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A Washing Machine That Fits in Your Pocket A Washing Machine That Fits in Your Pocket

A Washing Machine That Fits in Your Pocket

by Adele Peters
December 19, 2012

Designed for travelers—whether they're backpacking in Yosemite or on a business trip—the Scrubba is a tiny bag that washes clothes with no electricity and little water. 

The idea was born when an Australian adventurer, Ash Newland, was planning a trip to Africa with a friend. Because of all of the equipment they had to carry, from tents and sleeping bags to cold-weather gear, they could only take a couple of changes of clothes along. They realized if they carried a plastic bag, they could soak the clothing overnight, and Newland suggested they could take it a step further, and build a flexible washboard into the bag itself.

Yes, this is a tiny version of the washboard your great-grandmother might have used if she lived in the United States in the 1800s (similar tools are still in use in many parts of the world). The designers created a very thin, very flexible washboard, and fused it into the bag, which weighs just 5 ounces. To use it, you add water, a few pieces of clothing, and a little bit of cleaning liquid—shampoo or body soap works as well as detergent. After the bag's sealed up, you rub it for thirty seconds, tip out the water, and rinse and hang up your clothes. 

Newland says the Scrubba can also serve other uses—keeping clothes dry while you're in wet conditions, for example, or, if it's filled with air, serving as a pillow. 

The design was successfully funded on Indiegogo, and is available now. 

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