Aussie by name, Aussie by design. The Scrubba is an attempt to resolve the age old problem of not having enough pairs of undies to see you through two weeks of solid camping. If you don’t feel like taking my other half’s approach of wearing the same pair for days on end, and occasionally turning them inside out for novelty, you will find yourself at some point seeking out washing facilities.
Plenty of campsites offer washing facilities these days, but what options do you have when you only want to do a handful of things, or you’re wild camping, or you’re on a shoestring budget, or you just don’t want to wait two hours for your washing to finish? Enter the Scrubba. A portable washboard in bag form.
A pretty straightforward and simple design, the Scrubba is basically a dry bag with a ridged plastic addition on one side, with fill lines and the instructions handily printed on the side. I tested mine mid-holiday with a travel towel that was, quite frankly, starting to ming a bit. As it was a large towel, I used the second, larger load, fill line that’s marked on the bag, on the basis that it was about equivalent to a couple of t-shirts and pairs of socks. I added the towel, a couple of capfuls of liquid washing soap (courtesy of the travel aisle of my local supermarket back at home), and warm water, and was ready to go.
The top of the Scrubba rolls three times, and then clips together, to seal the water in, and then a small valve on the side lets out any trapped in air until the bag is just full of water. I recommend getting as much air out of the Scrubba as possible, before rolling the seal closed, as it takes ages to let it all out of the valve.
Having got yourself to the point of a fully sealed bag of washing, washing soap, and water, you find a nearby surface (I used the top of a washing machine for irony value), and rub the bag for between 30 seconds and three minutes, until ta daaaa: your washing is clean. In theory at least.
In practice, I was pleasantly surprised – after drying, my towel had lost its toothpaste stains, and no longer smelt like a recently deceased rodent. The water that rinsed away was suitably post-wash colour, as if to prove it had worked, and the bag itself didn’t leak. Portable washboard win! I started off thinking the Scrubba was a bit gimmicky, but I’m a convert – it’s now going into the permanent camping accoutrements collection.