Public wash houses are structures for community use, generally built in the open air and covered with a roof to protect them from the rigors of the weather. They are usually open for good ventilation and lighting.
They are fed by a stream of water from a river, pond, ditch, or spring.
These popular buildings had a very important role in the development of the hygienic-sanitary conditions of the society of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as an important function in social relations, being especially the meeting and gathering place for women.
In Chelva there are currently seven washhouses, most of them still in use; the Lavadero del Górgol, the Lavadero del Baño or Lavadero de la Balsa, the two Lavaderos del Arrabal, the Lavadero de la Peirería, the Lavadero del Querefil and the Lavadero del Embarany..