Camping Quick Tip #6 – Cleaning Clothes


When travelling around in built-up areas cleaning clothes is not too much of a problem. The caravan park laundry or the town laundrette are never too far away with the biggest problem usually being – “have I got enough $1 coins”?

But travelling in the bush can pose some extra challenges to ensure the jocks, socks and knickers are in tip top condition. Generally, the outer layers of clothes can last some time before requiring a wash but underclothes need more regular attention. So, how can this be achieved without the use of modern technology?

Enter the humble 20-litre, wide-mouthed plastic drum (see photo). Cheap and effective, this is the answer for easy washing of small items. How does it work?

  • When items need washing place in the drum.
  • When the drum is about half full, add enough water to allow the clothes to slosh around – not too much and not too little.
  • Add a small amount of liquid detergent. You don’t want too much that will cause over-sudsing.
  • Place lid back on drum and place somewhere secure in the vehicle or on a roof rack.

The Outback Washing Machine

The humble 20-litre, The wide-mouthed plastic drum is cheap and effective! This is the answer for easy washing of small items when camping.

Now comes the really cool part of this process.

Your driving does the washing. As you travel around the clothes are agitated in the drum just as they would in a washing machine. A day’s travel will do a good job.

BONUS: Make washing day the day to explore that 4WD track that has eluded you. The rougher the track the better the wash!

The last part of the process is to rinse. You will need to remove the sudsy water, wring out the clothes and use some fresh water to rinse. Hang out to dry. Job done.

Not only does the humble drum wash your clothes but it also serves as a container for your dirty clothes prior to washing.

Too easy!

Have you got any tips for making the mundane jobs redundant on your camping trips?

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Joined back in June, 2012

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