Whether your using cloth pads for menstruation, incontinence, or daily discharge management, you'll need to know how to care for them. When I randomly discovered cloth sanitary pads one day my first question was, “How would I go about washing these things anyway?” Not long after that accidental discovery (more like serendipitous) I finally decided to try out cloth pads for the first time. I'm extremely thankful for what I discovered and right from the first try, I knew I never wanted to return to life before cloth pads.
What I've learned about caring for pads comes from my own research and experience that I'm happy to share with you here. The most important thing to know about washing cloth pads it to NEVER use any type of fabric softener or dryer sheets. These create a film on fabrics hindering their ability to absorb fluid. Conversely, by washing cloth pads repeatedly over time their absorbing powers will increase.
It's best to always wash new cloth pads before wearing them. They can simply be tossed in the washer and dryer along with other items (towels, clothes, etc.) using the medium settings on your machine(s). Hanging cloth pads to dry is gentler on them; helping them to last longer.
If your cloth pads have been soiled with menstrual fluid, it's best to soak them first (or at least rinse them) in cold water prior placing them in the washing machine. The cold water will act to prevent staining.
But if stains still persist after washing, here's a stain-hack I learned along the way. Simply spray the stained area with hydrogen peroxide while the pads are still damp. Then place them near sunlight to dry. Sunshine itself is a powerful bleaching agent. And if you do apply hydrogen peroxide, be sure to rinse the pads afterwards before wearing them to protect the skin from irritation. Drying straps are great for hanging pads in a chain-link to dry.
I hope you learned something from my washing and care blog today. If you have any of your own tips for caring for cloth pads I'd love to hear from you. :)