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Dry Bags for Laundry

For years, I've been using ziploc 2 gallon freezer bags to do laundry. (Occassionally I'll just use the sink) But I'm finding the bags only last a few washings. So, I'm thinking of switching to a dry bag usually used for keeping items dry while camping, backpacking, etc. I'm looking for something in the 8-10 liter range. Has anyone used these and can give me an ACTUAL SUGGESTION as to brand and model. Looking for something that is also lightweight and can fold up into practically nothing. (I'm also planning to use it as my laundry bag to hold dirty clothes between washing.)

I'm also wondering if the Ziploc Big Bags, normally used for storage, might work.

Some of you will want to mention the "Scrubba." I had one years ago but felt it was overkill.

Posted by
25597 posts

I can't answer your question, but in case it helps:

Someone reported here that she reinforces the edges of her Zip Lock bag with duct tape. I'm going to do that for my next trip.

Posted by
630 posts

Frank, I haven't used these for laundry, but I wonder if the Osprey Dry Sack 12 Liter or 20 Liter would work for you? I just purchased them for a different purpose, but they haven't arrived yet.

Posted by
14150 posts

When they arrive, let me know if you think they will hold water--literally, not figuratively.

Posted by
2 posts

For several trips I tried the king sized ziploc bags for laundry but got tired of constantly patching the holes with duct tape when a zipper pierced the plastic during some over zealous agitating.

I also saw the Scrubba bought thought it was horribly overpriced (plus I thought the "scrub board" was a bit of a joke).

So I improvised and purchased an inexpensive dry bag on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013SJ6EXG/ref=twister_B00H40SPV0?th=1&psc=1). A bit of water does leak out but since I place it in the bottom of the tub or shower it's really not an issue. In fact if you use it in a bathtub you can sit on the edge and use your feet to step on it and agitate everything up - much better than a sore back. Just make sure you get most of the air out before rolling down the top.

The only drawback is that the orange dye used on the outside of bag doesn't seem to be fully colorfast - I can see orange-ish water on the bottom of the tub. But it's only on the outside. The silicone lining on the inside seems to prevent any staining.

Posted by
2693 posts

Really? What about just washing stuff in the sink? The thought of packing a wet bag.....

Posted by
25597 posts

Alan, there are many sinks in the hotel world that have either no stopper or an ill-fitting stopper. It is one of my major pet-peeves as a traveler. It was one of the happiest days of my life when someone posted here about using the jumbo-sized Zip Lock bags.

Posted by
2 posts

I dislike washing clothes in the sink because the water always sloshes out and I have to clean everything up. Plus I would have to wash the sink before washing the clothes.

The bag is absolutely flat. I lay it over my clothes before cinching everything down. And it weighs a whopping 3.85 oz (15L size).

As with everything in life, it's a matter of preference. If you prefer washing in the sink, go for it. I personally find it easier and less messy to use a bag of some sort to wash clothes.

Posted by
1068 posts

Try bringing your own sink stopper or rubber ball (which can double as a sink stopper) for many sinks. I used to be in the "do it yourself laundry club" and took my own (cheap) laundry plug. Good luck.

Posted by
630 posts

Similar to Ray, I bring a small silicone square which holds the water in the sink - and it takes up very little room in my toiletry bag.

Posted by
2693 posts

Flat sink stoppers are $2 at Bed Bath and Beyond. That and the RS wash liquid which is low suds (as opposed to shampoo which takes forever to rinse out) and we are set. The only time this goes sideways is when we find one of those very shallow sinks.

Posted by
630 posts

Alan, I tried the sink stopper you are referring to, and I didn't have much luck. The silicone pad never moved until I forced it up. I'll try and find a link tomorrow when I'm on my desktop. I think I got them at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Posted by
379 posts

I often do sink laundry in a sink with no stopper. Just get the clothing soaking wet, massage it around, let it sit for a few minutes, soak it again, drizzle soap/shampoo/whatever on it, massage it some more until the suds are worked through, let it sit a few minutes, then repeat twice with clear water. It's not complicated--how dirty are your clothes, anyway?

Posted by
715 posts

Curmudgeon mode activated.

Excuse me if I offend anyone, but how freaking hard is it to wash laundry in a sink, stopper or no stopper. Turn on the water, add the clothes, some kind of soap, and slosh around tilll you are satisfied, then rinse. It's not like you have spent the day in a coal mine. Am I missing something? My clothes just don't get that dirty.

Curmudgeon mode deactivated.

Edit: high fives Astorienne.

Posted by
2869 posts

If you have any bottle of vitamins or meds with you: sometimes the screw on lid will fit exactly into the plug hole and act as a stopper.
I did this in a hotel in Turkey once .

Posted by
2349 posts

Sometimes the sink doesn't drain well. Or it's very shallow. If you wash in a plastic bag, you can drain it into the tub or toilet.

Posted by
1317 posts

Ray, im thinking about the rubber ball..... if you had something like a handball..... it could also be used to massage yr foot arches after laundry.....

Posted by
14150 posts

I'm currently in a hotel where my sink stopper doesn't work because of the design of the plug. (It has a built in plug where I press it to open or close. Unfortunately, when I press it to close, it doesn't all the way and water leaks out.) I still tried washing clothes in it and found unless I washed it over and over again, some of my laundry still smelled. It's a waste of lots of detergent. So, I took out the ziploc. It does a great job as I can agitate the clothes and let them soak for a few minutes. (You can't soak clothes in a sink that doesn't hold water.) Unfortunately, the bags don't last long. And that is why I am looking for an alternative.

Posted by
677 posts

I'm another ziploc bag advocate. One of the best suggestions I've read on this forum. I just pack several of the bags and discard them when they spring a leak.

Posted by
2426 posts
  1. wash clothes in the shower, when you're showering yourself
  2. Sea to Summit Ultra Sil dry bags are what I use to pack cothes
Posted by
1194 posts

I've used ziplocks in the past when no sink was available. That's usually in bush camps or on a trek. I moved over to a Scrubba because the ziplocks were so fragile in the back country. The Scrubba worked effectively as a dri bag too.
I have used the Sea to Summit dri bags and they wok well.

In hotels I usually take the clothes into the shower. I do have a silicon pad that works great in the sink too. It also functions as a hot pad and a jar opener. Not that I often use it for those things.

Posted by
25597 posts

I'd love a link to the silicone thing that works for others. I have one of the flat disks but have found it absolutely useless in sinks because of the usual placement of the drain hole.

Washing clothes while showering is a brilliant idea as long as every shower doesn't involve using hair conditioner and/or a facial cleanser with an ingredient that bleaches fabric.

Posted by
630 posts

These Silicone Pads work nicely for me. I use them on the plane to hold my cell phone or iPad on the seat in front of me, holds my GPS or cellphone on the dashboard while driving in a rental car, and then I'll also use them in the sink to hold water while I do laundry. I've been in some hotel rooms where the water in the sink will slowly drain out when the sink plug is down, but these little guys don't let any water escape! They are STRONG so sometimes I cut them in half when I don't need as much suction power. My husband likes to take run while we are on vacation, so I like to soak his clothes in the sink for a few hours while we are out and about. The sink is still full of water when we get back from our excursions. And best of all - they take up minimal space in my laundry packing cube.

I got the idea from someone who posted they use Le Creuset Silicone 8" Round as their sink stopper. I was about to purchase one when I realized I had these little silicone pads already in the house. So I gave them a try in the sink - and they worked. Saved me from buying another gadget.

Posted by
2349 posts

Pilgrim, those things are so cool! I'm ordering them today.

Posted by
630 posts

Pilgrim, those things are so cool! I'm ordering them today.

Hey Karen, I'm glad I could help. I've learned so much from these forums; it's nice to know I contribute once in awhile. :)

Posted by
1068 posts

Ray, im thinking about the rubber ball..... if you had something like a handball..... it could also be used to massage yr foot arches after laundry.....

Double duty!!