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Dreams about Laundry: Meaning and Interpretation

It’s no surprise that we tend to dream about various activities we do in our daily lives. This is common since dreams are often the manifestations of emotions attached to real-life incidences. Laundry, for example, is one of those tedious chores that take longer than expected, but it’s something you MUST do unless you want to run out of clothes to wear.

You may think the reason you dream about laundry is that it’s a chore you dislike doing. While this doesn’t sound far off the mark, dreams about laundry can actually have a far deeper meaning than you would imagine.

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Dreaming of doing laundry meaning

What Does Dreaming of Doing Laundry Mean?

According to Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D, and dream researcher, when analyzing dreams, it helps to think in metaphors.  Bulkeley says in Psychology Today, “The essence of metaphor is understanding one kind of thing in terms of another”. Dreams tend to use the metaphor system that we unconsciously draw on to structure our daily thought and allows us to observe similarities and find meaning.

In the case of dreams about laundry, the dream could simply about laundry, a daily chore that has a direct connection to waking life. However, it could also hold deeper meanings that your subconscious mind is drawing your attention to.

Some of the meanings associated with dreams about doing laundry include:


A dream of doing laundry can be related to the feeling of not doing enough work in your waking life. Since laundry is seen as a chore, this dream could mean that there are projects and goals you need to attend to, but you may feel that they’re not worth putting in the extra effort. As a result, you may have become too complacent about where you are in your life. You may be comfortable and content with the way things are and don’t feel the desire to change anything about your lifestyle.

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Lack of Trust and Judgement

This dream could also represent a lack of trust and judgment in yourself.  Perhaps you tend to rely on the opinions of other people and change yourself according to their preferences. According to dream analyst Carl Jung, dreams are a means of communication used by your psyche to give you a hidden message.

In this case, your psyche may be telling you to focus on what you want for yourself before it’s too late and you lose sight of who you are. It may be time to focus on what’s important to you and what will help you to grow as a person to be the best version of yourself.

Readiness to Share Your Thoughts and Feelings

If you see yourself airing your laundry out to dry in a dream, it could indicate that you’ve been keeping things to yourself for some time which you’re now ready to share. You may even be ready to have a heart-to-heart conversation with someone close to you which could help you get things off your chest.

The readiness to share your feelings and inhibitions, represented by the laundry you’re airing, could mean that you’re taking the first steps towards moving on from a difficult time in your waking life. You may have also gained the courage to speak up for yourself without worrying about the opinions of others.

The General Meaning of Dreams about Laundry

Dreaming of doing laundry

A dream about doing laundry can represent the need to clean certain aspects of your life. If you dream of doing laundry, you might want to ask yourself what needs to be cleaned up in your life. Since laundry is a task that requires washing off dirt with soap and water, the two objects used for cleaning are elements that may represent the things you need to work on in order to be deemed as “cleansed”.

Dreaming of laundry may indicate your need to cleanse yourself of certain emotions. It could also be a representation of your desire to grow and improve as a person by doing a thorough cleanse of your old bad habits and negative traits.

The amount of dirt on the clothes could represent complex or difficult situations in life: the dirtier they are, the more complex the situation could be. If you’re washing the clothes of several people, it may mean that there are too many people dependent on you and you may need to take some time off for yourself.

It’s also important to pay close attention to how you feel in the dream and how you reacted to certain events or people. This can say something about your personality or how you feel about the people around you.

Scenarios of Dreams About Laundry

doing laundry

Dreaming of a Mountain of Dirty Washing

To see a huge mountain of dirty laundry in a dream could mean that you will soon face a complicated problem that might be difficult to address. You may want to avoid this problem, but you won’t be able to put it off for too long. Sooner or later, you will have to face the issue and find a solution.

This dream could also represent a ‘mountain’ of problems created by someone else. Although they weren’t created by you, they could be affecting you directly and you may find it difficult to recover from the crisis.

Dreaming of Doing Laundry by Hand

If you dream of doing laundry by hand, it indicates that you’re attempting to rid yourself of problems and negativity, but you’re not doing it the right way. You may be choosing a more difficult way than necessary instead of taking the easier way and using the tools you already have with you.

This dream can also imply that you’re not sure of what you want in life. Perhaps you’re going through a hard time and you feel depressed, de-motivated, and unhappy. Your subconscious mind could be telling you to change your way of thinking and your lifestyle. It may also help to talk to someone close to you who could help you get through this difficult time in your life.

Dreaming of Someone Else Washing Clothes

Seeing someone else washing clothes in your dream is a highly positive sign. You may soon receive some good news that will motivate you to work hard and be inspired. If the person is a stranger, it implies that a new job is coming your way. It could be an excellent opportunity that you wouldn’t want to miss.

If you know the person doing the laundry, this dream could be letting you know that it’s time to look closely at your relationship with this person. You may have a close relationship, or it could be someone that you’ve only known for a short while. If you have unresolved issues, it might be time to talk to the person and work on fixing the relationship.

Dreaming of Washing Clothes that Don’t Get Clean

Regardless of how hard you try washing the clothes in your dream, if the dirt doesn’t come off, it suggests that you may be about to experience some sudden issues in your waking life. The issues could be related to anything and while it may be difficult, your subconscious mind could be telling you not to give up.

On the other hand, this dream can also have a positive interpretation. You may struggle to overcome the problems in your life but as a result, you’ll become a stronger and wiser person.

Breaking Down the Details of the Dream

Laundry basket

The Clothes

To fully understand the context of your dream, it’s important to pay attention to the type of clothing that you wash and the state of them. 

Visibly and badly stained clothes may represent anger that you’ve been feeling towards something or someone in your waking life. Holding this anger inside for so long could be making you stressed, agitated, and even physically or mentally ill. Perhaps you’ve come to realize this and want to cleanse yourself of these negative emotions so that you can move on.

If you see the stains washing off the clothes, it could mean that you’re finally ridding yourself of these pent-up feelings and clearing your ‘plate’.

On the other hand, if the clothes you’re washing are already clean, it could be an indication of improving your relationships and bond with your loved ones. It’s likely you have no negative emotions that you need to cleanse yourself of.

The type of clothing may also play an important role in the meaning of this dream since it could involve the people around you. Dreaming of washing lace, cotton, or wool garments can represent that you’re dealing with a new, complex, and maybe ‘delicate’ situation.  You may need to approach the issue gently since aggression could make things worse, just like it could damage the clothing.

If you dream of washing your family members’ garments, it may mean that there are some unresolved issues you may need to sort with them carefully to keep from damaging your relationships.

The State of the Water

In a dream about doing laundry, the state of the water you use can have an important meaning. For example, if the water is dirty or murky, it can indicate stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Using dirty water for laundry in a dream represents the overwhelming responsibilities in your waking life. Perhaps you lead an extremely busy lifestyle and have too much on your plate. You may be finding it difficult to balance out everything you need to do to the point where you feel overwhelmed.

The dream could be giving you a sign that the more you continue to dwell on the problems in your life, the further away you will move from your goals.

The Location

If you dream of washing your laundry in a river, it could mean that there’s conflict arising in your relationships with others. You may be harboring grudges against the other person or vice versa and although you have the desire to resolve the issues between you, you may not know how or what to do.

Doing laundry at the dry cleaners could represent your preparedness in dealing with problems accordingly. You may be someone who carefully plans things in advance and are good at coping with any issue life may throw your way.

Wrapping Up

Dreams about doing laundry can act as a guide that helps us understand our feelings about various aspects of our waking life. They’re typically a representation of the emotions you may harbor but can also warn you of certain issues in your waking life that need to be addressed. This is beneficial as it can make you aware of what to expect so you’ll be able to prepare yourself in advance. Analyzing your dream correctly can also help you to gain a deeper and better understanding of who you are.

Affiliate Disclosures

Apsara Palit
Apsara Palit

After completing her post-grad in Values, Ethics and Indian Culture, Apsara is sharing her knowledge of symbolism, mythology, history and culture through her blogs. Apsara lives in India and believes in getting a first-hand understanding of culture through travelling.