I think that the posts I wrote last year on handwashing diapers were probably more helpful in terms of what you can expect using flats full-time and handwashing year-round. Last year, we used more diapers in a single day than were in my “flats challenge stash” this year. Additionally, the weather tended toward cold and rainy last year, which complicated drying the diapers – a real issue for someone that will be handwashing and air drying diapers year-round. This year, the weather has been hot, sunny, and breezy. There has been rain, but only isolated showers during one part of the day, which has allowed me to dry flats outside, as opposed to last year, when it rained nearly every day of the challenge and I had to find inventive methods of drying our diapers. Of course, that’s not to say I didn’t get a little inventive in finding ways to get the diapers dry this year, as there was no clothesline available at times:
Despite the fact that I was a work out of home mom this week, I did not have difficulty finding time to wash the diapers. Some days I took them with me, and all of the children (my own two, and three others), helped me wash the diapers in a camp-style washer. A couple of days, I washed the diapers at home. I never needed more than two covers, although there was one day when I didn’t get a chance to wash, so I was glad to have allotted myself eight flats, rather than six.
When I washed the diapers at my own home, in our s0-hard-you-can-see-it water, I added water softener along with one tablespoon of cloth diaper detergent to the wash cycle. I double rinsed, and then used the hose to rinse each diaper individually before hand wringing them out. I have found the diapers to be sufficiently clean throughout the challenge, but I would probably find myself boiling diapers to strip them often if I handwashed on a regular basis.
In general, I think my take-away point for the handwashing part of the challenge this year is “So simple, even children can handwash these cloth diapers!” Indeed, they did:
My eight-year old younger sister helping wash the diapers.
My four-year-old son, Gabriel, helping wash diapers.
If you’re interested in more information on how to handwash flat cloth diapers, check out what my fellow Flats and Handwashing Challenge participants had to say on the topic.