Wash & Care Tips for Using Cloth Sanitary Pads
Cloth sanitary pads are easy to use and easy to care for. When looked after correctly they will last you many years. In fact, some of our customers have pads still going strong after 8 years of use!! One of our most asked questions are how do I use and look after my pads and wash them? We have compiled our top tips to help you keep your pads well cared for and ensure you get many many years of use from them.
Which way up do my pads go?
There is a couple of answers here depending on which pads you purchased. For our lovely bamboo topped pads they will have either a plain pink, purple, black or blue top and a waterproof pul print backing. The soft plush bamboo layer goes next to your skin, this range of pads has a label on the back of them so it makes it easy to tell which way they go. For our cotton top pads, they have a printed top layer and a plain pul waterproof backing so your printed cotton top goes next to your skin.
Place the pad on the gusset of your underwear, wrap the wings around the out of the underwear gusset and dome together.
How often should I change my pad?
Depending on your flow we recommending changing every 2-6 hours. Our pads are more absorbent than disposable pads so if for example you change a regular disposable pad every 4 hours your cloth pad should last you 5-6 hours. It really comes down to individual menstrual flows and a bit of trialling to see how often you will need to change. Unless wearing the pad overnight we do suggest changing your pad every 2-6 hours to keep yourself fresh as a daisy.
What do I do with my used pads until I wash them?
We find the easiest solution to store your used pads until washing is to keep a container with a lid in your laundry. Give your used pad a rinse under cold water only as hot water will set the blood and increases staining on your pads. Once you have rinsed your pad place into the container. We recommend washing your pads no longer than every 24 hours as this will minimize the risk of stains if left to long and prevent your pads from smelling. You can also place your pads into cold water in your container as well to soak, but again do not leave any longer than 24 hours. During the hot summer months, you may find you need to empty and change the water in your soaker container once throughout the day. You may wish to also add 2 drops of tea tree oil to your water.
How do I wash my pads?
When you are ready to wash your pads, drain the water from your pad container and place into the washing machine. While it is not nessaccary to wash your pads separate some people prefer to keep them separate from other laundry. If you are a cloth nappy user you can wash your pads with your cloth nappies or even a load of towels is fine.
Machine wash on cold or a cold/warm cycle. Do not hot wash unless they have had a cold wash first to remove any blood residue. Hot washes will set blood stains and will also deteriorate the water proof layer of your pads over time. A hot washing your clean pads every so often is fine.
What should I use to wash my pads?
You can use your normal laundry powder or liquid that you wash your clothes with. Do not use bleaches, napisan, vinegar or fabric softeners these will deteriorate the fabrics and fabric softener will inhibit the absorbency of the pads. For those that want to give their pads a soak, we recommend an oxygen wash.
How should I dry my pads?
We recommend drying your pads outside on the line, the sun has amazing sanitizing properties and does wonders to freshen your pads and minimize stains. We highly recommend using a pad drying strap here, these prevent your pads drying bunched over from your pegs. You clip the drying strap over the line and then clip each wing of the pads together from the bottom dome on the drying strap. This means you can hang 4-5 pads from the one strap on your washing line.
For pads that aren’t fully dry when you bring them in from the line can be place overnight in the hot water cupboard or the dryer for 20 mins on a cool to medium heat. Avoid using the dryer on a hot heat and prolonged use of the dryer as this may deteriorate the waterproof layer of your pads quicker.
Can I use my cloth pads if I have thrush?
Yes, you can however you will want to take extra wash precautions with your pads to prevent reinfection. Ensure you rinse your pads well in cold water and either machine or hand wash with cold water. Next you will want to give your pads a good soak either with canesten wash which is available from the laundry section in your supermarket or you can use our tried and tested method below.
1 scoop of oxygen wash
6 drops of tea tree oil (if you have known allergies to tea tree oil then use canesten wash)
Place either the canesten wash or the oxy and tea tree blend into a bucket with hot water and soak your prewashed pads, giving the fabric a good rub together so you get the wash solution right in there. Leave to soak overnight. Drain the water from your wash container and rewash on a cool cycle in your washing machine. Sun dry to make the most of the suns sanitizing properties.
Some prefer to use disposables until all signs of thrush are gone. Ensure you still give your cloth pads a wash as above to prevent reinfection.
If you would like information on the benefits of using cloth menstrual pads have a read here.