Marvel: How Long Does Laundry Take?

Drying diapers in the skylight sun

I am a cloth-diapering mama.  Not because I’m a drippy hippie silly; it’s because I’m thrifty!  I use BumGenius and FuzziBunz because I want babysitters and husbands to change diapers too.  Both of those brands are almost as easy as disposables.

Since I already owned a set of cloth, I brought them with me to Germany.  I think most things through, however this one just jumped off the list and ran away.  How in the world am I going to find the right detergent?  Well, really, just how in Germany am I going to find it?  And hello, no one owns a top-loading washer here.

Seven years ago, I lived in Russia.  I think it totally ruined my idea of living in Europe.  You couldn’t get much there that was remotely American and what you could get was terribly expensive and exhaustingly hard to find.  Miraculously, the first day, I found Ecover!  Hurrah!  However, figuring out the front-loading issue was not so simple.

I armed myself with some tips from Americans with front-loaders and my trusty dictionary.  I programmed what I thought was a cold cycle with pre-wash and extra rinse.  No angry beeps so I guess this is a good thing.  After that cycle ended (almost 1 1/2 hours later…), I pushed the buttons for a super hot cycle with pre-wash and extra rinse.  I saw a button for “stain.”  Ah, this should be good for stinky dirty nappies.  Apparently not – only angry beeping and flashing German error messages.  Okay, forget the stain thingamajiggit.  How about super extra licious fast spinning to get all the water out before hang drying?  Also verboten!

After almost four hours of soaking, washing, spinning, I had clean dipes.  Yes, that’s FOUR hours PER load.  Looks like I’ll be hanging out in the laundry basement.  Do you think they’d mind if I left some toys down there?  Snacks?

What’s your biggest laundry challenge?  How often do you have to do laundry each week?

4 thoughts on “Marvel: How Long Does Laundry Take?

  1. Pingback: Marvel: real,- SWEET « Thrifty Travel Mama

  2. Pingback: Disposable Baby Diapers in Germany | Thrifty Travel Mama

  3. I have a huge question about this! Did you find cloth diapering in Germany to be doable and worth it? Did you have your own washer or did you use a public one? I’m moving there soon with my husband and baby and right now we use cloth but are wondering if we are going to be able to actually use them in Germany! Thank you I’d appreciate any advice!

    • Jaclyn, I had a tough time cloth diapering here. Germany is such a green country (and especially where we live in Freiburg) and yet very few mamas use cloth diapers. I brought my Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius with me, but I gave up after only a few months. The great thing about front loading washers is that they use so little water and are therefore environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, this does not work in your favor when trying to wash cloth diapers. I have never seen a top loading washer here; there are a few models but even then the drum is not upright like we have in the US. I never had problems with smell or leaks in the US, but I had constant problems with that here. I tried adding a little bleach once in a while (as recommended to me in an email from the manufacturer) as well as all manner of tricks to get the washer to use more water. Nothing worked. My diapers were only good for 1-2 pees which made for an exhausting day of constantly changing (and washing) diapers. However, I have had two friends successfully get their diapers clean here. One uses a different kind of diaper (not sure what) and she uses the hot 95C setting. Another had the same kind of diapers as me and brought a container of OxiClean from Canada with her (not sure that is legal to ship/bring in your suitcase..) which seemed to do the trick. So, it IS possible, but my experience was not very good. Hope that helps!

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