The Scrubba wash bag is an Australian invention – a portable washing machine for people on the go. It’s easy to use. Just put your dirty clothes into the bag along with water and soap intended for handwashing clothes. Then close off the end and squeeze the air out and rub your clothes on the built-in washboard. Empty out the wash water, put in rinse water and rinse them, then hang to dry.
This invention would be especially useful when camping where there is no access to a sink or anything to wash clothes in, so long as you had a hose or river or something to fill the bag with. A bonus when using it while camping outdoors is that any water leakage doesn’t really matter when you’re outside.
On a cruise ship of course there is a sink where clothes can be washed in the bathroom without the need to pack something extra like the scrubba bag. It does however hold more clothes than the sink does, assuming you have somewhere to hang them, which is always what limits the amount you can wash at one time on a ship since hanging space is limited by the size of the bathroom’s shower or tub.
It’s hard to fill the bag in the cruise ship bathroom sink, but easy to fill it from the shower since the showerhead is always on a movable hose and you can just stick the showerhead into the bag and fill. It’s a good idea to do the washing part on the shower floor so any leakage just goes down the drain.
The scrubba bag is easy to use and works well, but personally I find just washing in the sink easier. As well needing to pack something extra, there’s also the need to find space to dry the bag in addition to the clothes. I’ve met people who packed things like collapsible buckets and a plunger to make their own washer, so for them this would be far easier to use. It would take less space in the suitcase since a bucket and plunger would take up quite a lot of space while the scrubba washbag just takes about as much as an article of clothing.
Too much hassle if you ask me. I prefer to pack a few more extra clothes to be honest. I find that you tend to wear a lot of the same clothes on a cruise anyways such as clothes to go to the pool or to quickly grab some food. And if people pack items that can be used for different outfit combinations, then I think you would not need to wash clothes. But I understand why some people have to, especially if it is a long itinerary. I would just one time use the washing machine though or maybe as you said wash a few items by hand. Better use the space for more clothes that this foldable washbag 😉
My conclusion was that the washbag is better for camping where you have less options than for cruising where you have a perfectly good sink. Some ships do have self-serve laundries, which I use if they are available. Most of our long itineraries have been on ships without them so using the washing machine was not an option. It would be pretty tough to get through a 3-4 week sailing without washing some clothes along the way. Since we spent 10 days traveling through Europe by train before the cruise where I tried this bag, I had just a backpack and a carry-on size bag, so I definitely didn’t have enough clothes for several weeks on a ship without doing laundry along the way.
I must say I have never been really on a ship that had no laundry facilities and even when I was, maybe I was not aware, the itineraries were always around 2 weeks so we always had enough clothes, but goo point about cruise ships without laundry facilities.
It depends on what cruise line you sail on. Some have guest laundries on all ships, some on some ships, and others not at all. The best one we found was P&O Arcadia where they not only had guest laundries, they were also free to use. Since we crossed an ocean on a long cruise on the Arcadia we were quite happy about that. Most of the other long cruises we have taken were on ships that did not have guest laundries. Sending your laundry out for the crew to wash for you is always an option of course, but the price for that ranges from ridiculously high to astronomical. On some cruises where they charge by the item you could buy a new t-shirt in some of the ports for less than having one washed on the ship.