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Disappearing Washrag

If hotel gathers up your white wash cloth and it does not re-appear (happened to me in Palermo) and it is lost forever, don’t panic. Use one of your socks to wash up instead. Perfect for sticking your hand in and easy to use for scrubbing up.

Posted by
553 posts

If you pack a washcloth, make it a bright colored one and it might not "disappear". :-)

Posted by
27351 posts

But test that brightly-colored cloth before leaving home to be sure the color doesn't run all over the place. I bought a cheap bundle of intensely-colored washcloths at Walmart a number of years ago, precisely because I wanted travel cloths that wouldn't be mistaken for hotel linens. By some chance I decided to drop one into some water to see what happened. Within a couple of minutes it looked as if I were dying Easter eggs. That was a close call.

Posted by
3941 posts

I just bring old, raggedy, ready for the recycling bag washcloths from home. Then just leave them behind when we move on to our next accom, since I don't want to carry damp cloths in my suitcase.

Posted by
6363 posts

Nicole, that's what travel friend Kim does with underwear. :-)

Posted by
1209 posts

I do what Nicole does ... usually one old, raggedy washcloth for every 5-6 days on the road. That frees up even more room on the way home for pashminas, cute tea towels, and.....

Posted by
3961 posts

Great comments. We like the RS light weight microfiber washcloths. They dry overnight and come in a couple colors. We also like microfiber light weight towel that has multiple uses: tablecloth for picnics, or roll your wet clothing after washing in sink, hang both for quick dry overnight.

**Edit: Meant to add the small mesh sponges are a favorite as well!

Posted by
3941 posts

Jane - I have been known to save my almost gone undies and almost have a hole in the sole socks...and wear them when we travel, then toss after a few wears. (I know, I know, we shouldn't burden other countries with our discards).

The reason I take facecloths is because I find you really don't find them in Europe - hotels, yes, but we generally airbnb, so we get a towel and a hand towel. I like using a facecloth in the shower to wipe water/shampoo off my face. As for soaping up - I buy cheap mesh sponges at the dollar store - 3/$1.00, so I don't feel bad if we leave them behind.

Posted by
6619 posts

Does the sock need to be clean before you use it as a washcloth? Or do you clean it by adding soap and rubbing on your face? ;-)

I like those shrunken sponges and note that they're made in France. What an exciting global world we live in, where we can buy from Trader Joe's something from Europe to take with us to Europe!

Love this thread, can't wait for more creative ideas.

Posted by
27351 posts

The budget hotels I stay in most definitely do not supply washcloths. I think I've seen two of them in all my European travels (probably 250 or so hotels), and that was when I somehow ended up in up-market places that had probably caved after getting a lot of complaints from previous American visitors.

I take a worn-out, not-white cloth from home but try not to use it since it certainly wouldn't remain fresh through a long trip. The result is that I rinse my face after washing it every evening by splashing water on it. I end up with a lot of wet bathroom floors.

Posted by
1221 posts

I found myself in a Mountain Warehouse (yes, they're in North America now too) outlet store yesterday and picked up a few microfiber small towels that are probably pretty similar to what RS sells. As the cheapo ones were bright purple, I figure the ones I bought are easy for housekeeping to tell apart from the hotel's own towels and facecloths.

Posted by
453 posts

I know these aren't the same thing as a washcloth, but I bring disposable make up removal cloth/wipes (like Neutrogena or a store brand). They are fairly large so I cut them in half before I leave home and put them in a ziplock bag. They are great for removing makeup or for freshening up. Like a previous person said, the dollar store mesh bath poufs (3 or 4 for $1) are handy to use in the shower and weigh next to nothing.

Posted by
697 posts

I use one of these: Salux wash cloth, both at home and for travel. Kinda like a puffy scrubby, but takes up a lot less room.

I cut one in half (they’re really big) and for travel, fold the half up into a snack size zip lock baggie that fits into my toiletries kit. They weigh nothing and dry instantly, especially if you roll it up in a towel and squeeze when you’re ready to pack up.

I love the sock creativity!

Posted by
1056 posts

Instead of a wash rag you could try one of those net puffs. Dry easily, weigh next to nothing and can do everything a washcloth does.

Posted by
4574 posts

DebVT, thanks for your post. I have one I used for years. Gift from a European Body Shop when it actually was natural products. I only use it when traveling, so it is still going strong....both halves, but I was afraid I would never find a replacement, since I didn't know what to call it. It is scratchy though, so not used for face. I also use makeup wipes for that.

Posted by
1221 posts

Another use for clean socks- wrapping small glass items before putting a ziploc bag around them and then putting them into a suitcase.

Posted by
221 posts

I just got back from Switzerland last month. In the past, I would cut handiwipes in two and use them for wash cloths, throwing them out along the way. This year I used the dry wipes from Olay(made for your face) that you add water to suds up. It was a little small for use in the shower, but it can be done!

Posted by
139 posts

Please, don't judge me: I was once in a Mexican supermarket and saw this huge sponge to wash cars! I got it for around $20 mexican pesos (that would be around a dollar). I came home, cut it in several small "cubes" and used them on my trips. That was back in 2013 and lasted me several trips. If I was visiting 2 cities I would bring 2 sponges and discard as I go. They would squeeze in any corner and weighted nothing.

I'm out of "travel mini-sponges" now but I will get a new one for my next trip and repeat the process.

Posted by
3196 posts

I take a few baby washcloths that you can buy in Dollar Stores.
They are pastel coloured so no risk of dyeing your other clothes.

Posted by
12172 posts

I've been packing one of those "puffs" (not sure what they're really called) and carrying it in a ziplock bag. It dries quickly and can shrink up to almost nothing when I squeeze the air out of the ziplock. I'm using shower gel too, because I want to carry a wet bar of soap even less than a wet wash cloth, but the puffs work with regular soap.

Some places I need a towel, so I pack a synthetic chamois. It works as a towel when needed but also works great to wring out my hand washed items before hang-drying them.

Posted by
1 posts

On a recent 2 month travel in Europe we found a new solution to the washcloth problem.

we purchased baby diapers (cloth) and cut them to size. Disposed after use. Worked better than wipes (layers didn't slide around during use) and readily available, so we didn't have to carry a lot of them.

Posted by
6363 posts

We generally use what I have since learned are bidet towels as washcloths. They work just fine.

Posted by
222 posts

I find that the small microfiber cloths sold in the grocery store in bright colors work great. They are the size of a washcloth, can be wrung out to dry quickly, and can be folded into a ziplock for carrying from place to place. Once in Bath, my lime green cloth was picked up and carried away by the maid. I asked at the front desk and the cloth was located and returned to me. It must have been pretty visible among the white linens!

Posted by
420 posts

Way before wet ones my mom would put a damp wash cloth in a plastic sandwich bag. When we traveled we would use it to wipe our hands after we ate.

Posted by
11507 posts

We don't use washcloths.. so no issue.. I do pack a exfoilating glove.. but thats it.. it never goes missing.