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6 ways to stay clean while travelling

Written by Fiona

February 20 2019

Staying clean is not always easy while travelling. You might be in a rural area or a tropical region where fresh water and washing facilities are rare. If you are bike packing or back packing and wild camping overnight, there will be limits to any kind of washing facility.

Here are six tried-and-tested methods for staying clean while you travel.

1. Baby wipes and alcohol wipes

One of the easiest ways to create a type of shower is to take baby wipes with you. You can give yourself a clean all over with a few baby wipes. Look for environmentally friendly wipes when making your purchase.

Alcohol wipes include a disinfectant and these are most useful for keeping your hands clean, especially before eating.

Another useful item might be specific products call no rinse body wash. You don’t need water for these body cleaning products.

2. Antibacterial hand gel

Another great product for keeping hands clean, especially when you are eating and drinking in areas with little sanitary facilities, is a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel.

3 Baby Powder

It can be a sensible idea to carry a tub of baby powder if you will be travelling in a hot – and therefore, sweaty – place or going to the beach. The powder is great for drying off skin that is damp or wet.

The powder also has another power. If you lightly dust items with the powder it will separate the sand from your gear.

4. Tips for footwear

Footwear can end up dirty and smelly. A great tip is to add baby powder (see tip above) to keep shoes dry and therefore less likely to smell.

Once shoes have become dirty, use white vinegar for a quick clean up. Take a small refillable bottle of white vinegar with you. Rub in the vinegar to the footwear using a washcloth.

And if you are packing the shoes with clothes and you are worried about the dirt and smell make sure you use a plastic bag or even a shower hat to separate shoes from clothes.

5. Wash kit

You will need to wash your clothes at some point, even if washing facilities are hard to come by. Take travel wash with you and get to cleaning your clothes in a sink. If you need to wash clothes in a river or lake, make sure the wash is biodegradable. If you are carrying a JanSport backpack and it needs washing, here’s how to wash it.

Another tip is to buy merino wool clothing because they will naturally stay less whiffy with repeated wears. Or, for quick drying items when washed, take synthetic clothes.

6. Dryer Sheets

As a last resort, a dryer sheet could be a good idea for masking the smells of worn clothes and kit. Dryer sheets are what you might normally add to your tumble dryer. It makes clothes smell nice and reduces static. If you add one of these to your luggage suitcase or rucksack – it will help to keep clothes and shoes smelling pleasant, even when the items are worn and a bit smelly.

Did you know, too, that scientists have proven that mosquitos and gnats are not too keen on the smell of dryer sheets? They believe it might have something to do with the linalool present in the sheets, as well as the beta-citronellol, which is derived from the same chemical base as citronella candles. Pop a sheet in a pocket when you travel in areas where there are insects and bugs because it may well help to keep them away.

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