Some lavoirs had the wash-basins at waist height, although others remained on the ground.

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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.

Agitation helps remove the dirt, so the laundry was rubbed, twisted, or slapped against flat rocks.

One name for this surface is a beetling-stone, related to beetling, a technique in the production of linen; one name for a wooden substitute is a battling-block. Wooden or stone scrubbing surfaces set up near a water supply were gradually replaced by portable rub boards, including factory-made corrugated glass or metal washboards.A stand-alone business is referred to as a self-service laundry (laundrette in British English or laundromat in American English).The material that is being washed, or has been laundered, is also generally referred to as laundry.As such, wash-houses were an obligatory stop in many women's weekly lives and became a sort of institution or meeting place.It was a women-only space where they could discuss issues or simply chat (cf the concept of the village pump).Once clean, the clothes were rinsed and then wrung out — twisted to remove most of the water.