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Nov 10, 2022
7 min

11 Laundry Scenes You Have to See to Believe

A survey that asked 2,000 millennials and Gen Zers how they did their laundry reveals that most young people (68%) dread doing it for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • It is time-consuming (52%).
  • They dislike doing a specific part of it, like loading the washing machine or folding clothes (50%).
  • It must be done frequently, say an average of three times per week (43%). 

Moreover, 40% of the respondents believe laundry washing is easy to mess up. In fact, 66% say they limit how often they wear their best outfits because they fear the washing machine will damage them. It makes you appreciate professional laundry and dry cleaning companies that can wash and clean your clothes with precision, doesn't it?


In any case, whether you prefer to DIY or need laundry washing service professionals like us here at Washmen, you'll enjoy learning about those times laundry was featured front and center in cinema and on television.


1. Washing Machine: The Feature Film

Topping the list is a one-hour-plus-long feature film about clothes spinning and tumbling and water sloshing inside the drum of a front-load washing machine. Yes, you read that right. This one is an actual movie featuring one complete wash cycle.

It even has an original musical score courtesy of composer Michael Nyman. Nyman was also in the film, playing his original composition to accompany the washing machine cycle.

Samsung created the film to feature the Quick Drive washing machine range. The inspiration for the movie was the company's research that said British adults would spend an average of 1,481 hours in their lifetime just watching their laundry spinning round and round.

Unlike the spine-tingling Conjuring laundry scene, there are no exciting plot twists here. However, if laundry spinning and tumbling in a washing machine relaxes you, you should catch this film. Yes, all 68 hypnotically monotonous, fascinatingly mundane minutes of it.


2. Ever After: A Cinderella Story

If you love fairy tales and romance but don't like helpless female characters, then you will enjoy Ever After. In this 1998 film, Drew Barrymore stars as the main character, Danielle de Barbarac.

Danielle used to be the beloved only daughter and mistress of her home. However, when her wealthy merchant father dies, she is left destitute and at the mercy of her cruel stepmother Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent and stepsister Marguerite de Ghent.

Like Cinderella, she meets, falls in love with, and marries her prince. However, unlike the fairy tale character, she is spirited, street-smart, and wouldn't countenance injustice.

In the end, she gives her mean stepmother and stepsister their comeuppance by turning them into laundry maids. In the memorable and satisfying Cinderella laundry scene, the laundry mistress gives Rodmilla and Marguerite their tasks, and the two argue about who's supposed to perform them. The mother-daughter pair then falls into a pool of liquid used to dye fabric.


3. Still of the Night

In this thriller, the patient of a psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Rice (played by Roy Scheider), is murdered. Dr. Rice refuses to cooperate with the detective investigating the case, but he falls in love with the patient's mistress, Brooke Reynolds (played by Meryl Streep), despite her being the likely murderer.

One of the riveting scenes in the movie involves Dr. Rice taking his laundry out of a machine in the laundry room. He hears a sound just beyond the laundry room door, and he goes out into the dark hallway, still holding on tightly to his bag of newly washed clothes, to investigate. Not finding anything, he makes his way to the elevator, the door opens, and there he sees Brooke.


4. Friends S1, Episode 5

For Friends fans rooting for RosChel (that's Ross and Rachel for the uninitiated), what could be more iconic than that time Ross and Rachel shared their first kiss?

Ross goes with Rachel to a laundromat. As it turns out, Rachel is, as she calls it, a "laundry virgin." She has no idea what to do, so she pesters Ross with her questions on how to do laundry properly. Another laundromat customer starts pushing her around, taking her machine. She feels intimidated, but Ross stands up for her and gets her machine back.

In the end, Rachel gets into another confrontation with her laundromat nemesis over a laundry cart. This time, she successfully stands her ground and wins the argument. Elated, she kisses Ross.


5. Lilo and Stitch

Lilo and Stitch is an animated movie from Disney featuring a story of friendship between a human girl called Lilo and an alien creature she later named “Stitch.”

In one of the earlier scenes, Lilo hides as her older sister, Nani, tries to catch her. As she reaches the laundry room, the younger girl makes it to the dryer, only to be tricked by her older sister with the door and the blanket.

If you try to rewatch this Lilo and Stitch laundry scene now, you’ll see that it has since been edited. In the current version, the dryer was replaced with a commode covered by a pizza box, probably in an attempt to prevent kids from hiding inside the dryer (which is very dangerous).

6. Identity

In "Identity," Edward "Ed" Dakota (John Cusack) is a limousine driver stranded with his client, Caroline Suzanne, and a bunch of other people at a remote motel in Nevada. 

Their stay takes a morbid turn when Ed discovers his client's head in a dryer. A series of murders soon follow.


7. Fight Club

In this iconic film, The Narrator (Edward Norton) pretends to suffer from various diseases and attends support groups to find fulfillment. In one such support group meeting, he meets Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), another support group impostor. 

One of the pivotal interactions between The Narrator and Marla involves the former catching the latter stealing somebody else's laundry in a laundromat and proceeding to sell the same to a thrift shop.


8. The Blind Side

In this movie, African-American student Michael Oher a.k.a. Big Mike (Quinton Aaron) goes to a predominantly white, obviously upper-crust private school on an athletic scholarship. He has only one spare set of clothes, so he would wash them in a laundromat. 

After the laundry scene, Leigh Ann Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) sees him — looking quite cold — walking on his way to the school gym, and she brings him home. Leigh Ann eventually adopts him and treats him like her own son.


9. 40 Days and 40 nights

In 40 days and 40 nights, Matt Sullivan (Josh Hartnett) comes out of a painful breakup and meets and becomes friends with Erica Sutton (Shannyn Sossamon) in a laundromat

Their awkward love story begins, but they break up, and Matt hangs out at the laundromat in his desire to see her again. Naturally, it is also in the laundromat that Matt and Erica finally kiss.


10. Sling Blade

Sling Blade is the story of Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton), who killed his mother and her lover with a sling blade when he was 12 due to the abuse he suffered at their hands. 

Deemed intellectually disabled, he was confined in the mental state hospital and released years later when he was fully grown.

Once free, Karl meets 12-year-old Frank Wheatly (Lucas Black) in a laundromat. Frank is dragging bags of "warsh" (i.e., wash), and Karl helps him carry his laundry bags home. That's how the beautiful friendship between Karl and Frank starts, ending with Karl ultimately sacrificing his newfound freedom to protect his new friend.


11. Levi's 501 Launderette Commercial

This is not a movie or a series, but it's worth including in this list. 

In this iconic commercial set in a laundromat, Levi's successfully changes its branding from the jeans that moms and pops wear to something modern and fashionable.

In the clip, gorgeous model Nick Kamen walks into a laundromat and strips down to his white boxers, and washes the clothes he's wearing in the commercial laundry washing machines. His pants just happen to be a pair of Levi's 501.


Laundry Scenes on Screen

Nowadays, almost everyone has a washing machine at home, and one can send their designer outfits for professional dry cleaning to avoid costly laundry mistakes. 

If you enjoy laundry scenes in movies and television but don't enjoy doing laundry yourself, download the Washmen app

We provide professional laundry, dry cleaning, and even shoe care and will pick up and deliver your laundry in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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