Day 4 – 7th Annual Flats & Handwashing Challenge

This post is the fourth of seven, all of which document my participation in the 7th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Cloth Diaper Revival. For seven days I will be only using flat cloth diapers and covers. I will be handwashing them in an effort to demonstrate that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the original post.

wash routine

Today is the fourth day of the Challenge and all participants were asked to share their wash routine.

Lord, help me.

The wash routine is by far my LEAST favorite part of this whole endeavor so far. I have no idea how clean I am actually getting my diapers. So while I don’t notice any issues like soap scum or a nasty smell, I still have doubts. Are they really clean? Am I going to somehow harm my baby with my ineptness with handwashing?


I just need confidence and more practice than I will get this week. I keep reminding myself that the dishes I handwash get much cleaner than if I stuck them in the dishwasher. The same will (eventually) be true of the diapers. And we haven’t had a problem yet with the diapers. Honestly, after the challenge ends, I might continue with the hand-washing  (as a pre-wash) the poopy diapers before sticking them in the washing machine.

My wash routine continues to evolve on a daily basis as I make little changes to my routine. In essence, my wash routine is the same as everyone else’s: poop off, pre-wash, main wash, rinse as needed, wring, and on the clothes rack to dry. But the little details like agitating for x number of minutes and soaking and wringing out between stages are things that I am still figuring out. For instance, I have found it far easier to agitate for two minutes during my main wash and then walk away for 20-40 minutes; afterwards, I can barely guess which flats had the poop and which did not. I like rinsing under the faucet better than in my bucket and constantly changing out the water. I also think I might prefer handwashing as opposed to using the “Breathing Mobile Washer” I purchased from Amazon.

As this is my first year participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, I am trying to look at it as a valuable experience and with the hope that next year’s challenge will be easier – at least the washing part.

So how did the fourth day of flats all day and washing by hand go?

Solidly. I washed the diapers from last night as well as my normal two loads today…so lots of diapers! They are mostly dry now and ready for our busy weekend ahead. I think the real test will be when we are out and about most of the day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Today, however, we continued to use our kite fold and our favorite covers to great effect (no poop escaped, though we did have a close call in the morning).

Click here to see other participants’ washing routines and tips!


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