Living on the Road

Scrubba Portable Laundry System Wash Bag

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A 5-ounce washing machine

When traveling frequently for work, you might expect having to compromise on some everyday things. Not having access to a decent gym, eating out more than you should because it’s more convenient, and showering with tiny bars of soap are all things you can anticipate.

What came as a shock to me was how hard it can be to get your laundry done while on the road. I’ve stayed at hotels where the washing machines are broken or constantly in use by other guests more often than I thought possible, and I stay at some very nice hotels.

I’ve tried washing my clothing in the hotel sink. It works, but it’s not pleasant. Many hotels lack the stopper in the sink, so you have to bring or make your own.

The Scrubba bag has a small “washboard” with little nubs that help to get your clothing clean in a timely manner. All you have to do is add your clothing, the appropriate level of water (listed on the side of the bag), and a small amount of soap of your choice. There is a clear window on the side of the bag allowing you to see how much water you have to add based on the amount of clothing you have to wash.

After folding down the top part of the bag a few times, you clip the buckle together to keep everything contained in the bag. Let out most of the air by using the attached valve, then wash the clothing by rubbing it against the internal washboard for a few minutes. Rinse and hang to dry. Most clothing is dry within 24 hours if you wring it out before hanging.

I’ve used this for a few months now, and it has been wonderful not having to wait on an open washing or drying machine, finding an external laundromat, or (shudder) paying for the hotel staff to do your laundry for you.

It’s a little expensive, but it folds up and takes very little additional room in your luggage. I imagine it would be even more useful for camping.

-- Michael Otte 05/20/16