Even if you’re wardrobe isn’t worthy of a Real Housewife, you may still have a few items that are handwash only: sequin dresses, lace, some wool clothing. Tossing these in the washing machine can cause damage, so it’s best to actually follow the label’s instructions. To make the process a little less messy than swirling your garments in the sink, the company behind portable wash bag Scrubba created Allurette.
Smaller and with a less rugged washboard than the Scrubba, the Allurette is a bag that lets you handwash while keeping your hands away from the detergent-filled water. It holds a few garments — a couple of bras, a few pairs of underwear, and a camisole, for example, or a pair of yoga pants — and it takes a few minutes to wash them.
Put your clothes in, add some water (eight cups for a small load, 14 cups for a larger one), pour in detergent, roll down the top and fasten a clip to keep it closed, and then use the valve to let out the air and deflate the bag. For between 30 seconds and three minutes, you rub the bag so your clothes press against the washboard inside the Allurette. Then you pour the water out and add more to rinse. Close up the bag again and shake it gently to get rid of the soap suds. Finally, you want to gently squeeze the water out of your sopping clothes, but gently, so as not to ruin the fabric.
I got a chance to test out the Allurette. The bag folds down to a pretty portable size, and the instructions are easy to follow. I tested it out with a couple different items, like bras and a sequined dress. The bag kept the water contained, though it’s still probably best used in a laundry room or bathroom. The valve made it fairly easy to deflate the bag, though I had to open and close it a couple times to get all the air out.
The bag doesn’t hold a ton of clothes, so you obviously don’t want to use it all the time, though the company does specifically say it’s good for activewear. Eight cups of water (64 ounces) feels like a lot, and that’s for smaller loads. An efficient washer, however, uses 13 gallons (1,664 ounces) or less for an eight-pound load, so you could wash a few sports bras every week and not come close to the amount of H2O you use for a normal wash cycle.
Allurette has a few tips, like using a detergent made for handwashing and keeping the water warm or cold rather than hot. The amount of detergent you should use is sort of ambiguous, and the company suggests checking to see if you still have suds after 30 seconds of rubbing; if so, you should use less soap the next time.
The Allurette is currently available on Indiegogo for $37, which is 33 percent off the expected retail price. If all goes well, the company should start shipping in May. As with any crowdfunding campaign, it’s backer beware, even with a company that has a history of producing products like Scrubba.