Washing Cloth Pads, How to wash cloth pads and any reusable washable items, My cloth pad washing rou
You will find many different methods to everyone’s washing routine. Washing Cloth menstrual pads can be as simple as take off dry store then wash. From really simple to some very complex I heard many ways people go about cleaning their cloth pads. And if it works for them that is fantastic but might not work for you! Here is the thing everyone live in a different water areas, where the quality of water used for washing varies. Some have hard water, some soft, some rich in minerals etc. This has a very big impact on how clean your washing really gets and why some washing detergents might not work as well for you! I have been using cloth diapers for many years now and the washing routine can be similar with cloth menstrual pads. Here is an amazing resource if you would like to read more about the science behind washing and getting things really clean. http://www.fluffloveuniversity.com/
As for myself I will share with you my cloth pad washing routine that works very well for me.
*used pads go in the wetbag. (you can use a plastic container with a lid or a bag that is lined with PUL. PUL is a plastic like material that when properly sewn and sealed can hold slightly moist items without wicking water thru the seams and to the outside of the bag. if you would like to know how to seal such material please follow to my other blog post on how to make wet bag here :http://stargazingseamstress.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/how-to-sew-wetbag-snack-bag-tutorial.html If you would like to purchase a wet-bag please have a look at range I make for Moon and Stars Pads: Moon and Stars Pads Wetbags Etsy
*if your period is really long you can wash the pads after 4 days or before you run out, depending on a size of your cloth pad stash.
*when dry storing you will need to pre soak the pads before main wash, this helps with softening the dried up blood and you will see a lot of red released into your water. Soak the pads in a bucket overnight or few hours before washing.
*depending on fabrics your pads are made out of you will want to stain treat some before the main wash. If your pads are mainly cotton (cotton woven cotton jersey or cotton knit) it is necessary to apply a stain treatment, a natural bar of stain remover will work a treat, just rub it over the fabric top. If you do not want to be touching soaking wet pads you can add oxi clean- appropriate amount for your load. Cotton topped cloth pad stain more easily than polyester or bamboo ones. I found that my pads topped with spandex or athletic wicking jersey or performance pique require zero stain treatment, bamboo velour pads can have some bleached parts where your PH reacted with the dye in the fibres.
* Bulk up your main wash if washing only a handful of pads. I used to put my pads with the diaper wash but now kids are out of diapers I’m putting some towels in.
* Set your machine on 40 degrees C this temperature will ensure that stains won’t set in permanently and is better for the planet. If you worry about the bacteria add laundry antibacterial detergent like diaper safe bambino mio fresh or Dettol antibacterial laundry cleanser (UK not cloth diaper tested). If you are suffering from thrush or any bacterial infection use higher temperature, do not go boiling crazy 90 degrees but 60 C will be sufficient and will not damaged fabrics much if used sparingly. You see washing on hot setting and drying in the dryer will weaken the fibre making lifespan of your pads much shorter than intended which isn’t really economical option.
* Use usual amount of powder laundry detergent, in hard water area I’m using a scoop of water softener as well. Do not add fabric conditioner! It will coat the fibres making them less absorbent! Add an extra rinse at the end of the washing cycle. If you can set the spin to 1000 it will be better for your pads, yet again prolonging life of all components of the pad.
* Hang your pads on the line to dry, if you can find a nice and sunny spot if will be fantastic as UV rays will further help with stain fading!
Do you have your favourite washing routine? Please share it with me in the comments below xxx