Laura H. Sunday, July 8, 2012

So, how about this frigid weather we are having in the southeast US? I'm about to break out the snowshoes to get to the grocery store!


So, we live on the top floor of an apartment building. It's nice to not have anyone stomping around in hooker boots over our head and vacuuming four times a week! However, the very hot roof right above us isn't helping the 107 to 115 degree Fahrenheit temps. For about a week during the worst part of it, the air unit couldn't keep up and we roasted indoors at 80 every evening.

But, the temps have mellowed to a not-nearly-as-miserable 99 to 102 and the a/c can keep up better. Also, a fan helps.

But a friend of mine and a very smart woman mentioned hanging her little one's diapers out on the line to dry. (Yeah, I use cloth on Elizabeth. No, I'm not going to get spastic and flip out if you don't.) I thought about it and decided to give it a try.

Well, let me tell you a little about my experience. And my hatred of all things math.

First, there was getting permission to put up a line. See, we have a balcony, and we aren't supposed to hang things over them. so I went to the office and asked about a line. They said it'd be fine, but just to be mindful of it so that nothing fell over the edge or dripped on anyone. That was easy! I don't want my diapers disappearing so I just put the line in the deck-area instead of at the perimeter. Tricky to get enough line and still get the door open, but it works since I'm the only diaper-washer around here.

So every diaper got washed as usual (first goof-up) and I hung everything out willy-nilly (second goof-up!) and waited. It took about the same amount of time as in the dryer for most all of it, but longer for my natural fibers - except the bamboo, but they aren't that tightly woven. And the natural fibers got all stiff and felt weird. But everything else was great! And smelled nice, too.

Some discussion with the Boy Scout and I now have a system for this. I'll get to why I'm taking this seriously in a minute. But first, I should have rinsed the diapers again. Just throwing in an extra 15 minute rinse helped so much with the stiff-and-weird problem! Rinse out everything that could dry stiff and things feel much better. Our water has stuff in it tho, so getting completely rid of the stiffness just isn't going to happen. Ten minutes in a cool dryer with two wool dryer balls fixes it tho (if I am so inclined. Which I am frequently not.) And hanging the natural stuff (cotton and hemp) in direct sunlight spots makes everything dry at about the same rate. We have a big shady tree, so not everything gets equal amounts of sun.

Why am I taking this so seriously? Well, I did some math. And I hate math more than I hate cooking. I can do it, but oh, how I hate it! Numbers never behave properly at math - they are forever switching, flipping around decimals, and goofing off in general. Math stinks, the end. But I did do some math - in order for everything to get dry, it takes one 99 minute cycle in our dryer set to regular heat (the highest it goes.) I usually wash diapers 3 times a week. That works out to 1188 minutes a month (or 19 hours and 48 minutes.)

NINETEEN HOURS. and FORTY-EIGHT MINUTES. Of hot, miserable air belching in to our top-floor apartment in weather that isn't fit for man or beast to be out in because breathing super-heated air makes things die.

So now, so long as things are hot and miserable, our diapers can go outside to dry.


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