Portable Washing Machine That Fits in Your Back Pocket

Travel is one of the most enriching experiences in life, but it comes with its share of incredibly annoying things. Like having to travel light but not always having access to laundry facilities. Inventor Ashley Newland was getting ready to climb Mount Kilimanjaro when she realized that she’d be able to pack very few changes of clothes and would need to wash them regularly, but obviously wouldn’t be able to do much washing on the mountain.

While most of us don’t have to worry about doing laundry on the top of a mountain, Newland realized that other travelers have probably encountered similar problems and she had a stroke of genius. Why not go back to the washboard, an invention that’s been washing clothes for hundreds of years? And the Scrubba, a portable clothes washing system, was born.

The Scrubba is a simple device that consists of a sealable bag with an interior flexible washboard that weighs just under 6.5 ounces. When folded up, the whole thing is about the size of a standard American Coke can. To wash your dirty clothes only takes 2-3 liters of water, a few drops of soap-like stuff (laundry detergent, shampoo, body wash, etc.) and 20-40 seconds of manual agitation. Then you dry your things out and you’re ready to hit the tourist trail again, smelling sweet and fresh.

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See more in Home & Personal or under Gadgets. March, 2012.

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