There’s nothing I hate more than having to hand-wash while traveling. The skin on my knuckles gets rubbed raw, my nails get bent out of shape, and it’s usually done in the dirty sink of a shared hostel bathroom.
Or a questionable looking lake. Though hand-washing is a necessarily evil when on a long trip/trek where you have to pack light and can only travel with a couple of pairs of clothes. And hundreds of travelers put up with it. But not any more.
In 2010, one Aussie traveler came up with a brilliant idea. A concept which would allow travelers to do their laundry on the road for free, and be able to wash clothes while traveling without having to use a dirty sink.
On taking a four month break from his job to travel Africa and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Ash Newland was contemplating how he would wash his clothes. He started thinking about washboards.
“They have been around for centuries and they work very efficiently. The downside is that they are bulky and require a sink or bucket. It was then that I had the idea that if we could incorporate a highly flexible washboard into a waterproof sealable bag, we had a great solution for people to wash clothes when traveling”.
And in that one thought, the world’s smallest washing machine was born. A must for every traveler – a light and easy way to quickly wash your clothes while abroad, and a much more sanitary approach than hand-washing your clothes in a communal sink. how to keep your clothes clean while traveling.
The Scrubba wash bag is a brilliant portable washing machine, and since admitting that we also travel with a microwave, you could now say that I travel with quite literally everything bar the kitchen sink!
Travel With a Portable Washing Machine: The Best Way to Do Laundry Abroad!
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Scrubba Wash Bag Review
Weighing less than an apple, the Scrubba Wash Bag is a pocket-size device that allows you to wash your clothes and travel clean, light and free. Designed for travelers, trekkers and campers, the secret to its ingenuity is the hundreds of resilient nobules that act like a flexible washboard, a fusion of old and new technology, that allows you to wash your clothes in minutes. Though unlike a traditional washboard, you can easily slip it into your backpack.
It weighs only 142 grams, washes in just 3 minutes, takes up the same space as 2 pairs of socks, and only requires 2 litres of water to work, so there’s no need to wait until you find a large water source to wash your clothes.
The plastic it’s made from is durable and tough, highly waterproof so nothing is going to seep out, and washing is incredibly simple and straight forward.
To wash clothes, simply add cleaning liquid and 2-3 liters of water, seal the bag, expel the air (there’s an air release valve located on the side of the bag) and rub for as little as 30 seconds. 3 minutes provides a machine quality wash. Rinsing can be done in the bag or in the shower and then it’s simply a matter of wringing out the clothes and hanging them to dry!
It’s easy to add the right amount of water to your laundry as there is a clear window on the side of the bag – a fantastic way to monitor your clothes and see just how much dirt is coming off. You need to be traveling with your own detergent, though hand soap or shampoo works just as well, and I found that just a little goes a very long way. Wash clothes while traveling
Pro Tip: Liquid detergent seems to work much better than others as it takes longer for powder to dissolve.
I found Scrubba is effective at cleaning around two days worth of clothes at once. While more clothing will fit, the washing efficiency is reduced when too much clothing is added. Though really, at 3 minutes per wash compared to a 45 minute cycle from a conventional washing machine, you’re still in the lead. And as an added bonus, the washbag is gentler on your clothes than that of a regular washing machine. How to do laundry while travel
So yes, I travel with a portable washing machine. As a traveler, the Scrubba wash bag allows you to do your laundry anywhere water is available. It’s lightweight, compact and self-contained (you no longer need a bucket or basin). You can travel with only a few changes of clothing in a carry-on sized bag, and the bag is so portable that even when it’s in use, you could fill it up and just leave it somewhere to soak. Or use it in transit as storage for your dirty laundry. Easiest way to wash clothes while traveling
The clothes genuinely are machine clean after washing them in the Scrubba. And it means you can wash your clothes anywhere…because the view from traditional laundry’s generally sucks!
It costs $64.95 AUD which is a decent up front cost, though for those who travel a lot this is a fantastic investment, and one you will kick yourself once you’re on the road for not having bought. You don’t realize how truly useful this is until you have it in front of you. How to do laundry overseas
We’ve also recently found out about a powerful multi-purpose cleaning device that eliminates dirt at microscopic level called Sonic Soak. Sonic Soak is the newest evolution in washing technology that utilizes ultrasonic technology to result in a deeper clean, saved time, water and energy, all in a compact package that can be taken anywhere.
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