HOW TO WASH CLOTH MENSTRUAL PADS
Congratulations! You’ve either gotten your first cloth pad(s) or you’re doing your research before you make the decision to try cloth. You’re probably wondering to yourself “How in the heck do I wash these things!?”
Honestly, washing your cloth pads is easy peasy and there are MANY ways you can wash them. Everyone picks a method that works best for them. Some people don’t mind stains, some people feel very anxious about stains. One thing we need to make clear here though is that you are bleeding onto these, there will be some staining. That’s just the way it will be. There ARE, however, steps you can take to minimize any staining, which we will talk about here.
First we’re going to talk about care before washing your soiled pads.
BEFORE WASHING YOUR SOILED CLOTH PADS, HOW DO WE STORE THEM?
So you’ve just taken off your soiled pad. What now? Great question!
There are two methods that are the most popular at storing your pads for the week. There’s dry storage and there’s wet storage.
Dry storage: Storing your soiled pads in a wetbag or empty pail, and pre-soaking at the end of the week before washing. Some women also prefer with this method to pre-rinse their pads in cold water in the bathroom sink, but that’s totally optional!
Wet storage: Storing your soiled pads immediately in a bucket of cold water, sometimes with some stain remover (i.e oxyclean), adding to the bucket throughout the week and dumping the bloody water down the drain or into your garden (many women have noticed their plants simply flourish from the nutrients in the blood-water, and chose this method to be environmentally friendly!).
SO I’M DONE MY PERIOD. NOW WHAT?
Now that you’re no longer on your period, depending on what method you choose to store your pads for that time, you can start washing!!
If you’ve been storing your pads in a wet bucket all week, simply toss the water (down the drain or in the garden). You can either choose to pre-soak them again for a few hours in new, cold water with a stain remover, use a stain stick or stain spray, or simply just dump them into the washer.
If you’ve been storing the dry method all week, I highly recommend filling the laundry sink or a bucket with cold water and a stain remover OR rinsing the pads in cold water and then using either a stain stick or stain remover spray.
If simplicity is more your thing and you don’t care about stains or have dark patterned pads anyways, then by all means, skip the stain remover!
This is where people tend to differ on washing, and it can go many ways. THERE IS NO WRONG OR RIGHT WAY TO WAS YOUR PADS! EVERYBODY IS DIFFERENT!
What I personally do after dry storing all week and presoaking for an hour or two in a bucket of cold water and stain remover, is just toss them into my wash with my towels and rags. I wash in cold water and I low tumblr dry them or hang them to dry depending on my mood.
Some people who may cloth diaper their little ones, choose to toss their pads in with the cloth diaper laundry, doing a pre-wash and a main wash.
This is an interesting method and one I hold dear to my heart as someone who had to depend on a laundromat for a long period in my life. Maybe you’re in the same situation, or maybe you just don’t feel comfortable washing your soiled pads with the rest of your laundry, whatever the case may be, this is an excellent and effective way to hand wash your pads.
Things you will need:
-A clean plunger
What you’re going to do is follow the instructions to pre-soak or pre-rinse your pads in said bucket. You can put it in your tub, shower or laundry sink.
Once you’ve completed this step, fill your bucket with your pads inside with your detergent and enough cold water to submerge your pads.
Take your clean “pad washing” designated plunger and essentially, plung up and down like you’re back in the 1700’s churning your own butter, haha. You’re going to want to do this for about 5 minutes.
Pour out the water and repeat without detergent, churn those pads for another 5 minutes.
Repeat this method until the water runs clear and you have no more suds. Use the plunger or your hands to really RING out that water from the pads, and then simply hang to dry or toss in your dryer on low tumble dry.
HOORAY! THEY’RE ALL DONE!!
After they’re all dry, you can store them wherever you would normally keep your menstruation needs until you need them again next month!