Tips on washing your clothes when backpacking or traveling

If you travel light it can be difficult keeping your clothes fresh, especially in hot climates.  Here are some tips to make life easier for you, fresher for your nose and better for your clothes.

Washing your own clothes

When traveling light, washing a few clothes everyday is the best way to stay on top of it.

  1. When you have a shower, wash the clothes you are wearing.  Hang them straight up to dry.  In hot climates you get through more clothes, but they dry quicker.
  2. Soaking clothes for a few minutes in soapy water is better than thrashing clothes hard for 10 seconds. Soaking removes more smells and makes clothes last longer.
  3. Take the clothes to be washed in to the shower with you.  Get them wet, apply the soap all over, then leave to soak in a ball whilst you shower.  After a few minutes rub the clothes reasonable well and then rinse.
  4. Buy a small tube of travel washing gel.  Or use soap or shower gel as these freshen clothes well.
  5. Only wash clothes when you can dry them.  Don’t was a load the day before a long trip and leave them in your backpack all day.  If you have to then keep the wets clothes in plastic bag and dry as soon as you get to your next bed.
  6. Carry a washing line in your backpack, you’ll rarely find one in budget or simple accommodation.
  7. Once in a while take all of the clothes you are not wearing to a laundry and pay someone to cleans your clothes nicely.  Most will get them back to you by the end of the day.  In Asia especially, it will be cheap and your clothes will be better for it.

Pay someone else

In somewhere like Asia it doesn’t cost much to have someone wash your clothes for you.  This is a good option if you have quite a lot of clothes, or a group all chip in.  In India laundry is done aggresively, but very clean, so hand wash anything delicate.

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