of the low cost of labor; they feel it is just not right to employ somebody to stock your fridge with beer – pointing out that the alternative, firing the house boy, isn’t going to make things better for anybody strangely enough not always convinces. Me, I like it a lot. The thing I like most is laundry service. We should have that in every country and where labor is too expensive, technology should make up for the gap.

Laundry service in India changed my life. In a small way, maybe, but it lead to the reengineering of my wash-cycle. I have a stack of t-shirts and am just used to taking the top one until the stack has disappeared, which is a sign that a new wash-cycle should start. Too be honest, in Switzerland most of the wash related activities were done by my wife, but the principle remained the same – reaching the end of the stack means a new cycle is needed.

The problem with the laundry service is that they come by almost everyday. So I wear a t-shirt, put it in the laundry, wear another t-shirt and then the first one comes back all washed and ironed (with coal powered iron irons and therefore smelling slightly like coal smoke), essentially reducing my wash cycle to two or three shirts. The Indian way of washing seems to create more wear to begin with, so a simple fix, taking the shirts from the bottom from the pile was introduced.

Strangely enough this hardly helped. I found myself still wearing the same three, maybe four t-shirts. A little research taught me that my wife was doing some wash-cycle engineering of her own and had been reordering my pile in such a way that the shirts that she deemed ugly would be near the bottom of the pile.


Nasi Peretz said...

I have manufactured the bags we are using in India because the rates are so inexpensive and the quality is so great. We are using the bags at Dry Cleaning and Laundry Service at

I'm 100% in agreement with you in re-engineering the process using what we learn from india