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“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.

Scrubba Review

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.

Scrubba Review

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!

Scrubba Review

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!

Scrubba Review

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

How do you clean your clothes when you travel?
Have you had any disasters like mine?

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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!

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111 Comments...
  • Jenia
    July 12 2015

    that’s a very interesting concept – I was kind of excited to try it until I saw the price tag. The thing is, how different is it to use a scrubba bag by agitating it for a few minutes vs. just washing your t-shirt and delicates in the sink? We went for a year of doing the sink method mixed in with giving our laundry to wash for a fee (which was also mostly a river/sink method), and felt pretty good about it. In fact, I would say that now that we are home and use regular washing machine for our laundry, I have noticed that hand-washing actually gets my clothes cleaner!
    Jenia recently posted..Spaces Around the Globe: Hungary’s Parliament – Budapest

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      I don’t know why, but I seem to really struggle with hand washing in a sink. I think the internal washboard inside the Scrubba is what gets things really clean, and I don’t know how to replicate that by hand in a sink? I always ended up just like, rubbing the clothes together, but it never really worked very well for me! Any tips from an expert? 😀

  • Rachel
    July 12 2015

    I’ve been looking at the Scrubba bag for ages but haven’t been able to justify the cost given how rarely I get to travel these days, so this giveaway is super exciting for me!
    On a side note I love that your reviews, partnerships and giveaways seem so consistent with your personal values and brand, it really emphasises your integrity as compared to some other bloggers who will shill anything. Keep up the good work

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Thank you Rachel! That is a really lovely compliment and means a lot to me. Good luck!

  • Sarah
    July 12 2015

    I was thinking this was a fantastic idea until I saw it’s price. I’ve never been one for the filter bottles (bottled water is cheap) or any other gadgets like that.

    However, I handwashed everything for months and months and months when travelling for myself and my boyfriend and something like this would probably save me time.

    I still would not pay that for it. Thanks for the review Alex!
    Sarah recently posted.. Bingo, Buns and Bras

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Bottled water might be cheaper in the short run, but the filtered bottles will actually save money in the long term as you can use them hundreds of times! If you drink a bottle of water a day on a trip, a Clearly Filtered bottle can pay for itself in a month. And actually, for me that is the least of the benefits — I cringe when I have to use single use plastics as I feel so guilty over the unnecessary environmental ramifications. But the long run financial benefits don’t hurt 🙂

  • Rachel
    July 12 2015

    What a brilliant product! This would solve so many laundry hassles on the road. Even though it’s a bit pricey, I think that by saving money on laundry costs over the long term, it would end up paying for itself. Thanks for sharing! I had no idea a product like this existed!
    Rachel recently posted..Sunday Selections

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      I actually didn’t either, until Eartheasy approached me… I need to get more on top of the travel trends!

  • Leah
    July 12 2015

    Interesting concept! This would definitely be handy when all I need to wash are a few pairs of underwear or the shorts I wear every day (not gross, right?).
    Leah recently posted..Friday Snapshots: Three Days in Tirana, Albania

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      SO true. I totally wear things more than once before washing them, so I often just have like, seven pairs of underwear and a t-shirt that need washed, and feel a little silly dropping those off at a laundry. Would be great to be able to wash them myself.

  • Melanie Walter
    July 12 2015

    Love this concept, especially traveling with a little one.

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Didn’t think of that, but I bet it would be great for washing out onsies and bibs at the end of a day!

  • Lauren
    July 12 2015

    I don’t know how you do it! You just took a product review and made it funny, adorable and totally personal. It didn’t feel pushy or cheesy or forced. That’s a serious skill. Plus now I really want one!

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      You’re too sweet Lauren, thank you! You made my morning 🙂

  • Fatemah
    July 12 2015

    Brilliant concept and thanks for the review (and creating such a fantastic giveaway – fingers crossed)

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Good luck, Fatemah!

  • Jenna Thomas
    July 12 2015

    We got the Scrubba as a gift before we left on our year of travel, and it has come in handy countless times, especially while camping/living in a van in New Zealand for three months (doing laundry in a campground sink–not an option). I still love sending my clothes out to be washed if it’s cheap, but this is a major money-saver everywhere else.
    Jenna Thomas recently posted..The Kelebek Hotel: Our favorite hotel in the world

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Yeah, I notice a lot of hostels explicitly ban doing laundry in the sinks — I’m guessing the campgrounds did too?

  • Shoshana
    July 12 2015

    This would be amazing to have when you just have a few things to wash. And it would have saved me from loosing a LuLuLemon SportsBra in Cambodia…

    If it’s anything as amazing as the SteriPen has been while camping, it’s worth the money! Great idea!

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      I feel for you Shoshana! There are a lot of things that are easy and cheap to replace in Thailand but jean shorts for a someone who isn’t a size 0 are not one of them. I was devastated to lose one of my two pairs!

  • Ashley
    July 12 2015

    This would be so handy to travel with! And I feel like it’s something I’d probably use at home, as well.
    Ashley recently posted..Expat in Edinburgh: Month 2

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      I think so too. I’m crap at handwashing and I feel guilty putting a few lacy things in a big ‘ol washer just to use the delicates cycle! This is the perfect compromise.

  • Janine
    July 12 2015

    Great review and think it would be a great addition to any backpacker’s list.

  • justine
    July 12 2015

    That’s so cool! It would be really nice to actually keep all of my go to items clean while on the road. Like my jean shorts…Come to think of it I could have totally used this during my recent trip to the Philippines!
    justine recently posted..6 Reasons I’m So Excited to Return to the US

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      I know, in retrospect I can think of so many times this would have come in handy! Ah well, I have it now 🙂

  • Well, add this to the list of things I never knew I needed but now I want desperately!! Awesome concept and definitely something I’m interested in trying – I wonder do they have a money-back guarantee if you don’t LOVE it? May be a good way to get people to purchase it considering it is a bit spendy!
    Shelly I Norway to Nowhere recently posted..Snorkeling, Sunsets and SUP Yoga: What to do in Key West

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Interesting question Shelly, and a good idea given the steep price tag. I’ll ask!

  • va
    July 12 2015

    i hope this giveaway is open to all internationally and i like this concept of traveling and having an eco friendly washbag . nice idea !

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      The eco-friendly part is definitely a nice bonus. Love that it’s electricity free and water conservative!

  • Kate
    July 12 2015

    Ooh, love the idea of the Scrubba! I feel like there are plenty of times I could even use it at home when I get something on a shirt or skirt and don”t feel like doing a whole load of laundry. 🙂

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Yup, or even like I realized in my reply to Leah, when you’re traveling and just have some undies to wash… you don’t have to wait until you get a bunch of other stuff dirty before you can drop off a load of laundry!

  • Chintan
    July 12 2015

    This is great! I didn’t heard about this before, this a great saving tool especially when you are on holiday, it can save you a lot of money. Price is ok, but if we can use this bag for couple of times then it is a perfect piece of art.

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Yup, it really can be a money saver in the long run. It would be a great gift for someone leaving on a shoe-string trip!

  • Leigh
    July 12 2015

    Cool concept! For now, I use the little laundry soap leafs that REI sells, and just use the hotel sink.
    Leigh recently posted..San Diego – Business and Pleasure!

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      I always struggled with that, which is probably why I’ve so avoided it… I never felt like my clothes got REALLY clean. I feel like the internal washboard in the Scrubba is so key and probably what was missing from my equation. Considering what a disaster I am in the kitchen as well, perhaps I can chalk this up to just not being very domestically skilled 😀

  • LC
    July 12 2015

    Sounds like it would be great for washing delicates in, if you live in an apartment with no laundry sink (I have been washing mine up until now in my bathtub, which seems somewhat ill-advised.)

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Oh man LC, YES! This would have been to key when I lived in a fourth floor walk up in Brooklyn with no machines in the building. We had to use laundromats and I would have LOVED being able to wash a few key things neatly and efficiently right in my own apartment.

  • Sarah
    July 12 2015

    this sounds great!
    I’m still mourning a bunch of clothes lost in laundry services, so I definitely need a Scrubba!
    Sarah recently posted..Sisterhood of the world bloggers award

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      I feel you Sarah. I see postings on our Koh Tao community board all the time from people who have lost a beloved favorite item. I always empathize!

  • Nicole
    July 12 2015

    I think this would be great on a boat too!

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Ah, indeed it would Nicole! Another great use…

  • Ashley
    July 12 2015

    This seems like an intriguing substitute to bathroom sinks! I’ll probably wait until I get on the road before seriously considering it, but as soon as I lose my first pieces of clothing to the cleaners, I’m sure I’ll be kicking myself!
    Ashley recently posted..Sunday Funday [on Saturday]

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      May you never know that terrible pain, Ashley 🙂

  • Carolina
    July 12 2015

    Oh, I love the idea of the Scrubba. I like it even more because it was invented by an Aussie (a bit of local patriotism there, and I’m not even from AU, I just live here!)

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Ha, I think a dose of adopted patriotism is a lovely thing, Carolina 🙂

  • Mary B
    July 12 2015

    Oh man! I’d been debating about whether to get one of these for an upcoming 3-month trip, and ALMOST asked for it for Christmas. Now I’m wishing I had! It also would have come in handy on this two-week road trip I’m nearing the end of. I have absolutely no clean clothes right now… just some that are less dirty than others!

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      How did I not know this existed before? I’m impressed with how many of you have heard of it! I need to get with the times, here!

  • Sarah S
    July 12 2015

    so neat! could it be used as a backup drybag in a pinch?

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Hmmm, interesting idea, Sarah! I think the biggest issue would be that it has no strap, so it wouldn’t be great for carrying as a day bag or anything. But for keeping something dry inside your backpack or suitcase, yeah, I think it could be great!

  • Chelsea
    July 12 2015

    This would be great! I hate paying a ton of money just for laundry. Even when it’s cheap I worry about my delicate items coming back ok.

    • Alex
      July 13 2015

      Ugh, yeah, I didn’t even touch on that, but I definitely have clothes that have been destroyed by over-aggressive laundry services. South America was a serial offender. I have no idea what kind of Hulk-machines they were using down there, but it tore my crappy clothes to shreds!

      And most of the things I’ve lost and really mourned were super cheap too (I don’t really buy expensive clothes.) They were just the perfect fit or otherwise perfect — and irreplaceable.

  • Julianna Bull
    July 12 2015

    I would have loved this thing on my year long trip through South America where I discovered that laundry is not nearly as cheap as it was in SEA. I definitely want to give it a try for future trips and would even consider buying one or two for my other travel buddies if it lives up to the price tag 🙂