Washing clothes has always been bothersome for backpackers. Sure to bring anyone crashing back down to Earth, spiritual trips to Lumbini or explorations in Peru will inevitably feature the task of laundry.
We have some tips and instructions on how to hand wash your clothes on the go.
Hand washing clothes with the bare minimum like a pro
The following instructions assume you have access to clean water and a container.
- First fill the container with cold water and washing detergent. Other cleaning alternatives can include a bar of soap, travel size laundry liquid sachets, shampoo or even washing up liquid.
- Make sure you are washing clothes that are of similar colour. When hand washing jeans, turn them inside out to minimise the risk of colour bleeding.
- Leave the clothes to soak for at least thirty minutes.
- Swirl the clothes around in the water, add extra detergent on any stains or dirt spots and rub the fabric against itself.
- If you feel the clothes aren’t clean yet, you can drain the water and scrub the garments one more time.
- Rinse the clothes until sud-free.
- Drain excess water from the clothes, but remember to re-shape them so they dry faster and keep their original shape
- Hang clothes to dry, outdoors is the best place for clothes to dry fastest. To help garments dry faster, lay wet garments on a bath or travel towel, roll up the garments in the towel and squeeze out any excess water. For thicker garments walk back and forth over the rolled towel.
Pack convenient travel washing tools
One tip provided by travel blogger, Brooke Schoenman, was to buy a cheap sink plug. It may seem surprising, but some hostels only possess the bare minimum requirements for a traveller and a sink plug may not be one of them.
Chantelle Malin on the Travel Fashion Girl website, also advises travellers to invest in a travel laundry line, which will come in handy if you don’t have suitable areas to wash and hang your clothes. You’ll rarely find a washing line in budget accommodation.
Another pro tip for travellers would be to purchase a pack towel, which comes in handy as it is made of quick drying material.
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