Flats and Hand-washing Cloth Diaper Challenge

Going into this challenge, I thought that it was going to be a piece of cake. How hard could it be to use and hand-wash flats for seven days? I mean, we basically do that anyway. WRONG! We do not basically do that and this challenge is proving to be extremely challenging. The whole idea behind this challenge is to bring about diaper disparity awareness. The rules: 1. The use of a modern, electric washing machine and dryer are prohibited. 2. Only flat style diapers, other household/makeshift materials, and covers* may be used. Doublers are permitted, but materials that can be used alone (hemp inserts, microfiber inserts, etc.) are not. 

Poppy Plunger Washer

*pockets can be used with flats only. For a complete list of rules, visit Cloth Diaper Revival.

Day 1: Monday, May 13, 2019
Why are you taking the Flats and Handwashing Challenge?

I am taking the challenge for two reasons; one, to see if I can make it through and 2. To gain better insight into the life of a parent who hand washes and cloth diapers out of necessity. 

I will admit that today I am blessed enough to be able to use a disposable. I started this challenge while on a long trip and I normally do not use cloth on vacation.

Day 2: Tuesday, May 14, 2019
What’s in your stash/materials used? How much does it cost?

For this challenge, I’m only using FST, receiving blankets, hemp doublers (for overnight) covers and covers. I use the bucket and plunger method for washing and a diaper sprayer for solids.

This whole set up cost maybe $40 bucks. The flour sack towels were 2 for $2, we were gifted receiving blankets like they were going out of style, the hemp doublers were maybe $5 a piece (and we own about 4 of them), the covers were from Cloud Cloth and were probably on sale when I bought them. The bucket was a $7 purchase and the plunger was too.

Day 3: Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Share your favorite flat fold.

My favorite flat fold is the “Origami” fold, but I like these as well.

Day 4: Thursday, May 16, 2019
Share your wash routine.

  1. Soak diapers in warm water for 10 mins. Drain water.
  2. Add enough hot water to saturate diapers, add detergent, and plunger. Drain water and repeat as desired.
  3. Rinse diapers in sink or bathtub.
  4. Line dry.

This may sound easy, but I think I lost 10 pounds while washing my diapers! Here’s the video of my experience!

Day 5: Friday, May 16, 2019
Open topic

I am so incredibly thankful for the ability to afford disposables and various types of cloth diapers. I thought that this was going to be an easy challenge (oxymoron much?) because I use covers and flats regularly. Using something regularly and using something all of the time is NOT the same thing! 😂 Lesson learned.

Day 6: Saturday, May 17, 2019
What’s working for me? What isn’t?

What’s working? Well my plumbing is working my nerves. What isn’t working? My water!! Yes, that’s right. Day 6 of the challenge and we are having plumbing issues. The joys of homeownership, am I right?

To be more specific, the water shutoff valve under our kitchen sink broke off as the delivery man was trying to connect our new dishwasher. Thus, we had to shut off our water for a few hours. Thankfully, my husband had washed some diapers earlier that morning! How perfectly that worked out. Shout out to my wonderful husband! 🥰😘😍

P.S. I did use an AIO that morning.

Day 7: Sunday, May 18, 2019
What did I learn? How did it go?

I almost made it, y’all. Yesterday messed up my mojo and things spiraled out of control from there. I think I only used flats and covers twice. The first diaper change of the morning was into a pocket. Then we took family photos and I changed my son into a ​pocket for his pictures. I think I only used a flat once or twice today.

This challenge truly taught me that failure to plan is a plan to fail. I can’t wait to tackle this challenge next year!!


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