Scrubba Wash Bag Review: Better Than a Portable Washing Machine?

I’ve been asked if I wanted to write a Scrubba wash bag review, and initially, I was skeptical because the bag is made of plastic. However, after asking a few questions, I found out that this Australian brand has been introducing a new more sustainable version of this product: a Scrubba wash bag made with recycled plastic.

Well, in that case, I thought, why not? I love to support circular innovative products, even those that are made with recycled materials, as there is too much plastic already around and this is a way how to get it out of the system and be part of the solution to plastic pollution. So, I agreed.


What is the Scrubba Wash Bag?

The Scrubba wash bag is an innovative and eco-friendly laundry solution that is particularly helpful during travels and outdoor adventures. As someone who loves nature and has traveled and backpacked around the world, often camping, this tiny “portable washing machine” has impressed me with its efficiency, lightweight and ease of use.


What Material Is the Scrubba Wash Bag Made of?

Originally, all bags were made from 40 denier nylon fabric with a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) coating, due to the material being durable and waterproof, yet lightweight enough for travel. However, as an environmentally-focused company, Scrubba started trialing 100% recycled polyester for use in the Scrubba wash bag in 2021-22. While many of these recycled Scrubba wash bags are now in circulation, they expect to roll out recycled textiles to all Scrubba wash bags by the end of 2023. In the last few years, they have also launched the Untouched Scrubba range which uses fabric that isn’t bleached or dyed to further reduce their carbon and wastewater footprint during production.


The First Impressions: The Scrubba Zero Waste Packaging

The bag arrived in a cardboard box that was also the wrapper around the bag and exactly its size. Another thinner cardboard inside was keeping the washing bag tight together. That’s it. No other wrapping material, no plastic poly bag inside, just as every sustainable shipping method should be. As a circular economy specialist I can see that waste has been designed out of the Scrubba packaging. it’s minimalistic, yet fit for purpose and has clever marketing on it, even with a QR code to scan for more info. Kudos to the Scrubba product management team for this circular packaging design.


Recycled Scrubba wash bag review packaging

Own Photo of the Scrubba bag zero waste packaging


Related: Best Plastic-free Fabric Softeners


Putting The Portable Washing Machine To The Test: How To Use The Scrubba Wash Bag?

Using the Scrubba Wash Bag is straightforward. All you need to do is add water, detergent, and your clothes, seal the bag, and then agitate it by rubbing or pressing on the built-in washboard. The internal scrubbing nodules help to dislodge dirt and grime effectively, providing a thorough clean. I was pleasantly surprised by how well it cleaned my clothes compared to a traditional washing machine.

These are the official use instructions by the manufacturer that help you avoid any first-user errors and ensure optimal results, plus a couple of tips:

Step 1: Fill – Please use level measurement markings printed on the bag itself as a guide when filling with clothing, water, and eco-friendly laundry detergent. Please note: overfilling will decrease washing efficiency. Also, instead of laundry detergent, you can use eco-friendly dish soap as a detergent, so you save space while travelling and money.
Step 2: Roll & Clip – Ensure you tightly roll the top down 4-5 times and clip at the front to ensure the bag remains watertight.
Step 3: Deflate – Remove excess air from the bag with the twist valve when the bag is closed up and in an upright position.
Step 4: Rub – Lay bag flat, grip-backing side down, and then press down and rub clothes against the internal washboard for 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Step 5: Rinse – Pour greywater out responsibly, at least 200 ft from the nearest water source if you are using the bag out in nature. Rinse by adding fresh water to the bag of clothes, closing it up, and shaking it to help remove any remnants of soap.
Step 6: Dry – Again, dispose of water responsibly and wring clean clothes out, then simply hang damp clothes on a line to dry.


Video title: Recycled Scrubba wash bag review by @implasticfree


Pros & Cons of The Scrubba Wash Bag


  • Lightweight design (140g / 5oz for the regular version, and 70g / 2.5oz for the mini version)
  • Compact, it folds into a small size, making it incredibly portable and easy to carry in a backpack or suitcase, taking up minimal space.
  • Itis versatile and multifunctional. Smart travel hack: It can be used as a storage bag itself, i.e. for dirty/wet clothes, or to store and protect your electronic devices and cables, or toiletries, avoiding the need to carry or buy an extra dry bag.
  • It’s like a portable laundry system, a portable mini washing machine that you have always with you.
  • It offers a sustainable way to do laundry, without using any electricity, and without using much water. If you’ve backpacked around the world, you usually wash your clothes while having a shower, right? It’s handy but it takes much longer and it consumes much more water than pouring some in a bag & wash them this way.
  • It’s made with recycled fabric, so you’re not contributing to virgin plastic production. (See the note above about the material)
  • The product feels sturdy and durable, ensuring that it will withstand repeated use and hold up well over time, which is a sign of a high-quality product.
  • Its transparent window allows you to monitor the washing process, so you can see when your clothes are clean and ready for rinsing.
  • It differs from dry bags on the market as it features a flexible internal washboard made of knobs that rubs on the clothes cleaning them more efficiently. I believe their patent for this product relies as well on this crucial feature.


  • The price is a little bit steep at over USD 50, however, the product is made with high quality and Scrubba warrants it against defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one year from the date of original purchase. So if you’re planning a mid to long backpacking/ travel trip, it’s worth it.
  • It may not be suitable for heavy or bulky items like large towels or thick sweaters. It is best suited for lightweight garments, underwear, and smaller items.
  • it does require some physical effort to achieve the desired results. The washing process can be a bit tiring on the hands, especially for larger loads. However, this is a minor inconvenience considering the convenience and environmental benefits it provides.
  • Product’s end of life: as far as I know, there isn’t a take-back / recycling program for when the bag has reached its end of life. It would be amazing if the company would introduce a take-back program as part of their sustainability goals.


Related: 9 Must Try Plastic Free Laundry Detergent Brands


Is The Scrubba Wash Bag Worth It?

The answer is… it depends on your needs. If you’re on a long camping trip, on the road with a small van, or backpacking around the world, then yes, definitely! This camping wash bag is worth the money and this product will save you money in the long run as you don’t have to pay for laundry along the way. I have been backpacking around the world and found that in some countries like in South America doing the laundry was very affordable as you paid per kg, whereas in most other countries around the world, you pay per piece and it all adds up at the end of the trip.


Where to Buy the Recycled Scrubba Wash Bag? 

You can purchase all versions of the Scrubba products from their website or from Amazon stores around the world: USACanadaUK . The bag is also sold in major camping & adventure retail stores.



In conclusion, I hope this Scrubba wash bag review was useful as it is overall an excellent sustainable laundry solution for cleaning clothes on the go that exceeds expectations in terms of portability, effectiveness, and environmental consciousness. Its compact size, durable construction, and versatility make it an ideal companion for travelers, campers, outdoor enthusiasts, or anyone looking for a convenient way to do laundry while minimizing their environmental impact. With a small amount of effort, you can enjoy fresh and clean clothes wherever your adventures take you. Overall, we think it could be a great addition to your sustainable travel kit as it enables you to save huge amounts of water and avoid generating waste or using electricity while on the road. Make sure you buy the version made with recycled materials of this world’s smallest washing machine though!





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