To keep your menstrual cloth 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 fibers. This will also lead to savings when the cloth menstrual pads that you have purchased will last longer. You will want to use these pads more over the chemically loaded disposable alternatives.
Menstrual Cloth Pads should be washed once before first use, but it isn’t mandatory.
Now is an excellent time to check your washing powder. Does your washing agent have zeolite, soap over 5%, bleach, fabric softeners or perfumes?
Cloth Pads will eventually lose their suction ability if washing agent contains any of the above.
If you don’t have right kind of washing powder, it is still advisable to wash them before first use. Because this will remove all the dust from the menstrual cloth pads. You can just wash them without using any washing agent (powder/liquid) at all
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 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 of soap will dilute to the water when machine washing.
Rinse the pad right after use with cold water. Picture by Zorrina Kirillova.
I would recommend Gall Soap. Gall Soap 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. Gall Soap will remove ink, mud, blood, grease and oil from white and other textiles that won’t bleed its 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:
-Soap, less than 5%
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. When you are in doubt you can use the Caring Panda’s Washing Powder
The only soap that I would recommend is gall soap.
Wet the pad rub the soap to the stain, you will need only little of gall soap.
Then rub the stain with a pinch of warm water. Now the pre-treatment is done.
Place all of your cloth menstrual pads inside the washing machine, and you can use a wash bag, but it is not necessary. You can wash other similar colours at the same time. Just the same regular clothes that you use every day. To be sure that the blood is loose inside the pads, rinse the pads with cold water right after use. Rinsing the pads right after use prevents the blood from sticking 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. Some people get skin irritation from essential oils so better try on a small batch of white vinegar first. I’ve added a video below, from youtube. Perhaps a smaller jug is more convenient?
Did you know that white vinegar also cleans your washing machine from limescale deposits from hard water?
When your machine has finished the washing of your pads, you shouldn’t tumble-dry them.
Tumble drying destroys slowly the blood-proof PUL-layer of the menstrual cloth pads.
Drying is best done by hanging these outside, line drying is the best option.
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 quickly.
The square-folding method is also a great way to store these neatly between cycles.
Selecting the correct washing powder will also protect your regular laundry and even the washing machine.
Zeolite will clog the suctionable fibres inside the sanitary towel. This stone-powder will cause all textiles to wear out like if they were in a constant stone wash.
Zeolite will ruin your machine by gathering around the inside of the machine. Clay-like paste covers the heating element, which will lead to overheating the element and finally destroying it.
Residues from zeolite and fabric softeners are also responsible for the bad smell that sometimes invades the washing machine.
Traces of zeolite will turn your black textiles into grey after multiple washes.
Zeolite residues cause skin irritation for many people; they just don’t often realise the origin of it.
Zeolite dust will float in the air, you can see this and think it is only textile-dust, but most of it is from the zeolite.
Hard water is softened with zeolite powder. That is the only reason for the usage of zeolites.
Use Caring Panda’s Washing Powder; it has 0% Zeolite
Soap (over 5%) clogs the fibers 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 fibers. But under 5% is more than enough to break the surface tension of water.
So be sure to select laundry detergent that has less than 5% soap in it.
HIGHER THAN 5% OF SOAP CLOGS THE SUSTAINABLE FIBERS!
Bleach will ruin the PUL (PolyUrethaneLayer) that is responsible for the waterproofness of the outer layer in these menstrual cloth pads. Bleach may also leave a trace of chemicals that you wouldn’t want to have next to your skin.
Fabric softeners cause the fibers inside of the menstrual cloth pads to clog, again the chemicals might not be good for you and might cause some itching for those with sensitive skin.
Perfumes are also chemicals that are designed to cling into the fibers, so they most likely will cause the menstrual cloth pads to lose suction power after a while, these also cause some people skin irritation or asthma attacks.
Avoid Non-Bio detergents since these detergents are harsh to you, as they don’t include natural enzymes to break protein and starch found in food and blood stains.
Caring Panda’s Powder has two different enzymes that are both found inside your mouth and stomach, to break protein and starch.
Our laundry powder is the best solution for menstrual cloth pads and regular laundry too. Caring Panda’s powder is the best choice since those enzymes will break blood and stains inside your menstrual cloth pads and on your daily laundry, to make deep-clean results.
Use bio-powder, as this is the most environment-friendly laundry detergent. Bio is also the most skin-friendly laundry detergent to be found.
Bio comes from biological, and in short, means that instead of optic-brighteners and chemical toxins, there are enzymes that make those clothes deep-clean. Our powder uses Amylase and Protease to deep-clean your laundry. These are used in a bread-baking industry to break proteins and starch, so they are totally safe. You can read more about the controversy between non-bio vs. bio.
Soap under 5% because you don’t need soap as much when you use the natural enzymes found in the mouth and stomach of humans. Also when there is a low concentration of soap, it will most likely be washed away at the rinsing cycle of your washing machine.
Phosphate-free is good for the environment. Even though the wastewater treatment plant can filter 99% of phosphates from water, even that 1% is a huge amount on the worldwide scale.
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