Cloth Diaper Laundry Day!

Today, was cloth diaper laundry day. (all photos in this blog were added 2 days later, when I had laundry day again!!  Except this day was Sunny, Warm and perfect weather for laundry day, unlike the previous day, which is the one I wrote the blog about.)
This is the rope trail I go up and down to get the our house “The Dome”, with laundry bucket, full of heavy, wet laundry.  Okay…Moving on.

I know some of you who do not understand where I live, would not understand the significance of my writing an entire blog about it.  So I’ll explain.

This is how cloth diapers are washed at the dome.

First you collect all the ingredients, see below:

1 – empty reclaimed 5 gallon frosting bucket filled to the brim with cloth diapers and covers, ever so thoughtfully separated into 2 groups (the diapers in one group, the covers in another)

1 – manual washing machine

1 – small cup of biodegradeable dish soap or whatever I happen to have on hand at the moment that is natural and safe for the forest and babies.

Warm cloths, very important when the weather is misbehaving  as it is..I mean its supposedely spring for crying out loud!!

Once I collected all the above mentioned items, put the baby down for a nap, and head down to the spring dome.

I think maybe I need to give you some photos for a better description…Okay I’ll add some later…like next time when it isn’t so dang cold.

Finally I’m down in the spring dome…

…after digging through the collapsed Banana building trying to find the manual washer, which apparently was buried under parts of reclaimed styrofoam fishboxes that fell off the ceiling, with the ceiling and various other debris. 

Oh My! J has his hands full fixing that mess. 

But that is another adventure of its own. 

Back to the laundry.

I set the washer up on the rocks that surround the spring water pool below. 

Yea, you are definitely gonna need some photos.  (Good thing I finally added some right?? So much better now you can “See” what I am babbling on and on and on about)

Okay I’ll update this blog with photos as soon as I get my camera from the car.  (Hooray!!)

First I wash the washer off and clean it out.

Yea it hasn’t been used in about 7 months, since I only use it when I am too “lazy & cheap” to walk into town and spend $5-10 bux on laundry at the laundr-o-matic, so the manual washer is pretty dirty…

Which would NOT be helpful in getting my diapers clean, for obvious reasons.

(In this picture I am obviously NOT putting diapers in, but I thought you needed a visual)
I put all the diapers (now these are just the pee’d on diapers, no poo that will be another day when I get more) into the now clean washer, I set the covers to the side, they get washed separately. 

Taking the now empty 5 gallon reclaimed frosting bucket, I dip into the FREEZING cold spring pool and fill the bucket about halfway. 

I dump the water into the washer and secure the lid. 

(and then unscrew the lid and add the soap, though I mention the reason I didn’t add soap on “blogged” laundry day, on photographed laundry day, I actually forgot to add the soap until I put the lid on and then remembered suddenly!!)
Now, I am sure you are wondering at this point, what about adding the soap? 
Well… it seems that I didn’t use my brain when placing the soap into a small cup and setting it on top of the bucket when carrying it down, since it spilled ALL over the diapers. 
I know you might be thinking, whats the problem with that? 
It’s a problem when the ENTIRE cup spilled onto the diapers and you had enough to do like 4 loads in the cup.  So I just had to deal with it and rinse them REALLY well.  Which would be easier if I had hot water, but I didn’t so I just had to rinse ALOT. 

Okay so I have everything in the washer and now to wash.  This type of washer says you need to use really warm water to utilise the pressure washing quality of it.  But after observing washing machines over the past few years, I think it works just fine with cold and slow turning, like a side load washer.
Grab the handle…
and rotate…
and rotate…

and rotate…

and rotate over and over for 1 minute, then let it sit for 30 seconds, then rotate it in the opposite direction over and over for 1 minute, then sit for 30 seconds, and repeat this process for about 8 minutes. 
(Of course the photo is NOT diapers, since this is a different laundry day in photo, sorry)
Then I pull all the diapers out, since I can’t find the draining tube, and wring them out (outside of the spring dome), place them into the 5 gallon bucket that I just filled 3/4 full with clean water, and empty the washer.  I swish the diapers around in the bucket and wring them out again and place them back into the empty clean washer. 

Remember my saying earlier that the water is FREEZING cold. 

Okay.

Just checking. 

I’m doing all this with my hands and they burn and hurt and are bright red.  It’s pretty great. Not.

Once I have the diapers back in the washer, I fill it up with clean water and seal them in with the screw on lid.  I repeat the same rotating process of the washing cycle. 

Then I repeat the wringing out process. 

Now my hands are so cold, they are numb. 
I take a break. 
I place all the clean rinsed diapers into the empty clean bucket.  I left the remaining rinse water in the washer this time so that I can wash the covers.  I place all the covers into the washer and repeat the entire wash, rinse cycle again, minus the extra rinse cycle (the bucket of water rinse). 

Super! The washing/rinse part is over.  Now for the drying.

(Just thought you might want a reminder of what I was talking about below)
I lug the 5 gallon bucket back up to the dome, holding the rope (yes I’ll post pics so you know what I’m talking about) and carefully pulling myself and my bucket up to the house. 
I hang all the diapers around outside in the sleeping garden area (since there is a nice low fence) and snapping the covers to the fence.

Maybe tomorrow it will rain.  That would be nice, since it will rinse the diapers and covers really well. 

But if not, maybe it will be nice and sunny and dry them really fast. 

Either way is fine by me.

I LOVE the way sun dried laundry smells

…..and apparently so does my daughter. 🙂

3 Replies to “Cloth Diaper Laundry Day!”

  1. Oh, and I as wondering, do you use a particular kind of cloth dipes? I've actually been most pleased with some diapers I made for Mason with a super easy pattern.

  2. Hey Emilia! hahahaha..about the cellar. To answer you question, I found a pattern when Aurora was about 1 month old, I think I have a blog about it "Cadillac Bum Covers". I was really happy with them, except I only made 3 and then she grew out of them by the time I got home from winter travels. I didn't have a sewing machine available while in florida. So I went on ebay and found these pocket nappies that adjust with the baby for $4 each in sets of 12 free shipping. LOVE them! Will probably write a blog about it soon! Can't wait to see Mason in person!

Share your thoughts below...