‘Do Laundry’ or ‘Do the Laundry’. Which is Correct?

In everyday English, we often use the expression “do the laundry” to talk about managing the pile of clothes that needs to be washed.

In everyday English, we often use the expression “do the laundry” to talk about managing the pile of clothes that needs to be washed.

I don’t have time to do the laundry now.

When putting the emphasis on the activity itself (rather than the pile of items), omit the article before “laundry”.

He doesn’t know how to do laundry.

1. Do the Laundry vs. Do Laundry

The laundry refers to the pile of clothes and linen that needs to be washed or has been newly washed.

Put the laundry in the basket.

The phrase “do the laundry” means wash and dry dirty clothes.

He did the laundry and cleaned the kitchen.

In this context, laundry is an uncountable noun, so we cannot use the indefinite article with it.

I did the laundry yesterday.

I did a laundry yesterday.

But you can use other determiners, such as “the”, “some”, “my”, “your”, “his”, etc.

Olivia did some laundry and swept the kitchen floor.

Did you do your laundry?

When thinking of doing laundry in a general sense, drop the article.

I always do laundry on Fridays.

She hates doing laundry.

Note that we leave out the article when the emphasis is on the task itself (not on the pile of clothes that needs to be washed).

Rebecca doesn’t know how to do laundry.

2. Related Expressions

Follow the same strategy with other related expressions, like “fold the laundry”, “hang out the laundry”, “dry the laundry”, etc.

I’ll fold the laundry before going to bed.

Hang out the laundry, please.

A laundry can also be a business that washes and irons clothes, or a room where clothes are washed. In such a situation, “laundry” is a countable noun, and we can use the indefinite article before it.

There is a laundry near the gym.

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