In order to keep your pads in top condition, it is vital that you wash them correctly.
This way you will save lots of money and nature also.
Washing your cloth pads correctly will cause you to experience the highest suction ability of the natural fibres, used in the pads. This will also lead to savings when the cloth sanitary pads that you have purchased will last longer. You will want to use these pads more over the chemically loaded Always and such “throw it away”-alternatives.
You might want to wash them once before first use, but it isn’t mandatory.
Now is a very good time to check your washing powder. Does your washing agent have zeolite, soap over 5%, bleach, fabric softeners or perfumes?
These all will cause your cloth sanitary pads to clog and lose it’s suction ability over time. See the disadvantages of those ingredients below
-Zeolite: Will ruin your machine by gathering around the inside of the machine. It will turn your black textiles into grey after multiple washes. It causes skin irritation for many people; they just don’t often realise the origin of it. Zeolite will float in the air, you can see this and think it is only textile-dust, but most of it is from the zeolite. Zeolite is a clay-type of stone, pulverised and used to soften the hard water.
-Soap over 5%: Soap clogs the fibres of the menstrual pads, in over 5% concentration it will not rinse completely from the fibres of the cloth sanitary pads. Soap is used to reduce the surface tension of the water and help the water penetrate thru fibres.
-Bleach: It will ruin the PUL (PolyUrethaneLayer) that is responsible for the waterproofness of the outer layer. Bleach may also leave a trace of chemicals that you wouldn’t want to have next your skin.
-Fabric softeners: These causes the fibres inside of the cloth pad to clog, again the chemicals might not be good for you and might cause some itching for those with sensitive skin.
-Perfumes: These are also chemicals that are designed to cling into the fibres, so they most likely will cause the pads to lose suction power after a while, these also cause some people skin irritation.
Everything said above will relate to any laundry. Towels will lose their drying capabilities, the black shirt will be greyish, that shirt might itch because of the zeolite, perfumes and fabric softeners. So this is useful information for everyone!
When it is time to change the cloth pad or just remove it from your underwear. Rinse it with cold water immediately. Rinse it thoroughly, if you are at the home, place it to dry so that you can machine wash them later.
While rinsing you can use soap, but remember that 5% rule above? So that soap should not have more soap than 5%, or as little as you can find. Small amounts will dilute to the water when machine washing.
For stains, I would recommend Gall Soap. It is a perfect natural stain remover, and perfect for cloth pads! Unfortunately, it is not vegan, but there aren’t anything like that on vegan alternatives. Gall Soap also works for wool and silk, and it will remove even the toughest stains. It will remove ink, mud, blood, grease and oil from white and other textiles that won’t bleed it’s colour. There isn’t anything quite like it! You could also use white vinegar, it removes stains and softens the fibres also.
So as I mentioned about the correct type of washing powder above, it is important that there is not any of these:
There will be some soap in all of the washing agent, but try to find one that has less than 5% of soap in it.
Place all of your cloth menstrual pads inside the washing machine, and you can use a wash bag but it isn’t necessary. You can wash other similar colours at the same time, just make sure that the pads are rinsed after use so that the possible blood is loose inside the pad. This way the blood won’t stick to other textiles.
If you feel that your pads could use fabric softener, then you can use 1/2cup of white vinegar instead of that chemically-loaded version of fabric softeners. You can also add essential oils to the vinegar if you feel like it. But some people get skin irritation from them so better try on a small batch of white vinegar first. I’ve added a video below, from youtube. Maby smaller jug is more convinient?
Did you know that white vinegar also cleans your washing machine from lime that deposits from hard water?
When your machine has finished the washing of your pads, you shouldn’t tumble-dry them. Drying is best done by hanging these outside, inside out.
If there are any stains left, try to face those stains towards the sun. Sun is efficient in fading those stubborn stains.
When they are completely dry, you can fold them into nice squares, so that you can take them with you easily.
Caring for your Sanitary Cloth Pads is Caring for the Environment!
Andy & Nina
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