How to Wash Reusable Pads


• Updated on July 29, 2021 • 5 minute read

Reusable menstrual pads are an excellent alternative to disposable menstrual products. They are more environmentally friendly and can be washed and reused for up to a year. This article will give you instructions on how to use reusable pads, how long they last, and how to keep them in place while wearing them.Shortcode

Washing reusable menstrual pads can seem like a daunting task. However, with the right products and tips, it doesn’t have to be difficult.

There are a few different ways you can go about cleaning your reusable menstrual or incontinence cloth pads, including washing them in cold water with mild soap and air drying, or using laundry detergent in warm water and tumble drying on low heat.

In this post, we’ll walk you through how to clean all of these types of pads!

Is washing cloth pads not a lot of work?

Washing pads is not a lot of work. It’s actually pretty easy to do!

First, you should pre-rinse the pad in cool water with mild soap. Then, rinse it with cool or warm water and hang dry – this will prevent any shrinkage from happening when drying on low heat.

Should I wash my new pads before wearing them?

Yes, you should wash your new pads before wearing them! This will remove any manufacturing residue that might be on the pad.

What type of detergent should I use for washing reusable cloth pads?

women with detergent to wash

You’ll want to use a detergent that is free of perfumes or dyes.

Some suggestions include:

When should I wash my pads?

You should wash your pads every two to four days. This will prevent them from being soiled, and make sure they’re sanitary for you!

If the pad is very soiled, it’s better not to wait until laundry day – just throw it in the washer right away. Why? You don’t want any bacteria to be left on the pad, and you don’t want to wash it with other items that would get stained by any blood or urine coming in contact.

Cloth pad washing steps

  • Rinse the pad in cold water
  • Pre-rinse with mild soap
  • Wash in warm or cool water with a little detergent. Hang dry to prevent shrinkage!

Afterward, you can either air-dry your pads on low heat, tumble dry on low (or no) heat for up to two hours only.

When storing your pads, be sure to lay them flat and avoid folding so they don’t get damaged when you’re not using them!

Can you hand-wash a cloth pad?

hand wash

Yes, you can hand-wash cloth pads!

To do so, soak the pad in a sink or bucket of cold water and mild soap. Then rinse with cool to warm water (not hot), then hang dry on low heat.

How do you get the smell out of a cloth pad?

To get the smell out of a cloth pad, you can use a little bit of baking soda (or vinegar) on the pad. Add water until it’s just about to overflow and add one teaspoon or more of either substance for extra power.

Then place in your washing machine with some fabric softener sheets and wash as usual!

How do I stop my pads from smelling?

woman cover her nose because of bad smell

To make sure your pads don’t smell, you should wash them every two to four days.

If they’re not soiled and are just starting to get smelly, a good way is to use baking soda or vinegar on the pad before washing it as usual!

Do you have to soak cloth pads?

No, you don’t have to soak cloth pads but it’s a good idea to do so if they’re not soiled.

This will help remove any leftover blood stains and avoid them coming out in the next wash!

If you are using cloth pads for incontinence, make sure you follow your doctor or nurse’s instructions on how often to change them. They may recommend soaking before washing.

What do you soak cloth pads in?

There are a few options for soaking cloth pads.

You can use water and mild soap, white vinegar, or baking soda as your soak agent!

Can you soak cloth pads overnight?

filling a bathtub with water

You can soak cloth pads overnight, but it’s not recommended.

If you’re using a lot of liquid in the soaking solution or if your water is too hot, there may be some slight shrinking that happens to the pad from being soaked for so long!

How do I dry my pads?

There are a few options for drying your reusable cloth menstrual pads.

You can air dry them on low heat, tumble dry for up to two hours in the machine at low or no heat, or hang dry outdoors – but only when it’s not too windy!

Do cloth pads dry quickly?

Cloth pads will air dry much faster than disposable ones if they’re not tumble dried – this should take about two hours at most.

Can you put cloth pads in the dryer?

women changing setting in the dryer machine

Yes, you can put cloth pads in the dryer – but it’s not recommended.

The heat from a tumble dry cycle will cause shrinkage and might weaken fibers over time, which means they won’t last as long!

How do you whiten reusable menstrual pads?

If your pads are stained from menstrual blood or urine, you can use a little bit of hydrogen peroxide on the pad.

Then place in your washing machine with some fabric softener sheets and wash as usual!

So, how to wash cloth pads?

  • Rinse in cold water first!
  • Pre-rinse with a mild soap before hand washing. Wait until the next laundry day to throw it into a washer right away – just put it in there if any bacteria are left on or for some stains that might come off later.
  • Wash in warm or cool water with a little detergent (or no soap if you’re hand washing).
  • Hang dry to avoid shrinkage, then store flat and out of direct sunlight!
  • If your pad is stained by blood or urine, it’s best to soak the reusable pads before washing them or if they’re not soiled and just starting to smell.
  • Sometimes, a heavily soiled pad will get rinsed in the tub. It is then wrung out and tossed into a wet bag.
  • You can soak your cloth menstrual pads in water with mild soap, baking soda, or white vinegar as an agent!
  • If you’re using a lot of liquid in the soaking solution, there may be some slight shrinking that happens to the reusable pad from being soaked for so long.

We hope this helps you figure out your washing routine. If you have any other tips, please share them below. We’d love to know your tricks to keep your pads clean.


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About Loretta Pride

Loretta Pride is the main author of Topsy Daisy. She’s also an avid health and fitness enthusiast. She spends her time reading, hanging out with her family and working out.

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