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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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Surviving A Family Vacation with Cloth Diapers and No Washing Machine

My husband’s family planned a vacation to St. Lucia last summer. This was our first time traveling with our 5 month old son, and of course, our first time traveling with cloth diapers. I did some research prior to our trip and found out the resort where were staying did not have laundry service available. We were going to be gone for a week, so we needed a laundry plan. My husband was as adamant as I was about not using disposables on our son, and he was sure we could find a solution for our trip. I found a lot of information about flat diapers regarding how easy they are to handwash and how fast they dry. I found a wonderful item called the “Mobile Washer” which looks sort of like a toilet plunger. It has two pieces that fit together and they work to agitate the water as you plunge up and down. We bought a bunch of flats and decided we would just wash our son’s diapers in the hotel’s bathtub. We packed up the mobile washer in a suitcase with about 16 flats, 8 covers, and a bag of soap. We even brought along a clothes line to hang in our room so the diapers could dry.

Upon our arrival at the resort, we were happy to see a very large garden tub in our room. Most people would immediately think about taking a nice warm bath to relax. We had been traveling for two and a half days, and really needed to wash the diapers so we immediately got our laundry supplies out. My husband and I were kind of excited about handwashing the diapers, if nothing else to see if it would actually work. We filled the tub up about a quarter of the way and added the diapers. We let them soak for about 15 minutes and drained the water. Next we filled the tub up about half way and added some of the soap we had brought along. We got out our mobile washer and it worked like a champ! My husband and I took turns “plunging” the diapers and joking about how we were staying in a fancy resort and doing laundry in the bathtub. The plunger made a really interesting “shunk shunk shunk” sound as we moved it up and down in the water. Using the plunger also provided an outlet for the stresses of traveling as well. We washed the diapers for about 20 minutes and then drained the tub to begin the rinse cycle. We filled the tub up about half way again and then plunged for about 20 minutes to get a thorough rinse. Once the tub was drained again, we wrung out the diapers and hung them on our clothes line. I’m sure the maids were wondering what in the world was going on when they came in to clean our room. The humidity was very high (about 85%), but the flat diapers still dried really fast. It took about 12-16 hours for them to fully dry. The whole process worked really well and it’s nice to know we can handwash our diapers if the power goes out or our washer breaks.

About Me: I'm 32 and try to do my best to be responsible for my environmental impact. My husband and I have been marred for 8 years and have 1 son.

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