India: The World's Largest Laundromat
The World’s Largest Laundromat
Dhobi Ghat is an outdoor laundry located in Mumbai, India.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept, picture this: rows and rows of open-air concrete wash stations with about 7000 people washing, hanging, bleaching, dyeing, pressing, folding, organizing and transporting garments and linens 18-20 hours a day! Does that sound like a lot of action? It is - in fact, Dhobi Ghat is the largest outdoor laundry in the world. It was even awarded the title of ‘most people hand-washing clothes at a single location’ by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2011.
Dhobi Ghat is located in what's known as the Ghat Laundry District. It's name derives from the washers or “Dhobi” that make their living here. It's a trade typically passed down through generations, and most people who work at Dhobi Ghat, live in the area too. The laundry serves primarily hotels, hospitals and local families.
Long hours and a muscle power keep this amazing enterprise running smoothly. There are some machines on site, but not as many as you would imagine. In the morning, you could march to the thumping rhythm of soapy clothes being whacked on concrete... and in the afternoon, the site is a maze of colorful clean linen hung out to dry. You might wonder - why isn't the whole process mechanized? Watch this video, and more of our India series, to find out.