Ever tried to wash your clothes in the backcountry or the hotel sink only to have them smell just as bad as they did before you started? New Zealand company Scrubba has created a compact and lightweight wash bag based on the old-fashion washboard concept that will get your clothes sparkling clean, whether you are traveling, on a backcountry adventure, or an extended camping trip.
The secret sauce behind the Scrubba wash bag is an internal, ultra-flexible urethane washboard that features a patterned super grid surface to scrub your clothes against. Weighing just 150 grams, the wash bag folds up to fit inside your pocket or backpack when not in use.
To operate, simply add water and liquid laundry detergent to the wash bag, filled to about 40% capacity. Add 2-4 items of clothing, then tightly fold or roll down the top closure and click the quick release buckles together. Finally, pinch the valve on the front of the wash bag to expel all of the air inside the bag.
Press and rub your clothes up against the internal washboard for about a minute to remove oils, dirt and odor. For stubborn stains, the clothes may be rubbed for longer or can sit and soak in the Scrubba wash bag for 2-3 hours. When done, empty the bag, rinse your clothes, and then hang to dry. Quick and simple.
The Scrubba wash bag should perform well for more than 50-100 uses (often this will be sufficient for several months of travel or more). Washboards inherently increase the wear on clothing as the washing mechanism involves generating friction between the pieces and the washboard. No guarantees that you won't eventually end up with some holes or tears in your favorite hiking shirt from scrubbing too hard.
The Scrubba wash bag retails for $50 and can be purchased from the company website.