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How To Wash Reusable Sanitary Pads

Set of 4 orange daisies reusable cloth sanitary pads

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If you’ve never used reusable sanitary pads before, then you’re probably wondering how to wash them.

In this post we’ll explain how to wash, dry, and store your reusable sanitary pads to keep them as clean, effective and comfortable as possible.

How to Wash Your Reusable Sanitary Pads

Wash your reusable sanitary pads at 40°C, no higher. This will be hot enough to effectively clean the pads, whereas higher temperatures can cause stains to set.

Use powder detergent rather than liquid detergent, and don’t use any fabric softener. This can leave a residue on your pads’ fabrics, which over time can make them less absorbent.

You can add your reusable sanitary pads to your regular wash, but for best results give them a separate rinse cycle first.

If you’re doing a handwash, use warm water instead of hot water, and use a dedicated detergent for handwashing. Avoid using any soaps, including vegetable-based soap, as this can leave a residue which can affect absorbency.

How to Dry Your Reusable Sanitary Pads

It’s best to air-dry your reusable sanitary pads. If you can’t dry them outside, avoid placing them directly on a radiator or another heat source, as this could shrink some of the fabrics.

It’s best not to place reusable sanitary pads in a tumble driver. Again, this can lead to shrinkage, but the process can also remove some fibres from the pads, which will make them less absorbent. So if you must use a tumble dryer, keep the temperature as low as possible.

Storing Your Reusable Sanitary Pads

Always store your reusable sanitary pads flat. Don’t fold them, as this can damage the fabrics and affect absorbency. You can prevent stains from setting by rinsing your reusable sanitary pad once you remove it, before the blood has a chance to dry, then soaking it in cold water until you’re ready to wash them.

You can get waterproof wet bags designed specifically for this purpose. Some contain two compartments – one to keep your fresh pads dry, and another for your used pads after you’ve rinsed them.

If you can’t keep your pads in a cold soak until washday, you can instead rinse them in cold water before you add them to the washing machine, or before you do your handwash.

Should I Prewash My Reusable Sanitary Pads?

While your reusable sanitary pads will be dependable from the moment you get them, you can often make them even more absorbent by washing them before you use them for the first time. This can “fluff up” the pad’s fibres, making them softer and more flexible, which can make them more absorbent.

Do Reusable Sanitary Pads Smell?

If you wash them properly, they shouldn’t! But to keep them fresh, make sure you wash them every couple of days. And if a pad’s heavily stained, as we said above, rinse it immediately in cold water and try to keep it in soak until it’s ready to wash.

You can get the smell out of a reusable sanitary pad, add a teaspoon of vinegar or baking soda to the pad before you start the regular wash.

Why You Should Switch to Reusable Sanitary Pads

This might all seem like a lot of effort to keep your reusable sanitary pads fresh and effective. Especially since you can simply throw a disposable pad away without a second thought, before applying a new one which you can be sure will be clean and absorbent.

But while disposable sanitary pads can be more convenient, there are many benefits to switching to reusable sanitary pads:

  • They can be cheaper. Once you’ve bought your reusable sanitary pads, so long as you take care of them, you’ll never have to buy any more ever again. Compare this to the price of buying new disposable pads every month!
  • They’re better for the environment. You can’t really recycle sanitary pads. Flush them and they could end up in the ocean. Bin them and they’ll probably end up on a landfill, where they’ll potentially take decades to decompose. But reusable sanitary pads produce no waste. And as you’ll wash them at low temperatures, they don’t use much energy either.
  • They’re better for you. Disposable sanitary pads can be uncomfortable. And they can contain certain harsh chemicals, which can irritate your skin. But reusable sanitary pads are made from soft fabrics, and they don’t use any chemicals. So they’re a lot more comfortable, and a lot friendlier to your body.

Browse our range of reusable sanitary pads.

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