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I don’t believe washing diapers is a science. I don’t believe there is one right way to do things, nor do I play by hard and fast rules.
Despite participating in the 2016 Flats and Hand washing challenge, I kind of forgot everything I knew about hand washing diapers. Lucky for me, its just laundry with the basic goal of “gets it clean.” I’ve seen enough TV and documentaries to get the general gist of what a hand wash routine might look like – you need agitation, water, and some sort of soap/detergent. Scrub till clean, rinse, ring out, dry and repeat.
Rock Your Hand Wash Routine
I’m not going to go into the specifics on how I wash my diapers. If you really want to know follow me on Facebook, I might get a chance to load my morning wash routine via video. Every time is a little different, instead here’s my top tips on how to rock your very own hand wash routine! This year, I’m using a bucket and plunger style system, sometimes known as a camp style washer. These tips are applicable no matter how you do it.
- Open dirty diapers: When placing your diapers in your washing vesicle, unravel the fold to make cleaning and agitating easier.
- Wear Gloves: Not because diapers are dirty, but because using detergent or soap is hard on your hands. Your hands will love you. Protip: keep some moisturizer nearby.
- Drill Holes in Plunger: Seriously, this is amazing. It was so much easier to agitate and plunge my diapers after we did!
- Less is more: the more detergent you use, the more you have to rinse out of the diapers. Rinsing diapers is the most menial and not fun task. Start with less, and add more if you need it. You can always add more detergent to your hand wash routine, but taking away the detergent is more time consuming and daunting.
- It’s not Science: its just laundry, and you really can’t screw it up. If your flat diapers smell a little funky after drying, tweak things the next time. Maybe more detergent, or agitation. Just keep at it. Honestly, my diapers smell a little funky right now and I’m going to use them and wash them better next time. Don’t stress about it, go with you gut, and just keep it simple.
Bonus: How to Hand Wash Diapers with 2 kids under 2.
1) Get them to Help! My toddler isn’t the best diaper plunger/agitator, but he loves to help. And letting him help me “agitate” diapers is the highlight of his moment. Once he got bored, I got back to real work. Pro tip: best time to get them to help is when you’re doing your final rinse cycles; less likely to be covered in poop/pee water and need a bath. (but hey, bath time is also fun!)
2) Baby wear. Nothing like wearing a baby to make things easier. Last year when I did the challenge I wore Little Man on my back while I hand scrubbed diapers. It’s a little more challenging now that Little Miss has to be on my front due to her age/maturity/size/my skill.
3) TV Distraction. Paw Patrol let me get the diapers clean yesterday. I’ll admit to using TV to get things done, but don’t worry this Hike it Baby family gets its fair share of outside play time.
4) Help. My partner has been home this week, and has been able to wrangle a child or two to help me wash, wring and dry diapers.
Nap Time: I don’t really like doing chores during nap time because its my time to work on this blog, and get some downtime. However, for you, it might be best time.
Have you ever hand washed diapers or clothing? What did you learn from the experience?
How do you keep your little busy when you have something to do?