After writing about the Scrubba wash bag in our blog on “Keeping Clean in the Wilderness”, we (Reg and Jen) decided to test it out on our recent travels around Australia. This Australian invention looked like it might save washing time when no washing machines were available.
The Scrubba bag is basically a 13L dry bag with a flexible internal washboard inside. It works on the same principle as an old-fashion washboard, with clothing cleaned by rubbing against the washboard. The internal washboard is made from strong plastic that has small blunt spikes to create friction when you wash.
The bag is 54cm x 32cm and Scubba recommend not washing more than 2 x T-shirts, 2 x underwear and 2 x socks at once.
To wash, just put water and detergent* in the bag, roll and clip the bag closed, deflate any air out through a valve, knead the clothes for 30 seconds and then empty the water. Rinse the clothes in the bag or fresh water and you are done.
*Remember, if you are in the wilderness, use biodegradable detergents and tip any water out at least 30m from any water source.
We were impressed with how well it cleaned. While obviously not as good as a washing machine, our clothes came out looking, feeling (and smelling) much cleaner. If able to use warm water the clean was better again.
We would recommend using liquid detergent as we found powder detergent didn’t dissolve very well even after a length of time.
The Scrubba could also be used as:
We loved it. It washed much better than other bush washing options (i.e., Reg’s favourite putting his socks under a rock in a flowing stream) and it doubled as our dirty clothes bag until we were ready to do the washing.
It does take a little practice getting used to, but it didn’t take long until we worked out how to wash efficiently. We did often put slightly more clothes in than recommended and it still washed OK, but bigger and bulkier clothing will take a few loads.
For kayaking we think it is an excellent addition as it can be used as a normal dry bag for clothes or equipment, or even extra water carrier.