It’s the final day of Dirty Diaper Laundry’s Flats and Handwashing Challenge! Many families from all over the country, even different parts of the world, chose to use flat cloth diapers and wash them by hand for one full week to answer two questions….


Is using flat cloth diapers a viable option for families struggling to afford diapers, and is hand washing and line drying them possible for those without access to a washer and dryer? 






I interviewed a mom I met through a Facebook group I started to help cloth diapering families in my area connect with each other. That interview can be found here. Ashley used the Laundromat to wash her son’s diapers, along with the rest of her family’s clothing. Instead of going once a week to wash clothes, she had to go every three or four days to keep up on diaper laundry.


When sign ups for this year's Flats and Handwashing Challenge were announced, I shared that information with the moms in the group and asked if anyone wanted to join me. A few of them had never heard of it before and were interested in trying it out. Ashley was one of those moms. She signed up for the challenge and joined the Flats and Handwashing Challenge Facebook group where she was able to connect with other participating families, get advice and ideas, and share the things she learned.



camp style washer

Ashley's son checking out the camp-style washer his mom uses to wash his diapers



Yesterday I asked Ashley how this week has gone for her and this is what she had to say:


“I am now officially in love with flats and covers due to this challenge. They are really easy to handwash, which means I only have to go to the laundromat when I need to wash clothes. One of the great things about this is that it really goes with my cost saving lifestyle. Almost everything in my stash is recycled, made by me, or bought secondhand. This changed everything about the way I cloth diaper.”


baby sleeping

A fleece soaker Ashley made by hand


Flats and washing diapers by hand not only helps save her family money, it actually made diapering her son easier! Some are intimidated by flats and especially by hand washing, but Ashley’s story proves that the message of the challenge can help families in many different situations... families like Ashley's who use cloth but don't have access to a washer and dryer, and want to cut down on trips to the Laundromoat to save time and money... families who may not realize there they have any other option besides throwing money away on disposables... families who may have access to a washer and dryer, families who may not.

flats drying on line

Line-drying flats

That's why it's so important to spread the word. Many of us participated in the challenge to see for ourselves if it would be possible to use flat cloth diapers and wash them by hand if we were struggling to afford diapers and didn't have access to a washer and dryer. If you check the results from last year's survey, 83.6% of participants said it could be done, 15.4% said yes it could be done but with modifications, and only 0.8% said no it couldn't be done. Not even 1%! I'm looking forward to seeing the survey results for this year's challenge, but I'm guess that the majority of people will agree with Ashley and I... yes. It can be done. And it just might be the very answer to a problem that a family who is struggling to afford clean diapers for their baby is searching for. 

giving diapers giving hope banner 


Check out my post on my personal blog, Apron Strings Attached, where I share my experience and what I learned from this year's challenge, plus my tips for using and hand washing flats!

Also, follow me on Instagram where I’m sharing the good, the bad, and the yucky throughout my week participating in the Flats Challenge! (@apronstringsattached) If you’re participating in the challenge, be sure to use the hashtag #flatschallenge and #bringingflatsback so we can follow you too!  :)





Stephanie Beck is a busy mama of four. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family. Stephanie started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN.


*Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions expressed are genuine and 100% my own.