Two travel products that have proved to be exceptionally helpful on my recent trip to India, are the Scrubba wash bag, and the LifeStraw Go self-filtering water bottle. My reasons why, in a nutshell, are; tap water isn’t drinkable in India, and it’s so hot that your clothes are constantly getting sweaty and dirty.
Admittedly, I have washed my dirty clothes in plenty of hotel showers and sinks in the past, but what makes the Scrubba so much more convenient, is that is has an actual built-in wash board (just like in the good ‘ole days), so it really allows you to scrub your clothes clean and soak them, without making a huge mess or wasting a ton of water.
I’ve also used a self-filtering water bottle before in South Africa, but after trying out the LifeStraw Go’s 2-stage filtration system here in India, I can definitely see, and taste a clear difference.
I’d recommend both travel products for any type of travel, especially longer trips that you’re trying to pack light on, and trips that involve hiking, backpacking, camping, or general travel to an area where you aren’t sure about the water!
Here’s how to use both products:
How to Use a Scrubba Wash Bag
1. Place dirty clothes in the Scrubba
Keep in mind that this is not a real electric washing machine. Don’t try to pack it with a ton of clothes, or heavy material, otherwise you won’t be able to scrub it all using the built-in scrub board. The Scrubba works best for t-shirts, underwear, socks, and other light items you can easily swish around inside the wash bag.
2. Fill the Scrubba with water and add soap
In an attempt to conserve water, I use the excess water from my shower to fill up my Scrubba bag, and also to rinse the clothes. AKA, I shower and do my laundry at the same time, two birds, one stone, boom.
Anyway…fill the bag with water just above your clothes, then add some soap. I bring powder detergent with me in a plastic bag, but regular hand soap, or even shampoo can work too!
3. Close the Scrubba and Release Air
The wash bag is like a dry bag; you roll the top down a few times, then clip it shut with the attached clips. This is what keeps the water inside…which I guess is the opposite of what a dry bag would do.
Try to squeeze the air out of the bag before rolling it down, but if there’s still some in there after closing it, use the little plastic valve to release the excess air, so that the bag is flexible enough to scrub against the scrub board.
*NOTE: You have to squeeze the base of the plastic valve to get the air out – kind of like what you’d do when you’re trying to blow up a pool float.
4. Scrub the Scrubba!
Lay the wash bag on a flat surface, with the scrub board side down. Then, grab the bag and your clothes, and scrub them in all different directions against the little scrub board! You’re supposed to scrub for three minutes, but I found it helpful to shake the bag (as hard as possible) every minute or so to move the clothes around so that I got all pieces and areas of my clothes.
If your clothes are really dirty, you can also let them soak in the bag for an hour or five, then give them a good scrub down before rinsing.
5. Drain and Rinse
Once you’re done Scrubba-ing, the directions say to use the little plastic valve to drain the dirty water…but I found it much easier to just open it and dump the water out. You have to open it up anyway to fill it up with clean water to rinse the clothes, then dump it out again.
When you rinse, close the bag back up and shake it around to get all the soap out. It may take several rinses, or, if you’re in the shower, you can just rinse the clothes by hand.
6. How to Dry Your Clothes
One annoying misfortune about hand washing your clothes when you travel, is that it sometimes takes a while for them to dry. BUT! Not to fear! I have several travel tips for this little problem that actual work really well!
Wring your clothes out as much as possible by twisting them tightly and squeezing
Lay clothing flat on a bath towel, then tightly roll them in it, and let sit for an hour or so
Hang clothes outside, or in front of an air/heat vent
If you’re in a hurry, or need to de-wrinkle your clothes…USE A HAIR DRYER!!! You’re welcome.
[Video]: How to Use A Scrubba Wash Bag
How the Self-Filtering LifeStraw Go Water Bottle Works
There isn’t really a step-by-step process for using the LifeStraw Go self-filtering water bottle; you simply fill it with water from a sink, stream, or “even a puddle”, then sip the water through its 2-stage filtration system. Since I’m pretty sure everyone knows how to fill up a water bottle and drink from it, I’ll list some facts and information about the LifeStraw Go instead:
Award-winning technology filters at least 1,000 liters of water over its lifetime
It uses advanced micro filtration membrane technology that removes up to 99.999% of bacteria and protozoa
Therefore it greatly reduces the risk of getting diarrhea, dysentery, and Giardia
LifeStraw was first developed in 2005 as an emergency response tool to filter contaminated water after natural disasters
Its technology has been beneficial to people living in developing countries who lack access to safe water
When the filter has reached the end of its working life, you will no longer be able to sip through the LifeStraw (filter can be replaced)
Alyssa is a full time solo adventure traveler who turned her love for traveling and writing into a self-made career as a travel blogger and social media influencer. She's been to 70 countries and 6 continents so far, as well as all 7 New World Wonders, and 7 Wonders of Nature. Alyssa believes she has mastered the art of chasing waterfalls, traveling solo, packing light, wine drinking, and making budget-traveling look good. Curious to know how she started this career? Check out the About section above!