What Is It: Scrubba Wash Bag, a wash bag with a flexible washboard, in which you can hand-wash your clothes in under three minutes.
Price and Where to Buy: Around $50 on Amazon.
Pros: Do your laundry on the road for free, or hand wash at home—the Scrubba is just as effective as a washing machine. It weighs around 6 ozs, folds to pocket-size, and is easy and quick to use.
Cons: The price—the Scrubba is $50, but sometimes goes on sale on Amazon.
How It Rates:
- Usefulness: 10/10. Wash clothes while traveling without having to use a dirty sink. Tests have shown that the wash bag is twice as effective as hand-washing, and gets your clothes just as clean as a washing machine—all in just three minutes.
- Portability: 10/10. The Scrubba folds for easy storage and takes up less space than a t-shirt. It also dries extremely fast (just turn it inside out and hang), so you can pack it fairly soon after using.
- Value: 7/10. Will save you money over time if you use it instead of laundry services or laundromats, but is still an expensive initial outlay.
- Durability: 9/10. Seems durable, but comes with a warning that zips, buckles, or other sharp/hard items could puncture the Scrubba, so wash with care.
- Cool Factor: 10/10. Definitely cooler (and more sanitary) than hand-washing your clothes in a shared hostel bathroom sink.
Final Verdict: As someone who likes to pack light on trips and has no washing machine at home, I’m well experienced in the art of hand-washing. My current method: clean a sink and stop it, then swirl clothes around in a detergent-filled bath for a bit. Rinse. Needless to say, hand-washed items don’t feel as clean as ones that have taken a spin in a machine. Then I tested the Scrubba. It eliminates the sink-cleaning step, and is really easy to use. Just fill the bag with detergent, water, and dirty clothes. Then roll the bag down and deflate any extra air (using the attached valve). Rub the clothes from the outside against the interior flexible washboard for between 30 seconds to 3 minutes, empty out the dirty water, and rinse with clean water. Hang to dry, and you’re done!
I loved the Scrubba’s clear window that lets you see exactly how much dirt and grime you’re getting off the clothes. Also, the bag is so portable (even when in use) that you could fill it up, and then leave the full Scrubba anywhere to soak, which is perfect for shared bathroom situations. The clothes really do seem clean after washing them in the Scrubba.
I’m sold—and will use this to hand-wash delicate items at home, and entire outfits while on the road. It’s worth the money if you backpack, camp, travel light, or hand-wash a lot!
Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2013. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.