We have been without a dryer for about a week now-cloth diapering without a dryer is different to say the least. I am feeling pretty stubborn about buying a new one so the man has been troubleshooting ours to get it to work.
We have been finding ways to get our diapers washed and dried without an insane amount of fuss.
For one- my daughter has been sick for a week and has not been making a lot of dirty diapers for me. I am not happy she is sick but the coincidence has made the lowered volume of diapers a bit convenient.
Second, we can’t dry anything outside because of allergies and and insane amount of dirt and pollen in the air. We CAN use the garage though, and in Phoenix in summer that is just as good as a dryer without the tumbling. We do have access to the tumbling function of our dryer, so even though there is no heat, we can still use it for that.
So what did we find out so far?
1.Microfiber, velour, terry cloth and thick overnight inserts take forever to dry and they end up crunchy.
2. Flats are fabulous. They dry fast anywhere, and they don’t end up terribly crunchy.
3. Flips are always fabulous and it doesn’t matter if you have a dryer or not for these because we usually hang them dry anyway. We have about 10 I think and we find them more than enough for a toddler. We had a few more diapers in the mix as she has grown, but if you are on a budget Flips are where I would put money. They are one size, and easy to maintain and clean.
4. We have a few pocket diapers, and they do ok in this routine. Frankly though, I am not a fan of pockets overall, so I don’t suggest them. If you do want to use these with microfiber, you don’t have to worry about scratchy microfiber touching baby skin since it is tucked away.( I always hang my pocket diapers to dry anyway.)
See the Amazon widget for a link to some examples of what we are using.
So here is our set up.
1. We wash. We have a HE washing machine so the liquid is pretty effectively removed.
2. We take out the Flip liners and just hang them any old way in the bathroom. We keep a regular clothes hanger on the shower rack and I snap them all together and hang them there. It is like a big diaper chain. It dries within a few hours since our humidity is so low here. We can add a fan to the room if we need the diapers faster.
3. I separate out the flats and unwrinkle them. I try to get them as unwrinkled as possible and hang them individually, spread out on our dryer rack.
(see the Amazon widget for the one we use- we had one already that we used to dry hockey gear with. It works great for stinky gear and diapers.)
I can fit a decent number of these on here- probably about 20 easily. You don’t need clothespins for this type of process. You can add a fan to this area as well if you need to dry the flats faster- I find they dry easily overnight, so I don’t usually do that.
I do all the baby laundry together, so anything else she has in there I put on baby hangers and just dangle those along the drying rack. That stuff takes a little longer.
As a side note, we are of course drying our clothes and towels by line as well. Those go in the garage, on a make shift clothesline that the man set up for us. Everything goes on hangers out there too.. lol
4. We are still washing some microfiber inserts and thick overnight inserts. This I do not suggest with no dryer. I am hanging them in the garage, and I find they take FOREVER to dry. They are not soft and they are all stretching to weird shapes.. When I take some of them out they are literally as stiff as a piece of paper. Once we get a dryer again I am not sure if they will return to softness again.
5. Since we do still have the tumbling dryer available, I toss everything in there for a cycle and fill the dryer with my wool dryer balls. I have a few home made ones, but most of mine are Woolzies, which I reviewed last year, and find to be superior.
The dryer balls really soften everything up and it has been great. If you don’t have the dryer, you can definitely get by with squishing up your flats to soften them. They don’t get nearly as crunchy as the microfiber inserts and such
Overall, I am only missing my dryer a little. I find the house is much cooler, and although it adds a short amount of extra work, it isn’t terrible. I do wash the loads a little more often so I don’t need to dry a lot at once. It hasn’t been as terrible as I thought it would be.
The man is going to be trying another round of troubleshooting after work tonight, so we shall see how that goes. Until then, I will keep “line drying.”
It CAN be done, and I will say I am CERTAIN if you go this route, you will be able to save tons of money both on diapers and electricity!
If you want to go one more step and go without a washer, I am betting you will find that possible as well. Don’t let the naysayers say nay!
Cloth diapering without a dryer can be done!