Laundry refers to the washing of clothing and other textiles. Laundry processes are often done in a room reserved for that purpose; in an individual home this is referred to as a laundry room, Laundry in Australian English 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 self-service laundry (launderette in British English or laundromat in North American and Australasia). The material that is being washed, or has been laundered, is also generally referred to as laundry.
Laundry has been part of history since humans began to wear clothes, so the methods by which different cultures have dealt with this universal human need are of interest to several branches of scholarship. Laundry work has traditionally been highly gendered, with the responsibility in most cultures falling to women (known as laundresses or washerwomen). The Industrial Revolution gradually led to mechanized solutions to laundry work, notably the washing machine and later the tumble dryer. Laundry, like cooking and child care, is done both at home and by commercial establishments outside the home.