eK-3zmjBImBHOZjRJYEZVBw4ZWs Shaky Mommy: Flats & Handwashing Challenge Day 4: Handwashing Therapy

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flats & Handwashing Challenge Day 4: Handwashing Therapy

I didn't wash diapers last night, but I should have. Jaxon had a doctor's appointment today and I stuffed a couple of pockets with flats so we'd have easy diapers for that. Since I wasn't in need of my covers, I just had to make sure I had enough flats. There were 6, which isn't enough for the whole day. But then I remembered I had two extra flats in the van, stashed there for emergencies. I figured that would be enough.
A large load of flats and covers soaking in the tub 
We had an uneventful doctor's appointment and headed home. As soon as we got home this afternoon, I started the diapers to soaking. No matter how much I swish the diapers around, they hold their folds unless I am deliberate about unfolding them. Then I agitated them for a few minutes until Jaxon called for me. Jaxon was very tired since he only took 30 minutes of a nap in the car. I nursed him on and off for a while and then finally remembered that I had wanted to get the diapers out and drying in the sun. At that point, it was almost 5. Still a couple hours of sunshine left!

I went to wash the flats, leaving Jaxon with Daddy. While I was washing, I got to thinking about all kinds of things. We are dealing with a lot of stuff this week...negative, yucky stuff. As I was washing and thinking through things, I realized what handwashing is good for: stress therapy. If you're stressed, you should totally take it out on a load of flats. The bottom of our tub is textured and I scrubbed them against the tub bottom and against each other over and over again. Then I rinsed them well. My flats are clean. They smell clean and are rinsing clean. I wrung them out over and over and over again. Wringing is hard work - the worst part of handwashing, in my opinion. I then took them outside, wrung them out again, and then shook them out, which helped release even more water. I must have looked like a crazy woman, but I could feel the water flying in the air so it must have helped. I wrapped my covers in a towel to help get excess water off of them since I didn't want to subject them to my brutal wringing. 
Flats and covers drying outside!
It's like a million degrees outside so I think that everything will be dry pretty quickly. (updated to add: most of the flats were dry by 7:30, all of the covers are not -they are now drying inside under the ceiling fan - I had used a couple of pocket diapers which are taking much longer to dry than my Flips & Econobums)

I don't find handwashing to be difficult. When you're stressed, it can even be therapeutic. However, wringing the diapers out is awful. I have a callus on my hand where I got a little carried away with the wringing today (wearing rubber gloves might prevent this). I could see myself washing diapers this way on a regular basis, but I think I'd have to come up with a more creative way for getting the diapers wrung out (does anyone have one?). 

All in all, this is a viable diapering and washing option. Even if it's just to supplement disposable use, it's definitely something that is feasible and affordable for most people. If I can handwash with Parkinson's, then almost anyone can do it. I don't throw my Parkinson's around often like that, but it fits here. Sure, it's challenging, but it's doable. Lots of things in life are a challenge, but we handle them. Handwashing is certainly better than reusing soiled diapers or choosing between buying diapers and buying food. Want to help provide cloth diapers to a family in need? Check out Giving Diapers, Giving Hope to find out how you can help. 


  1. Go you! I too had a stressful week; but, I went to my daughter's school & helped the teacher prep for summer. Next time, I think I'll try this. Its amazing how tedious work can really take your mind off things!

  2. You're so right...wringing is the hardest part! And whoa, good for you for doing this challenge with Parkinson's! That's awesome!