“It’s just so nice to be able to do my own laundry again!” If you said this to anyone other than a long term traveler, you might be met with a raised eyebrow or two. But fellow nomads know there’s something comforting about being able to simply wash your own clothes, which is why you’ll often see it on travel bloggers’ things I love about being home type posts. Yet despite not unfounded accusations of overpacking, a washing machine definitely hasn’t made the cut onto any of my packing lists — until now.
Introducing The Scrubba Washbag
This super-light portable wash bag allows travelers to do their own laundry using no electricity and minimal amounts of water — anywhere. At just 5oz, it’s a super light addition to any backpack or suitcase. And the bonus? It’s a serious multi-tasker. It can double as a laundry bag when you’re on the road, and you can even use it to hand wash delicates once you’re back home.
How It Works
I was impressed with how simple the Scrubba was to use. First, put your clothes and powdered laundry detergent into the bag. Then, fill with water to the line that corresponds with how large your load is and roll and clip the top of the bag shut. If you’ve ever used a drybag, it’s a very similar mechanism. Next, you deflate and agitate for anywhere from thirty seconds to three minutes while the internal washboard works its magic. Finally, rinse and hang!
How many pieces can you wash at once? Scrubba’s manufacturer suggests two shirts, two pairs of underwear, and two pairs of socks as an example of the maximum load, but I also tested a pair of jeans that fit great on their own — I probably could have stuffed a t-shirt in there too.
For a great video explanation, watch here.
Why Having a Scrubba is Awesome
Sure, plenty of hotels offer wash and fold, and cheap laundry services in places like Southeast Asia can be convenient and wonderful, but those options do have drawbacks:
• Hotel laundry services are expensive. (I still wince at the $64 bill I stupidly and unintentionally racked up once having, like, two t-shirts washed.)
• Laundrys lose stuff. (Yes, I’m thinking of you, Koh Tao’s Jitson Cleaners and my favorite jean shorts!)
• You could forget your stuff at the laundry and leave the country entirely without 50% of your clothes. (WHAT I NEVER DID THAT okay it was just once. Oh, El Salvador.)
• Laundrys might not be an option! You could be camping or traveling in remote areas with no access to laundry facilities. (Or, you could be in Brussels and it could be really nice out yet you could have to spend the entire day camped in a laundromat because there are no drop-off services and you are out of underwear. For example.)
All that said, when and where cheap drop-off laundry services are available, I will probably continue to keep using them much of the time. But now that Scrubba has entered my life, there are a million irritating travel scenarios that just got easier. From now on, I’m definitely going to be setting aside my most beloved and delicate items to wash with the Scrubba so I don’t risk them getting lost or damaged. And I’m already looking forward to using the Scrubba everywhere from camping adventures like my upcoming road trip to the Grand Canyon, to luxury getaways where getting a t-shirt washed would set me back $12. It’s the best thing I never knew I needed!
Where to Buy A Scrubba
The Scrubba retails for $54.99 with free shipping at Eartheasy. I admit I wish it was priced a little more affordably, but I recognize this is an investment similar to the SteriPEN or a Clearly Filtered Water Bottle (comparison post live now!) in that it will eventually pay for itself. While you’re shopping, you might want to pick up a travel clothes line and some natural laundry soap.
Eartheasy itself is a carbon-neutral, family-owned business that promotes sustainability — my absolute favorite kind. They have all kinds of great eco-friendly gifts, home goods and travel products on their site. Have a peek!
Win A Scrubba
Now it’s your turn. Enter for your chance to be the proud owner of a brand new portable washing machine — the Scrubba washbag!
How do you clean your clothes when you travel?
Have you had any disasters like mine?
This post is brought to you by Eartheasy. I was provided with a Scrubba in order to write this review and compensated for my time in doing so. Find more travel product and app reviews here!