I can’t believe we’re actually writing a post van life tips and how to stay clean on the road. Mostly because I can hear my mom saying, “Ew, Erin…you should take a bath every day!” (Sorry in advance Mom and Dad, please don’t be upset!) But also because I really don’t want you, my friends, to think we’re gross! Okay, maybe I bragged in the past how one time I didn’t take a shower for 12 days but technically I was in the ocean every day … so that counts, right? Right?? In any event, if you are looking for some van life hacks or you are just plain curious about how gross Caroline and I have become, read on! Van life tips: How to Stay Clean on the Road!
Take a bird bath
This requires a towel of some sort and some clean water. We each have a lightweight and quick drying towel. We use the Microfiber Towel by MountFlow. Each of us has one and we just hang it off the mirror or on the clothesline when we’re done and it’s dry by the time we need to use it again. Soap takes things up a notch, for sure. We ‘sponge’ bath (that somehow sounds a little better than bird bath doesn’t it?) usually just before going to bed. It helps us to sleep better. Basically, we start with our faces and then work down from there. Neck, arms, stomach, etc until you’ve wiped down your body. Pro Tip: Don’t start with your body and end with your face! Gross!
Play in the rain
Of course, this is most fun if you can do it in your birthday suit! Most of the time we have to do it in our bathing suits, though. A great way, when the temperatures are nice and warm, to get your hygiene needs met. We’re not joking. This is van life, not the Hilton lol.
We got this van life tip from a fellow van lifer. Planet Fitness has over 1,400 locations across the US and for only $10 a month, you can get free fitness training, take a shower, get access to free WiFi, and they will even give you a free t-shirt! We think it’s a bargain but we actually haven’t purchased a membership.
Use Epic Wipes
Baby wipes are cool, but recently we found a company called Epic Wipes that has something even better. They’re made with Eucalyptus essential oil (not alcohol) and are also non-toxic. Our favorite part about them, however, is that they are biodegradable. They come in Large (2 ft by 1 ft) and XL sizes (2.5 ft by 1.6 ft).
Keep your toiletry kit clean
Our Eagle Creek Pack It Specter Cube Set , Brilliant Blue, 3pc Set toiletry kit has been a lifesaver as far as keeping the ick factor down. The small bag houses our toothbrush and toothpaste and acts as a barrier between the rest of the world and well, our mouths. We’re assuming most people aren’t comfortable setting their toothbrush down on random sinks, so make sure you get one with a handle or a hook (the Eagle Creek we recommend has a handle) so you can hang it from something. The larger bag holds our deodorant, contact lens solution, hair ties, etc. (The biggest bag I unfortunately lost!) Oh and the best part about this toiletry kit is that when it gets super gnarly and dirty we can throw it in the wash and it’s as good as new.
You were hoping we’d write about this, weren’t you? Oh boy, you are really getting the inside scoop aren’t you now? Well, truth be told when we haven’t been able to get to a laundromat in a while, we maaaaybe get 2 days out of each pair of underwear? Maybe? On the second day we maybe just turn them inside out? As far as we can tell, no one else can tell what we are doing, so hey! (Burying our face in our hands in embarrassment!) Going commando is also a real option, too. In the summer it can make you feel a lot cooler. Facts are facts. Are we getting too real for you???
Make sure your van is tidy
You’re still with me after that underwear tell-all? Haha ok. Well our next suggestion is to keep your van clean. If your van is clean, YOU by default will be a little cleaner! If your van is filthy, you’ll be a little dirtier … pretty common sense but pizza boxes at your feet mean that there’s a good chance pizza grease will end up on your clothes. Luckily since we’ve converted our cargo van into a camper van with the Wayfarer kit and we’re able to stay organized because of all the storage boxes. If it wasn’t for those…I’m not sure what our van would look like.
Van Life Tips: How to Stay Clean on the Road Recap
So we took our Tips for Road Tripping in the US a little further and discussed personal hygiene. What do you think about our van life tips? Was this too real for you?! Do you have any others that you’re willing to share? Do you want to guess how many days we’ve gone without a shower?! What’s YOUR record?