Laundry Worker

Job Description:

Laundry workers operate washing machines and tumble dryers to clean and dry items like clothes, bed linen and uniforms.

Job Category:
Professional Services

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • check items before washing for damage or stains
  • use water and chemicals to remove stains before cleaning
  • sort items according to colour, size and type of fabric
  • tag items with bar codes or computer chips for easy identification
  • load items into machines
  • add cleaning agents and set controls
  • finish items by drying, pressing and folding
  • process orders, send out invoices and update customer databases
  • deliver laundered items back to the customer


You’ll need:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to organise your time and workload (organisational skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a laundry worker, you don’t typically need specific subjects. Laundry worker positions often require practical skills, attention to detail, and a strong work ethic. However, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial if you’re considering a career in this field. Here are some subjects that can be helpful:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for tasks like measuring detergent and ensuring proper load sizes in laundry machines.
  2. Science: While not mandatory, having a basic understanding of the principles of chemistry and physics can be helpful for understanding laundry processes and the properties of different fabrics and detergents.
  3. Physical Education (PE): Laundry workers may engage in physically demanding work, so being physically fit and having stamina can be an asset.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You can do an intermediate apprenticeship for textile care operatives.

Direct Application
You can apply directly for jobs. Experience in dry-cleaning or commercial clothes pressing may give you an advantage, although many employers will train you on the job.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 39 to 41 hours a week, which could include evenings, weekends, or holidays.

You could work at a laundry, in a hotel or in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be physically demanding, humid and hot.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could become a laundry service supervisor or manager.

You could also start your own laundry business.