Day 5 – How Do You Wash Flat Diapers?

I can’t believe I have made it 5 days. Believe you me, I have been staring at my washer while I scrub away at diapers in the utility sink. I must admit that it hasn’t been as bad as everyone told me it would be. When I tell people I am CHOOSING to handwash my son’s diapers for a week they give me an odd stare.

I have enjoyed it for the most part. The only time I cringe is when I get done washing J’s diapers and he decides to poop! Even then, it is no big deal because I just throw it in the utility sink until a few more diapers are soiled.

For the past week, I have been washing J’s diapers by hand in my utility sink. It has a washboard built into it so it has made things easier when it comes to scrubbing and stains.

Step One.

  • I do a cold rinse and scrub all the diapers so at least some of the pee and poop is off of the diaper. I try not to wash more than 7 at a time. The most I have washed at one time is 7 and that was enough for me!!


Step Two.

  • I fill up the sink using warm water. I then add either 1 – 2 tablespoons of detergent, depending on how many flats I have.


Step Three.

  • I walk away and let them soak. Sometimes I forget about them for a few hours and sometimes I remember 15 minutes later.

Step Four.

  • When I get back to the diapers, I scrub them using the wash board. Once I am done scrubbing one, I lay it on the side of the sink. I found if I don’t do that I am then washing the same diaper over and over again!


Step Five.

  • After step 4, I ring out the diapers. I then drain the wash water and turn the cool water back on and rinse the diapers. To conserve water between each diaper I turn water off while wringing them out. Turning the water off not only saves water but it also allows me to see if there are any suds left over.


Step Six.

  • I hang them out to dry. Before hanging I would recommend wringing one more time. It is amazing how much water they hold!


I have learned that a simple wash routine is good and sufficient for, not only flat diapers, but all cloth diapers. If it works for you, don’t tweak it! I learned that the hard way. We had a wash routine that was working and I decided to switch it up due to someone else’s suggestion. It didn’t work well for my son and he started getting rashes and was uncomfortable. Trust me when I say, if it works for you it is okay that it doesn’t work for someone else.

Keeping the wash routine simple also allows me to know that when we start traveling this summer I will be able to wash his diapers and not have to carry a whole lot with us!

I love flats!

Are you taking the challenge? How has washing gone for you? Do you handwash clothing as well?