Reuse This Household Staple For A DIY Hand Washing Station During Your Next Camping Trip

We all know how important hand washing is. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests reaching for the soap when you prepare and eat food, after using the restroom, when treating a wound, and after touching especially germy items such as garbage and pet waste. This is an easy habit to maintain when you're at home — but what about during a camping trip?

When you're enjoying the great outdoors, roasting s'mores, and camping under the stars, you're unlikely to find a clean sink with running water nearby. Yet, when you need to wash your hands, hand sanitizer won't always cut it, especially if your skin gets muddy or a wound gets dirty. Thankfully, you can create your own portable hand washing station using little more than a recycled laundry detergent container.

Camping bag brand Campak Gear demonstrated how to do it in a TikTok clip. In the video, the creator explains that you can lightly rinse the inside of a container (laundry detergent bottles with a spigot work best), leaving a little soapy residue behind. For safe measure, you can also add a few pumps of hand soap into the bottle. Then, fill the container with clean water. When you release the liquid, you'll get a bubbly stream perfect for rinsing off messy hands.

Other ways to keep hands clean while camping

If your laundry detergent bottle runs dry and you need another way to keep clean, keep some extra water on hand. Then, use a compact, camper-friendly soap along with your water to suds up. Soap sheets (thin sheets of soap that emulsify when wet) or a clean bar of soap work great without taking up too much space in your backpack.

A nearby creek or lake can also work in a pinch, particularly if you have dirt on your hands that needs to be rinsed off. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that natural bodies of water can be contaminated with harmful bacteria, so you'll still need to sanitize with a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Finally, keep rubber gloves in your camping gear to use when handling messy or dirty items and substances. Covering your hands with clean, leak-proof gloves can reduce the need to wash up during your camping trip.