The Sims 3
Laundry was first introduced in Ambitions. Further laundry appliances are available in The Sims 3 Store and Town Life Stuff. The laundry feature is also available in University Life, though there is no clothesline available.
The Laundry System is entirely optional; if there are no laundry-related objects on a lot, the system will not be activated. To enable laundry on a lot, there must be either a washing machine or a laundry basket. Sims can visit the local Laundromat if the household can't afford the appliances or if they don't have enough space. When a Sims change clothes indoors, a clothing pile will be left on the floor or put in a hamper if the room contains one. Sims when changing outdoors will not leave any laundry for washing.
Players can select a washing machine and Do Laundry which will do all the laundry on the lot and then either dry it in a dryer or hang it outside an a clothesline. Clotheslines save energy, and eco-friendly Sims will always prefer a clothesline over a dryer. After that, Sims can enjoy fresh clean clothes, getting a positive moodlet and fresh clean sheets.
Sims using the cheap washer will sometimes get the Soaked moodlet. There are two additional moodlets from the cheap washer. These occur when trying to subdue a noisy washer, they are Victory Over Washer and Defeated by Washer. Both last one hour, but the positive moodlet raises their mood by 20, while the negative moodlet drops their mood by 15.
Sims can randomly find a Laundry Gnome when doing laundry using the expensive washing machine.
A common glitch is that, when a Sim or maid picks up laundry from the floor while and the washing machine is being used or the clothes basket is full, they will constantly drop the clothes and pick the clothes up again.
World Adventures includes a decorative-only, non-functioning clothesline, confusion can arise if both World Adventures and University Life are installed, but Ambitions is not.
The Sims 4
Laundry is the main feature of The Sims 4: Laundry Day Stuff. Like The Sims 3: Ambitions, the feature can be disabled simply by not having any laundry-related objects on the lot. If there are laundry objects on the lot, Sims' clothing will get dirty over time, and clothing piles will be created whenever Sims change clothes (except Hot weather and Cold weather outfits). Only one hamper is needed per lot (although the player can place more), and any sims changing their outfit on the lot in any room will automatically generate a clothing pile in the hamper. This is in contrast to The Sims 3: Ambitions where only sims changing clothes in the same room as the hamper will automatically place clothes piles into the hamper. Sims changing clothes in rooms without a hamper will generate clothes piles on the floor. In The Sims 4, the laundry system only works on residential, apartment[TS4:CL] and university housing[TS4:DU] lots. The system does not work on community lots or rental[TS4:OR][TS4:JA] lots. However Sims with dirty laundry in their inventories can bring their laundry to wash at community lots.
Dirty clothing can be collected from a hamper or directly from the ground. Sims can choose to machine-wash their clothes with the use of a washing machine and a dryer, or hand-wash their clothes with a wash tub and a clothesline. When the drying process is complete, Sims can put the cleaned clothes away to complete the cycle. If the lot has the "Off-the-Grid" lot trait, sims can only do laundry with the wash tub and clothesline. With The Sims 4: Seasons, laundry on the clothesline can get wet in the rain, and the process of drying laundry restarts when rain stops.
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