Backpacking around the world with only a few changes of clothes has often meant that I have spent my fair share of time visiting laundries or scrubbing my own clothes in sinks and showers, now the Scrubba portable wash bag aims to make all of that completely redundant, and provide a sustainable solution to clothes washing at the same time!
Let’s face it, a life on the road isn’t all glitz and glamour, sometimes we have to deal with life’s mundane tasks too. For most backpackers who don’t want to carry six months worth of clean clothes on their inevitably hunched spine or end up disgusting everyone on the long distance bus by smelling like pungent BO with that week old pair of underwear, that means doing laundry.
Doing laundry on the road is relatively simple, you either find and pay a laundry to do it for you and hope that your clothes come back intact and the same size, or you wash them yourself in the sink. So either an arduous and boring task or one that will eat into your street food fund.
The Scrubba portable washing machine sorts both of those problems out for you by letting you do your laundry anywhere you like in just 30 seconds!
This basic looking canvas bag – like all the best products – is actually quite ingenious in the way it fulfills a need many of us didn’t even know we had, and works on the exact same principle as old fashioned washboards.
The flexible waterproof material is ultra lightweight and has an ultra flexible washboard built into it in the form of a series of raised bumps on the inside of the back and a strong grip material on the back.
All you do is put your clothes in, add some water and liquid soap, deflate and squeeze the bag and scrub your clothes for 30 seconds to 3 minutes, that’s it! As clothes are washed inside the bag, the raised bumps work in the same way a washing machine does to remove dirt. Depending on the load, this can – according to the instructions – take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes per load. I tried this with a pair of combat pants and 4 t shirts after a muddy day of trekking, and honestly got a machine quality wash in just over 5 minutes, and some of the clothes were particularly muddy too! In normal circumstances where I am not specifically making it hard on the product for testing purposes and just using it for an everyday wash, the time was closer to 3 or 4 minutes.
It is quicker and cheaper than a washing machine, and easier and more efficient than hand washing! Perfect!
Depending on your size and clothing options, this can easily wash three or four days worth of clothes, such as 3 or 4 t shirts, a pair of jeans or shorts and some underwear, which makes it absolutely ideal for anyone travelling ultra light or with carry on luggage only! Just make sure you pack a portable washing line too! The wash bag itself weighs only 180g when empty and compresses down to a manageable size, which means that it doesn’t even take up that much space or weight.
And it’s even good for the environment!
Anyone who reads this site regularly knows that I am a passionate advocate for responsible and sustainable travel, and this is just one more reason why I genuinely like this product. By using just 3 – 6 litres of water per load, you use up much less water than a normal washing machine would and none of the electricity in a fraction of the time. So quite apart from the practical application that it saves you money on hotel or hostel laundries, it also saves the environment.
But that isn’t all. It just doesn’t save water, it gives clean water back to those who need it the most too with a portion of all proceeds from Eartheasy going back to providing drinking water to those in need around the world, by donating to the World Vision Emergency and Prepardness Fund, involvement with Charity: Water and contributions to projects such as the Rift Vlley Reservoir project in Kenya.
What more can you want?
This is an ideal solution for any backpacker wanting to travel light and wash their gear as they travel, and the fact that by using it you are doing your bit to help the environment too without any extra effort on your part makes it a no brainer. This is a great product.
Ready to buy? You can get your very own Scrubba wash bag here.
This review was possible with a product supplied by Eartheasy.com. The views and opinions expressed are the authors own and are honest and factual without any bias. No incentives are ever accepted in return for positive coverage, and in the instances where assistance or products has been given by travel industry professionals and services, full editorial integrity is maintained and all reviews will remain honest and forthright.