I’ve seen a few other posts and videos like these: A Couple Vegabonds, AaronsWWAdventures, Ailalalatino, that talk a fair bit about ‘sink laundry’. This is just the name for how most backpackers do laundry whilst travelling – by filling a sink, blocking the drain with half a tennis ball/flat piece of rubber, and washing with shampoo/detergent/soap, before rinsing and repeating.
Like most backpackers, whilst travelling, I am a frequent bathtub washer, sink washer or bucket washer, leaving the clothes to dry on any available surface – including the car seats and windows. I’ve learnt a few lessons that have definitely improved my washing/dirty clothes situation every time.
1. Clothing choices: we all know how long jeans take to dry – but I understand that sometimes they’re necessary. Preferencing Quick-dry, Odor-free/resistant and ‘antimicrobial’ clothing definitely helps. I’d recommend brands like UnderArmour, Icebreaker or Marmot – but you will be paying more than expected – think $20 for a pair of underwear. If it’s too expensive, the best trick is to stay away from cotton, and opt for synthetics like polyester or even nylon. Stick to plain, versatile clothes, like a black singlet or a neutral coloured pair of shorts, and no matter what stay away from white (will show stains more obviously)
2. No matter how quick-drying your quick dry clothes are, and odor-free your door-free clothes are, they still need to be washed and take time to dry. Get into the habit of washing your shirt, and underwear at the end of each day, wring it out, and HANG IT SOMEWHERE – out a window, over the shower rail, over the car seat, on the back of a friend.
3. Once in a while, machine wash your clothes – the once a month, or fortnight or once every 2 months machine wash will really help your clothes, it makes a huge difference and nothing beats a freshly machine dried towel or jumper/sweater.