(Sing with an Australian accent to the tune of your favourite ad jingle.)
“The Scrubba keeps your washing clean,
When you’re miles away from a washing machine!”
You’re standing at the bus stop, a backpack slung over your shoulder.
It’s been a wild few days.
This is the best trip you’ve ever had.
The country is poor, but there’s much to do and the people are wonderful.
Your ears pick up a faint hum.
A dusty speck grows into a chicken bus that squeaks to a halt a few metres from you.
The door opens to reveal a driver with a face tattooed by the unsteady hand of a drunken sun. On his head is a bright red trucker’s cap. He smiles a dark smile, one tooth photobombing the scene.
You smile back and step into the bus. The driver’s nose starts to crinkle and a frown forms in his eyes.
He forces his face back to its former smiliness and beckons you into the vehicle.
He coaxes the gear lever into first and stomps on the accelerator.
The bus starts crawling and you teeter to the back.
Passengers are sticking their heads out their windows as you walk by, despite the dusty ride.
Mmmm, perhaps a hint that you’re emitting malodorous miasma.
No wonder. You’ve been wearing the same shirt for a few days now.
So how will you curb the causticity?
An Australian company has something for you. It’s called the Scrubba.
Using the Scrubba means you won’t be stinking up other countries. You won’t double a country’s carbon tax the minute you get off the plane; people won’t form wide “love circles” around you; cab drivers won’t pay you to get out.
You’ll actually be able to meet people.
Because, let’s face it, to not make friends when you travel, stinks to high heaven.
The Scrubba is a portable washing bag made from materials containing microbial and hydrolysis resistant polyether TPU. It allows you to do your laundry anywhere in the world. By using the Scrubba you become a conscientious traveller with a lower carbon footprint. You’re not emitting gases that cause people to move more than they need to.
You don’t have to become vegan. Just get a Scrubba.
Let’s take a closer look at this marvellous invention.
When open, the Scrubba measures 54 cm x 32 cm (21.3 x 12.6 inches).
It folds up to 16cm x 6cm x 6cm (6.3 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches).
It’s like a thick wallet. But unlike a wallet that keeps only your earthly valuables safe, this wallet contains the key to much deeper riches. Like friendships. And a trendy pub that doesn’t run empty the minute you walk in.
The Scrubba weighs a mere 142g (just over 5oz). You can carry the lightweight Scrubba or the heavy burden of social ostracism. Your choice.
It washes enough clothes
How much clothing do you need when you’re travelling? If you’re flying over to Italy to go see La bohème at the La Scala you’re not gonna pack a suit. You’ll rent one. But you’ll need a t-shirt and some pants when you board the plane.
The Scrubba has an optimal working volume of three to four litres.
The blokes at Scrubba say that it cleans a couple of t-shirts, a couple of socks and a couple of pairs of undies.
That takes care of the necessities.
Which detergents to use
The Scrubba team has tested a variety of detergents in their product.
They recommend using a liquid detergent because it reduces washing time.
If space is a problem and you can’t afford to carry a drop of detergent, use your 3-in-1 shampoo / body wash.
A liquid detergent is preferred though, since it’s more concentrated than a shampoo or body wash.
You get these liquid detergents in eco-friendly format too. Even more reason to not become vegan.
The Scrubba team recommends you use water no warmer than 50 degrees Celsius.
If the bag’s too hot to hold in your hand, the water’s too warm.
What you can wash
You can wash almost any clothes in the Scrubba.
If you wash a pair of jeans in the Scrubba, you’ll need to remove and rotate them to ensure that all nooks and crannies come into contact with the washboard.
Take special care with your studded biker belt and that sort of thing. You don’t want to puncture the Scrubba.
If you’ve damaged the Scrubba, you might be able to repair it, provided you didn’t wreck it.
Apply some flexible glue (PVC repair glue) to the tear on the INSIDE of the Scrubba and let it dry.
On the Scrubba website:
Yes. To the original owner, Calibre8 Pty Ltd provides a guarantee against defects in materials and craftsmanship.
They don’t give a timeframe.
Don’t buy something like the Scrubba with too much hope of receiving a warranty. It’s not made from titanium. If you use it correctly it should give you years of washing. If you don’t, it won’t.
How to use
Here’s a quick vid showing how the Scrubba works.
Or follow these 15 or so steps to more hugs and smiles from foreigners:
- Open the Scrubba and hold it in the upright position.
- It’s a bag, so it won’t stand by itself.
- Add water to the Scrubba.
- Four litres maximum. The bag indicates on the side where water level should be.
- Add your detergent.
- Liquid is preferred, eco-friendly liquid even better.
- Press out the air.
- Roll the opening four or five times.
- Clip the ends.
- Use the valve to release any air still inside the Scrubba.
- Rub your clothes against the internal washboard for between half a minute and three minutes.
- Open the Scrubba.
- Remove clothes and wring dry.
- Discard of the water.
- Add fresh water (no detergent).
- Add clothes.
- Close without expelling the air.
- Shake the Scrubba to rinse the clothes.
Drying your clothes
Roll your wringed out clothes into a Scrubba towel. Compress and wring the towel to transfer the wetness from your clothes to the towel.
Hang your clothes to dry using the Scrubba Travel Clothes Line.
Make sure your Scrubba lasts long by following these steps.
Clean it after use:
- Rinse the Scrubba after use.
- Turn it inside out.
- Hang to air dry (in shade, if possible).
Take these precautions:
- Avoid extreme sunlight or heat.
- You could damage the Scrubba if you expose it to temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius.
- Dry in the shade, if possible.
- Be careful when washing clothes with buckles, zips or other bling.
- Wrap ornamental clothing to cover hard items.
- Do not use the Scrubba on sharp or abrasive surfaces.
- Clear the surface of sharp objects, like twigs, where you want to use the Scrubba.
I thought this was an Irish joke when I read it. But ‘Strue’s Bob, there, on their website you’ll find inflatable hangers. And they look cool. Might order some. Seems like a great conversation starter.
“So, do you come here often? No? But I have inflatable hangers.”
They’re sensible, since you won’t be able to carry a set of standard hangers with you.
If you’re getting the Scrubba, you might as well invest in a set of these.
The Scrubba looks like an amazing product.
It’s far better than the alternative, which is walking around smelling like a cadaver who’s eaten garlic and onion broth.
“…and they have this strange custom in their country. They form what they call a ‘love circle’ around foreigners, kind of like what you guys are doing now…”