06/16/2015 07:00 am ET | Updated Dec 02, 2015

11 Things That Take Longer To Do Than Laundry

Howard Shooter

Laundry is a chore. Laundry is a hassle. But contrary to popular belief, laundry doesn't actually take all that long to do.

A wash cycle takes about 30 minutes per load, give or take, and a dry cycle can last up to about an hour. Taking into account the time it takes to get the laundry sorted, travel back and forth to the machine, and fold all your clothes, let's say it takes about two hours to do the whole deed -- minus the inevitable time spent dreading the actual activity.

Of course, like anything else, there are variables. Maybe you live in an apartment building and the machines are always taken. Perhaps you have a large family that produces a ton of laundry each week without fail. But for those people doing one or two loads at a time, there are quite a few activities you probably do that take longer than your laundry.

They are:

1. Watching "Schindler's List"

The incredibly sad iconic film clocks in just shy of 200 minutes, or a little longer than three hours.

2. Or three episodes of "Orange Is The New Black."

orange is the new black

Let's be real, you're watching way more than three at a time.

3. Waiting in line for the Cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York.

If you show up at 6:30 a.m., when people typically start lining up, you'll wait 1.5 hours before the bakery opens even if you're first in line. By the time you get in and pay, you're looking at at least two hours.

4. Or waiting in line at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, TX.

People come from all over to get their hands on what Bon Appetit calls the "best barbecue in the world." Wait times vary, but people start lining up at least three hours before the small restaurant opens for business at 11 a.m.. The famous line even has its own Twitter account.

5. Eating (or drinking) an all-you-can-drink brunch at Calle Ocho in New York City.

Side note: we don't suggest attempting to do your laundry after spending 2.5 hours at an all-you-can-drink brunch.

6. Saying this word.

Yes, it's a real word and yes, there is 3.5 hour long video of someone pronouncing it.

7. Sending your laundry out to be done.

This one is a no-brainer. Sure, it's convenient, but chances are you'll wait at least a whole day for it to be done.

8. Listening to the Beatles' "1" album 1.5 times.

beatles band old photo

Ringing in at 79:48, you could get through the whole thing once and be halfway to "Let It Be" again.

9. Watching old "Sesame Street" clips on YouTube.

Now that's a dark hole that lasts at least all day.

10. Waiting in line to ride Jurassic Park at Universal Studios, twice.

Wait times fluctuate depending on the day -- on a weekend, you might wait double this long -- but at 1:26 p.m. PT on Monday, June 15 it was recorded at 55 minutes.

11. Thinking about doing laundry.

Putting off doing laundry until you have no clean underwear left could take weeks, depending on how many pairs of underwear you have. Plus, the more frequently you do it, the less you have, and the less time it will take.


  • Using Too Much Fabric Softener
    Vladimir Voronin via Getty Images
    “Go easy on fabric softener,” says Vicky Silverton, founder of professional organisation and de-cluttering firm, You Need A Vicky. “You would be surprised, other than smell, how little difference it makes.” And if you thought fabric softener was the shortcut to soft and fluffy towels, think again. Ironically, fabric softener leaves a coating on towels, which reduces their absorbency and eventually leads to that scratchy cardboard feel. TIP: Instead of using fabric softener to wash your towels, halve the amount of detergent you use and add two tablespoons of white wine vinegar to the drum.
  • Leaving Washing In The Machine Too Long
    alzay via Getty Images
    When you’re working long hours, the temptation can be to stick a washing load on before you head out to work or before you go to bed. But leaving damp washing in the machine can lead to a build-up of bacteria, leaving a fusty smell in your machine - and on your washing. And if that wasn't reason enough to whip out your washing straight away, it could also spare you some tedious ironing time: “Hanging up your clothes immediately after drying, helps to minimise wrinkles and the need for ironing,” says Rob Garritano, founder of London cleaning firm, Twinkle Clean.
  • Over-Using The Dryer
    Richard Klotz via Getty Images
    We all know the more often we machine-wash our dark clothes, the quicker they will fade - and that turning our black jeans inside out before washing will help to keep the colour true. But did you know that the dryer is just as big a culprit for fading fabrics? “Hang coloured clothes to dry to help prevent them fade,” says Rob. If you do need to use the dryer, he suggests: “Speed up drying time by throwing a clean dry towel in the dryer with your wet clothes to help absorb the moisture.”
  • Using Too Much Detergent
    Piotr Adamowicz via Getty Images
    “Too much detergent can reduce the lifespan of your washing machine, as well as the lifespan of your clothes,” says El Jones, author of moneysaving blog, A Thrifty Mrs. Jones advocates using a quarter (a third, max), of the amount specified on the detergent pack, to keep laundry clean and fresh-smelling, and the washing machine in tip-top condition.
  • Not Giving Your Machine TLC
    Olaru Radian-alexandru via Getty Images
    It stands to reason, a dirty, fusty-smelling washing machine can lead to dirty, fusty-smelling laundry. To keep yours sparkling clean and fresh-smelling, give it a good clean once a month. To get rid of detergent residue, run on a hot cycle, while empty, with two cups of bleach in the detergent compartment of the drawer. Next, run a 40 degree cycle, with two cups of white vinegar in the detergent compartment, to eliminate nasty odours. In between times, try adding a little baking soda to your wash. This will not only help to eliminate stubborn odours from your washing, it will give your machine a freshness boost, too.
  • Not Separating Fabrics
    humonia via Getty Images
    When it comes to mixing up our washing-load colours, we've all been there, done that and bought the (formerly white, but now grey) T-shirt to prove it. But did you know that mixing up your washing fabrics could be damaging your clothes, too? Towels, for instance, can agitate other more delicate fabrics and eventually lead to pilling, over time. Also, bear in mind the wool cycle exists for a reason. Even if your woollen sweater says it can be washed at 40 degrees, don't be tempted to chuck it in with the rest of your clothes. The wool cycle is especially gentle, to help keep your knitwear in shape. Gently pulling woollens back into shape immediately after washing, and drying flat will help, too.