Laundry Hacks for Backpackers

Laundry Hacks for Backpackers

There is a belief that backpackers don’t wash their clothes, which is due to the obvious reasons that they are always on a track and are traveling around carrying everything in a backpack. 


However, this assumption is not true! Backpackers use various ways to wash their clothes while traveling, which includes: a plastic bag method, the sink method, the laundromat method, washing clothes using a lake or river water, or even hiring the laundry services to do their job. 


In all these cases, doing laundry all by yourself isn’t a piece of old tackie. And for that laundry services in Rotterdam are available especially for those who are always traveling and want to get their job done by professionals without compromising on quality.  


Tips and tricks for different methods 


As a backpacker, navigating the routes and embracing the nomadic spirit, doing laundry can be a challenging task due to the limited resources. Enter the world of laundry hacks especially for the backpackers and wanderer’s lifestyle. Let’s discover simple yet effective tips and tricks using different laundry methods for backpackers, to keep your backpack light, your clothes fresh and your adventures worry free. 


  • Plastic Bag Method:


The plastic bag method is one of the most commonly used washing methods among backpackers and travelers. It is due to the limited or no facilities available within a close radius. 


For this laundry routine, things you may need to arrange: 


A large, recyclable, thick plastic bag with a zip lock to secure all the items inside of it. Make sure when you add your clothes, water and detergent into the bag, the upper half of it should be empty to give your clothes enough space. 




  • First take the zipper bag and fill it with warm water. Warm water is recommended for washing the clothes as it kills bacteria and is really effective against stains and other stubborn odors. 
  • Now add a detergent in any form as per the availability, i.e., powder or liquid. 
  • Seal the bag and shake well to ensure your mixture is completely dissolved or mixed. 
  • Put your dirty clothes in the bag by opening the zipper and seal it again.
  • After shaking it well, squish the clothes properly to allow the detergent to get everywhere.
  • After 5 minutes, unzip the pack and let all the spoiled water out. 
  • Rinse it with fresh water now before draining them again.
  • Repeat the same process until your laundry is done.


  • The Sink Method:


The second best and effective method for doing laundry while traveling is the sink method. It works when you are staying at a cabin or hut where you have a facility for a sink or basin. Usually backpackers stay at lodges after covering a specific distance and time to avail some modern services and facilities. So in case you are planning to stay at any lodge, you can use the basin as a washer and do laundry. 




  • Plug the drain of the basin and fill it with warm water. Once that’s filled, add any detergent. 
  • Ripple the water to make a soapy mixture. 
  • Put your clothes in that mixture and rub them against one another gently using your hands. 
  • Rub them in such a way that all dirt and debris is removed from it and unplug the drain.
  • Shake off the excess water by wringing them out and hang them up for drying.
  • Try to hang them in an open area, where you can put your washed laundry so that it dries quickly. 


  • Laundromat or Washing Machine Method:


The laundromat or washing machine method is one of the advanced and efficient methods as it doesn’t require your efforts or time. It involves a piece of machine used for doing laundry. You can only avail the services if the hotel or guesthouse you are staying in offers you this facility. If you get an entire apparatus for doing laundry at your lodge, you should wash all of your dirty clothes at once. Doing so will make your traveling routine smooth as you don’t have to worry about doing laundry for a little while. 




Many guesthouse owners may save money by putting washing machines made in a foreign country and not of any of the top brands. If you come across such a contraption, don’t force it to work. Either ask someone from the management to help you or opt for the manual cleaning method.


Using a washing machine for your laundry is not rocket science, but it may become a problem if you run a machine having instructions in a foreign language. 


  • Sorting your clothes according to their type.
  • Separate your colors and whites and layer them in a basket.
  • Bring change with you to operate.
  • Bring your laundry detergent. 


  • The Waterbody Method:


In this method, you need to be near a river or lake to have access to fresh water supply. Then you can use the same old plastic bag method to clean your clothes. Try not to soak your dirty clothes or put the detergent into the waterbody as it will contaminate the water. Instead, try to rub your clothes by taking it out from the river or lake water. 




By going through this guide, we hope it must have eased some of your worries regarding doing laundry on backpacking trips and traveling. You can now plan your outdoor adventures boldly and experience the wildness. 


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