A review of the Scrubba Wash Bag for travelers

Laundry is a major fact of life for a long-term traveler with a tiny wardrobe — but for any traveler, it’s a huge bonus to know that you can have clean socks and underwear whenever you need them.

Scrubba packs down VERY small and weighs almost nothing. Also, it can double as your laundry bag or be used as a drysack.

The Scrubba Wash Bag is a compact, lightweight, waterproof bag with an internal “washboard” of rubbery nubbins to help get clothes clean. It’s priced at about $50, so it’s not a cheap item, but I finally bought one because I was tired of wrestling with laundry.

The Trouble With Travel Laundry

In so much of the world, hot water is only piped into the shower, so if there’s no tub, there’s no handy place to do washing. Shallow, awkward, or leaky bathroom sinks add to the problem. Sometimes getting laundry done is a breeze when I’m traveling, but other times it’s a nightmare. And I was always questioning just how clean my clothes were really getting.

Of course, if you’re camping, you don’t even HAVE a sink! The Scrubba would be invaluable to me if I was long-term camping.

How to Scrubba

I’ve been traveling with my Scrubba bag for about three months now, and it’s gotten a heavy workout. Here’s how it works: You put your clothes in the bag, add a little soap and enough warm water to cover them, close the watertight seal, and let the excess air out through a valve. Then you massage your clothes clean against the internal washboard surface.

When you pour out the water, you can plainly see just how gross your clothes were. A quick rinse in a similar fashion (sometimes I rinse twice) and your clothes are ready to squeeze and hang.

There are lines on the side of small or large loads. (these terms are relative, the Scrubba doesn’t hold much!)
After you sqeeze out the air, massage your clothes clean against the internal washboard surface.
These are the nubbins inside that get your clothes clean.

Pros and Cons of the Scrubba

Pros: The Scrubba gets clothes really clean, and it’s faster and more efficient than the sink method. It’s a huge help in situations where hand-washing is not ideal, such as when the sink won’t stop leaking or is too shallow to accommodate laundry, or when you’re outdoors. It doubles as a dry sack, or you can use it as your laundry bag, and it’s very compact and weightless.

Cons: The bag will only wash a very tiny load at a time – some socks, underwear, and a shirt or two. When I’m using it, I’m doing laundry almost daily. The price tag (around $50) is a little steep, but I was really glad I treated myself to this.

Available at Amazon

I recommend Campsuds biodegradable laundry soap with this – a tiny bottle will last you forever.

Author

Lauren Haas is a nomadic freelance writer. She has been traveling the world, living out of a backpack, since May of 2013. Lauren has written regularly for CBS Local, WebPsychology, Hipmunk, and Hotelplanner, and has also been published in The Culture-ist, Matador, and other online and print publications.

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