What Does It Mean to Dream of Laundry?

What Does It Mean to Dream of Laundry?

While doing laundry might seem like just another routine chore in your waking life, it can mean much more than that in a dream.

Yes, doing laundry is a responsibility, so a laundry dream can show how you are doing with your responsibilities in life in general. The more powerful symbolism of a laundry dream, however, is that doing laundry can take something dirty and make it clean.

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Laundry Dream Summary

Laundry Dream Symbolism

Laundry is a routine chore, so it shares much of the dream symbolism of washing dishes, such as drudgery, responsibility, and cleansing.

Laundry often involves clothing, however, and clothing is a big part of how you present yourself to the world. In this sense, a dream of washing clothes could symbolize that you are refreshing your public image.

Common Laundry Dreams

  1. Dream of clothes on the floor
  2. Dream of washing someone else’s clothes
  3. Dream of a washing machine
  4. Dream of unusually dirty laundry
  5. Dream of clothes being damaged in the laundry
  6. Dream of washing clothes by hand
  7. Dream of drying clothes on a clothesline

Laundry Dream Symbolism

Laundry Dream Symbolism

Drudgery and Responsibility

If you wore the clothes and sweated in them, you got them dirty, so it makes sense that you would be responsible for washing them. Dreaming of washing clothes can therefore symbolize this sort of responsibility that comes as a logical consequence of your actions.

Even if you understand the legitimate reasons why laundry has to be done, doing laundry can still sometimes feel like drudgery. Dreaming of doing laundry could therefore symbolize that you feel like you spend an excessive amount of time on routine tasks and are not really moving forward in your life.

Cleansing and Renewal

Ultimately laundry takes something that is dirty and makes it clean. A dream of doing laundry could therefore be an uplifting omen of finding cleansing and renewal in your life. Whether you use a washing machine or wash by hand, doing laundry typically uses water, so your dream may incorporate the cleansing symbolism of water.

Updating Your Image

As your clothing is a big part of how you present yourself to the world, dreaming of washing your clothing can symbolize that you are refreshing your appearance. Doing laundry, both in dreams and in waking life, is a positive sign that you care about yourself enough to want to look and smell good.

If you have been embarrassed in public recently, a dream of washing your clothes can symbolize that you and others will be able to move on from the incident.

Common Laundry Dreams

Dream of clothes on the floor

Dream of clothes on the floor

Clothes on the floor are usually there because they are dirty – or maybe you only wore them for a few minutes, but you had to try on a few outfits before you got the one that was right for you.

A dream of clothes on the floor could therefore symbolize that you are going through a time of transformation, like a snake shedding its skin. If the pile of clothes is very large, though, the dream meaning could be that you have been changing faster than you are able to process.

The dream meaning of a pile of clothes that are clean and just need to be put away could be that you have made some positive changes in your life lately, but you still need to update your self-image to reflect that.

Dream of washing someone else’s clothes

Dream of washing someone else’s clothes

Washing someone else’s clothes in your dream could symbolize that you feel responsible for them. If you dream of washing the clothes of someone who is unable to do it for themselves, like a child or a person with a disability, this could reflect a situation where you do have responsibilities of this sort, and you might understand that those responsibilities are legitimate even if you sometimes find them burdensome.

If you dream that you are washing the clothes of someone who is capable of washing their own clothes, though, this could symbolize that you are involved in a codependent relationship. While you may not literally wash this person’s clothes in your waking life, you could be cleaning up their messes in other ways.

You might look at why you are washing such a person’s clothes in your dream. If they directly told you to do it, this could symbolize that they have an entitled attitude. If you decided to do it on your own because you thought it would not get done correctly otherwise, though, this might symbolize that your own desire for control is increasing your burdens as well as creating destructive dynamics with others in your life.

Dream of a washing machine

Dream of a washing machine

Many people take washing machines for granted when they do their laundry. For a washing machine to stand out in your dream, there might be something unusual about it.

In dormitories and apartment buildings where many residents share the same washing machine, there can often be conflict over the washing machine. There might be many people who want to use the washing machine at the same time, or maybe whoever is using the washing machine does not remove their clothes from the washing machine in a timely fashion when the cycle is done.

In this scenario, the washing machine dream meaning might not really be about the washing machine. It could symbolize that you generally feel blocked from moving forward in your life by the inconsiderateness of other people.

Washing machines can also malfunction in a way that floods the house or building with water. In this case, the washing machine dream meaning could be more about water running out of control.

Water symbolizes emotions and the unconscious, as noted in water dream symbolism. Dreaming of a flood, whether it is caused by a washing machine or anything else, can therefore symbolize an emotional eruption, as discussed in flood dream symbolism.

Dream of unusually dirty laundry

If you dream of washing clothes that are dirty beyond your average daily sweat, like clothes that have blood on them or clothes that have feces on them, this could symbolize that you feel like you have been involved in something you feel bad about. Supporting this interpretation, the idiom “dirty laundry” refers to unpleasant personal secrets.

If you are able to successfully wash the unusually dirty clothes in your dream, this could be a positive omen that you will be able to move forward from whatever is troubling you. If the clothes remain stained, though, this might show that your problem is deeper, and you may need help from someone else to deal with it.

Dream of clothes being damaged in the laundry

Dream of clothes being damaged in the laundry

If you do laundry incorrectly, clothes can be damaged. Some items shrink if they are washed in hot water or put in the dryer. Another common problem would be, for example, a red item getting washed with white items and turning them pink.

A dream of clothes being damaged in the laundry in such a way may symbolize that you or someone in your life is being careless. There might be frustrating things happening that could easily be prevented with a little more attention.

Alternately, maybe the fault is not with the washer but with the clothes. The clothes could symbolize some part of your life that is not structurally sound enough to handle even the challenge of being washed. Your journey of self-improvement may require letting go of such things.

Dream of washing clothes by hand

Dream of washing clothes by hand

If you dream of washing delicate clothes by hand, this could symbolize that you are willing to put in extra effort to clean up your life, giving each component of the process the unique care it needs.

If you dream of washing all of your clothes by hand because no washing machine is available, though, this could symbolize that things are harder than they need to be for you. Your intense self-reliance may be doing you more harm than good.

Dream of drying clothes on a clothesline

Dream of drying clothes on a clothesline

If you dream of drying clothes on a clothesline outside, this could symbolize that you are honest and open about your life with others. You may feel like you have nothing to hide.

Meanwhile, sunlight is said to be the best disinfectant. Your confidence in whatever your truth is may be rewarded by others having the willingness to deal fairly with you. Even if they don’t always think you are correct, they can see where you are coming from.

Conclusion

Laundry is generally a positive dream symbol. Even if you don’t find doing laundry to be the most thrilling way to spend your time in waking life, it usually yields a tangible result of something that was dirty becoming clean.

Many forms of cleansing that you might go through in life are not so physical or visible. A dream of doing laundry can therefore validate that a subtle process of change you have been pursuing is getting results.

Eva Sylwester

Eva Sylwester has been fascinated with the interpretation of dreams since middle school. She got a B.A. in psychology and religious studies from the University of Oregon in 2007. After that, she began exploring astrology and other new frontiers in spirituality. In her approach, the goal of dream interpretation is to help the dreamer articulate their own intuition. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, United States.

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