Cloth sanitary pads are a very good option when looking for a zero waste alternative to disposable pads. They are more environmentally friendly and in addition economical as you can reuse them for years. They are a healthier option too, as they help to reduce the risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome).
However, in order to ensure that our washable cloth pads last as long as possible, it is important to take good care of them. Today we want to share with you a few tips about how to prolong the life of your reusable sanitary pads.
Choose your washable pads wisely:
- Always try to choose cloth pads made from organic cotton. The pad is in contact with your skin for hours at a time and it is therefore very important that the fabric does not contain any type of harmful chemicals.
- A good quality washable pad is one that adjusts itself to your flow and your needs. You can find many types of reusable pads, from the extra thin panty liners to overnight pads or specific pads for use after giving birth.
- If seeing your own blood bothers you, you can always choose coloured pads instead of the traditional white. This way the blood stains will be nearly unnoticeable. But remember, it is your blood and it is not dirty 😉
Easy tips so that your washable pads last a long time:
- Before first use, wash your pads to maximise their absorbency.
- Wash your pads in the washing machine with natural, eco-friendly detergent. This way the fabric will not absorb any type of chemicals that could be present in some commercial washing detergents. You can also wash them by hand, but it may be more difficult to remove the stains.
- After each use, rinse your pads with cold water. Rinse the pads until most of the absorbed blood has been removed. You will know that the blood has gone when the water runs clear.
- If you are not going to put them in the washing machine straight after use, soak your pads in cold water. It is important that you do NOT use hot water for neither rinsing nor soaking. Hot water “sets” the blood and the stains are then nearly impossible to remove.
- You can add a couple of drops of lavender, thyme or pine essential oils to the soaking water if you like, as they have natural disinfectant properties. If you prefer not to use essential oils white vinegar is also a very good option.
- When washing you can set the water temperature up to 60ºC, but be aware that 40ºC is more than enough. We always add a couple of spoonfuls of sodium bicarb directly into the drum or into the compartment with the soap.
- Finally, wash your pads with other clothes. This will make your load more eco-friendly and, at the same time, the items will rub against each other allowing for a more effective wash.
Things you should avoid doing with your cloth pads:
- Avoid using Marseille soap (made from olive oil) and black soap, also steer clear of industrial softeners, the reason being that the fabric fibres with absorb the oil/fat and this will reduce the pad’s absorption potential.
- Do not use bleach or stain removers in order to avoid exposing your pads to chemical substances.
- Do not wring out your pads. This could lead to the pad losing its original shape. If you need to dry them further , wrap them in an absorbent towel and apply pressure to draw out the excess water.
We hope that this advice is helpful to ensure the best care of your washable cloth pads and that they thereby last a long time. If you have any questions, you can always contact us or leave a comment on this post 🙂