Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flats Challenge Day 2 Recap-Creative Drying

Yesterday went pretty smooth with only a few minor hiccups along the way.  On day 1 it was cloudy in the morning but the bulk of the day was sunny so I was able to dry all of the diapers outside.  The flats dry in about an hour when left in the sun outside (I have the Gerber flats which are thinner than most) 

Yesterday it was rainy most of the day with 2 severe storms rolling through so I was unable to hang anything up outside.  I also got a late start, not washing the first load until after 10 am. 

After the load was washed I had to come up with some creative ways to hang them up throughout the house to dry as there were a lot of diapers.  I used my handy dandy "drying rack" (which is really just the side of a crib) but that can only hold 6.  I then used my railing on the steps for the majority of the rest.  There were still a few stragglers so I spread them out on hangers and hung them in a door way.

Flats Drying

By 4 pm NOTHING was dry though and we were running out of options.  All of the flats were either dirty or wet and  I was down to only 1 receiving blanket and 1 hooded towel with 3 tushies that needed to be changed.

I began to rack my brain for a way to speed up the drying of at least some flats.  I must admit, the idea of cheating and throwing 2 or 3 in the dryer did cross my mind.  Then I remembered a tip that a friend shared with me.  She said, when in a pinch she would use her iron and iron the flats dry.

I never iron my clothes, I am just too lazy for that so I had to dust off the teeny tiny iron and ironing board that I haven't used in who knows how long.  I put the iron on the lowest setting and while I was waiting for it to heat up I tried to think of other alternatives to suggest in case a mama does not have an iron.

ironing flats dry

The microwave popped into my head first but it was quickly followed by visions of tiny little fire balls and I did not want to find out how well our little fire extinguisher in the kitchen works.  Next I thought about the oven.

Our oven has a "keep warm" setting on it so I turned the knob to that and opened the door.  I didn't want to place them in the actual oven so I draped one on the door and on on the top hanging down in the door.  While those 2 hung to dry I began to iron a 3rd.  Both techniques worked pretty well.  After 5 minutes or so I flipped the 2 hanging in the oven door so both sides dried.  After another 5 minutes (about the amount of time it took to iron a flat dry) I put 2 more hanging on the door.  I kept alternating this way until I had all 12 flats dry.  It was tedious yes, but it worked in a pinch.

Flats drying on warm oven.  The very first time I tried this
I did put 1 flat folded up on a cookie sheet IN the oven.
This made me paranoid though as I could not see it while
ironing so I started just hanging a second one from the
stove top.  I used  a large pot to hold them in place so they
did not drop down into the oven.

NOW!  For safety reasons I must say I would only suggest the oven in a pinch and to never EVER walk away from it.  I was right there in the kitchen the entire time and could see everything.  If the oven does not have a "keep warm" setting use the lowest setting possible, I would say not to go above 200 degrees (which is our first setting after keep warm).  Even with all of that be extremely careful.  When I went to flip the very last flat hanging on the door I dropped it and it only brushed the heating coil in the bottom of the oven for a split second and it still singed the flat (since these are loaner flats now I have to replace that one!).
Also, we have an electric oven, I am not familiar with how gas ovens work but would not suggest this if you have a gas oven just in case it may fill your home with gas.

Two other methods I thought of but was not able to try because I do not own either were a hair dryer and a fan.  I imagine a hair dryer or fan, aimed at the hanging diapers, would speed up the process nicely.  Also, as I was preparing for this challenge a mama over at Instinctual Mamas said she used to hang all of her diapers up in the bathroom, place a space heater in there and close the door.  This inspired me to consider placing mine in the laundry room as the dryer was running drying other clothes but then I though "DUH! If a mama HAS  dryer obviously she is going to use IT" and decided to pass on that idea.

Today, thankfully, the sun is out.  I need to get the dirty diapers washed quickly though as they are calling for more rain later.

If you have any creative drying methods I have not thought of please share in the comments for all of us.

this creative drying mama,

P.S. If you have not been following and are unsure exactly what the Flats challenge is check out Dirty Diaper Laundry for details.


  1. Thanks for the crib rail idea! It worked wonders today! Here's the link to my blog.

  2. awesome blog, now a follower :)

  3. I didn't find out about the dirty diaper challenge until too late to begin. but I'll share a way I use. if you have any wire hangers you can use clothes pins and pin the diapers to the hangers. these can then be hung over door jams, clothes rods, crib rails basically anywhere. I've even hung them off of an entertainment center. just a thought!!


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