Friday, May 15, 2015

Day 5 Flats and Handwashing Challenge- Wash Routine

We have doing pretty well so far, into the 5th day of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. I feel I'm finally getting down a system that works for us. Because this is my first year ever doing the challenge, and my first time ever handwashing our diapers, I've had to see what works and what doesn't.

The first day wash seemed pretty easy, but I think it's because there weren't many diapers. I have been doing the washing around 1pm each day, after 2 of the 4 kids go down for a nap. Wednesday, I got started late and my son woke up from his nap in the middle of the hot wash cycle!

I decided to make a camp style wash bucket for the challenge, and also to use when we go camping and our yearly hunting trip. I'm excited to be able to use our cloth diapers when we are away from the house.

For the routine, when we change a wet diaper it goes in a small bucket in the bedroom. If it is a poopy diaper, I spray it off with the diaper sprayer in the bathroom and put it directly in the wash bucket.

wet diapers in the small pail in the bedroom

poopy diapers in the wash bucket and wet diapers in the small bucket ready for washing
When it is time for washing I bring the small bucket into the bathroom. I fill the wash bucket with a little bit of water and give the poopy diapers a good rinse and agitation with the plunger. I dump the bucket out into the tub and put all the diapers into the bucket. I have found that washing more than 5 flats and a few covers and wipes, I can't get them very clean. So if I have more diapers than that I will do 2 separate loads. So after the rinse of the poopy diapers, I put the poopy diapers and wet diapers back into the pail and fill it 3/4 full of cold water. I then agitate them with the plunger for about 5 minutes. This rinses all the pee and any lingering poo out of the diapers. I dump out the bucket, squeeze out most of the water from the diapers, and put them back into the bucket. I add about 2 to 3 teaspoons of Rockin' Green powder and a tablespoon of Calgon water softener and fill the bucket with hot water. We have extremely hard water, so this is why I add the Calgon. If I don't, the water leaves a ton of mineral buildup on the diapers and my son gets a rash. I know this from experience haha!

After agitating the wash cycle for about 10 minutes, I dump the bucket again. I turn the faucet on cold and rinse everything quickly under the faucet and then return it all to the bucket. I fill the bucket with cold water again and agitate for another 5 minutes. Sometimes during this cycle I like to use my hand/arm to make sure all the diapers are getting moved around and rinsed thoroughly. After 5 minutes, if there are no remaining bubbles, I will ring out all the diapers. If I have another load to do, I use the remaining water for my initial rinse for that load.

After ringing out the diapers, I put them in my small black bucket and take them out to the line and hang them to dry.

We have had pretty good weather this week. It's been a bit windy, but no diapers have blown away...yet. (knocking on wood now) I really thought i was going to have to dry inside yesterday and possibly today. It rained (and even hailed a couple blocks away) yesterday morning, but by the afternoon it had cleared up!

What a crazy difference! As I write this, I have today's wash out on the line, and will be going out to get it in just a few minutes.

The only thing that I'm not too fond of is the flats obviously get crunchy line drying. Even if I give them a good shake out, they still aren't very soft. I don't think our hard water helps that situation. It doesn't seem to bother my son's skin, though, so it must not be that bad. Another thing that I have found, I prefer to have the lid off of the wash bucket while I wash. I feel like I can see the diapers washing better, and I can make sure they are all getting agitated. (I do leave the lid on the bucket sometimes during the poo diaper rinse ;) ).

Tomorrow we have a birthday party to go to. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to time everything yet, but I will try and make it work! The kids may go swimming, and I have decided that instead of a disposable swim diaper, I will just use a PUL cover on my son. (It's my in-law's house, so we know it's clean)

Two more days, I think I got this!

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