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Hand Washing Diapers

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! 

Today I'm going to post about hand washing my diapers. I'll admit, it is very much a chore. I dread doing it, but once I get started, it's really not that bad. It's more of a lack of motivation that's the problem. It doesn't take me very long to wash a load of diapers, 20-25 minutes tops. I'm washing two loads a day, once during a nap time and then again after Noah goes to bed.  I probably could just do it once a day, but I only have one drying rack and prefer the sun over drying them inside. The diapers washed in the evening dry over night in my living room on the rack.

I had Chas take some pictures of my washing routine. There was a lot of grumbling from him about having to do it. I don't know what he's complaining about...he hasn't change a diaper since at least Sunday, if not before! He should be loving this challenge...he's off the hook! 

In between washes, I'm storing my soiled flats in my regular diaper pail (i.e. large trash can), but without a pail liner. It's just one less thing I'm having to hand wash which is a bonus this week.

flat diapers

I fill the bathtub with hot water, a few inches deep, maybe three. And while the water is running I add a very small amount of detergent (Tide original liquid). I toss in my diapers and made sure they are unfolded and soaking up the detergent and hot water.

I stomp on them, swish them around, squeeze them individually. I treat each diaper like it is a ball of dough being kneaded. Then I do a sniff test on each diaper to make sure it smells clean! 

I toss each clean diaper to the side after it's been cleaned and then drain the water when I'm done.  Then I run more hot water and individually rinse each diaper under the faucet. I squeeze it a few times, unball it, and squeeze it again. 

flat diapers

 After all the diapers have been rinsed, I wring each one out as good as I can. This is tough and can lead to calluses, but it's important to get as much water out as possible. 

flat diapers

Then I load all my diapers back into my pail (that I've also cleaned and rinsed with my water) and take them outside. I snap as much water as I can out of each diaper. I usually do about 10 snaps per diaper. Then I hang them on the drying rack. Done!

flat diapers
I've read a lot about hand washing diapers. I feel like I've kept my routine very simple. I know some mamas are letting their diapers soak, doing multiple rinses, etc. My diapers are not staining and are coming out clean, so I'm not worried about the simplicity of my process. 

Honestly, I look forward to using my washing machine again, but as least I know I can hand wash diaper and that it's really not as bad as one would think!

I'm not sure if I'll get a post up tonight with a summary of today. We are driving to my parent's house as soon as Chas is done with work. If not tonight, I'll check back in tomorrow!
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