Guest post by Samantha H.
“Why should my washer get all the smelly goodness of my scented Rockin’ Green?!”
Ok, so that wasn’t the FIRST thing that popped into my head when I decided to take the Flats and Hand washing Challenge this week. Although when I contemplated the hand washing part, I most certainly smiled while thinking of getting to enjoy the wonderful Smashing Watermelons Scent I just bought a week ago.
So on to the logistics, if you hadn’t heard yet. The Flats and Hand washing challenge was started by Dirty Diaper Laundry in an effort to show that no matter your financial situation, even the simplest form of cloth diapering can be cheap and easy. The hand washing part takes into account the low income [income isn’t always the reason] families without easily accessible laundry facilities or those who can’t afford the extra money for the laundromat.
I will mention here that at one time I was exclusively using flats, and I stocked up when there was a great sale locally. They are so easy, can be folded so many ways and are FAST to wash and dry. But I’d never washed them by hand before.
My tools for the week: a stack of flats (some white, some I dyed), 5 covers (3 econobum, 1 Rumparooz, 1 fleece), Snappi, Rockin green hard rock, peri bottle and two hemp doublers for nighttime.
Besides the ease and price of flats, they are also VERY trim! So if you had to size up or constantly find certain pants to fit on your fluffy bum baby with other cloth diapering options, you likely wont have that problem with flats! Of course if you double flats or include a doubler for heavy wetters it will make them a bit bulkier, but in most cases they will be just as trim as a disposable diaper.
I mention this because not everyone can afford to keep sizing up in baby pants just so they will fit over their diaper. They will be able to wear them longer and no more ‘these pants fit with this diaper’ scenarios. Although in the summer months, I let my daughter run around in her diaper and either a dress or cute shirt.
Onto the washing routine. I turned to my trusty Rockin’ Green Hard Rock in the oh-so-delicious Smashing Watermelons!
My supplies are as follows:
- Large Stock pot (only used for prepping or soaking diapers)
- Stirring utensil
I started by filling one side of my kitchen sink half full of cold water and boiled a pot of water on the stove. While the water was heating up, I put all the flats into the sink to give them a pre-rinse. Swish swish swish. I didn’t need the gloves as my daughter only had one poopy diaper in 2 days (lucky me!), and it was well rinsed with my peri bottle (thank you hospital!) at the diaper change. I drained the sink and wrung out the diapers.
Next step- add flats back into now empty sink and add hot water from the pot. I also ran some cold water just to cool it down a bit. I started with just over 1/2 a tablespoon of Rockin’ Green. Since it was still to hot to touch, I used a silicone spatula to give it a few swishes and make sure the detergent was well mixed in.
Then let them soak! After about 20 minutes I added the covers in and gave it a few more swishes. Of course this is where my daughter woke from her nap, so everything got a decent soak while I got her up and changed. Ok a LLLOOOOONNNG soak until daddy woke up.
When he got up I left her with him to play and I continued on with my flats! I dug in and gave them a final 5-10 minute agitation for good measure and especially on the one poopy flat. I pulled the plug drained the sink and ran cold water for the rinse. I used my kitchen sprayer and sprayed each flat and cover well and wrung them out until I could ‘feel’ the clean. I threw them into the laundry basket and onto the clothesline they went.
Now this whole process should’ve taken me all of 45 min to an hour but due to a tiny person needing me, it took much longer. Good news is flats dry incredibly fast, which I LOVE. They smell clean, look clean and haven’t had any redness issues – so I can only assume they are cleaned and rinsed well. Honestly I had a vision of being hunched over the tub with yucky water and scrubbing the flats against a washboard. It was luckily nothing like that and was pretty relaxing and satisfying.
All in all, I LOVED the flats challenge. I will have to admit I’m happy to go back to my fitteds and washing machine, but I also have a better sense of reality in the thought that if I ever HAVE to rely on flats and hand washing, that I can do it and do it well!