The Flats Challenge – Day 2….The Gear
Okay, so when I heard about the flats and handwashing challenge, I cringed a little but not so much for the “handwashing” part….I had bought a ton of birdseye flats when I first decided to try cloth diapering and was looking to be cost effective, but then I happened upon prefolds and fell in love :^) But I looked at this as the chance to maybe grow to love the flats that were taking up a shelf in my changing table…..some of which have even become handkerchiefs for my husband – yes, those are still reserved for him!! I actually thought I had a lot more flats than I did when I went to get them out….a foggy memory suggests I may have given a few away, but here is what I’ll be working with for the week:
– Five Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap covers – Twenty-six Flatfold Birdseye Cloth Diapers – Five hospital style receiving blankets
I don’t use pins or dappy’s or snappi’s or whatever….never bought them and things stay together pretty well so for….mind you, Amelia is just 10 months old….maybe in 6 months, my feeling on this might change ;^)
Now, like I said, the “handwashing” part didn’t really phase me all that much because….well, I’m an apartment dweller. I have no washer or dryer in my apartment. We have machines very close to our apartment, just about 50 feet from our front door actually. But for $3.00 for a wash and a dry, my whole “being cost effective” spin on the cloth diapering thing would have gone right out the window. So, last June – as a birthday gift for myself!! – I bought a Wonderwash hand crank washing machine from Amazon for $59.
I love the dang thing!!!
I throw the diapers in there as they get used and then every other day fill it up with hot water and wash what’s in there. I used to soak stinkies, but I’ve found that they clean up better if – after I shake and flush – I give it a quick scrub and then ring it out before tossing it into the Wonderwasher. I ordered 4 samples of Rockin’ Green a while ago and use them for soaking…..
This morning, for example, I knew that after dinner, I would start my diaper wash cycle so I put my Wonderwasher in the shower in our bathroom, added half a teaspoon of Rockin’ Green and turned on the hot water, filling it just enough to cover the diapers that were in there. When I got home from work, I put the lid on and rolled it around a few times and then put the drain in. After dinner, I filled it up again with hot water and half a teaspoon of liquid detergent, rolled it for one minute and then let it sit for about 5 before rolling it for another minute. After I drained it, I filled it up again with just hot water – no more soap! – and rolled it for another minute, drained it and then just let cold water run through it.
When everything is cool enough to touch, I pull it all out, ring out the diapers individually, spray them with the cold water, ring them out again and then return them to the barrel….fill that with cold water almost to the top, regardless of how many diapers I have in there…….roll it around one more time and, as it’s draining – gosh, I didn’t realize how many steps there is to this until I started typing it!! – I start pulling diapers out one by one, ringing them out and then hanging them to dry on my drying rack.
It’s much like this one from Amazon, but I’m not really sure of the brand….my husband came home with it after spending a weekend with his dad and it’s just perfect for what I need to do with it….I usually set it up in our utility room because that’s where the heater/ac is so there’s nice circulating air in there all the time….I really had wanted to use it out on our patio, but…..I live in Philly…..I actually didn’t realize what outside smells like until I realized I hated that smell on the diapers that I just busted my rump cleaning my hand!! So I use the utility room, but I couldn’t get a good pic of the rack in there so I just took the pic in our bathroom – lol! Oh, I also have one of these hanging racks for if I only have a few things to hang up and it’s not worth setting up the big boy!
I must confess that now and then, I wind up washing my prefolds in the Wonder washer and then throwing them in the dryer because I hate that stiffness ya get with air drying and I might need them quickly…. there is a $.75 dryer cycle, so as long as I only put like 10 or 15 prefolds in there that works well enough. And yeah, every other week I do a giant prefold wash in the “real” washer and dryer just so they all get a good boil and agitation ;^)
So there it is…..my supplies for the week and the reason I wasn’t deterred by “handwashing” – lol :^)