The washing machine. It’s sort of like a cloth diaperer’s best friend. So when it’s taken away, a novice cloth diaperer might be a bit concerned. And believe me; I was.
When I first began my adventure in cloth diapering, I had a great set up. I lived in a basement apartment, and the washer and dryer were right smack in the middle of the apartment. Two months into this adventure, however, I moved. The washing machine was no longer right in the middle of my home. In fact, it was no longer in my home. Thankfully, I didn’t have to resort to a laundry mat; my apartment complex had a laundry facility. But I did have to go out the back door of my apartment, down a flight of stairs, and over to the basement of the apartment building next door. Not terrible, but not ideal – especially with a little one at home.
I was not going to give up though. I was determined to make it work, even if it did mean $2.25 every time I washed and dried a load. It also meant pre- and post-rinsing were no longer so convenient. That would mean an additional four quarters every time I rinsed. So I started developing a system – a system I am still perfecting.
Here’s how I’ve made it work so far. I have a wet bag in my little guy’s room and a wet bag in the bathroom. Throughout the day, I toss the dirty diapers in his room. At the end of the day, I lug the bag down the hall to the bathroom and dump the diapers in the tub. I run the water on hot and give those diapers a rinse; then I plop them in the bathroom wet bag. After a couple days of this routine, I’m ready to do laundry.
On laundry day, I dump all those diapers back into the tub for one more rinse. Then I put them (one more time) back into the wet bag and make the trek to the washing machine. Since I’ve already rinsed, I just do a normal wash. When they’re done, I empty the machine, and haul the diapers up to my back porch, where I hang them on my drying rack to air dry. By pre-rinsing by hand and air drying outside, I only have to spend a dollar per load.
So far, the system is working. It’s a little extra effort, and I will confess that whenever I’m spending time at a family member’s house, the bag of dirty diapers finds its way into their convenient washing machines. But overall, I really believe that I can make cloth diapers work even without a cloth diaperer’s best friend close by.
Bio: Aimee is a new mom and a new cloth diaperer. To learn more about her attempts at green and ethically living, check out her blog at www.littlechoices.org.