I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove 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 announcement post. This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!
I was nervous that I wouldn't have enough flats for my heavy wetter during the 2012 Flats and Handwashing Challenge so I bought a dozen Green Mountain Diapers flats to accompany my Diaper Rite flats and OsoCozy flats. Yesterday I prepped them!
I started by boiling water in a stock pot and then I added 4 flats with a touch of Dawn dishwashing detergent. I let them boil for 15 minutes, pulled them out, added 2 more quarts of water and 4 more flats, repeat.
All natural fiber diapers (like cotton flats) need to be washed at least 3-5 times before use to get the natural oils out of them so they will absorb liquids and won't reach maximum absorbency until they are washed 10 times. Boiling your flats will help cut down on how many times you need to wash thus saving you time and water. When you boil unbleached cotton, you'll see the natural oils in the water. The photo below shows just the first bath of 4 flats after boiling for about 10 minutes.
After I boiled all of the flats, I washed them in the washing machine once on hot with detergent and again on hot with nothing added, then dried in the dryer. Drying in the dryer instead of line drying when you are prepping helps the cotton to shrink down to size. GMD flats are rather large, as shown below (unprepped).
MissE is down for the night in a large Diaper Rite flat folded into an Origami Fold with a pad folded small Diaper Rite flat on the inside of it, snappi'd on, with a Disana wool soaker over it. See you again tomorrow!