4th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge- Day 2: Show Us Your “Stash” and Tell Us What Did It Cost?

It is Day 2 of the 4th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge, that yearly event where we only use flat cloth diapers and handwash them for 7 days. Our second day will focus on the diapers and other items we are using. The reason I started this event with flats wasn’t just because they wash easily- they’re inexpensive and easy to find locally. Some bloggers will be using homemade items and even homemade covers to go as cheap as possible. Stash prices will vary but almost always the total value of diapers comes to less than $100. According to last year’s survey, the average value of diapers used by participants was $86 dollars! Imagine, only spending that much on diapers per child assuming you have one size covers. Lara is sharing her post with us today, and at the end of this post check for links to other bloggers’ entries on the same topic. -Kim, Owner of Dirty Diaper Laundry [hr]

Last year I had just enough flats to get by as long as I was adamant about sticking to my wash routine. After the challenge, I found I enjoyed using flats so much that I added some to my stash. Now I have enough flats and covers in my regular rotation that I did not need to buy any additional to comfortably do the challenge. Some of these were reviewed for Kim’s website, but I’ve listed the prices to get a realistic tally if I weren’t writing for Dirty Diaper Laundry.


My flats:

Sweet Iris flat – 13.95 each
Flip organic flat – (18.95 for 3 pack, so 6.32ish)
Imagine flat (butterfly print and woodland print) – (6 pack for 14.95, so 2.50ish each, I have two, so 5.00 total)
GeffenBaby – 6.95 each
Ikea flat – (3.00 for 2 pack, so 1.50ish)
Diaper Rite cotton flats – (21.95 for 12 pack, so 1.83ish each, I have two, so 3.66 total)
My covers:
Kissaluvs – 15.50
Imagine – 8.95
TushMate – 16.58
Gen-Y Simply U – 18.99
Tidy Tots – 19.95 each (I have three, so 59.85 total)
Bummis Simply Lite – 16.95
Sew Me Organics wool cover – 33.25
BumGenius Flip cover – (not pictured… Harper was wearing it when I snapped this picture) 14.95

flats2I also bought a white plastic 5 gallon bucket from Home Depot for 4.47. We had an orange bucket from the same store that was even cheaper at 2.85, but it had been used several times for home projects and had some remnants of concrete and plaster on the interior that I didn’t want damaging my diapers. Since I was buying a new one anyway I let my vanity get the better of me and paid a little more for the prettier choice.

Since Kim’s boys are not in diapers anymore, she very generously gave me her mobile washer. This plunger like contraption is available on Amazon for 19.59. I tested it out a few weeks ago while washing my dog’s bedding (when I wash it in the washing machine it seems to leave a greasy residue behind that grosses me out, handwashing was the perfect solution) and it got the bedding cleaner than my high efficiency washing machine ever has. I’m excited to field test a special kind of diaper sprayer, the QD Spray, which connects easily to sink faucets and hoses. I’ll be able to connect it directly to the spigot by the campsite and have more control when rinsing the diapers. I’ll post a full review soon, but for now I’ll just let you know they’re available for 44.99 for the 8 ft version I’ll be using. Last but not least, I have a few additional gadgets in my tool box, including a Snappi (3.99 at my favorite local cloth diaper store), a pair of rubber gloves (these are from last year but I think they were 2.99 at a local discount shop), and my workhorse clothespins (I use these every single day and they show it, yet they were only 2.35 for a pack of 50 at Home Depot).

When looking at the retail value of my stash I can estimate 37.38 for flats, 170.07 for covers including my wool cover for overnights, and 78.38 for my accessories. That’s a whopping 285.83 altogether. Obviously, were I not working to earn these amazing gifts (some are purchased on my own but quite a few have been reviewed, check the archives for flat reviews or cover reviews if you’re curious) I would make do with a much more modest stash as befits my household budget. The incredible thing about flats and covers these days is that there really is something for everyone. If you are looking to save money you can find some incredible deals on quality products (especially if you purchase a pack or set). If you have a bit more to spend you can find some truly luxurious options with incredible absorbency or leak protection. Either way, there are a slew of style and colors available, perfect for any household. Flats are the one size fits all of the diaper world (once you get used to the folding, of course).

I was very lucky that the only things I actually purchased specifically for the challenge this year were the five dollar bucket and the four dollar Snappi (my old Snappis were falling apart from age and use, and who could resist the cool new Dayglo color options?) since I’d built up such a substantial stash of well made diapers as part of our every day rotation. I also could have probably made do with less covers and flats (I stuck to eight of each) but I wanted to give myself plenty of time to really enjoy camping with my family and still ensure the laundry would be dry by the time I needed it.

I’m really looking forward to reading all of your blog entries about your stashes. I’m interested to see who spent the least, who made all of their flats and covers, who sourced everything locally, and who got the most creative (I love the tie dye flats I’ve been seeing on the Facebook page)!

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