Monday, May 23, 2016

Wrapping Up the Flats Challenge - I Survived!

All I can say is, thank the LORD for my washing machine! I have gained such an appreciation for the luxuries I have and my modern cloth diapers. Actually using flats and covers was not difficult or terrible at all. They were actually super duper absorbent and dried quickly. However, the washing was a chore I am not sad to see disappear from my line up.

To unpack my final thoughts a little bit, I am really impressed with how well the bucket and plunger works. It got my diapers fantastically clean and white. They smelled fresh and there were limited stains. If I was ever in a situation where I needed to hand wash, the bucket and plunger would be my go-to. I was also very impressed with Foca, which I bought specifically for this challenge since it is not formulated for my HE machine.

The ease of the prewash was appealing to me as well. I considered how much water I might save doing my prewash in the bucket instead of using the washing machine. I can certainly see it saving us some money in the long run.

However, the number one drawback to the challenge was that I just didn't have the time to spend plunging diapers in my bathroom while my young kids were running around the house. I have a 3 year old and an 8 month old. The 8 month old would constantly crawl into my bathroom, which is obviously not ok because he could get into the toilet or trash if not closely supervised, so I had to constantly redirect him. This is not a ideal especially if I had my gloves on and was touching the dirty diapers and then had to quickly strip the gloves and grab a baby.

Another drawback was that I just don't have enough space to hang the diapers if I don't wash every day. My drying rack has limited space and when I tried using clothes hangers over the shower rod, those diapers did not dry and I had to transfer them to the rack once the first batch was dried. I am accustomed to hang drying my covers, but those dry fast inside or out. I couldn't set my diapers outside some days due to rain, so drying inside took ages.

I also missed my beloved GroVia stash, especially my overnight ONE's. We rejoiced when we put on our first ONE on the last night of the challenge.

I love you, washing machine! I will never take you for granted again!

I do want to say, though, that while I am being quite candid with you here about how much I appreciate my washer, I think the bucket and plunger is a great option for those who are in a financial situation to necessitate it. It makes cloth diapering possible when otherwise families might not be able to provide hygienic diapers for their baby. For that, I am incredibly grateful for Kim Rosas and the Dirty Diaper Laundry Flats and Handwashing Challenge. Shining a light on ways to handwash effectively is a fabulous mission and I'm honored to have been apart of it. I will most likely be participating next year and I foresee that it will be much easier since I will have some experience under my belt!

My final takeaway is that I will be using fleece liners full time now! I had previously been using Viva paper towels and was not happy with the fuzzies they left on my baby's booty or the fact that they often ripped. Fleece kept him dry and was easy to dunk and swish.

For a final look at the challenge and a participant survey, head over to Challenge Day 7.

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