Am I nuts? I’m nuts. I’m not going to be able to do this. Hand wash diapers? For an entire week?
This incredibly sad article was circulating in the online cloth diapering community about a month ago. It broke my heart to read it, but what could I do? So I moved on. Then I heard about Kim Rosas’ Flats and Handwashing Challenge. My first thought was, “no way.” The idea of hand washing diapers for a week appeals to me about as much as using chemical laden disposables on The Gnome’s perfect little butt. Vomit.
But, then I realized that there was something worse than hand washing. The idea of leaving a poor innocent baby sitting in his filth for far too long to save money. I could never reuse a disposable diaper. But maybe I could hand wash diapers if I had to. We cloth diaper for several reasons (more info here), but the cost of disposables factored into it in the beginning. We could, theoretically, afford disposables but we would definitely have to cut back elsewhere. We are a one income family and the cost of disposables would hurt us financially. We decided to put up the cost up front (about $400 total) and be done with it.
So, here we are. I am still hesitant about the hand washing but I know without a doubt that I could do it for 2 years if it meant making sure The Gnome’s butt stayed as perfect as it is now. So surely I can commit to the Flats and Handwashing Challenge for just one week. From May 23 - May 30, 2011 I am going to use only flats and I will hand wash and hang dry them rather than use my washer and dryer.
Flats are a type of cloth diaper that are basically just a BIG single layer square of fabric. Because they are single layer they are much easier to hand wash and they dry much quicker than other types of diapers. They are also much more affordable than other types of cloth diapers.
Here are some of the other rules:
- You MUST use flats.
- You MUST handwash them. How is up to you. (I’m thinking in the sink?)
- You MUST air dry them. (I already hang dry most of my diapers so this is no biggie)
- You MUST limit your number of covers in rotation to 5 or less. (I’m going to use 5 flip covers)
- You can use any detergent you want. (I’ll stick with my standard bio-kleen free & clear)
- You can still use your nighttime diapers but I ask that you try to make flats work. (I may just try two flats??? Will have to experiment with this)
- You can use disposable liners. (I don’t, so I won’t)
- You CAN’T use a diaper sprayer. I thought long and hard about this one, but at an average cost of 40.00 this is one diaper accessory that is out of range for many families. Dunk, swish, flush, or scrape! (We don’t even have a diaper sprayer, we’re more of a scraping family)
- You MUST start the morning of May 23 and end the evening of May 30.