John Mayer hand-washes his vintage t-shirts in hotel sinks when he’s on the road

Let’s be clear: I do not like John Mayer. I find him problematic and narcissistic. But occasionally, I enjoy his interviews. He is an interesting guy in some ways, and one of the best things about him is that he’s a collector and he really loves his many collections. He’s a major watch collector – his collection is worth tens of millions – and he also collects less expensive things, like vintage band/tour t-shirts. That collection inspired his latest cross-promotion/sponsorship – he’s doing a line of liquid detergent with The Laundress. Which is why he chatted with Vanity Fair about hand-washing his clothes and all of that.

Whether he always does his own laundry: “I have someone who comes to the house and does laundry a lot of the time. But Sundays, I just do a couple of loads, just to feel like I’m involved in my own life.”

His collab with The Laundress, called Way Out West. There’s a liquid detergent and a fabric mist, both scented with a mix of sandalwood, neroli, and pepper. (Mayer, the nostalgic, even picked up CK One–like whiffs off his sweatshirt the other day.) For him, the project is rooted in routine and sustainability and a love for vintage T-shirts so perfectly beat-up, they’ve graduated to “hand-wash only.”

He hand-washes his t-shirts on the road: The genesis of this collaboration is Mayer’s own practice of hand-washing shirts on tour: a practical thing, when faced with uncertain turnaround times for hotel cleaning services, not to mention the risk of losing something in a strange city. “You’ll start learning how many sinks on the road don’t have good gaskets in them when it comes time to close the stopper,” he says, miming the churning motions with his hands. “I’ve also found that I get extra love from housekeeping”—little towels underneath toiletries, cords neatly wrapped—“when they see that Mr. Rich Guy in the presidential suite” is washing his own clothes.

His collections: “I got through the phase of my life where it was all about procuring stuff. And then it became, how do I take care of this stuff?” Mayer likes ferreting out his idiosyncrasies— that, for instance, he will baby a $300 vintage tee that’s already been through the gauntlet. “You’re scared to wear it to bed now because this is your ‘good’ shirt?” he jokes. “But I start hand washing these things that have already been through a machine cycle a thousand times.”

He’s so afraid of the washer: “All of my laundry fails involve heat and rotation.”

[From Vanity Fair]

Damn it, why is this so appealing to me? I think it’s my Virgo sh-t – I love when people take joy in mundane tasks like doing laundry, folding laundry, crossing off a to-do list or cleaning jewelry. It just appeals to me. And if I had a lovely collection of vintage t-shirts, I would probably hand-wash too. It’s always tough though – when I handwash cotton, sometimes it will dry too “stiff.” Perhaps this product takes care of that! And I do enjoy the idea of a rich rock star in the biggest suite of the hotel, gently hand-washing his t-shirts. Also, I still feel like crying when I think of my favorite dark green REM/*Star Me Kitten t-shirt and how I wore it so much that the fabric just broke down. SOB!!

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Mayer’s IG.

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