Compare the latest tech products

The Scrubba - the world's smallest washing machine


March 21, 2012

The Scrubba Portable Washing Machine

The Scrubba Portable Washing Machine

Image Gallery (6 images)

The Scrubba wash bag is a portable pocket-sized washing machine weighing 180 g (6.35 oz). The idea for the product came two years ago when inventor Ashley Newland was preparing to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.

"I realized that I would only be able to take a few changes of clothing and would have to wash them regularly. While waterproof bags can be used to soak clothing, they really aren’t very efficient. It was then that I had the revelation that washboards have been around for centuries and they work!" Ashley has now incorporated a flexible washboard into a sealable bag, and hopes to change the way travelers wash their clothing.

One of the keys to perpetual travel is the ability to minimize costs and the continual cost of cleaning clothes can mount up. How many travel days have you wasted in a wonderous far off land searching for a laundromat or cursed at the charges of local hotels?

The Scrubba accordingly offers, at the cost of 180 g of luggage, the first viable portable washing machine and an alternative to soaking clothes in bathroom sinks.

The Scrubba wash bag uses 70-100 oz (2-3 liters) of water per wash plus 2-3 drops of cleaning material (e.g. shampoo, body wash or washing liquid/powder) to wash several items of dirty clothing.

Put the water, cleaning material and clothing into the Scrubba, seal the bag and expel any air through a valve in the bag, then place the bag on the floor or a table and rub the clothing against the flexible washboard for 20-40 seconds, then remove the clothing and rinse and ... job done! You can even do it on a plane.

Australian-based Calibre8 is set to release the Scrubba wash bag in April (2012), which will be available through this (not yet built) site.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

That is brilliant!


This actually seems like a good idea. I have seen larger manual washing machines that were made out of PVC, and sold to soldiers and others who must live far from the comforts of modern life. This is considerably lighter and more compact, and quite possibly cheaper as well.

Compared to simply washing clothes in a sink, well, what if you don't have a sink?

My question is, how well does it work? It most likely will do well with lightly soiled clothing, but how well does it handle serious muck? How well does the Scrubba itself stay clean?

Jon A.

You can even do it on a plane, sure yeah:

´oy, stewardess, where is the clothes drying line on this plane?´ ´I´m sorry sir, if you had been travelling first class we could have let you out on the wing for some instant freeze drying, but as you´re cattle class you will have to wait until you get to where you can string a line for your undies to dry´



I'll take two please one small and one for couples



I'll take 2 as well. :)

Scott House

When I was in the Army and we were on bivouac we used to wash our clothes in our waterproof bags with a few smooth river stones thrown in. Just fill the bag with clothes, soap, water, and rocks then seal it up and throw it in the back of a truck for a couple hours and all the bouncing around agitated the load.


I will replace it with two big-sized plastic bags. This keeps the cost low, and with the same procedure as shown in the video, it accomplishes the same thing. Why cost low? because I know Ashley will tag it like $50 for two...

Akemai Olivia

Attach 2 meters of rope, swing it round your head, and you have an instant spin drier too.

Richard Vahrman

Google-Shopped this and nothing! How much and where can I get a couple?

Fred Conwell

Indian way of washing clothes!

Gautam Gupta

...or for Flashpackers pickup a new toilet plunger at your travel desto and go at it in the sink or plastic tub bucket, shower or bathtub you purchased with your "Bomba" plunger. You could just put your bare foot into the Tub though. Couple twisted bungee cords make a clothsline when without clothes pins. Dries faster in front of a fan or the A/C.

Chris Smith

we bought one of these before the production was in progress...and as avid motorcyclists and campers...I have to say this is fantastic!...It is well constructed, it does what it says it will do and frankly amazes folks with..."why didn'y I think of that?!"...Our primary clothing for trips and camping are UnderArmour apparel, so it makes it relatively quick and easy to dry..... But cloth tee's will dry just as well, although not as quick. We have also used it for our Thermarest fitted sheets, same results...few drops of washing liquid, couple of litres of water and a few minutes of scrubbing, and ditto with the rinsing and voila!...

Good jobs guys...Scrubba will make our cross country trip a lot easier!

OldMan River
Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles