Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 2 of the Flats and Handwash Challenge



O mothers let's go down,
Come on down, don't you wanna go down?
 Come on mothers, let's go down,
Down in the river to pray.

It might be funny, but when I was imagining hand washing these diapers I couldn't help but think of all the women throughout the ages who have gone down to the river to wash their family's clothes, and this song popped into my mind. I think it is perfect, actually, even though it isn't about laundry. I am reminded of St Therese's ideas of finding holiness in the little things of life, like sweeping or washing clothes.

Well, I didn't exactly feel holy while washing diapers this morning, but I didn't feel as wretched as I expected! I decided to use our bath tub as the wash station. I like the idea of using a camp washer, like many are doing, but I didn't want to invest in the parts, and then have to store them when the challenge was finished. So here is my mixture of "Target flats", Hemp Babies flats, flannel blankets, surgery drapes, and cloth wipes (which I made from an old skirt). They are in the bath tub with their soapy suds. My latex gloves are to the left.

My normal washing machine routine, with which I am very happy, goes like this:

                          Hot rinse
                          Hot wash with soap/ cold rinse
                          Warm wash with soap and covers/ cold rinse
                          Cold rinse

And I normally use a dry pail for dirty diaper storage. Now, for the challenge, I am washing my covers separately, and like I mentioned yesterday, I have changed my dirty diaper storage to a wet pail, so that is my first rinse.

So today, my routine looked like this:

                          Cold rinse (from the pail)
                          Hot rinse and hand agitation as I unfold the flats
                          Hot wash with soap, soak and agitation
                          Hot rinse with agitation
                          Warm rinse and inspection

I was surprised at how very easy this was! And the flats got really clean! I used a long dowel to agitate, I used my gloves for whenever I had to touch the dirty diapers, and in the last rinse I inspected each one to see that it was clean. So my supplies for washing were very simple: bath tub, gloves, dowel. I think it took me no longer than and hour and a half, and it was by no means all active time.

I had a "helper" too.

And this fellow narrowly escaped being dumped in with the first dirty load.

When everything was clean, I wrung them each out by hand.

My diaper sticks.

And hung them outside,

and in.

I have been searching for a drying rack for months now, and the problem isn't that I can't find any, it's that they are too durn expensive. I do not want to spend $25 on a simple wooden rack. I was amazed and pleased to see this idea from Mamawords and I was even happier that I actually had a section from our baby gate laying around. The drying rack you see above is the section of baby gate leaning against the wall. Hooray!

 Below is a Hemp Babies insert. I guess it's not technically a flat diaper, but it certainly works like one!


  1. Wow, baby gate as a drying rack, what a great idea!!!

  2. I like that idea from the sing and of course the baby gate drying rack!


  3. That drying rack is a great idea! I laughed when I saw it. I've been needing a drying rack for a while but don't feel like spending money either. My poor curtain rod...