Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Day #2- What does it take?

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world! 

Day one is in the books and it was relatively painless.  I decided to utilize nap time (2-3 hours) to wash my flats from the night/morning for the first time.  I rinse all of my diapers in the sink even when I'm using my pockets, fitteds, etc. because I feel like it gets the pee out right away and keeps any stink or build up at bay.  With the flats, I didn't change that.  Since they were pre-rinsed, I put them in our kitchen sink in some cool water and let them soak for about 10 minutes.  I then drained the water, filled the sink with HOT water and about a tsp. of Charlie's Soap (what we use for most of our laundry, including diapers), put on my rubber gloves, and did some swishing and scrubbing.  After letting them soak for maybe 20 minutes, I rinsed them in cool water as best as I could.  I then filled the sink yet again with warm-ish water and let them soak for about 5 minutes.  After rinsing them a final time and wringing them out, I brought them outside to the clothesline to dry.  I shook them to get out excess water and hung them up.  About an 1 1/2 later they were all dry!

One hiccup - as they were drying, I went to check on them and noticed TONS of teeny tiny little red bugs crawling all over my covers and flats.  YUCK!  I quickly asked on the Facebook page if anyone had experienced that.  A few people said they had, and I even learned they are little clover mites (harmless).  Once my flats and covers were dry, most of the mites were gone, but I shook the remaining off and called it a day.

I'm not a fan of how stiff and crunchy the flats feel after drying, but Mallory doesn't seem to mind.  I also hope that I used enough soap and/or got all the soap out.  They smelled and looked clean so I am hopeful.  I guess I will have to check her little bum to be sure I'm getting all the soap out and it isn't irritating her.

I did one more load after Mallory was in bed. This time I hung them inside on the drying rack to dry over night.  It worked like a charm again and they were dry by morning.

But... aside from that, the day went well.  So onto Day #2 - What does it take? 

I realized yesterday that it honestly doesn't take much at all!  In one day I used 3 covers and 5 flats.  Mallory pooped 3 times (more than usual, but thankfully they are "plopable" these days) and never once did I dirty a cover.  I have many more covers in rotation and 3x the flats... I'm not even sure I will use all of them this week.  I'm thinking I may try to limit them and see if I can do it.

Here is what I'm using:
  • 6 Osocozy flats
  • 9 Swaddlebees unbleached flats
  • 6 Flip covers (may not use all of these)
  • 2 Econobum covers (so trim!)
  • 1 toddler snappi
  • Charlie's Soap
  • Rubber gloves
  • Clothsline and pins
  • Drying rack
Thats it!  I know many people are using bucket style washers and plungers, but I really find it easy and convenient to just wash a few flats and covers at a time in the kitchen sink with my hands.  Seems like a lot less work. Though I am home most days, I work 2 days a week away from home.  Today is the first day daddy and the nanny were left to use flats.  I made sure to pad fold and lay the flats in 6 covers (I'm thankful we didn't have a limit of covers for this reason!)  I didn't want either of them to have to worry about knowing what to do with the flat, touching it, etc.  This way they look and feel just like putting on one of our typical bumGenius pocket diapers.  Easy, right?!

Tonight I will have one bigger load of flats and covers to wash since I am gone all day.  Should be interesting to see the difference between handwashing a small load vs. a larger load!  Look forward to tomorrow's update on how it went and my answer to my favorite way to use flats :)

**(Picture to be added once I am home from work!)**


Amanda said...

Ick! I know those bugs you're talking about, and they are gross. They used to really creep me out but I asked my mom about them and she said that she shook them off our clothes hundreds of times in the 40+years that she has line dried...so I guess they're okay.

CFMama said...

Oh my goodness, I would freak out if I found little bugs on my clothes/dipes. I hang mine in the laundry room and they dont seem to be as stiff as drying outside.

Kim said...

If you wring the flats in your hands, twist them, rub them together, etc, this makes the flats softer.