By: Jessica Dunn
Today’s topic bloggers participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge is handwashing. Laundry was the scariest part of the challenge for me. I hate washing laundry as it is and I have a washer and dryer in my garage. The thought of washing by hand really scared me, but I figured it was only seven days and I can survive just about anything for seven days.
Surprisingly, laundry hasn’t been that difficult. I keep the wash bucket in the bathtub and when I change Emma, I put the diapers directly in the wash bucket after rinsing the poppy diapers. I am using a diaper sprayer, which I realized that I didn’t include on my list of supplies on Day 2’s post. I used my store credit from Kissed by the Moon to purchase it, so I paid less than $5 for it.
Dirty diapers stored in the bathtub ready to be washed
I wash diapers in the afternoon or early evening, after my husband gets home from work so he can be on baby duty and take care of Emma while I wash diapers and hang them to try. I have a drying rack that my mother in law bought me last summer after she saw my make shift clothes line (heavy duty string and dollar store clothes pins) set up under our patio cover. She decided if I was going to go green and stop using our dryer that I needed a decent drying rack. For those of you who don’t follow my blog and facebook fan page, let me give you a little background information. I decided last June that we were spending entirely too much money on electricity so we stopped using the dryer 90% of the time. I dry my husband’s work pants, and our sheets and towels completely in the dryer. Everything else goes in for 10 minutes to get the wrinkles off and then is hung to dry. Giving up the dryer for Flats and Handwashing Challenge was definitely the easiest part of the challenge.
Here is my step by step picture tutorial showing you how to handwash the diapers using a camp style washer. I wash diapers in the utility sink in our garage because I get hot water faster in that sink than in the bathtub. The added benefit is that the sink is next to the stairs leading into the house so I can stand on the second step and not have to bend over the bucket like I would have to do if the bucket was in the tub.
- Cold rinse: fill the bucket with cold water to cover the dirty diapers and covers. Place the plunger in the bucket and put the lid on the bucket. Plunge up and down and side to side making sure to swish and mix the diapers around. Plunge for 3-5 minutes.
- Drain the cold water
- Hot wash: fill the bucket with hot water to cover the dirty diapers and 1 teaspoon of detergent. Place the plunger in the bucket and put the lid on the bucket. Plunge up and down and side to side making sure to swish and mix the diapers around. Plunger for 5-7 minutes.
- Drain the hot water
- Cold rinse: fill the bucket with cold water to cover the dirty diapers and covers. Place the plunger in the bucket and put the lid on the bucket. Plunge up and down and side to side making sure to swish and mix the diapers around. Plunge for 3-5 minutes
- Check for suds. I take one or two of the diapers out and see if they are rinsed, if not I continue to plunge.
- Drain the water and then wring out the diapers into the sink.
- Hang on the line to dry.
About the author: My name is Jessica and I am the author of Parenting and Living Our Way blog. I am a busy stay at home mom to a 9 month old daughter who has recently learned how to crawl and is keeping me on my toes. I was invited by Kissed by the Moon to be their guest blogger for the week documenting my experience. I am so excited about this opportunity and look forward to sharing my experience with you. If you’d like to read more about me, my family and our life, you can read our blog Parenting and Living Our Way. We can also be found on facebook. I am posting throughout the day on facebook and twitter about how our day is going, so you can follow along.
About the challenge: I'm participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. This event aims to bring awareness to the challenges that low income families face when trying to diaper their children. There are not publicly funded programs that supply diapers to families in need. Using cloth diapers and handwashing is an affordable way to families to diaper their children. Flats are the most inexpensive of commercially available cloth diapers; receiving blankets, flour sack towels, cut sheets, and t-shirts can also be used as flats making these diapers available to all families.