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December 15, 2020 4 min read

"INFO: The team previously at hannahpad Canada launched their own new brand, illum! These blog posts have been written when we used to run hannahpad Canada. All information is still relevant and everything is the same! We simply changed the brand that we offer. :slightly_smiling_face: "


If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re considering making a healthy lifestyle change involving reusable pads or you’ve already accumulated a few pairs and want to learn how to take care of them the best way possible. Either way, we are happy that you are taking steps towards a healthier you.

Reusable pads made ofhigh-quality reusable cotton and are considered aninvestment because of their durability. The cotton’s tensile strength increases as it gets wet, meaning many cycles of washing won’t do damage – if it’s done right. Proper washing is only a portion of reusable pad care – in order for you to get the most bang for the buck, taking the best care of your pads is essential. 

If you’re looking for all the guidelines on maximizing your reusable pad’s lifespan, you’ve come to the right place. 

Let’s get started! 

 A woman holding open a reusable pad

1. Have the Right Number of Reusable Pads on Rotation

The first step is the easiest – by having the right number of reusable pads in your rotation, there will be less wear and tear. However, because menstruation cycles and lifestyles are unique for every individual, there is no fixed number for everyone. Certain factors to look at include the heaviness of your menstrual flow, the number of times you can change pads within the day, your laundry schedule, and so on. If you would like to learn more about determining the number oforganic cotton menstrual pads that you need, pleasecheck out this article.

2. Properly Pre-Soak Your Reusable Pads Before Washing 

This is our first washing-related tip for making reusable pads last longer. Pre-soaking is essential for getting rid of stains and for making sure that reusable pads are thoroughly clean. However, this must be done the right way. 

  • First, rinse the reusable pad and rub detergent on the soiled areas. 
  • Then, fold the pad in half and let it soak for 6 hours, but not longer than 2 days. 
  • If you are soaking the pad for more than 12 hours, make sure to change the water in between. 

Caution: The reason why you need to take the right precautions is so that mould doesn’t form when you pre-soak your pads. If mould does form, it can be very difficult to get out and could create a health concern.

3. Hand Washing Your Garments If You Can Spare the Time 

Hand washing any type of clothing tends to increase its lifespan - and the same goes for reusable pads. You can hand wash your reusable pads quite easily after they have pre-soaked. On top of the tensile strength inherent to cotton fibres when wet,cotton that is organic tends to have longer fibres that give it added strength. If you do choose to machine-wash your reusable pads, cold water is best because it won’t stress out the cotton fibres and also prevents staining. 

4. Avoid the Use of Fabric Softeners, Fragrances, or Bleach 

These are absolute no-nos for your reusable pads! Fabric softeners and fragrances can render your pads less absorbent (thus more prone to leaks) and can even cause irritations. These chemicals may promise to soften the fabric or make it smell nicer - but at such a steep cost.

As for bleach, we’re all well aware of howharsh this chemical is. Some, however, may be tempted to use it for removing stains – but, with properpre-soaking, you really don’t need bleach at all. Bleach should be avoided because it degrades the fabric, thereby wearing out the reusable pads faster. 

5. Make Use of Special Probiotic Soap 

In the last section, we mentioned the harsh chemicals that need to be avoided at all costs. Here we’ll give our recommendation on the kind of soap that gently cleanses and is good for your skin. We’re talking aboutprobiotic soap (a.k.a EM soap or Effective Microorganism soap.) Don’t let the term “microorganism” scare you though because the good bacteria in probiotic soap actually produce beneficial antioxidant substances. Furthermore, these kinds of soap can effectively clean your reusable pads without leaving any harmful residues that could damage your pads or irritate your skin. 

6. Avoid Wringing Your Reusable Pads

Wringing fabric is usually fine with regular clothes. However, for reusable pads, repeated wringing could end up wearing out or distorting the cotton layers. Moreover, most high-quality reusable pads have a waterproof TPU coating in the bottom layer to prevent leaks. This can also be damaged by constant wringing. 

7. Air Dry Your Reusable Pads

The ideal drying set up is still to leave the reusable pads out in the sun to air dry. Not only does this help your pads last longer, but the sun’s ultraviolet rays will also help with further disinfection. Hanging them to dry in a well-ventilated area in your home is also a good option.

If you’d prefer to machine-dry them, use the lowest setting as the heat coming from a dryer may slowly damage your reusable pads.

8. Use Reusable Menstrual Cups for Extra Protection 

What many people haven’t considered is that reusable pads can be used in tandem withreusable cups. With this dynamic duo, reusable pads are often the last line of defence should the reusable cup leak.

By utilizingboth products, it ultimately makes the pads last longer because they are not being directly exposed to any menstrual blood - meaning washing can be a lot gentler, with no need for scrubbing, long periods of soaking, rewashing, and so on.

Looking for High-Quality Reusable Organic Cotton Pads?

And that’s it for our tips on prolonging the life of your reusable pads! Which of these was your favourite?

illum's reusable pads are made of 100% organic cotton. This means that each pad gives unparalleled comfort, has high absorbency, and is inherently durable. We offer a variety of patterns and sizes all available throughour store. If you have any questions for us about how to properly wash your reusable pads,please contact us, we’ll be happy to help!

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