$2 Kmart item fixes biggest packing problem
Forget lugging around a bag weighed down with excess clothes. There's a secret to slashing the size of your suitcase - doing laundry on the road.
And a few small additions to your packing list can save you time, hassle and expense when dealing with laundry while travelling.
From a simple plastic bag to a $2 travel essential from Kmart, Escape readers have shared the laundry-beating secrets in their luggage.
Here are their top laundry items you'll want to consider popping on your packing list.
PEGLESS CLOTHES LINE
Before you travel go to Kmart. They have a pegless clothes line with suction caps either end, great for drying items in your hotel bathroom. Saves having wet clothes around the room, and they're only $2 each.
INFLATABLE COAT HANGERS
I always pack a few blow-up coat hangers as they keep blouses and shirts front and back a distance away from one another and makes drying much quicker especially with T-shirts.
THE RIGHT CLOTHES
When travelling to hot humid climates, pack moisture wicking clothing as it draws the sweat away from your body, so clothing doesn't look wet and heavy. Also pack a foldable plastic bucket and small plastic clothes hanger with pegs attached, so you can wash clothing each night. This fabric dries quickly in the shower overnight.
Pack a bottle of eucalyptus oil. Half a teaspoon added to a basin of water and a white bar soap is good for stain removal and leaves clothes smelling fresh. (It's also handy for insect bites and a few drops added to hot water for stream inhalation when suffering a cold.)
Before I go on a holiday, I always fill up a small 50ml plastic bottle of liquid stain remover (like Vanish), and pack it in my shower bag. I find a little goes a long way and has let me wear the article again, without the stain. I would not go on holidays without it.
SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
Sachets of shampoo and conditioner make excellent laundry liquid and, obviously, take up no room whatsoever. For clothes that cannot be washed while travelling, I have found that it is a good idea to turn them inside out so that when unpacking, it is easy to see what needs to be washed.
A PLASTIC BAG
Rather than worrying about dodgy sink plugs or bringing my own I simply use a strong plastic bag, placing it into the sink for hand washing. If you leave something soaking and need to use the sink you can hang it on the taps for a while. The bigger and stronger the bag used the easier it is for washing.
OLD SCHOOL SOAP
Good old fashioned Velvet soap. It beats tiny little soaps and it's the best for washing laundry.
When cruising we always pack a lightweight silicon collapsible tub (ours is 39 x 29cm, available from discount or camping stores for about $20) to wash larger items like jeans that can't be washed in a hand basin. It can be placed in the shower recess to keep overflowing water contained.
My best holiday laundry tip is to pack a large chamois so that when you rinse your clothes you can roll them in the chamois to remove excess water.
I always pack a small 100ml bottle of Eucalyptus Woolmix laundry liquid to wash my knickers in hotel bathroom. You only need a small squirt and little rinsing as it doesn't suds up like others.
We have been on eight cruises in the past few years and always found laundering a problem. A couple of years ago, I did some researching and discovered the Scrubba (thescrubba.com.au) - a small scrubbing bag with an old fashioned wash board mechanism built in to it. It takes up no space at all and is extremely light.
You can't do a big wash at a time but if you do it every day (takes 3-5 minutes), it is great. We can do three singlets, three underwear and three pairs of socks or three casual shirts at a time. All it takes four or five small drops of detergent. If you also take a travel clothes line and some small light pegs, you can string them out on the balcony (when at sea) and they will dry in no time.
If you don't have a pegless clothes line, another option is to carry dental floss as it's very strong and doubled over it works as a clothes line to dry your stuff overnight before you move on.
SOAP IN AN ONION BAG
When we are travelling we always pack two cakes of laundry soap, each inside an onion bag. This can be used for hand washing in the shower or handbasin any time.
YOUR OLDEST UNDIES
When packing for long trip I pack some wire coat hangers and pegs for overnight washing. I also save old underwear to wear so that I can bin it along the way, no washing required.
DIDN'T PACK ANYTHING SPECIAL? TRY THESE LAUNDRY HACKS
DO IT IN THE SHOWER
If you are staying somewhere without a laundry, do your washing by hand every night when you have a shower. Put the clothes in after you have rinsed and then you can stomp on them which is just like a machine. Beats kneeling over a tub or shower base for a long time and getting a sore back.
USE A TOWEL
Use a towel after showering for wringing clothes before hanging to dry - saves many hours drying.
Joy de Mestre
SLEEP ON IT
On a tour in Africa I found that it was very humid in my safari lodge. I'd washed my cargo pants and a few other things in the shower and partially dried them with the hair-dryer before dinner. When I got back to the room that night, however, my laundry was very damp. I didn't want to have it still wet in my bag all next day. Thinking a bit, I had a brainwave. I put the laundry in the game lodge dressing gown, and put the lot in bed. Then I slept on the dressing gown. Presto; the clothes were dry by morning and the dressing gown kept the sheets and me dry!
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