Whether you are familiar with re-usable cloth menstrual products or an old timer user, I hope you find this information helpful.
The cloth menstrual product technology has advanced just as far recently as has the reusable cloth nappy industry. So if your using pads that you brought over a decade ago (yes they can last that long) then you are probably going to think you hit the jack-pot when you upgrade to these quality pads that you will find in the Positive Menstrual eShop.
All of these pads (except the liners which are 100% cotton) are backed with fleece which provides some extra water resistance but most importantly stop them from slip sliding around in your underwear (the flannel in the liners offers also supports the no-slip technology). But the most important recent addition has been the PUL waterproof lining which provides maximum protection from any leaking.
Scroll down for washing instructions.
Every woman develops her own style, so this is just a guide. There is no right or wrong way. However to lengthen the lifespan of your pad, I recommend washing soon after use, and dry without delay. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be to wash.
The first thing is to try and remove your blood before it has a chance to dry, so get your cloth menstrual products into a bucket of plain cold water as soon as is convenient. Swish and squeeze several times. You will see the majority of the blood rinse out inside a few minutes. This water is nutrient rich and your garden will love it. But its too rich for native plants, so spread around your garden with care. Don't be tempted to use hot water. On the cool side of luke warm is fine. Its no fun washing pads in ice cold water in the winter either.
After this initial blood rinsing stage you can do one of three things:
1) If you are ready to do a load of washing, you can pop your rinsed pads in with your regular load, so long as its a cold was. You don't need anymore detergent than is normal. In fact, less is more, as detergent and fabric softener will sit in the fibres and affect absorbency. A little bit of detergent is fine, but don't over do it.
2) If you are not ready to do a load of washing, you may soak your rinsed pad in cold water for up to 3 days. (No longer) changing your soak water daily until you are ready to wash. (this is my preferred method, after use I just pop my pad in a bucket change the water 12 hourly until I'm ready to wash, my garden loves it!).
3) If you don't have a washing machine, handwashing is still as effective in cleaning your pads. Again, stick to cold water, a small amount of detergent, and do it sooner rather than later. The longer you leave it the more effort it will take to clean. Don't put your soapy water on the garden.
Don't be tempted to rub a bar of soap into your pad. It will just clog it up.
Don't iron or tumble dry your pad. It will melt the waterproof layer.
Don't use hot water, it will set the stain.
Don't let your pads stagnate in the water. They will go yuk.
A small addition of ammonia to your soak water will help shift any stubborn stains.
Stain remover may be used on your cloth menstrual products if necessary but with caution, as it may bleach the pretty flannel layer.