Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Eric and I are frequently asked about how we wash our clothes. The question makes me a bit self-conscious (Why do you ask? Do I smell?), but I'm still happy to provide an answer.

Many people are surprised to find out that we actually have a washer/dryer combo aboard our boat:

Sea Gem's "Laundry Room"
Having our own machine is certainly a plus; however, even if we didn't have one aboard, we'd still have a lot of options for doing laundry. Our marina has a private laundry facility and there are also an abundance of laundry services available around the city. Currently, we use a service for our dry-cleaning and regular clothes, the marina's facility to wash sheets and towels, and our on board machine for emergencies.

Before moving aboard Sea Gem, I disclosed some embarrassing details about our laundry history. I explained how Eric's pride and joy, the Wonderwash, a butter-churn-style contraption, was the bane of my existence for several years, and how I was overjoyed when it finally broke. Given my god-awful experience doing laundry with the Wonderwash, you might be surprised to know that I am now the proud owner of my very own manual clothes-washing tool--the Scrubba Wash Bag!

What is a Scrubba? Essentially, it is a compact, self-contained washboard. I found out about the Scrubba from my uncle. He thought it might be something we'd want for the boat, and not two days after he emailed me about it, I found out through a friend, that I could buy a Scrubba through the crowdfunding site, Indiegogo. Here is how you use it:

First, you fill the Scrubba with a small amount of dirty clothes:

Then, you add detergent and hot water:

Next, you seal the Scrubba and let out the excess air:

Then, you scrub! The flexible washboard is inside the bag, so you don't get wet:

Finally, you drain, rinse, drain (again), and hang the clothes to dry:

The ability for Eric and me to do a small wash, without having to rely on our machine, will come in handy when we're out sailing for more than a day or two--especially when it is hot. I learned quickly that, on a boat, people can get a tad stinky (at least when at sea)! When we sail, we don't use our A/C so, it can get a bit unpleasant at times (hot weather - A/C + close quarters = a stinky situation). Being able to hand wash a few dirty items and salt-soaked bathing suits while we're out will help keep unwanted scents under control.

Even though we haven't been sailing for a few weeks, the Scrubba has still come in handy. I have a handful of delicate clothing items that require hand washing, and the Scrubba is well suited for this task. While we have no plans to use the Scrubba in place of our other laundry options, its size and functionality are perfect for a boat.

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