How to Keep Your Reusable Menstrual Pads Clean and Fresh

Switching to reusable menstrual pads is a great way to reduce waste and save money in the long run. However, properly washing and caring for them is key to ensuring they last for many cycles. In this ultimate guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about washing, drying, and caring for your reusable menstrual pads.

Should you wash your pads after each use?

Of course! It’s important to wash reusable pads after use because they can become contaminated with bacteria and cause infection or odor. Just like you wouldn’t wear the same underwear without washing it, you shouldn’t reuse a menstrual pad without washing it first.

For example, if you go to the gym and sweat a lot, you wouldn’t want to wear the same sweaty clothes the next day without washing them, right? The same goes for reusable pads. They need to be washed after each use to keep them clean and sanitary. Plus, washing them helps remove any stains or odors, so they’re fresh and ready to use again. Here are some simple instructions on how to keep them fresh and clean.

Preparing to Wash

Before washing your pads, it’s important to prepare them properly. Rinse them in cold water after use to prevent blood from drying and setting in. For heavily soiled pads, soak them in cold water before washing. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can damage the fabric and decrease absorbency.

Washing Your Pads

When washing your pads, use a natural detergent, preferably unscented. You can wash them in a washing machine on a gentle cycle or by hand if you prefer. Always use cold water to avoid setting stains, and don’t wash them with other clothes to prevent snagging. Consider using a laundry bag to keep them separate and prevent them from getting lost in the wash.

Drying Your Pads

After washing, hang your pads or lay them flat to dry. Avoid putting them in the dryer, as the heat can damage the fabric and decrease absorbency. If you need to dry them quickly, use a low heat setting in the dryer. However, air drying is always the best option.

Storing Your Pads

Once your pads are dry, store them in a clean, dry place. Use a breathable bag or container to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or high humidity areas, as this can damage the fabric and decrease absorbency.

Why Reusable Pads May Smell After Washing and How to Fix It

If you’ve noticed a lingering smell on your reusable pads after washing, don’t worry. There are a few reasons why this can happen and easy solutions to fix it. Using too much detergent, not rinsing thoroughly, improper drying, and improper storing can all cause bad smells. To eliminate odors, try soaking your pads in a mixture of cold water and white vinegar for 30 minutes before washing. You can also add a few drops of essential oil, such as tea tree oil or lavender oil, to the wash cycle. Just be sure to avoid using essential oils directly on the pads, as they can cause irritation.


By following these tips and tricks for washing and caring for your reusable menstrual pads, you can keep them clean, fresh, and effective for many cycles to come. Making the switch to reusable pads not only benefits the environment, but also your wallet. So, feel confident in your decision to make the switch and take good care of your pads to ensure their longevity.