Prison Architect Wiki

A Laundry room needs Prison Labour to be able to have dirty prisoner clothes collected and washed. If no prisoners are assigned to the room, janitors will carry out the job.

Prisoners will use Laundry Baskets to collect and distribute clothes around your prison.

While working in a laundry room, prisoners will sometimes take all the Laundry Baskets out of the Laundry room, making the room not fulfill its requirements. Even so, the Laundry room will remain functional with prisoners continuing to work and eventually bringing laundry baskets back to the laundry.

Tip: The optimal size of the Laundry room is 160m², each 4m² allow you to add a working prisoner in the Laundry (max 40). This is an 10x16 room (or equivalent).

Clean clothing will first be placed in a pile when it enters the prison, and then moved into a Laundry Basket by janitors and prisoners. The prisoners will proceed to deliver clean clothing and take back dirty clothing. Prisoners will use clean clothing after a shower or during free time, depending on what is set on the regime. The dirty clothing is washed in a Laundry Machine, ironed on an Ironing Board and then delivered again. As of Alpha 21, the janitor(s) helps the prisoners even when it isn't working time.

Note: Do not mark the door space as part of the room or you won't be able to assign prisoners to the laundry.


Each laundry room can service an unlimited number of cells. It is possible to designate the cells which a laundry will service through the Logistics Screen.

Assigning multiple canteens/cell blocks to one kitchen/laundry/canteen: Hold SHIFT while left-clicking each destination.

If a laundry has not been manually set cells to service, it will be allocated cells based on location and security level (i.e. a min-sec laundry room will serve min-sec cells).

It is important to check the laundry logistics screen regularly, especially after making changes to cell blocks, as it is easy for cell blocks to be re-allocated a laundry.


  • 1 basket can service 16 inmate cells
  • 1 Laundry machine can service 4 baskets
  • It takes 2 ironing boards to service 1 laundry machine
  • Summary: 1 Laundry Machine + 2 Ironing Boards + 4 Laundry Baskets + 5 workers = laundry service for 64 inmates
  • An efficient working room for 20 workers is 80 tiles (10x8 or equivalent) with 4 Laundry Machines, 8 Ironing Boards and 16 Laundry Baskets. An extra machine and some extra baskets won't hurt and may be used by janitors. 4 to 5 machines are enough to service 256 prisoners. (Make sure the tiles marked for each laundry room do not touch or overlap or the game will consider it one large room)
  • Paths from the laundry to cells should be tiled even if outdoors, creating sidewalks from concrete tiles keeps movement fast. Prisoners attempting to bring the carts across grass or dirt take so long that the laundry service typically fails.
  • Don't add too many baskets. Baskets are only used to deliver clothes when they are full. Clothes get spread between baskets, so if you have too many baskets, you'll never have a full basket to deliver.
  • In a larger prison, a few extra baskets in the laundry room will keep the prisoners cycling better without triggering the room to be marked as incomplete (when all the baskets get taken out)

Additional Efficiency Notes[]

  • Baskets usually hold 20 prisoner uniforms, however, uniform stacks can exceed this number, so it is possible that one basket may hold more than 20.
  • The number of prisoner uniforms needed is 1.5 times either the number of beds or prisoners (use whichever is biggest to calculate.
  • The laundry machine is loaded with dirty uniforms and does not need a prisoner to work it. The more uniforms being washed, the longer it takes.
  • Prisoners will not intelligently load the washing machines, so extra washing machines are useless unless there is a demand for them.
  • The ironing board needs to be operated by a prisoner but will stop ironing when 20 clean uniforms have been stacked.
  • The laundry machine takes 10 (in-game) minutes to wash one uniform (3.3 hours for a stack of 20 to be cleaned)
  • The ironing board takes 5 minutes to iron one crumpled uniform (1.6 hours for a stack of 20 to be ironed)


  • Laundry was added in Alpha 9.
  • In Alpha 10, Ironing Boards were also added and several laundry bugs were fixed.
  • As of Alpha 16, Janitors help the prisoners with the laundry.