Do you let your bloody pads dry before you wash them?

"Locket" from Jen Lewis's Beauty in Blood Series

“Locket” from Jen Lewis’ Beauty in Blood Series

Do you let your bloody pads dry before you wash them?

Maybe you’re like me and each month when you begin to bleed you take out your special menstruation bag full of pads and cups and applaud yourself for arranging such a cute little storage solution for shark week. But, what do you do with the pads once they’ve been on your body and are covered in blood?!

Do you let your bloody pads dry before you wash them?
There are a few factors to consider when deciding to dry or not to dry:
-How many pads you have
-How much water you want to use
-Your preferences on size and frequency of washes
-Your preferences around staining

So what’s better, dry or not?

Option 1: Let Dry

Some folks prefer to let their soiled pads dry and then soak them all at once at the end of their cycle. This works well if you have enough individual pads to get through each cycle day without washing. This can be more convenient for folks who would like to do less washes. Allowing pads to dry rather than soaking can be more likely to cause staining, though some folks don’t mind that.

I use a coin laundry without customizable load sizes, so when I’m feeling particularly busy this is my preferred method. Stains may come, and beautiful, deep red water may be less vibrant when pads are soaked a few days later, but this method feels super convenient for me.

Option 2: Keep Wet

Some folks prefer to soak pads the same day they use them. Soaking pads in cool water  wicks out most of the blood and prepares them for washing. (Also, the water can be really pretty!) Soaking pads right away allows you to have a quick wash turnaround, which works well if you want to use the pads again during your same cycle. Your pads can rest in water for a few days, as long as you change the water out at least once a day. Leaving pads in water for more than a few days, even if you change the water, can sometimes make pads harder to clean.

I usually only use this method when I’m hand washing pads or have access to a washer that works well with small loads. I like hand washing pads during hot summer months when pads dry more quickly.  

BONUS:
The water used for soaking can also be given to your garden/house plants for a nutrient boost! Menstrual blood is high in iron & nitrogen, so leafy greens especially love it.

At the end of the day, you decide which method is best for you.
Try both, see what you think, and let us know!
How do you store & wash your pads?
Do you have a method we haven’t considered?