Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day 4: hand washing diapers

It is (was, i'm late) the 4th day of the 4th annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  During the challenge, moms all over the country sign up to use flat cloth diapers AND hand wash them.  The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness and spread the word that cloth diapers are a viable option for families struggling to afford clean diapers for their babies, even for those who may not have access to a washer and dryer. 

Today we will talk about washing - Hand washing diapers, to me, is really not any worse than hand washing dishes.  I use the kitchen sink and I get distracted so sometimes it takes me all afternoon.   This year, that has not been a big deal since I have so many more diapers than I need because my toddler only uses about 7 diapers a day. 

Step 1: gather supplies
This year, instead of running to the laundry room and grabbing handfuls of soap, borax, oxiclean etc - I cleaned and filled glass jars under the kitchen sink with all of the white powders I would need for washing - this year, Charlie's soap, Borax, and sun brand oxiclean made the cut.  

More under the sink cleaning lead to a place to store my wet pail. A wet pail has proven essential for washing larger loads of flats (larger being more than 5-6 diapers) - I put about 2 tbs of borax in my wet pail for the pre-soak

Step 3: dump the wet pail and contents into the sink and begin filling with clean water - I like to do a pre-rinse. Though I skip this step if I'm in a hurry. 


Step 4: get your 8 year old to wash the diapers for you...( Optional)

Ok, I've lost track of the steps numbers .. 

after the prerinse, add HOT water, a little Charlie's soap (about a teaspoon, maybe a little more) and a half scoop of oxiclean - maybe some more borax, baking soda, washing soda, calgon, or salt - really, I like throwing random white powders in the sink.. 

Agitate. Walk away (soak) forget what you were doing (soak) go to put dishes away and realize your sink is full of diapers and agitate some more. Drain, squeeze out some water and begin filling again with warm or cold water. 

I've been considering trying a little bleach once a week at this point, I think it would be helpful, but I have yet to find out. 

Rinse, rinse, rinse.  Then wriiinnng wring wring (always wear your dish washing gloves or you Will get blisters by the end of he week) 

Hang diapers to dry, preferably outdoors on a pretty sunny day .. 

But indoors with a fan works too, it just takes a little longer.

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