A Complete Guide To Doing Laundry in Korea

An Easy And Complete Guide To Doing Laundry In Korea 

Traveling to Korea? Here is a complete guide to doing laundry in Korea. This includes info about laundry service in Korea, how to unlock Korean washing machines and more.

In Korea, doing laundry is a common pastime, therefore finding a place to do your clothes is usually not a problem. 

Self-service laundries do exist in medium-sized and bigger cities, but they are not very prevalent because the majority of Koreans do their laundry at home. 

They frequently offer washing and drying services, are open 24/7, accept coin payments, and have washing and drying services, are open 24/7, and accept coin payments, as well as electronic choices like Naver cash. 

Detergent is typically sold there, although it’s also commonly accessible in little packages from gas stations and local shops.

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Complete Guide To Doing Laundry in Korea

Learning how to use a Korean washer and doing your laundry are absolute necessities for long-term foreign citizens in Korea, among many other things that you must become familiar with. 

It can be difficult for Korean novices to decipher the tiny Korean language and instructions on your washing machine. 

You might also be trying to figure out what washing cycles to utilize for your garments. Our post gives you a brief but comprehensive overview of everything you need to know about Korean household appliances.

How to Pick a Good Washing Machine

In general, there are two main washing machine kinds that are widely used in Korean homes. Standard “” (se-takkki), which refers to the conventional top-loading washing machine, is the first option. 

Top-loading washing machines typically allow you to add more clothes, washing liquid, or gel in the midst of your washing cycle since they have openings on the front that you can open. 

This kind of washer often uses more water to cleanse the clothes and has a lower capacity.

lg korean washing machine translation
Credits: @winiamiddleeast

The front-load washing machines, also known as “” (deureom se-takkki), are yet another common type of washing machine that are frequently used in Korea. In recent times, front-load washers have outpaced top-loading ones in popularity. 

Their front doors cannot open once a programme has begun. Typically, front-load washing machines have larger loads and use less energy. 

However, front-load washing machines become less effective as a result. 

In fact, compared to top-loading washers, front-loading washing machines are built to produce higher, stronger rotations during their spinning cycles, which helps your fabric dry more effectively.

Understanding Korean Laundry Machines

If you are familiar with a few basic Korean terminologies relating to laundry, using Korean machines shouldn’t be too difficult. 

Obviously, each washing machine made by a different company has its own programmes and directions, but the majority of Korean washing machines have a tonne of buttons for regularly used features like temperature control, cycle phases, the kinds of laundry you do, and spinning speed. 

The words you need to be familiar with when operating machines in Korea are briefly summarized here.

Must-know Indicators

  • 남은 시간 (nam-eun sigan): Indicates how much time is left in the washing procedure.
  • 버튼 / 문 잠김  (beoteun / mun jamgeum)” indicates Buttons/door locked
how to unlock korean washing machine

Basic Laundry Menus and Programmes

  • 본 / 표준 세탁 (bon / pyojun setak): Regular wash
  • 알뜰삶음 (altteul salmeum): Boiling water for a sanitising wash
  • 절전 (jeoljeon): Energy saving mode
  • 예비 세탁 (yebi setak): Before washing
  • 스피드 워시 (speed wash): Rapid washing
  • 찬물세탁 (chanmul setak): Wash in cold water
  • 온도 (ondo): Temperture
  • 헹굼 (henggum): Rinse
  • 탈수 (talssu): Spin, Spin dry
  • 배수안함 (baesu anham): No spin dry
  • Product-specific menus and programming
  • 손세탁 (son setak): Hand wash
  • 란제리 (lanjeli) Lingerie
  • 합섬 (habseom): Synthetic material
  • 이불 (ibul):  Bedding and Blankets
  • 외투 (we-tu): Overcoat, Coat
  • 울 (ul): Wool products
  • 초절약 세탁 (cho jeoryak setak): Energy-saving wash, cost-effective wash
  • 초강력 세탁 (cho gangnyeok setak): Powerful wash
  • 니트 (knit): Knitwear

Setting up your Laundry

Although the majority of the features ought to be fairly portable to other front-loading machines, one mustn’t have:

  • Begin on the right and proceed to the left.
  • The power button, which is located on the far right, is the most significant button. You cannot operate any of the additional buttons unless the machine is turned on.
  • To plan a wash load, utilise the tiny button located in the upper right hand corner,.
  • You can select the next load’s schedule by pressing this button (ie. 60 minutes later, 30 minutes later, etc).

While the majority of wash cycles are rather lengthy—up to two hours for some—the regular setting typically lasts one hour and fifteen minutes. 

The machine usually weighs your clothing and calculates how long your laundry will take once you select the specific setting you want and press start.

It is typically possible to pause the wash midway through and modify the setting if you unintentionally selected the incorrect one (from experience).

Dryers in Korea

Commonly, dryers are absent from Korean homes, dorms, and shared housing.

As a result, you’ll likely need to get a rack for your clothes. They are usually provided for you in the majority of dorms, but a small one costs about 10,000 KRW or a large one costs about 14,000 KRW, like the one I have. 

Additionally, there are insane racks with three tiers or something similar that cost about 30,000KRW. 

If you don’t have a veranda, you may also speed up the drying process by switching on your ondol (in-floor heating), which is a common practice in Korean homes.

Credits: @elevation_john

The only appliance in Korean homes is a washing machine. They prefer to “hang dry,” so that’s why. 

You can find many Koreans’ clothes hanging to dry on the balconies of their apartments, as well as in their villas or officetels. It’s approved. It is typical. 

However, it necessitates that you wait at least a day for it to dry. Additionally, you should have lots of extra garments in case you do wear out your supply of underwear. You must wait in Korea for at least a half-day.

Drying Racks

Outside of laundromats, clothes dryers are uncommon in Korea, but this tendency is changing, and they will become more prevalent in the years after these words have been written. 

Normal practice is to air dry clothes within a house, preferably in the lounge room or, if available, on a veranda. 

The most fundamental kind of drying rack is this one. They come in a range of weights and sizes, and some include additional fold-out arms that are around knee-height. 

All clothes drying racks can be folded relatively flat for storing. Scroll down to the photographs shot at a store to see them folded flat.

laundry service in korea
Credits: @joshuaeli

Drying racks are referred to as geonjodae in Korean, or to be more precise, ppallae geonjodae. 

Additionally, you’ll notice (aluminium) or (stainless steel) to indicate the type of material they are constructed of and they frequently have 2 or 4 for the number of folded arms.

Laundries and Public Laundry in Korea

Many people, including undergraduates, workers, and even travellers, refer to communal laundries in Korea by the nickname “” (ppalrae bang). You will undoubtedly come across a lot of self-service coin washing rooms if you take a stroll through your area. 

And if you still can’t find one, just type “” into your phone’s NAVER Map app. Most laundromats are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you’re able to use these shared amenities for a pretty low fee. 

In general, the cost of a wash at a Korean laundromat is between 4,000 and 5,000 KRW, and an additional 4,000 to 5,000 KRW is charged if you also wish to use the dryer.

coin laundry seoul
Credits: @agentloopeats

Generally speaking, Korean laundries have a tonne of washers and dryers that can handle large loads, such as blankets and bedding. 

Additionally, some laundromats feature unique dryers and washing machines made especially for washing shoes. 

Although using laundromats in Korea shouldn’t be too challenging, there are a few things you should know. First of all, if at all possible, we suggest that you carry your own cleaning liquid. 

While vending machines at laundromats in Korea frequently sell packets of single-use cleaning liquid (typically for 1,000–2,000 KRW), not all of them do, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and carry your own.

If you plan to use laundromats in Korea, it’s a good idea to bring cash, especially coins. Both washers and dryers solely accept 500 won coins, which may be difficult to believe in a cashless nation like Korea.

As a result, keep some coins on hand. You can still exchange your 1,000 and 10,000 KRW notes at the on-site changers if you don’t have any coins at home. 

While more laundromats in Korea are starting to take credit cards as well as coins, cash is still the most common method of payment.

Set a timer, then pick up your clothes on schedule. Laundries are public facilities that are open to anyone. As a result, many others may be lined up to wash their laundry, just like you were. 

Additionally, theft is a problem in laundromats all throughout the world, including Korea, so be careful to pick up your items right away. 

Set a clock once your laundry starts because a wash at a Korean laundromat typically takes about 40 minutes to complete.

Dry Cleaners in Korea

There are some garments that simply cannot be thrown into a washer and must instead be dry cleaned. Similar to this, if you wear clothing long enough, it will rip or break a button. 

Perhaps you should shorten your drapes to a more suitable length. If you go to the correct store, you can easily and reasonably address this problem as well as others like it. 

However, just because we group dry cleaning and mending together doesn’t mean these businesses are merged. They aren’t always; occasionally they are. Depending on what the retailer intends to accomplish.

How do you do laundry in Korea
Credits: @preetsarang

Phonetically, the word “dry cleaning” entered the Korean language as. The text on the right hand side of this board is visible.

Once you’ve explored enough side streets, you’ll ultimately come upon the phonetically “computer cleaning” phrase. 

This doesn’t imply that they repair computers, but it does imply that they employ equipment with computer control to dry clean your clothes. 

When equipment that controls dry cleaning machinery first entered operation in the 1980s, this phrase was used to promote its newer technology and superior quality over its more established rivals. 

This expression is no longer used because modern dry cleaning uses machinery with chips and circuitry.

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