When showers and wild swimming aren't an option after endurance activities, Crud Cloth from Duluth, Minnesota has a shower-in-a-bag solution. Today we we test it out and share our thoughts for gravel riding and bikepacking.
Crud Cloths for After Long Dirty Rides
Crud Cloths are from Duluth, Minnesota and are a vacuum packed pouch that contains a dry cotton towel as well as a sealed liquid/soap pouch. When you're ready to combine them, you get a wet towel with natural soap ingredients that they say is like a "shower in a bag".
I just tested it after a 50-mile ride on a Sunday morning. Now, when I used it, I was at home but intentionally chose not to shower before heading to church to see how I felt. I expected it to clean up pretty well but fully assumed that I'd feel soapy and smell overly like citrus cleaner afterwards (they also make unscented) but that really wasn't the case. I didn't even feel like I needed to take a real shower and am planning on taking these with after longer races or nights where I'm camping away from bathroom/shower amenities.
The cloths are 100% cotton and are definitely not disposable rags. They're small but really strong. If used as a disposable option, then these are not very sustainable. But if used as a cleaning rag or garage rag after initial use, then these can have a full useful life after being used as a shower-in-a-bag.
How do you use it?
You use it by following these steps:
When you smack it (and you have to smack it hard), it breaks open the sealed water/soap solution so that you squish it around and get the towel wet and wash up after a long gravel ride or day of bikepacking.
Ingredients for the citrus Crud Cloth include: Distilled Water, Cleanser (Coco Glucoside, made from plants), Essential Oil Blend (Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Orange, & Bergamot), Potassium Hydroxide.
What about bikepacking; would I take this with?
When I first started looking at reviews of the Crud Cloth, I noticed some folks who said that some of their Crud Cloths had burst open during shipping and weren't usable when they arrived. This made me come to the early conclusion that it wouldn't be worth the risk of shoving this in a pack on a long grueling bikepacking trip.
But in reality, the packaging was far sturdier than I expected and even quite a bit sturdier than I wanted it to be at times. It's possible they've updated the packaging since those malfunctions.
Even after several hard blows that I assumed were too hard, there were times the inside still hadn't broken open. I never had any break unexpectedly and I would feel really great about tossing one at the top of a seat pack to use during a 3+ day bikepacking trip if I wasn't expecting any proper showers or swimming holes along the way.
I've always just accepted the long dirty car ride home after bikepacking events and races. So it's nice to have a natural and packable option for cleaning up without bathroom/shower facilities. If you're just going to toss it in the garbage afterward, then these will get wasteful. But in my house we go through a lot of rags for cleaning at home and in the garage and will make sure these get put to good use after initial use.
Learn more at CrudCloth.com