Obviously we need to wash our clothes from time to time on the road as well. The hotter the weather the more often the wash. There are some days when wearing the same shirt the third day in a row it’s all-rightish. Now if you think laundry in the North American way, well, forget it. While even truck stops have laundry (self) service in Canada and USA, once you cross the border to Mexico things change substantially. In Mexico there are quite a few ‘lavanderia’ places where you drop off your stuff and pick it up later or next day nicely folded and bagged for fairly reasonable prices. In Mexico they go by weight, not load. Then from Guatemala on, well, there are few places but either too expensive (as high as $10 for a load), either you get back your stuff ripped or not that that clean after it’s washed. So hand-wash kicks in and here and there in larger ‘campgrounds’ you can dry your stuff on a rope tied between two trees. You’ll get used to it sooner or later. In Panama there were few Terpel ‘Va&Ven’ truckstops offering laundry services for reasonable price. We found three of them in total and they also had decent food at decent prices. Funny as Terpel is Colombian, but they have no such fancy truck stops in Colombia as in Panama. Ecuador has North American style laundry services at fairly good prices in larger cities.
This is where good quality clothing made specially for traveling has its advantage. Not that overlanding in cheap sneakers and dollar t-shirt would be less fun. I noticed that the wash and drying time of my Exofficio clothing is way shorter, than anything else that I own. Why is that important? Rain can burst in fast in the tropics, especially in the rainy season. Local neighbours have a special talent to light up a fire burning garbage or dried plants quite soon as you hang your stuff to dry. Or wind picks up and blows dust. Last but not least, sun is down by 6 pm, no matter what time of the year is