Today is Day 4 of Dirty Diaper Laundry’s 6th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. You can read more about the challenge here.

This is my first year doing the challenge, and I’ve admittedly never handwashed diapers, or anything else as far as I can remember. I planned to make a camp style washer similar to this one, but didn’t get around to it so I improvised. Hey, this is sort of about emergency preparedness and making do, right?

1002151136b - around 13 mos - cropped

13 months

So, as it seems to go with life lately, Day 1 snuck up on me and I had nothing prepared. I realized this as soon as I changed my first diaper of the day. I remembered my friend, Staci (Springpatch Jam), mentioning that during the challenge she soaks her flats in a bucket under the sink until wash time, so I cleaned out one side of the kitchen sink, added some cold water, and added flats/covers as they were used. I agitated them a bit when I’d add more diapers or think about it, drained the water and refilled a couple times, added a little bleach at one point – just to make sure, and let them soak some more. Then eventually drained, added some soap, refilled with hot water, and repeated the agitating, soaking, etc. Then drained, squeezed, and added cold water to rinse. It sounds a complicated, but most of the waiting and soaking was just because I’d get distracted and forget about it. Handwashing really isn’t that bad, but I’m still trying to decide which is worse – wringing out the water or hanging everything to dry. The hanging part reminded me of holding my trumpet up during marching band, and left me with noodly, exhausted arms! Having dirty diapers in the kitchen sink freaked Richard out a bit when he found out (he was out of town for work the first 3 days of the challenge), but I promise you that sink is cleaner that it has been in a very long time!

~ Jen

1002151138- around 13 mos - cropped

13 months