How To Bring Laundry Detergent on Vacation: 7 Easy Tips

Whether you’re staying on a budget on vacation or you simply love your laundry detergent the best and won’t use another brand, taking detergent with you on a trip can be tricky. You have come to the right place for all the tips on bringing laundry detergent on vacation. 

Here’s how to bring laundry detergent on vacation:

  1. Use resealable bags for powder detergent.
  2. Purchase single-use sizes.
  3. Use travel-size containers.
  4. Purchase laundry detergent pods.
  5. Use hand soap for a few items of clothing.
  6. Buy laundry sheets.
  7. Get creative. 

By reading this article, you can find a way that works for you to take laundry detergent on vacation successfully.

1. Use Resealable Bags for Powder Detergent

Many travelers recommend placing a small scoop of your favorite detergent in a snack-size resealable bag. This works best when you use powdered detergent since space can be tight.

Powder detergent is the best choice when flying because the air pressure can cause a liquid baggie to burst. The best way to do this is to measure out individual portions for each load of laundry in separate bags. Then place all of the resealable snack baggies into a larger resealable plastic bag to keep them contained. 

2. Purchase Single-Use Sizes

While single-use detergent sizes aren’t usually cost-efficient, they can be very efficient for traveling. The convenience is worth the cost, especially when traveling and you’re not sure whether the dye-free, allergen-free detergent is available at the location where you’re staying.

You can purchase single-use laundry detergents and fabric softeners such as the SinkSuds Travel Laundry Detergent (available on, or from a physical store like Target. One of the advantages of single-use size laundry detergent is that you’ll be using the right amount for each load.

Since they come in air-tight containers or pouches, there’s less chance of bursting or spilling during travel.

3. Use Travel Size Containers 

Most drugstores and all-in-one stores have plastic travel containers for shampoo, toothbrushes, and lotion. You can fill each container with the detergent amount for one or multiple laundry loads.

Be sure to enclose the plastic travel containers in a large, resealable plastic bag if one accidentally opens or bursts. However, if some detergent gets on your clothes, all you have to do is throw them in the wash upon arrival. 

4. Purchase Laundry Detergent Pods

Most detergent brands come in pod form, making traveling with laundry detergent more convenient than ever. Buy your normal detergent brand and pack the pods in a resealable plastic bag for extra safety. 

5. Use Hand Soap for a Few Items of Clothing

Sometimes you might only need more underwear and don’t want to run a whole load of laundry yet. In this circumstance, it can be efficient to wash a few items in the sink with hand soap. 

You can use a towel to lay them flat and roll them up to squeeze out the excess water. Once you have eliminated most of the dripping water, hang the items over the shower rod or towel rod to air dry. 

You could also plan ahead to bring a travel clothesline such as the Going In Style Travel Laundry Clothesline (available on to hang your hand-washed items. This travel clothesline has a loop at each end, which makes it easier for you to hang in your hotel room, or wherever you are staying.

Then, when you’re ready to wash a full load, you still have your pre-packaged detergent. 

How To Hand Wash a Few Items

When you need to wash a few items, hand-washing makes good sense. Here are the steps to hand-washing essential items such as tank tops, underwear, or dri-fit shorts:

  1. Clean the sink of any toothpaste or soap residue. This can cause stains or discolor clothing. 
  2. Fill the sink with water that’s just warm to the touch. While the water is running, add some dish soap or rub the handsoap beneath the running water. Turn off the water once the sink is two-thirds full.
  3. Immerse your clothing into soapy water. Swish the items back and forth. You can use the soap to spot clean individual places with a small stain. 
  4. If you have more than five items, you might want to do this hand-washing in the bathtub for more space. 
  5. After all the items have been sudsed up, empty the sink water. 
  6. Rinse the sink and refill with cool water. 
  7. Return the items to the sink and swish again. It might take more than one rinse to rid them of all the soap. 
  8. Squeeze out the excess water with your hands. 
  9. Lay the items flat on a towel spread out on the floor or a large counter.
  10. Roll the towel up and squeeze out all the water. 
  11. Hang your clean items up to air dry while you are out enjoying your vacation. 

6. Buy Laundry Sheets

Laundry sheets such as the Kind Laundry Detergent Sheet (available on are an easy-to-use, economical way to carry laundry detergent on vacation. While they resemble dryer sheets, these laundry sheets are dissolvable and efficient in all types of washing machines. 

They’re non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, and phosphorus-free, and you can use them on any type of fabric clothing for a clean, fresh set of clothes. These low-foaming laundry sheets won’t leave streaks or soapy spots on fabric, but will gently remove stains. 

7. Get Creative

How do you handle getting your clothes clean when you forget to bring the laundry detergent? The answer is you get creative!

Here are some ways to clean your clothes without laundry detergent:

  • Baking soda can be an excellent substitute for laundry detergent. Use ¾ cup (96 g) for a whole load of dirty clothing. 
  • Dish soap can be an adequate substitute for laundry detergent. Two small squirts of dish soap will clean a whole load of dirty clothes. Don’t use more than this amount since dish soap is sudsier than laundry detergent. 
  • Vodka can refresh clothes that aren’t dirty but need a quick refresh. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts vodka and water. Lightly spritz the clothing and let air dry. This mixture will remove smells and leave your clothes fresh once more. 

Key Takeaways

These tips should offer a way for you to take your laundry detergent on vacation. If all else fails, you can make do with a creative tip for cleaning your dirty laundry. 

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