Thanks to FLCDS member Shannon H. for sharing her method for handwashing cloth diapers using a washboard! Check out the video below for more information.
Step 1: Pre-rinse
- Rinse most of the solids off of soiled diapers as soon as possible after changing baby.
- Fill bathtub with cold water. Add 1/8 – 1/4 cup of Foca and add diapers. (You may need more or less detergent for your pre-rinse depending on the number of diapers and amount of water). If your water is hard, add 1/4 borax or 1/2 cap calgon. Plunge diapers for a good time and let sit for at least 1-2 hours. Plunge periodically.
- Scrub out poop on washboard without bar soap, wring out all diapers and place in bucket. Drain water. Rinse tub and plunger.
Step 2: Wash
- Fill tub with hottest water possible and add recommended amount of detergent (and a water softener if you have hard water). The recommended amount of Foca is 1/2 cup per 10 L. Add diapers. Plunge for 5-10 minutes. Let diapers sit in hot water for a few hours. The longer they can sit, the longer the water and soap have to do most of the work. Plunge periodically during this time.
- Place Wash Board in water and have soap of choice ready (Fels Naptha or Zote). I prefer White Zote soap for my diapers.
- Place a diaper on the wash board and soap both sides. Scrub on wash board in an up and down motion. If there is a stain or very dirty spot, rub a lot of soap on it and concentrate on that area with hard scrubbing. Dunk in the water and check to make sure all areas are clean. Wring out and place in clean bucket. Repeat this with all diapers. Remember to do the edges as well!
Step 3: Final rinse
- Drain water. Rinse tub, plunger, and washboard. Set wash board aside to dry. Fill tub with cold water. Add diapers and plunge for a couple of minutes. Let sit a couple minutes. Plunge a little more if desired. Wring diapers out, put in bucket, and drain your tub. Do not drain tub while diapers are in the water, or you’ll redeposit soil back on to the diapers.
- Repeat step 6 until desired rinsing is completed. I do 2 rinses.
- Dry as normal.