How to Safely Machine Wash & Dry Cloth Period Pads & Underwear
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How to Safely Machine Wash & Dry Cloth Period Pads & Underwear

by Aisle Team
How to Safely Machine Wash & Dry Cloth Period Pads & Underwear

If figuring out how to wash period underwear or cloth pads seems daunting - good news! Aisle undies and pads are intentionally designed to fit easily into your regular laundry routine.

How to wash cloth pads + undies (and actually get them clean)

  • Rinse in cold water until it runs clear
  • Throw them in the washing machine on cold with your regular detergent, and similar colours. Avoid bleach, hydrogen peroxide, fabric softener and scent boosters which may inhibit absorbency and break down the leakproof layers.
  • Pop in the dryer on Low, or if there’s time, hang to dry. It saves energy and prolongs the life of your reusables.
  • If you choose to hand wash, use a very small amount of laundry detergent only, and be sure to rinse well — don't use other hand or body soaps, as these can leave behind residue that will reduce your products’ effectiveness.
  • Dry 100% thoroughly before storing

How long can they sit before washing?

  • To minimize locked-in odours, wait no more than 1 week before laundering used cloth pads or period panties.
  • If you can’t wash them immediately, rinse, then let air dry. Do not leave wet in airtight hampers or zippered bags.
  • ​If you can’t rinse and air dry, don't rinse them at all. Just let them dry completely, and throw in the hamper. It’s ok, you can rinse them out later when you're ready to wash!!
  • When you are ready to launder, rinse or soak (no longer than an hour) then machine wash
  • Stubborn stains? Check out our 5 star Stain Eraser!

How did I damage my period underwear / pads? 

Sadly, damage is mainly caused by two things: using harsh cleansers/bleaches that damage the fabric, and scrubbing too hard when washing by hand.

In addition to never using fabric softeners or bleach - including OxiClean, please do not boil our products to sanitize (not necessary). These all can damage the leakproof layers, and even contribute to unpleasant odours.

Pilling, stretching and excessive amounts of wear are generally the result of products encountering friction. Be gentle, and avoid rubbing too hard when hand washing pads, liners and undies - better yet, avoid hand washing altogether, and stick to the machine. When machine washing, try using a mesh laundry bag to minimize contact with other items in the wash.

My cloth pads & period underwear smell a little… weird. What can I do? 

If you’re noticing your cloth pads or underwear starting to smell, it’s a good thing to first know that odour-causing bacterial buildup loves damp, dark, low oxygen environments. For this reason, we recommend never letting period reusables sit around balled up and wet. Let them dry out, then wash as soon as you can, within a week.

Bacteria also love to cling to detergent residue on fabrics after many washes. If you notice stink and/or reduced absorbency, try "stripping" your product by simply rinsing in repeated changes of clean, hot water until it runs clear. Then put them through a rinse cycle with a cup of white vinegar, to gently dissolve any lingering film or funk.

One last tip for preventing odour: change out pads, liners and Boosters often. Yes, some of them can hold up to 14(!) tampons each, but there’s no need to take ‘em to the limit if you can carry extras with you. We even have the perfect leakproof Carry Bag to stash both clean and used ones, on the go!

Got more questions? We’ve got answers

Suggested products: period underwear or cloth pads


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