As exciting as a journey can be for us avid travelers, when it comes to washing clothes, we surely wish we could take our washing machines along! Fret not, this Buzzle article will give you a list of products you’ll need for doing your laundry while traveling, and that too, with ease.
Caution: Be careful with products such as detergent capsules. Keep them away from children as there have been instances where they’ve consumed these, thinking they were candy. Store them in a safe manner.
The best thing about technology is the fact that it continues to make things more compact day by day. Take computers for example, while they once occupied an entire room, they can now be easily packed in a suitcase like a book. While scientists still need to find ways to do that with a washing machine, there are various products available in compact form that’ll make the process of doing laundry while traveling, less chaotic for you. You can substitute your huge detergent packs, brushes, and scrubs, with products such as detergent capsules and bleach pens. The washing machine can be replaced with XXL Ziploc bags. Wondering how’s that possible?
The following section will help you easily switch from the conventional way of how you did laundry, to a more fun and manual way, while on the move. Please note that we have provided various feasible options you can choose from. Yes, you will have to use your hands, get them wet, and do a little bit of scrubbing, if needed. But I guess that this just adds to the whole feel of traveling, don’t you think? For those of you who hate to carry a whole lot of clothes while on the move, doing your own laundry will ensure you have clean clothes, without having to carry an unnecessary burden of extra clothes. Trust me, the products you need are much lighter than the excess clothes you carry.
Essential Products to Wash Clothes While Traveling
1. DETERGENT CAPSULES/SMALL PACKS
Detergent; how would you imagine doing laundry without it! Many companies have been manufacturing smaller and compact versions of it. There are detergent capsules, sheets, and small travel packs of detergent powder that come in handy while journeying. For clothes that require something more than just detergent, there are brands such as Purex, that manufacture 3-in-1 detergent sheets that contain detergent, softener, and anti-static, to give your clothes a good pampering. Compared to other detergents, Woolite is widely known for its superior ability to easily rinse clothes. Choose an option that works best for you.
2. XXL ZIPLOC BAGS
These are a must for anyone who hates wearing unclean clothes, or carrying dirty laundry while on the move. Ziploc not only has XXL bags, but also totes that can be easily folded and placed in your suitcase, and utilized like soaking tubs. Traveling makes the clothes dirtier, especially due to excessive sweat and dirt. These multipurpose bags can be filled with a mixture of detergent and water, where the dirty clothes can be soaked in them for a few minutes. If you are unsure of the availability of tubs/buckets during the journey, Ziploc bags will definitely be of immense help.
3. CLEANING GLOVES
Detergents are nothing but chemicals; whether you have sensitive skin or not, it is always advisable to wash clothes while wearing these gloves. Wear them while mixing the detergent with water and soaking your clothes in it. After 20-30 minutes of soaking, gently scrub these clothes, if need be, with your hands. Packing a stain remover would also be handy in case of any stubborn stain marks. Nonetheless, ensure that your hands are covered while exposing yourself to the chemicals.
4. PORTABLE SINK STOPPER
The most feasible option you can choose is the flat suction sink stopper that fits into all sink types. You will need it if you wish to use the bathroom sink to handwash your clothes, and trust me, if you’re stuck in a bathtub that doesn’t hold water, it will come in handy even then. You can soak the clothes for a couple of minutes in the sink, as an alternative to the Ziploc bags. However, there are many of us who don’t wish to use a dirty sink to wash our beloved clothes, so Ziplocs seem like a better alternative.
5. MICROFIBER TOWELS
Microfiber towels will help you dry clothes fast by soaking up the excess water post washing. All you need to do, is place the wet garment on the towel and roll it up, like a cigarette. This would make the towel soak up the water, enabling the garments to dry quickly.
6. INFLATABLE HANGERS
Inflatable hangers are extremely useful for drying clothes, or even for storing them in the cupboard, for that matter. They definitely have an advantage over metal hangers as they will not react to moisture and form rust, and secondly, they hardly take any space in your suitcase. All you need to do is blow them up, and hang your clothes out in the balcony, or in the bathroom itself.
7. CLOTHESLINE WITH CARABINERS
Remember, drying the clothes is as important as washing them. If you leave them wet for a long period of time, they’ll start to smell. So, make sure you go for the right type of travel clothesline. Check the material, size, quality of the clothesline, and other attachments before you take your pick. Don’t go for the ones with suction cups, they don’t go well with all surfaces; Carabiners with surgical latex material are the best pick. The material is not slippery and can hang garments without the need of clothespins. Flexo-line is a popular choice among many.
If you’re dealing with a slippery clothesline, hangers, or garment materials such as handkerchiefs or socks, using clothespins are a must. In fact, a couple of them may always be useful. It gives the garments stability while drying, so that they dry evenly without leaving any damp spots.
9. TRAVEL IRON/STEAMER
Usually, after the clothes dry, they appear wrinkly, and you definitely wouldn’t want to look like a tired traveler with wrinkly clothes on while on holiday. A small and handy travel iron or steamer saves you from judgment by giving you well-ironed clothes while you’re away from home. This is a must-have product to give your clothes a good-as-new feel.
10. OTHER PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
While the above-listed products are a necessity for travelers who don’t want to get ripped off by expensive laundry services by the hotel they’re staying in, there are alternatives. The best option would be to do some prior research and take your laundry to the nearest Laundromat. Also, gaining popularity, is the The Scrubba™ Wash Bag that allows you to wash clothes practically anywhere. All you need to do is to add water, detergent, and your dirty laundry. Roll the bag and deflate the extra air. You need to rub the bag from the outside for about 30 seconds to 3 minutes, drain the dirty water, rinse the clothes, and hang them up to dry. The only drawback is that it is a little expensive―USD 64.95, for a bag.
When it comes to saving your expenses from overcharged bills of the laundry services provided by hotels, packing these products in your suitcase seems like a much more feasible option. So, no matter where you go, just take note of these products, or if you’re lucky enough, just visit the nearest Laundromat outlet in the city.