Washing and Care Instructions for Period Underwear and Reusable Cotton Pads

How do I wash my cloth sanitary pads and period pants?

  • wash in a cool or cold wash, 30c or lower
  • wash within 24 hours, or cold soak for a couple of days before putting them in the machine 
  • wash in a decent, longer wash cycle (max 30c), using your normal stain remover and washing powder combination (DO NOT USE BLEACH)
  • Leave to air dry, DO NOT TUMBLE DRY or dry on direct heat sources (radiator etc)

Wash in a cool or cold wash, 30c or lower

Not everyone is aware of this, but bloodstains must be washed out at body temperature or below, washing at 40c will 'set' the stain, never to be removed!  That's because blood is a protein stain (think of an egg) and applying heat to a protein 'sets' it, just like scrambling an egg.  If you wash at 40c, it's not the end of the world, the pads or period pants will still work perfectly, they just won't look as pretty as they did at first.

Wash within 24 hours, or cold soak for couple of days and pop in the machine

If I'm at home, I'll remove my pad or pants and run under the cold tap and give it a good scrub with some soap which is HUGELY satisfying.  Then I pop them into our mucky box with some cold water and a scoop of some Oxi type oxygen stain remover which is eco-friendly and works!  Alternatively, if you've got a wash going on shortly, you can give them a squirt of liquid stain remover and pop them straight into the washing machine.

Wash in a decent wash cycle, using your normal stain remover and washing powder combination

At Cheeky Wipe HQ we use a bio powder and Oxy type stain remover.  We used to use more 'eco' products but for us, we found that it was a false eco economy as they just didn't get as clean as using proper washing powder and hence reducing the longevity of our clothing.  And when you've got 4 kids who could potentially hand clothing down to one another, that's really important!  It's also important to use a decent length wash cycle.  Rapid / eco  wash cycles which you may use for clothing which just needs a freshen up won't work for stained items.  We would advise a wash cycle of at least an hour to get your pads and pants properly clean.

Can I wash period pants and cloth sanitary pads with other items or do they need to be washed by themselves?

The good news is that you can just bung your period pants or cloth sanitary pads into the wash with whatever else you have got to wash and wash it all at 30c.  There's no need at all to wash them separately which is fantastic news.  If you assume that your period protection adds up to half a kg of washing a month, over the course of a year, this is just one more 'average' washload, so very little environmental impact!  And don't worry, your husbands shirts etc won't be contaminated by a tiny bit of blood in the wash!


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