I have been using cloth diapers for BOTH my kids for a couple of weeks now and I'm loving it. I wished I started sooner. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. I'm sure it would be so much easier if we have washer and dryer at home. But since we don't I hand wash all soiled diapers every night and with two kids on diapers, that's about 12 to 18 diapers. I really wish Libby will be potty trained soon! It will make a lot easier.
It takes me about 45 minutes to 1 hour to wash, rinse and hang dry them. Sometimes it takes longer if there are stains I'm trying to take out. We live in an apartment so I can't hang them outside. I'm using a drying rack that I purchased at Kmart for $10. I put the drying rack by the window. I wash at night and they are dry and ready to use the following night so it takes a while to dry. And if it's cloudy and no sun even longer. So even if I wash every night, I need at least 2 days worth of cloth diapers.
When I started cloth diapering, I didn't think it would be possible to hand wash. I've searched and googled if anyone is hand washing cloth diapers and I did not find anything except for other moms asking the same thing as me, if it's possible to hand wash cloth diapers. The only instructions I've seen are for washing machine...so is it possible! SURE IT IS! I wish cloth diaper companies would acknowledge that because I don't think I'm the only one who's hand-washing or wanted to hand wash. I've seen a lot of moms asking in forums and there's not a lot of support out there.
My hand-washing routine...
I rinse the dirty diaper as soon as I take it out, even if it's just pee. I used to just soak them without rinsing but they start smelling. If it's poo, I make sure I take out as much poo as I can. I rinse with COLD water only. I learned that the hard way. The first time I rinsed a dirty diaper I used HOT water and it stained it even more. It took me a long time to take out the stain. Rinsing with cold water does a great job taking out the poop. It's also so much easier and faster to wash at night when all the poop are gone. So far all my diapers are clean and look new. No stain and they don't smell. My only concern is detergent buildup but so far they are very absorbent and no leaking.
Helping mommy hang diapers