You have probably seen those fancy “portable” washing machines, but for quick weekend only or trips up to a week, one of those bulkier portable washing machines take up a lot of space and they require electricity. But for those on shorter trips, there is a great solution.
Meet the Scrubba Portable Laundry System Wash Bag!
This is a portable washing machine, and it folds down to a tiny triangle for storage.
And yes, I have actually managed to fold it back down to this size after using it! For those wanting to use it backpacking, the weight is only 5oz.
It is made out of quite a durable material. I was initially concerned about how well it would stand up, and despite repeated uses, it works just as well as the first day I tried it. It is also microbial-resistant, for those concerned about things like that.
Being on the go, this is a life saver when I can’t be around laundry facilities, but I don’t want to pack 30 pairs of underwear either! The instructions are easy. Fill it with clothes up to the fill line. Add warm/hot water up to the fill line, seal it up, let out the extra air in the bag then start scrubbing!
Be sure to seal it well… I usually fold it over one extra time just to be sure, I don’t want to end up wearing dirty laundry water because it wasn’t sealed well enough.
One side of the inside of the bag is covered with tiny knobbles to help agitate the clothing. If I know I have an item that is especially dirty, I place it in the bag closest to those, so I am sure they will get extra clean.
The downside, I can only fit one pair of jeans in at a time, but sometimes I cheat and throw in some small items with the jeans, such as underwear and socks, and don’t notice any difference.
In the RV, do the initial fill with warmer water (or use cold water detergent) and then cold for the rinses. I usually rinse twice, but that is just me, and if water is a concern, once works just as well. You can also easily do it in a campground bathroom too, to save the water in your tanks. Also, be sure to dump the water slowly, especially if you have a sink with the perfect angle that the water would either overflow or come back and hit you.
When I travel, I usually travel with those small packs of laundry detergent for convenience sake (I’ve used both Woolite and Tide), that way I don’t need to be concerned about a bottle spilling in my luggage. But in the RV, filling up a small bottle with detergent works well – just be sure to label it well. If camping, you will probably want to go with a camping scent-free laundry soap that is also environmentally friendly.
The one downside is that you need to wring them, as there is no spinner option. If you are drying clothes in the sunshine, it is usually not a problem but in colder weather, humidity could be an issue. If you have a fan, you can also blow on the clothing to dry it faster. I have also used spare towels to press down on garments to help draw out the excess water, which really helps.
Bottom line, I love mine, have used it lots and have seen no wear on the Scrubba at all.
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Since I bought mine, they have added two new Scrubbas to their line… The Scrubba Mini for super small loads (think a tshirt, a pair of socks and underwear) as well as a larger Scubba Stealth. While the Mini would likely be too small for RVing, the Stealth one is larger to fit more laundry in per load, but it also multitasks as a back pack and a camp shower.
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When travelling, I use Tide travel size packages which is the perfect detergent amount.
However, when I am in the RV for any length of time, I take a smaller liquid detergent bottle.