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Scrubba Portable Washing Machine (3.5oz weight penalty)
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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Scrubba Portable Washing Machine (3.5oz weight penalty) on 02/08/2013 09:44:19 MST Print View

I can't tell if this is a gimmick or genius. I think I might have to test it, but has anyone else given this a whirl?

http://www.thescrubba.com/Scrubba


It weighs 5oz, so about 3x as much as a Sea to Summit ultra-sil dry sack in a similar size (estimating it to be about 10-15L based on the pictures).

So, you replace your dry sack with a Scrubba (multi-use!) at a weight penalty of 3.5oz, and in return, you can clean your clothes on the trail or at a water spigot, or a clean stream, or basically anywhere.

I'm very excited about this for bike touring; cleaning clothes in a rest stop bathroom is actually feasible with this guy.

Thoughts?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Scrubba Portable Washing Machine (3.5oz weight penalty) on 02/08/2013 09:52:03 MST Print View

I appreciate that they say this on their website: What do I do with the dirty water if I am camping or trekking?

If you use the Scrubba wash bag in the countryside, we recommend using an environmentally friendly laundry liquid to minimise potential damage to the local ecosystem. Most camping stores sell a range of eco laundry liquids. If washing near a water source (e.g. a river, stream, lake, etc.), we recommend that dirty water be tipped out at least 30 metres (100 feet) from the water source to prevent pollution.

And while I think it's a clever solution and pretty well thought out, at $60, even with free shipping, it's a bit much. Perhaps $30 tops. Part of that is because I don't think it will get clothes significantly cleaner than just a regular drysack.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Scrubba Pros and Cons on 02/08/2013 10:06:38 MST Print View

From what I can tell from the design, the sticky part keeps the clothes rolling over themselves while the scrubbers knead the fabric. I think it probably makes a considerable difference over a regular dry-sack, but the price is the big stopping point for me too. However... clean shorts are a gift on long trail days.

The real breaker for me is durability. If I'm gonna be kneading a dry-sack, seams have to hold. If I get, say, 20 loads of laundry out of this in a summer, I'd consider it money well-spent.

It also helps me realize the dream of living off the grid... Woo!


I looked it up on Amazon for a deal. All I found was this:Scrubba

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Scrubba Pros and Cons on 02/08/2013 10:27:02 MST Print View

Max,

Good find! I travel overseas with my job and have learned to live out of a daypack (I never check a bag) by packing one change of clothes which dry quickly and by doing my own laundry in the sink (fortunately no jacket and tie requirement). I've also done my laundry in a garbage bag or pack liner when I'm in a more remote area. I tried using a commercial laundry service in Cambodia and my clothes came back dirtier than when I dropped them off.

This is perfect for me if it works as advertised. I'm going to order one.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Same! on 02/08/2013 10:33:28 MST Print View

I think I'm going to order one as well. it just looks legitimate to me.

Here's some reviews:

http://the-gadgeteer.com/2012/07/21/the-scrubba-washbag-review-2/

http://www.popcults.com/product-review-the-scrubba-wash-bag-and-travelers-kit/

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Scrubba Pros and Cons on 02/08/2013 10:34:38 MST Print View

"I think it probably makes a considerable difference over a regular dry-sack"

Perhaps one of the science guys will chime in, but I don't think it would make a considerable difference, except perhaps on stains. Just sloshing the clothes around in soapy water is going to remove grime and 'the stink' as well in a drysack as in this, I would think, as long as you don't overload the drysack (don't stuff it full).

I remember reading about one person who simply put dirty clothes in a nalgene and soapy water in the morning. The movement of his/her pack during the hike performed the agitation, at some point in the day they'd replace the soapy water with clean water for the rinse, hike some more, then ring out and hang at camp. Worked well for them, as I remember.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Good Point on 02/08/2013 10:38:39 MST Print View

There's an argument for removing stains since the stuff in the stain can degrade a synthetic fabric. I think there's also something to be said for getting rid of things like sap. I know I run into a lot of sap in the Northeast.

I guess it depends on how much weight you're willing to add and how much you want to cut from your wallet, at the end of the day.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Soap on 02/08/2013 10:42:43 MST Print View

After some cursory research, this soap is biodegradable and super-concentrated. best weight-to-wash ratio, pack an eyedropper.

http://www.amazon.com/NaturOli-Detergent-Multi-purpose-Non-toxic-SUPER-CONCENTRATE/dp/B003C7EFA4/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1360345200&sr=1-1&keywords=extreme+18x

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Re: Scrubba Pros and Cons on 02/08/2013 10:56:03 MST Print View

I guess I don't get it...washing clothes by hand isn't very difficult if you feel the need...

Brandon =Þ
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Scrubba Portable Washing Machine (3.5oz weight penalty) on 02/08/2013 11:27:00 MST Print View

This is a really interesting idea to me, as this year my girlfriend has told me she wants to go on longer trips. When I explained I just took a single pair of underwear and washed it with sand and water or took my time fording a creek, she grimaced and said, "uhhh, no... figure something else out".

At 5oz and $60 bucks I won't be telling her that this exist, but maybe I can come up with a home grown version that will make her happy.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Other options on 02/08/2013 11:58:56 MST Print View

I like the idea behind this product but there may be cheaper options.

First idea is to throw something like this into a waterproof bag:

http://www.amazon.com/Casabella-Red-Pot-Holder-Trivet/dp/B0032AM7PQ/ref=sr_1_26?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1360349427&sr=1-26&keywords=silicone+pot+holder

Probably just cut it to size and punch some holes in it.

Suppose rinsing off some quarter sized pebbles may do the same job to agitate the clothes.

Not such a big deal in the back 40 but I would like something that works better than a hotel sink when I’m traveling without having to waste my time at a laundry mat or paying the hotel/hostel the dummy tax for laundry.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Scrubba Portable Washing Machine (3.5oz weight penalty) on 02/08/2013 12:22:09 MST Print View

I do this a fair bit while traveling so I can pack lighter. In urban settings, I just use the hotel sink or a waste basket. For the backcountry, I'd use a Sea-to-Summit dry bag.

I find it is less about the kneading and the agitation and more about time. Sure, swishing it around helps and I do a bit of that, but that could be kicked the trash can very time a commercial comes on the hotel TV, rolling it around once a minute during a lucnh break, or walking down the trail for a mile with it.

The window is cute, but completely unnecessary.

What is super helpful is a modern detergent. I'd use Tide Ultra for front loading machines. It is highest rated by Consumer Reports, available everywhere (99 cents for a small box in a laundromat), and designed for this application - a small volume of water with less vigorous agitation than a top-loading washer does. Very small quantities are very effective. A "single load" box would do 10 loads in such a dry sack. It is slightly alkaline, so don't hand-wash clothes with it a lot (stir with a stick or rinse your hands afterwards).

And don't dump the dirty water in any sensitive areas which include being near surface waters, in high-altitude / high-latitude settings or along trail corridors. In a removed and temperate area, I would feel fine about discarding it in a shallow hole. Septic systems discharge the same (and worse) all the time.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Don't Pollute! on 02/08/2013 12:57:28 MST Print View

The fact that septic systems do it doesn't make it okay for a backpacker. You should NEVER dump synthetic or chemical soap in the wilderness, even in removed areas.

Use biodegradable soap, definitely. I can't really say there's another option, other than not using soap at all.

And yeah, I've become a little disillusioned with this product after thinking about it for a great while, but I'm glad for the concept. I'll definitely be toting a dry sack for this purpose.