Laundry is the washing of clothing and linens. Laundry processes are often done in a room reserved for that purpose; in an individual home this is referred to as a laundry room or utility room. An apartment building or student hall of residence may have a shared laundry facility such as a tvättstuga. A stand-alone business is referred to as a laundrette (laundromat). The material that is being washed, or has been laundered, is also generally referred to as laundry.
The Industrial Revolution completely transformed laundry technology.
The mangle (or “wringer”in American English) was developed in the 19th century — two long rollers in a frame and a crank to revolve them. A laundry-worker took sopping wet clothing and cranked it through the mangle, compressing the cloth and expelling the excess water. The mangle was much quicker than hand twisting. It was a variation on the box mangle used primarily for pressing and smoothing cloth.
Meanwhile, 19th century inventors further mechanized the laundry process with various hand-operated washing machines. Most involved turning a handle to move paddles inside a tub. Then some early 20th century machines used an electrically powered agitator to replace tedious hand rubbing against a washboard. Many of these were simply a tub on legs, with a hand-operated mangle on top. Later the mangle too was electrically powered, then replaced by a perforated double tub, which spun out the excess water in a spin cycle.
Laundry drying was also mechanized, with clothes dryers. Dryers were also spinning perforated tubs, but they blew heated air rather than water.