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May 23, 2013

{Flats Challenge} Day 4 - Handwashing?! Why?!

Well, another day down. Today is day 4 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. From May 20-26 families around the world are using nothing but flat diapers to diaper their children and then handwashing what they use. We all hope to raise awareness that anybody can cloth diaper.  You do not have to re-use disposable diapers because you can't afford to buy more. You do not need to have a washer or dryer to use cloth diapers. It is possible to diaper your child for very little cost. Many have shown it can be possible to diaper a child for no more than one months worth of disposable diapers.

Anyway, back on topic. Today I want to talk about washing all of these diapers. Yesterday you got to see some pictures of my nice clean diapers hanging to dry. This year I am doing some things a bit differently than I originally planned. In the beginning of the challenge I noticed that another lady taking the challenge posted her video of how she washes the diapers as she goes, and does it in her sink. I watched and really liked how fast everything went. After washing two buckets of diapers the first day, I wanted to try out the wash as you go method. I am in love. Of course, I do not do this if BG has a messy diaper. Then it goes into the bucket to soak for a bit and gets plunged, not hands on washed. I have been sort of enjoying the washing as I go. It gives me a small break from everything else and then I have a clean diaper hanging up getting ready for the next time that I need it. I have found that this also helps me have enough diapers at all times. I do not have a whole batch of diapers that all got washed together so now I am short on clean and dry ones.
How do I wash as I go?
First I work to open the diaper up and fill my sink about half full of warm-ish water. This is my pre-rinse. I am usually amazed how yellow the water can get (especially when washing a nighttime diaper). I agitate it a bit with my hands and make sure it gets nice and rinsed. Then I drain the water and try to get as much water out of the diaper as possible.
Next, it is time for the hot water and just a little bit of Rockin Green. If you look closely at the picture below (close up of diaper i nwater) you can see the small amount of RnG powder on the top of the diaper, before I began agitation. Sometimes I have to add just a tad bit of cold water just so that I can put my hands in the water. Again, agitate and get the water to move through that diaper to get it all nice and clean. Empty the sink and wring the flat a bit.
Then, a warm rinse.
Followed by a cold rinse if there are still soapy bubbles. Usually by this rinse there are no soap bubbles and the water runs very clear. I drain the sink for the last time and wring out my diaper to get as much water out as possible. This is the one that you really want to get out that water.
Hanging to dry can be a challenge at times. The beginning of the week was pretty sunny and diapers would dry in just a couple hours. Now, we are having clouds and possible thunderstorms all day. This means drying has to be done inside. And when just drying one or two flats and maybe a cover, I just keep them in the bathroom, like in the picture  Yesterday, though, I got a great tip from another Challenge taker. I put my entire drying rack under our ceiling fan over night. They were all dry by morning. YAY! Other mornings, they would all still be pretty damp.
Everything is the same for the bucket method, except you are using the bucket and plunger instead of your hands. the larger the load, the longer you want to agitate and the more detergent you use as well.
How do I feel about the hang washing?
I am not minding it too much. Yes, it would be a ton easier if I could use my washer, but at the same time, I don't have a ton of flats. I would have to build up maybe two days worth of diapers to run a load and then if I didn't want to use my dryer, well, then I would probably run out of diapers before they were all dry. I do sort of miss having my dryer to fluff things after hanging them out to dry. Overall, it really is not that bad, especially if you are able to wash as you go or only do one bucket full a night. Yes, we have done that too. Yesterday we were out of the house most of the day, so I washed at night, but only had one bucket load to do. That really isn't too bad.

Do you think you could hand wash your diapers? What if it was only a week or for a vacation? If you are taking the challenge with me, how have you been doing with your washing? What is your routine?

Until next time... Happy Hand Washing!
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