Today’s, Dirty Diaper Laundry Flats & Handwashing topic is hand washing routine. Honestly, I’ve only washed my diapers twice since the start of the challenge. I wash every 24-46 hours depending on number of diapers and how soiled they are.
The last time I did laundry by hand I was at Girl Guide Camp in Ontario and my friends took a long last video of my pretending to be a washing machine in a small child size pool.
Hand Washing Ambitions & Considerations – Advance Thoughts
For this adventure, I am not considering using any bucket system or other portable (electric-free) contraption. I would have to figure out how to get that to my moms house, how to build it there, etcetera. Too complicated for flying.
The first thing I know I’m going to miss is my diaper sprayer. I have a poopy kid. We average 3-4 full sized poops a day.
I am considering washing in the laundry room sink. I like that the sink is high up (I could baby wear my cranky mobile baby) while agitating. I know the sink is a good size for a days worth of diapers – I’ll be aiming to wash diapers every 36 hours. In our life that is about 12-14 diapers. I also have access to many a bath tub. This is also my consideration and will likely be tried during the trip.
Drying might be a challenge. My mother lives in the Vancouver (BC) region. It can be prone to humidity and rain. She does have a large drying rack, I can use on the deck to sun my diapers, and there is space in the house to let them air dry.
Hand Washing Routine
I intend to continue to use the same detergent and process I have always used for diapers. I will be using Tide and I will be using the recommended amount for the size of load I have. Because my load size will be small (pretending its in my washer), I intend to use a smidgen of detergent in my pre-wash, and appropriately more in the mail wash.
I will be using a mainstream detergent. I am a huge advocate of mainstream detergents and not because I get a kickbacks (I don’t) but because I want my detergent to actually do something. Not just be some random soap product, but be something filled with enzymes, surfactants and grime dissolving power. When we are talking about cleaning diapers, we are talking about poop and urine. These are dirty dirty things that need to be tackled with strong detergents.
I intend to be following the hand washing routine set out by a cloth diaper guru in my online cloth diaper community. She used this routine (minus the warm/hot water in the aftermath of a natural disaster that left them without power). I’ll adjust water levels based on diaper load and tub size. I have also modified a few steps based on blogs and experiences I have read from previous years.
- Fill tub 1/2 way with warm water.
- Let soak for 10-20 minutes
- Toss in diapers and agitate (plunge) with toilet plunger for several minutes.
- Drain and press on diapers to remove water.
Main Wash *
- Fill tub 1/2 way with HOT water and full recommended detergent for a medium-large load of diapers.
- Plunge and swish for about 5 minutes.
- Leave diapers to soak 20-30 minutes.
- Plunge and swish for another 3-5 minutes.
- Drain tub
- One by one rinse diaper under COOL water in the faucet until detergent disappears.
- Wring out diapers of water
- Hang to dry.
Hand Washing Routine – Realities
Now that you’ve read my ambitions and hope for my wash routine, let’s see what has actually happened these past couple of days…
I basically did the above. But instead of using a plunger I have used my hands or feet.
Always set a timer. 3-5 minutes is a lot longer than you think.
At my house I did the deed in the tub and agitated with my feet. This was great. I found powdered tide was harsh on my feet. If I was going to keep this up, I would CONSIDER a different detergent. Seriously.
- The perk to this was I could catch up on social media while doing diapers.
At my moms house, I scrubbed the flats in the sink. I agitated with my hands and scrubbed the diapers on each other. I also kneaded them like bread. I found this sufficiently cleaned my diapers.
Drying is interesting. My flats got caught in the rain and my covers are along forever to dry. If love some tips on how to get them to dry faster.
If this was a long term plan, I would definitely consider a contraption for my hand washing routine. Or at least a plunger. Check out the other posts. Perhaps there will be an idea!