Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 5: Flats & Handwashing Challenge

Today is Day 5 of the Dirty Diaper Laundry's Flats & Handwashing Challenge. (For info about the challenge, you can view Dirty Diaper Laundry's site, my blog post about my preparation, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 & Day 4.)

Today was "date morning." Hubby and I had a chance to catch the first showing of "Hang Over 2" in Emeryville, as he had to meet up with some clients just before. Grandma kindly watched El that morning and then she and the rest of my family went to have lunch together at Cache Creek where Dad could gamble a bit to celebrate his bday. This gave me plenty of time to finally catch up on laundry, both regular and handwashing diapers.

After the experience of handwashing in a teeny tiny sink in Day 4, I knew I wanted to use a bigger vessel for the larger load of diapers. I didn't have a bucket, which is what most of the other participating bloggers seem to be using. I thought to use one of our hampers but those are vented and have holes in them. Then I thought of using one of our 13-gallon garbage pails. I had used one to soak clothes in before so I knew this would work. El's diaper pail is actually the same thing and MUCH cleaner than our garbage pails so I opted for this.

I popped off the lid, took the pail liner out and brought it into our shower. I began to fill it with cold water for the first "pre-rinse" of the diapers. I added the dirty dipes, which included 8 flats, one small prefold, two covers, a small wetbag, one pocket shell, and one training pant. I didn't want to use our plunger as the agitator per Dirty Diaper Laundry's "camp style washer" directions. I needed something that was long, thin, and sturdy. (That's what she said!) I thought of using a broom handle and then I saw it... El's toy sword! This fit the bill!

13 gallon garbage pail & toy sword

Once the pail was about 2/3 full of water, I used the sword to agitate the load. I ended up also reaching in with one hand to provide more agitation, as the sword seemed to be mainly squishing the clothes to the bottom. After, I dumped the entire load out onto the shower floor and rung out all the diapers. I filled up the pail again, this time to about half the capacity, added detergent (about 3/4 T of Crunchy Clean detergent) and hot water. I agitated with my hand and sword again. I dumped out the load once again and rung the items out before tossing them back into the pail and added hot water for the final rinse. I made sure to ring the items out really well. I realized then that I should have used gloves as my hands felt like they'd be dry afterwards. In all, it took me about 20-25 minutes to wash this load.

Since I was doing laundry and was about to take a shower anyway, I was actually stripped down to my birthday suit. In the middle of the load, I realized that I hadn't really thought things through enough as I would still need to hang the items dry. I made sure to be as stealth as possible as there are a couple of windows that are viewable to one neighbor's house. As I did the day before, I hung the items along the banister and baby safety gate. I also used the shower door for the wetbag.


down the stairs

With this many diapers, I wasn't sure they would dry in a timely manner as just a couple of diapers had yesterday. I wanted to get as much air circulating so I opened as many windows as possible in the area and turned on the window fan that was running the day before. I also added another fan that I laid against the opposing wall. Since I knew the Swaddlebee's cover and training pants would take the longest to dry, I brought them closer to the window and fan.

window fan above Hubby's desk

window fan against the wall, next to Hubby's charging station

The flats dried in about 3 hours and the rest dried in about 6 hours. Not bad! And I have plenty of diapers for tomorrow so I don't anticipate needing to wash. =)

Find out some awesome tips on using flats and handwashing on the blogs of other participants!

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