Hello again and welcome to Day 6 of the 2018 Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Cloth Diaper Revival.
It's day 6 of the 7 day challenge, during which I will be using only flats and covers as nappies, and I will be handwashing them to get them clean. No modern cloth nappies, no washing machines & no tumble dryers. Am I crazy? Probably! But I am up for the challenge and I can't wait to bring you along with me through my blog and Instagram.
You can scroll through my previous cloth nappy posts here:
For those of you wondering what on earth the flats challenge is all about, here is some more info for you:
Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry founded the Flats and Handwashing Challenge eight years ago as a way to bring awareness that cloth diapers are a valid option for families in need, struggling to provide diapers for their baby.
"Our aim is not to say that every poor family facing the supremely difficult choice of buying diapers or food should use cloth diapers. That would be short-sighted of us to think it's an answer for every family. The flats challenge is a way to show that for families willing and able, babies can be diapered for less than $100 or even $50 and without owning a washing machine. It is a viable option for families who are in homes without washing machines and an effective one." ~Kim Rosas, Dirty Diaper Laundry
What's worked and what hasn't
Today's blogging prompt is all about what has worked for me, and what hasn't worked during the past 6 days of this challenge.
First of all I have to be honest and say I've found this to be an incredibly challenging challenge! I also feel rather chuffed with myself for making it this far, as I'm really not sure where I found the time to hand wash anything while having a baby to look after.
As I don't have a huge amount of flats, I ended up having to wash every day. How I made this work was to wash in the afternoon during Everly's nap, so that I could get the nappies out into the sun for the last few hours of afternoon sunshine. This meant that they ended up being dry late morning the next day. What also worked really well was to hang the flats over two of the washing lines on the clothes horse, so that the air could circulate nicely and the flat got the most amount of 'wind' drying possible.
I also ended up washing the nappies in the bath instead of a bucket. I found the bucket just didn't give me enough space to really agitate the nappies even with the plunger, and I ended up making a huge mess. With the bath I could really get stuck in with the plunger, and I was able to see what I was doing better than in a bucket.
I really loved having hemp flats for this challenge. I do own cotton flats which are really nice and thirsty (ie they absorb really well) but they do tend to be bulkier than hemp. With hemp, you are able to get a really nice trim fit, and I found using two flats (one folded in origami fold and the other in a pad fold in the wet zone...click here to read more about how I fold my flats) worked really well for my medium wetter.
I am really looking forward to the end of this challenge! Not because I want to stop using flats (in fact I have fallen back in love with flats after this week!) but rather because I have missed my washing machine sooooo much! I don't think I was able to get my flats as clean as my machine is able to, and I just really struggled to find the time to wash her nappies while still doing the other million and one things I need to get done in a day. So, I think if I had no washing machine, using cloth nappies would still be possible, and would be a very real option, you just would need to have a good stash of flats. And to make it budget friendly (because hemp, although it's the nicest fabric to use, it's also the most expensive) towelling nappies would be the ultimate solution...as well as using old cotton t-shirts!
So there you have it, my thoughts on the last 6 days of only using flats and covers, and hand washing my nappies! My arms are looking quite nice and toned from all the plunging, but I am definitely looking forward to using my washing machine again on Monday!