Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 4

Today is the fourth day of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  As a reminder, this is a 7 day Challenge where participants can only use flat cloth diapers and have to ditch their washer and dryer in favor of good ol’ fashioned handwashing.  We are close to 500 participants this year and many are blogging their journey.  You can find their posts linked at the end.

Today's blog topic is "Whatcha Think About Handwashing?"

Well.  It hasn't been that bad.  I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER want to do it with my AIO (all-in-ones) or pocket diapers.  But for my flats and covers, it hasn't been too bad.  I do wash a pocket and 2 inserts each evening, and they take the most of my time. 

I have it easy though.  I am doing the challenge with an EBF (exclusively breastfed) baby.  That means the BM is completely water soluble.  That means she isn't a huge kid with stinky urine.  I feel like I cheated a bit because two weeks ago I potty trained my toddler.  First and foremost I potty trained her because she was ready...but in the back of my mind getting her done before the challenge didn't seem like a bad idea either!

So I am only washing diapers for one.  I do wash the wipes (I use 90% cloth wipes, and this week we are 100%) that I use on her bottom after she uses the potty.  So I guess there is some "gross" ness to the handwashing.  I wash about 7 flats and two covers, the previous night's overnight diaper (KaWaii Baby Heavy Wetter Overnight), about 10 wipes, and probably 3 fleece inserts that I use when we are out and about for extra absorbency.  I also have 2 homemade wetbags in my rotation and have washed them each once in the three days I have washed.  

I wash in the evening.  Each night I have tried something new.  

Night #1 I bent over my bathtub and washed in my camp washer with the lid on all nice and perfect.  

Night #2 I kept dragging my camp washer OUT of the tub and into the entryway so I could watch TV with my husband.  I'd take it back to the bathtub to dump/refill during commercials.  I ditched the lid and just used the bucket and plunger.  Much better.  I also noticed my hands HURT.  

Night #3 I sat with my feet in the tub and washed in my camp washer.  No lugging of the bucket. No standing and bending over. That was killing my back.  Timed the entire thing and found it takes me about 40 minutes. I also wore gloves. 

I like the way night #3 went the best, and will probably continue to do it that way. It also gave me some quiet time to reflect on my day and think about the Bible study I am currently in.  I am doing "Experiencing God" and it talks about listening for the Lord and waiting upon His timing.  This is quite the opportunity to do that as handwashing is pretty mindless.

This is my wash routine:
Fill 1/2 bucket with hot water
Dump and squeeze out water.
Put back into bucket.
Fill 1/2 bucket with hot water
Dump and squeeze out water.
Put 1/2 tsp of Rock In Green detergent in
Fill bucket 3/4 with hot water
Put diapers back into bucket
Agitation for 5 minutes
Dump, wring out
Rinse bucket, and then put diapers back in
Fill bucket 1/2 with warm water
Dump, squeeze out
Rinse bucket, and then put diapers back in
Fill bucket ALL the way, and bring out each diaper individually, run under the faucet

Hang on drying rack/clothesline/pants hangers (thanks to Christina for the idea)

I basically am following the same wash routine that I do when I stick my diapers in our washer.  I've tried MANY things, and this is what I do right now;  rinse & spin, rinse & spin, wash, rinse, extra rinse.  

Esther left a comment yesterday (thanks Ester, always nice to know someone is reading!) and asked what I do about the "muddy" diapers.  I think I answered this before when I said that she is EBF.  Basically I don't have to deal with that part!  However, a diaper sprayer is allowed in the challenge so I could be using it if I needed to.  

Below I copied the list of case you are wondering.   (Note, I did receive 2 free covers that I am using for this challenge but not because I am doing this challenge.  It was because I was being "paid" for blogging on their cloth blog-just about using cloth in general.  There is a difference!)

Materials Allowed
The following diapering items can be used:
  • Any flat cloth diaper, store bought or handmade.  A flat should be only 1 layer of material for easier handwashing and faster drying.
  • 1 night time diaper per night of your choice although you are asked to make flats work for you (this diaper must also be handwashed)
  • Doublers (not inserts meant to be absorbent enough to stand alone) if you absolutely must.
  • A diaper sprayer.
  • Wet bags/diaper pails for storage.
  • Handmade “washing machine” for diapers such as the camp style washer I made last year.
  • Non Electronic Portable washing machines (must be powered by you and cost less than $100.
  • Commercially available or handmade covers.
  • Commercially available or handmade detergents.
  • Snappi, Boingo, and Pins for closure.
  • Pocket diapers STUFFED WITH FLATS. (note that the potential for repelling on the stay dry lining could make your challenge harder but you can see what happens)
  • Homemade or store bought fleece liners.
  • Iron (to use in order to expedite drying time or sterilize)
Materials Not Allowed
  • Electronic washer/dryer.
  • Pockets with inserts other than flats, AIO’s, Fitteds, Contours, Prefolds, AI2’s, etc.
  • Flushable liners.
Rules for Everyone
  • You cannot use your washer or dryer.
  • If for some reason something arises and an exception is made you need to disclose in the Conclusions Survey or on your blog if you are a blogger.
  • There is no limit on the number of flats or covers you can use.  Should you purchase 100 flats for $100 and go a whole week without washing?  No.  Use your common sense on this one.  As a tip the more diapers in your camp washer/ sink/ tub the harder the washing will be.  
Rules for Bloggers
  • You cannot be sponsored by received free flats or covers to use.  Bloggers will see a link to the rules in the form of a .pdf after signing up within the sign up application.


Anonymous said...

Holy Smokes! I am learning sOOOOOO much!!!!! I must admit I am a tad overwhelmed by it all, but I'm still enjoying it! :) I think I need another one-on-one lesson when I actually have our kiddos here. :) I'm a hands-on learner and reading it is a little mind-boggling!
Keep it up, though! You're doing an awesome job!

CFMama said...

Your welcome, girl! Glad I can be of some help. ;-) I always hang my pocket covers on pants hangers bc I want to protect my elastics from the dryer.

I had to stuff my pockets with flats today because she had a mess dipe first thing in the morning. First time I had to go for a 2nd cover, etc.

And way to go Rosebud!

Esther said...

Thanks for answering my question! I almost miss diapering. Almost. But I firmly believe that if more people used cloth diapers, they would save SOOOOOO much money! I love that you're doing this challenge--keep up the good work!