During the flats challenge, I was not allowed to use a washer or dryer to launder our cloth diapers. While I've handwashed clothes before, I had never washed multiple soiled diapers at a time. I was a bit nervous that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the laundry with a newborn. I was definitely wrong, it was a lot easier than I imagined it would be.
There are several ways to handwash cloth diapers; I chose to use our tub and hand scrub the diapers. Don't worry, I sanitized the tub after washing diapers before we used it next! I followed the handwash routine listed on the Thirsties website. It was super simple and took about 20 minutes for me to wash 30 cloth diapers and 5-10 cloth wipes. I used Biokleen liquid laundry detergent. Can I just say I LOVE all of the Biokleen products I've tried, they're really effective! I made a clothes line out on our balcony and hung the diapers up to dry for a day or so. They smell so nice and fresh when they come off the line. I think I'll continue to line dry for the rest of the summer while the sun is out. I won't be able to hang diapers outside in the fall and winter because I live in the great Pacific Northwest and it rains most of the year here.
There were a few lessons learned with handwashing though. I learned that the Thirsties prefolds are more difficult to hand wash and get water out of than Gerber prefolds. Thirsties are just way thicker material. I think if I were to take the challenge again, I'll just use Gerber prefolds. They wash easier and also dry a lot quicker and they don't get as stiff when dried outside. I also learned to swish and dunk poop diapers before putting them into the diaper pail and also to spray stain remover on them.