Backpackers are often tarred with the brush of being unwashed vagabonds who roam through the world avoiding the soap, thankfully, this is far from true. With this being said, one of the greatest challenges for those who are traveling the world with a limited amount of clothing on their back, is keeping their short supply of clothing, as clean as possible. Whilst this may be something simple when a traveler is in the heart of a modern city, finding themselves in a far flung corner of the globe presents something of a more complex challenge, let’s take a look then at how travelers can use a variety of methods to keep their clothes clean.


If you find yourself in a busy area which has laundry services then you should consider this option first, this will give you the best possible clean for your clothes and leave you set to go again, with a fresh wardrobe, or backpack ini this case. There are two main options with a launderette, the decision you take will depend on how much time you have and more importantly, how much money.

The first option is to pay for the full service which will see you carry your load on down to the launderette, hand it over to a helpful member of staff and then walk out safe in the knowledge that when you return, you will be handed a fresh pile of clean clothing. This option is the most expensive and it will take the most time.

The second option is to wash the clothes yourself using the launderette’s machines, more often than not you can buy a bit of soap powder or detergent from behind the counter and then all you need to do is occupy yourself as your clothes wash and dry. This option is cheaper and faster then the full service.


A method which more and more travelers are turning to is the Aloksak method, this is a large, reinforced plastic bag which can be transported easily and does a great job and cleaning your clothing. Simply place your clothes in the sac, add your detergent, give it a mix and leave it for ten or fifteen minutes and hey presto, clean clothes. These bags are great for storing your dirty clothes before washing and very easy to fold up and store away when not in use.

The Sink

The old fashioned ways are sometimes the best and when it comes to saving money, washing your clothes in the sink is without question the best way to do it. It will require a little bit of work but washing your clothes in the sink can be done anywhere in the world and all you need is some water, a little soap and the sunshine to dry the clothes out. You may not get the best clean for your clothes, but you will save a hell of a lot of cash.

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