Tuesday, May 24, 2011

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Flats Challenge Accepted

Saying that anyone can cloth diaper by using flats and hand washing the diapers is one thing, doing it is another.  I’ve collected all of the things that I think I am going to need for the Flats Challenge.

First off, birdseye flat diapers:
I am using twelve Swaddlebees flats and six OsoCozy unbleached flats.  I bought the Swaddlebees because I am a sucker for prints, even if they are going to end up under a diaper cover.  To add extra absorbency for naps and overnight, I am going to use the OsoCozy flats pad folded as doublers since they are a little bit smaller than the Swaddlebees.

Next up the covers:
I have no shortage of covers but since I had to choose just five, I wanted the ones that have proven to work the best.  I am choosing a Bummis Super Brite wrap, a Thirsties  Cover, a Kissaluvs kissa’s one size cover, a Blueberry one size, and a Hiney Liney Versa cover.  The Hiney Liney is my wildcard cover.  I just recently found out about them and bought a cover specifically for the flats challenge. 

Hand Washing
I really love the idea of the camp washer so I ran out and bought all of the supplies to make it.  A friend was even able to find me a plunger at the Dollar Store, thus making it even less expensive to make the camp washer.  Once it was made, I did some test runs with mediocre success.  The rubber plunger has such a strong smell, I couldn’t figure out if I was getting the diapers clean.  Somehow I can’t tell the difference between the smell of ammonia and the smell of cheap rubber.  So I have decided to do a cold rinse in the camp washer, dump the water, add hot water, agitate the diapers with Rockin’ Green in the camp washer using the smelly plunger and then do all of my final rinsing in a basin in the kitchen sink.  I’m rinsing in the sink to make sure that all of the soap is out and also to rinse off the smell of the plunger.  Since my hands are going to end up touching very hot water (we have our hot water heater set dangerously high) and freezing cold water, I am using my Blue Meanies.  (My fancy dishwashing gloves that I registered for when we got married and never used). 

Once washed and rinsed, the diapers are going on to my drying rack.  I just have a simple drying rack from Target so the diapers don’t fit perfectly.  I need to use backs of chairs, towel bars and the dishwasher and oven handles for additional space.  There will be diapers all over my kitchen while they are drying. 

Strategy
I plan on washing the diapers every other night after the kids go to bed.  This will leave enough time for the diapers to dry before they wake up in the morning.  Some of the diapers on the inside of the drying rack are still going to be damp by morning, so I am just going to put the whole drying rack on my kitchen island until they are dry.

Extra Credit
The extra fun and excitement portion of the flats challenge is that we are traveling from Boston to Philadelphia for Memorial Day weekend to visit a friend.  So we will be traveling with flats and washing somewhere else.  I think I will have to boil water to use in the camp washer outside and rinse the diapers outside with a hose while we are visiting because I don’t want our hosts to feel uncomfortable that dirty diaper water would end up anywhere in their home.

About the writer:
Emily is a work from home mother of two little girls.  She has been cloth diapering since the birth of her older daughter in 2008 and co-founded Giving Diapers Giving Hope to offer cloth diapers to families in need and educate the public about cloth diapering. 

2 comments:

Stephanie said...

Unless you don't have a washer, this sounds like an awful lot of unnecessary work! Any benefit to hand washing that makes it worth it?

Liara Covert said...

These are all great suggestions you offer. I recommend Soft Bots and Oz Nappies pocket nappies and layering microfibre on top of bamboo inserts for super absorbency. Love the look of the site and all the contributors.