Wash Your Cloth Pads in 3 Easy Steps

If you’re new to cloth menstrual pads, you may think that washing them is difficult or complicated. Quite the opposite! Cloth pads are simple to care for, and once you’ve got your routine going, you’ll hardly notice the few extra minutes it takes to care for them.

Here’s a step-by-step list for caring for your cloth pads:

1. Pre-soak or pre-rinse

You can either drop your pads into a soaking container as you finish wearing them (just change the soaking water daily), or wait until the end of your cycle to do a pre-soak. Adding a dash of a natural enzyme cleaner, such as our beloved Bac-Out stain remover, will help fight discoloration or odor.

Soaking helps prevent staining, but is not necessary as far as cleaning your pads. Want to really keep your pads stain-free? Read more tips! Don’t mind some staining? Skip the pre-soak! You can rinse your pads just enough to get rid of the excess fluid and then store them in a waterproof bag like our Wet Bag, or just put ’em straight in the laundry.

2. Wash on cold

About 90% of the energy used for a load of laundry is to heat the water, so choosing a cold cycle is the best option in terms of efficiency. It’s also the best choice for your cloth menstrual pads: hot water will set in stains, shrink your pads, and ultimately shorten their lifespan. Cold water wash is all around better for all of your laundry!

You can add your cloth menstrual pads in with other laundry items, so no need for a separate load. Keeping them separated from the other items inside the washer or dryer can be handy, and easily done with a laundry bag. If you don’t have a washing machine or just prefer not to use it for these, hand-washing is great too!

Make sure to use a gentle or natural laundry soap. Most people can use their regular laundry detergent for their pads, provided it’s free of bleach and fabric softener, which can both shorten the life of pads and decrease their absorbency. It’s a good idea to choose a fragrance free option as well.

3. Dry on low or line dry

The dryer is the biggest culprit when it comes to shrinking clothing and shortening its lifespan. Make sure to choose a low setting for your GladRags in order to keep them around for many years! You can also choose to hang dry if you live in a place where they will dry promptly. Make sure your GladRags are completely dry before storing them.