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Backpacker Laundry

I’ve been gone for less than a week and I’ve already worn nearly all of my clothes, and many of them multiple times. A 40L backpack is just not that big, and I can only commit a very small amount of space to clothing. Add to that the 85+ heat and an apartment with no AC and you end up needing to do laundry quite frequently.

I wanted to share how I have been doing laundry on the road. I have found this to work pretty well without taking up much time and still leaving my clothes clean and nice smelling!

  • Fels Naptha laundry soap bar and/or detergent soap sheets (these are both great non-liquid options which means they don’t take space in you 3-1-1 bag for airline security)
  • Dry Bag (4L will wash a pair of socks, underwear and a shirt, but if you want to do more at once, you can getter a bigger bag)
  • Access to warm, clean water
  • 15 minutes to kill
  1. Run each item under hot and rub with the Fels Naptha bar until there’s a fair amount of soap on the item. If you’re using detergent sheets, skip this step and throw a few sheets per item into the dry bag with a little bit of water until they dissolve.
  2. Place the items in the dry bag and fill with hot water until the clothing is submerged.
  3. Seal the dry bag.
  4. Shake the bag vigorously for about a minute.
  5. Let the clothes soak in the water for about 10 minutes.
  6. Empty the bag and take the clothes out. Rinse thoroughly with water until all the soap has come out and water runs clear.
  7. Hang to dry.