How do I wash my pads?
The easiest, most effective cleaning method is to machine wash pads just like any other piece of clothing. Just pop ‘em in the washing machine (warm or cold) and toss ‘em in the dryer on low. Some women soak their cloth pads before washing, but with Party In My Pants it's generally not necessary. However, if you have an older washing machine, you might find it doesn't clean pads as throughly and you may opt to soak them very briefly in cool water (5 min max) to loosen any dried fluids before machine washing. If your washing machine has a pre-wash setting, you could also use that instead of soaking.
If hand washing is your only option, take care to do so as gently as possible while still cleaning the pad thoroughly. In the case of hand washing, we recommend soaking very briefly in cool water and a stain treatment (5 min max) to loosen any fluids before washing. Then, rinse and squeeze pads until the water runs clear, rather than scrubbing out the soiled areas. If scrubbing is necessary, lift top layers away from the nylon shield (bottom layer) and scrub the top layers with the same action you would to wash out your underwear. The nylon layer is what makes pads leak-resistant, so take care to treat it gently.
Pads can be washed using most any detergent, although we recommend an eco-friendly option like Ecos or Seventh Generation. Be sure to avoid using super-hot water, a scorching hot dryer, bleach, dryer sheets or fabric softener. All will damage the nylon backing and bring about your pad's untimely demise. Tip: Double check that your detergent doesn't contain bleach so that you don't inadvertently damage your pads.
Also, try not to mistake stains for uncleanliness — over-treating and re-washing unnecessarily will shorten the useful life of pads. If a pad is truly not clean, it will feel very stiff and be significantly less absorbent. To treat stains, dampen the pad with water, sprinkle or squirt on your chosen eco-friendly stain remover (we recommend Oxo Brite) directly on the stain and let stand for a few minutes before tossing in the wash. Avoid scrubbing out the stain and just let the stain remover do it's work.