A month ago, we were introduced to the concept of a waterless washing machine that uses dry ice blasts to clean clothes. Since that sort of innovation is still far from fruition, we need something more immediate to address our first world problems: How can we have clean clothes on the go if we don’t have time to find a laundromat? Why, with Scrubba, of course! Scrubba is a light, washing “machine” in a bag that you can carry with you during any travel.
The Scrubba is a reinvention of a traditional washboard that people, back in the good old days of washing clothes outside, used in their backyards or on the river during camping trips. Inventor Ashley Newland created this portable washing bag after he planned a trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
“I realized that I would only be able to take a few changes of clothing and would have to wash them regularly,” he explained to Gizmag. “While waterproof bags can be used to soak clothing, they really aren’t very efficient. It was then that I had the revelation that washboards have been around for centuries and they work!”
Measuring at 180 grams, or 6.35 ounces, the Scrubba uses about two to four liters of water to fill the bag up plus a few drops of laundry detergent. The user fills the bag with the combined liquids and their dirty clothes and rubs the bag against a surface to scrub their items for 30 to 60 seconds. According to instructions on the Scrubba’s Kickstarter-esque page, “you really only need rub an item of clothes across a traditional washboard 4-8 times” to get to clean.
After that, it’s just a matter of rinse and hang them up to dry. No need for sinks; As long as you’re located near a water source, you can be washing your clothes anywhere without getting yourself wet during the process. So maybe it’s not a washing machine per se because it won’t do the job entirely without your dirty work, but this method of cleaning is extremely energy efficient and perfect for those who are looking to save on laundry services abroad or do not have the means to check bags to bring more clothes. However, like all washing machine concepts and gadgets, we do still wonder if the Scrubba will work on all types of fabrics. It is currently unclear whether the scrubbing teeth inside the bag is sensitive enough for gentle cotton or silk shirts and undergarments.
You can pre-order the Scrubba on IndieGoGo for $47 AUD or approximately $48.75 USD (the price includes shipping outside of Australia). The kit includes the washing bag, clothes line, microfiber drying towel, and a drawstring bag to carry it all in. The project is currently being funded to create a larger scale production of the Scrubba, so if the idea becomes big enough, we may just see the product in store shelves. In the mean time, you can be the first to own the world’s smallest, portable washing machine.