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Discussion Starter #1
We're due with our first in March and still trying to decide what diaper system we want to go with, but I think it's possible that the easiest way for us to manage cloth diapers will be to hand wash. I'll spare the details on rationale, but the important thing is that I hand washed all of our laundry for a year when we lived in an apartment with outrageously expensive laundry facilities, so I'm not daunted by the prospect. I kind of liked it.

I do have one question, though. If anybody here hand washes, do you think absorbent hemp inserts would be hard to clean all the way through? Are they just too thick to clean well without the heavy agitation of a washing machine? I'm willing to use exclusively flats if I have to, but there are a few systems with hemp inserts that I really like and don't want to rule out unnecessarily.

I should add that we're considering using those thin, flushable liners to catch solids, so *theoretically* the inserts shouldn't be as soiled as they could be.

We do plan to use our washing machine's rinse and spin cycle at the end of every wash to get in one last good rinse and eliminate excess water for quicker drying (and eliminate wringing out by hand, which is the only part of hand washing that I don't like). We will also probably use the dryer.

What do you think? Does hand washing doom us to flats, or can we successfully wash thicker inserts?
 

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Will you have a washboard? My thoughts (though I have not handwashed any diapers) are that if you have a washboard, you can create just as much friction on the diaper as the usual machine friction.

I guess the possible scenario's could be that you don't order a ton to begin with and see how you do with it. Or, you could order enough flats and just a couple of thick liners to use and see. Or, you could be open to machine washing if you find you love the hemp inserts but cannot/do not want to handwash them.

I used the flushable liners for older babies a few times, and they did help keep the majority of the mess out of the "depths" of the diaper. They can bunch up and move, but overall they were helpful.

I hope you get more advice, and congratulations on your baby coming!
 

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I won't have a washboard (at least I wasn't planning on it). My plan is to agitate with a plunger or washing baffle and use my hands to rub the fabric together where it's heavily soiled, which all worked pretty well for our clothes. A washboard is an interesting idea, though, since dirty diapers take the laundry to a whole new level.

You're right, I should just try a few at first. I'd really like to go with Tidy Tots, even though they're too new to have many reviews. I like the system a lot - especially the way they've worked out to keep the liner in place. They're expensive, so the advice to start with just a few inserts and see how they wash up is smart.

Any other hand washers out there?
 
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