All that’s missing from Alyssa’s life is a washer and dryer. She has access to coin operated machines within her building (certainly better than schlepping them to a laundromat!) but anyone who has paid for laundry knows how expensive it can get. So, she washed her diapers by hand every day, for several months. She agreed to allow me to post this so everyone can see that it can be done! -Maria
My name is Alyssa and I love cloth diapers. Like, really love. So much so that I went against everyone’s “advice” and decided to CD my daughter while living in an apartment with no washer/dryer. Our diaper laundry costs were pretty much the cost of what disposables would have been (I’m a bargain shopper.) But the money wasn’t the point. I wanted my daughter to have what I had. Nice, comfortable, and breathable cloth next to her tush =)
As for the laundry, we made it fit in the budget. We were struggling, but we weren’t on the brink of homelessness or anything. I probably could have continued to use my apartment building’s community laundry room. But, for some reason, the spirit of George Costanza took hold of me (it happens from time to time) and I decided that spending $40 a month on diaper laundry was inhumane, and that I would wash the diapers by hand all by myself, even if my arms lost all feeling during the process.
My diapers were always squeaky clean when I hand washed them. I think it was the individual attention of that final rinse and wring. (I always dunked and swished in the toilet right after a poopy diaper. I was pretty aggressive with it too. Plus, all the pre-soaking did the rest of the work for me.) I’m out of shape and admittedly kind of lazy. If I can do it, anyone can!
So this is basically it. These pics were taken about two years ago. I did this every day for a few months. Don’t mind the gross tiles. It’s not mildew, just really old and peely grouting that is in desperate need of redoing:
-Prerinse with Tea Tree Oil and Baking Soda
-Swish swish swish. Notice my ghetto swishing stick. It’s a baseboard. I don’t even know how I came into posession of that. Moving on….
-Drain. Then fill tub again but this time add detergent and OxyClean. Oh, and at this point, you might need a glass of wine. Then swish swish swish again for a while and leave them there for at least ten minutes. Drain.
-Squeeze out excess water with your (CLEAN) feet. In this pic are a lot of mama made diapers plus a few Happy Heiny’s, a Mac a Doodle, Roo Bug, and a few prefolds.
-Fill tub again. Rinse (by way of swishing.) Then using your sink, rinse and wring each diaper indiviudally.
-Place on rack to dry. Have another glass of wine.
I think I could have gotten away with doing a soak, wash, and rinse. I tend to go overboard…
Do you think you’d cloth diaper if you had to hand wash then? What if you had to use coin operated laundry or lug them to a laundromat? Does anyone already do this? -Maria