There has been a lot of chatter in the weeks leading up to the official Flats and Handwashing Challenge (Official Rules and Information) about what to buy, how to wash, where to dry, how to fold, and so on. I tried to prepare all of you by filming tutorial videos, but the practice and the decision of what to buy or make was all you. That is why this blogger Linky is about just that.
My plan is as follows-
I began my Flats stash by ordering a dozen unbleached large GMD from Green Mountain Diapers. When I made an order from Diaper Junction for some diapers to review they were very kind and also sent some of their Diaper Rite flats for me to try as well. It should come as no surprise to everyone that I already owned enough covers to participate (and then some) but I have narrowed my chosen covers down to:
- 1 Flip
- 1 Econobum
- 1 Weehuggers
- 1 Sweet Pea One Size
- 1 GroVia
I have already built and practiced with my Camp Style Bucket Washer (video tutorial ) My personal comfort level prefers to not wash my diapers in my actual bath tub since we use it for bathing the boys every other day. If we were just standing to shower in it I would care less.
I will be using my own drying rack from Ikea but will likely have to also use chair backs or shower rods in addition.
I prepped my unbleached flats by boiling them to get rid of the excess natural oils in them (video tutorial).
So my goal is to wash every 1-2 days. Ideally I will wash nightly after the kids are in bed and let the flats dry then. This would mean that I could live off of 6-10 flats alone since they would be dry by morning. Not bad!
I know that I have a very good life. It is hard to ever put myself in the position of not being able to afford diapers (disposables or cloth) so this experiment is already flawed. I know when the week is done that I can go right back to using my washing machine and my “fancy” diapers. I will say that I’m already using flats quite a bit and have handwashed them. I love the Pad Fold in a cover and will be using it even after the challenge.
I’m definitely getting nervous about handwashing with the knowledge that if I don’t in time, I will be out of diapers. Still, I want to do this. If nothing else comes from this challenge except that more families will use flats who do have washer/dryer access but no money, that is great too. A whole stash can cost less than 60.00. But I still want people to know that there can be another way to wash that is basically free. No coins, little water, little detergent, and no electricity.
After the Challenge:
A lot of people have asked if they can donate their flats to families who need them after the challenge! Yes, of course! In fact, my friend just started a new diaper lending foundation Giving Diapers, Giving Hope. While it was intended to be for her local families there was such a great need all over the country that she opened it to the US. If you’d like to send your flats (and any other cloth diapers and accessories) you can mail them to:
Giving Diapers, Giving Hope
8 Beckford Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
They are also in need of monetary donations to file paperwork for non-profit status and get the supplies they need to get off the ground and help as many families as possible.