Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Review: Scrubba washbag
I was lucky enough to be given a new piece of camping and travel gear for my birthday and I've finally gotten around to writing it up. I took it with me to Bali on a recent holiday, although it didn't get a very thorough workout there. This is the Scrubba washbag
The Scrubba is essentially a dry-bag which has been fitted with an internal washboard surface, a viewing window and an air vent, in addition to the watertight bag and roll-top closure
As a modern and convenient take on the old fashioned washboard, the Scrubba wash bag enables you to achieve a machine quality wash in just minutes. I wanted to give it a fairly good test, so I found a couple of t-shirts with some pretty suspicious and gross stains, and a couple of pairs of socks to give a good indicator of what it is capable of, and a standard travel-load of washing.
The Scrubba is pitched as perfect for holidaymakers, business travellers, backpackers or even for washing gym and cycling gear. The bag weighs less than 145g and folds to pocket-size, as with any dry-bag, making it small enough to take anywhere. I used it as a wet-clothes pack when on the last legs of our Bali trip, to stow Tactical Baby and Triceratops Girl's beach clothes before we headed off for the airport.
Here's how you use the Scrubba for its designed purposes:
2. Roll & Clip: I removed the excess air from the bag by scrunching it down, then rolled down the top around 4-5 times to get a good tight seal, and then clipped the ends shut, as you would with any dry-bag.
3. Deflate: By opening the nipple cap and squeezing the valve, as you would on any set of arm floaties, inflatable sheep or camping mattress, you need to expel all remaining air from the Srubba wash bag. This gives you a good working volume with which to scrub your clothes. Too much air leaves the bag inflated like a bag balloon and makes it hard to work the clothes. Too much water can have a similar effect, but less noticeably.
4. Rub: By pressing down and rubbing clothes against the Scrubba’s unique internal flexible washboard, which is a moulded-in set of nipples set into the back wall of the bag. Rubbing for 30 seconds gives you a quick traveller's wash and going for around 3 minutes should do for almost a machine quality wash. I wondered how my fairly scungy shirts and socks would fare, and was not surprised to see the water darken and grey-up. There was surprisingly little froth, probably due to the lack of air in the well vented bag.
5. Rinse: Uncliping and unrolling the Scrubba’s seal is as easy as it is to roll up. Removing dirty water from the Scrubba is as simple as carefully up-ending it to mouth it from the wide-mouth opening. I took care to retain my freshly washed clothes, and not dropping it in the dirt again. I wrung out my clothes to remove as much of the grey-water, and then tossed them all back in. I rinsed the clothes with another couple of Liters of water in the Scrubba and gave it a good shake, with the roll-top closed but not evacuated of air, and again poured it off, and wrung out my clothes. You could just as easily rinse them under a running tap or shower, but I wanted an all-in-the-bag method.
I hung my freshly scrubbed clothes out, and left them on the line overnight. In the morning, I was pleased to find not only did my shirts and socks look much cleaner, but they also smelled much better. The Scrubba bag had certainly worked well enough for a travel, camping or survival setting. I might not want to do my next job-interview in a Scrubba-washed suit, but if I were traveling and spilled cooled monkey brains down the front of my dress-short, I might certainly look to pull the Scrubba out to set me fresh for my next engagement.
Well worth looking into if you're either traveling off-grid, or frequently grot yourself up. I'm thinking it would make my next Tough Mudder trip home a lot cleaner!