Whether you are new to the world of reusable cloth pads or an old pro, how to wash them is a major question. Every user has their own preferences for how to store, wash, and dry their pads. This post is a detailed collection of suggestions, for those of you who like details! A short, visual infographic will be coming soon for the rest of you.
There are three steps in a solid cloth pad care routine that can help you take good care of your reusable investment: pre-wash, wash, dry.
Pre-Wash – The first step is the most time-consuming, though it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes of active time.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:
Wash - Once pads are free of surface markings, they are ready to be washed. They may be washed in any load of laundry using your laundry routine, without fabric softener.
I recommend a warm water wash and cold rinse, with regular Tide powder as my detergent. (I’ll be writing a post soon that dives deep into cleaning product options!). However, if you follow the pre-washing steps above, your routine of choice should be absolutely fine…as long as you do NOT use fabric softener.
**BONUS TIP: Do not wash a small load of pads alone – your machine likely will not agitate them enough to complete the cleaning process. As mentioned above, I like washing pads with my towels, but at this point the pads are clean enough to go in any load of laundry you like.**
Dry – You can choose your own adventure when it comes to drying your pads. Pads may be dried in the dryer on medium heat or hung to dry. Drying in the dryer leads to softer pads. Avoid high heat as it can damage waterproof materials. You may add wool dryer balls for extra softening. Do not use dryer sheets.
I hope that is EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about washing cloth menstrual pads. Although it seems like a lot of information, actual time you will spend on this monthly should be quite low. If you have lingering questions, please leave them below our use the “Message Us” feature of the website to reach out.
Note: This post is specific to the care of pads used for menstrual flow. See this post if your pads are primarily used for urinary incontinence.