Friday, May 25, 2012

Handwashing Diapers Is Oh So Fun...

I tried to start this entry last night at 11:58 pm so it would post on the ACTUAL Day 4 of the Challenge but I only got as far as the title. Oh well...

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

DAY 4: Thoughts on Handwashing Diapers

Handwashing diapers can go play in traffic for all I care.

Ok, it's not that bad. But I am really, really, REALLY not a fan. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this. I feel kinda lame. I've read all these other blogs where the parents are like, "Oh, it's not that bad." or "It's going really well." And I'm like, "REALLY?! Really?! I'm the only one?!" I don't know. Maybe I'm too honest. I have washed two loads so far and I have a lovely pile soaking in the diaper pail at this very moment. And I'm basically dreading have to wash them. Monday cannot come soon enough.

It really stinks (no pun intended). I strive to go back in time and do things how they used to during the "good old days" when people didn't rely so much on electricity and technology. And I can't even wash a few loads of diapers by hand without mostly hating it entirely. But, what can you do?

I don't totally despise handwashing diapers and I recognize that not everyone has access to a washer. So I will say it is doable but not preferable in my book. There are a few possible reasons why this may not be going as well for me as it could be:
1. Our tub drains REALLY slowly making it impossible to rinse the diapers in it. Instead I resort to rinsing each one individually in the bathroom sink and sloshing water everywhere (time consuming and messy).
2. I was too lazy to make a camp-style washer for the Challenge, but rather am using the plunger-in-my-diaper-pail-with-no-lid method. In two wash cycles I've only splashed poo water all over myself about 4 times. Fun stuff.
3. I don't exactly carve out time to wash diapers. Therefore, I am typically running around frantically trying to wash, rinse, wring out and hang up the diapers as quickly as possible before it's time to A. pass out for the night or B. leave for Bingo with the ladies.
4. I have three crazy children and one adoring husband who need my TLC. :)

Now that I have totally bashed handwashing dipes with all that I have, I will say that it has some redeeming qualities. I like that I get a mini-workout from plunging and wringing everything out. I felt pretty refreshed after each round - no wonder our ancestors didn't have overweight/out-of-shape issues... ;) Also, I have been only using the diapers I handwashed on Baby C and he hasn't had any rashes or irritation which means I actually got them clean! It's pretty cool knowing that I CAN hand wash diapers effectively if need be.

Here are some fun pictures of my first handwashing experience:

Washing (Notice the awesome tub drainage...)

Clean diapers waiting to be hung (Yuengling does help a little.)

I dried the diapers inside (since it was 12:30 AM) but I put this
rack outside in the morning so they'd finish drying. 

Big Sissy distracting Baby C during the change
(Diaperbag folded GMD flat with snappi)

And finally, I really love drying diapers outside. I can't wait 'til my hubby makes me a really nice clothesline in the backyard. ;) There's nothing like holding a warm, crunchy diaper in your hand that smells like nature. Don't judge me.

Are you taking the challenge? Have you ever washed diapers by hand? What are your thoughts on the matter? Any and all tips appreciated! ;)

Also, check out how others are doing with the Challenge!

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