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Spick and span How the Swiss army does its laundry

When Swiss men come together to do their military service, mountains of washing pile up. Here's a look inside the Swiss army's hi-tech laundry in the town of Thun.

Military personnel skulk through forests, crawl through mud, climb mountains and march for kilometres. As a result, their uniforms get sweaty, dirty and torn. And that’s not all that army clothes go through – there’s also contact with countless sleeping bags, tents and cooking materials.

Most of the washing, mending and altering goes on in the new complex at Thun, which was renovated at a cost of CHF22 million ($22.4 million).

The Swiss photographer Christian Beutler visited the laundry – considered the most modern in Switzerland – and documented the workflow from delivery of clothes to the cleaning and ironing, via repairs and the folding of the freshly washed clothes.

(Text: Gaby Ochsenbein/

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