Are you tired of constantly buying disposable period pads and contributing to environmental waste? Worried about how to wash reusable cotton pads in a washing machine?
Don’t fret; I’ll address that too! If you want to make a change and switch to reusable cotton pads then this is comprehensive guide for you. In this guide we will:
- Explore the need for reusable cotton pads, discussing both the environmental benefits and the health advantages they offer.
- Provide an overview of the 3 brands I’ve use/used available in the market, detailing their price, availability, and ease of use.
- Weigh the pros and cons of using reusable pads to help you make an informed decision.
- Walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to properly clean your reusable pads, including pre-wash requirements and the best practices for washing and stain removal.
Lastly, I’ll share tips on how to care for your pads after washing and keep them smelling fresh.
Understanding the Need for Reusable Cotton Pads
Being honest, I was a bit skeptical wit using reusable sanitary pads. Most cloth pad brands I’d seen and tested looked and felt bulky and impractical.
However with the rise in eco-conscious consumerism new brands have really stepped up to provide sleek and comfortable sanitary products with cool designs.
Environmental Benefits of Switching to Reusable Pads
Switching to reusable pads offer a range of environmental benefits that contribute to a more minimalist lifestyle.
Firstly they are made from sustainable materials like organic cotton and bamboo unlike traditional brands which are made from plastic and other non bio degradable materials.
Disposable cotton pads have a significant environmental impact. Each year an during their period an individual will use 130-260 pads. That’s a staggering 10000 in a lifetime. Finally, traditional sanitary towels can take 150 years to decompose!
So it’s a no brainier choosing reusable cotton pads as they help minimize your carbon footprint and promote a cleaner environment.
Reusable pads can be washed and used multiple times. I’ve had mine for at least 2 years now. They have significantly reduced my reliance for single-use disposable pads.
Health Advantages of Using Reusable Pads
Using reusable pads offers several health advantages. Unlike disposables, reusable cotton pads are free from harsh chemicals, reducing the risk of skin irritation and allergies.
Additionally, disposable pads often contain synthetic materials that can disrupt hormonal balance, leading to heavy and irregular periods. This makes them a safer and more comfortable option for you if you have sensitive skin.
Top 3 Brands of Reusable Pads: Price, Availability, and Ease of Use
When it comes to reusable cotton pads, there are a few top brands that stand out in terms of their price, availability, and ease of use.
Cheeky Wipes Bamboo Cloth Pads – £5.49 for two day pads
- I LOVE Cheeky Wipes, I use the reusable wipes with my daughter so I highly recommend this trusted UK brand.
Hey Girls Reusable Day Pads – £34.05 for five pads and a wet bag
- I reviewed Hey Girls Day Period Pads before in my blog Organic Period Pads A Comprehensive Guide
Wear Me Out Reusable Pads Trial Pack – £27.00 for 3 pads (light, medium and heavy flow)
- I like that the designs are eye catching and there are options for flow levels.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Reusable Pads
Let’s weigh up the pros and con of reusable pads:
- They have on the environment by reducing waste and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.
- Investing in reusable pads can result in long-term cost savings compared to constantly purchasing disposable options. Mainly because in the UK many reusable brands are VAT exempt.
- While reusable pads may require a bit more effort in terms of using a washing machine and drying, many individuals find them to be more comfortable and far gentler on their skin compared to disposable alternatives.
- It’s crucial to consider hygiene factors, as proper cleaning and maintenance are essential for preventing bacterial growth and maintaining personal hygiene.
- Cleaning and clothesline drying can be time consuming.
- The poppers that keep the pad in place on your underwear can move around compared traditional adhesive
- Some designs can be bulky.
How to Wash Reusable Cotton Pads: Step-by-Step Guide
Wondering how to wash reusable cotton pads? Follow this step-by-step guide:
One: start by rinsing them under warm water to remove any excess blood stains.
Two: Apply a gentle soap or cleanser and gently massage the pads to remove any remaining menstrual blood.
Three: Rinse the pads thoroughly to ensure all soap is removed.
Four: After this, Place the pads in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them during the washing process.
Five: Wash the pads on a gentle cycle with cold water, avoiding fabric softener as it can affect absorbency.
Six: After the wash cycle, hang the pads to air dry or tumble dry on low heat.
It’s as easy as that! Following these steps each time to ensure the cleanliness and longevity of your reusable pads.
Pre-wash Requirements for Reusable Pads
When it comes to pre-washing new reusable cotton pads, there are a few pre-wash requirements that you should keep in mind.
1. Before using them for the first time, it’s important to wash the pads separately to remove any manufacturing residue.
2. Use cold water and a gentle soap to pre-wash the pads.
3. After pre-washing, allow the pads to air dry or use a low heat setting in the dryer. Then use when needed.
Best Practices for Soaking/Washing and Stain Removal
If you’ve had a particularly heavy period and want to remove stains here’s how.
- Rinsing reusable cotton pads in cold water immediately after use helps prevent stains from setting. Avoid hot water as that will set the stain into the fibres.
- For tough stains, I start the soaking process by applying a stain remover or soaking pads in a mixture of water and laundry detergent. I recommend using a nappy/ diaper stain remover like the one above.
- Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach as it’ll damage the fibres and absorption. (I’m speaking from experience). You also don’t want harsh chemicals irritating your skin and delicate areas which can cause further problems.
- When washing, use hot water and mild detergent, but avoid fabric softeners to maintain absorbency.
- To dry reusable pads, either:
- Washing line
- Air dry in an airing cupboard
- Use a tumble dryer on a low heat.
- The best way to avoid stains is to choose sanitary pads brands that are dark in colour. That way you can’t see the stains!
Caring for Your Pads After Washing
After washing your reusable cotton pads, it’s important to properly care for them to ensure their longevity and effectiveness.
Once clean and dry, store the pads in a clean and dry container until their next use. This will help prevent any dirt or bacteria from accumulating on the pads.
Additionally, make sure to regularly check your pads for wear and tear. If you notice any damage or signs of aging, it’s best to replace them to maintain hygiene and functionality. By following these simple care instructions, you can extend the life of your pads and continue to enjoy their many benefits.
Can You Machine Wash Reusable Pads?
Yes, machine washing reusable cotton pads is possible. Protect them in a mesh laundry bag during the wash to prevent damage. Use hot water and a gentle cycle. Avoid using fabric softener to maintain their absorbency.
How to Keep Your Reusable Pads Smell-Free?
To keep your reusable pads smelling fresh, rinse them with cold water after each use. Soak the pads in a solution of:
- 1 Tbsp of white vinegar
- 1Tsp of baking soda
- 250ml water
Soak for for 30 minutes before washing. Use hot water and a gentle detergent to wash the pads, and avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets. Hang them to air dry in direct sunlight to kill bacteria and eliminate odors. Works a treat!
Final Thoughts on How to Wash Reusable Cotton Pads
Reusable cotton pads are a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic pads. They not only benefit the environment by reducing waste but also offer health advantages by minimising your skins exposure to chemicals found in disposable pads.
When it comes to cleaning your reusable pads, it is important to follow proper steps and best practices to ensure hygiene and longevity.
Whether you choose to hand wash or machine wash your pads, make sure to pre-wash when you can, use gentle detergents, and use stain removal methods sparingly.
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