WASHING CLOTHES, A LITTLE HISTORY
Women (and men) have been washing clothes since the dawn of time. Back in the day, women would collect around a local water source and wash their clothes against rocks, scrubbed with abrasive sand or stone, and pounded underfoot or with wooden implements to rub and work the stains free. Soap didn’t become widely available until the 19th century so it left little option for the washers, maids and cleaners of the day.
Moving on from the watering holes, the washboard, typically attributed to the 19th Century and the Scandinavians, was small, portable and effective with its fluted metal sheets and rigid wooden frame, quickly making it a household necessity.
As technological and scientific advances continued to dominate the Victorian era, old methods of washing, at least throughout the English-speaking world and parts of Europe, were almost completely supplanted by revolutionary advances. This led to the first electric-powered washing machine in 1908 and the first automatic washing machines in 1951. Closely followed by the continuous modern day evolution of technology making our washing habits as they are today.
However, as new garments, products and fabrics evolve, and as we become more aware of sustainability in our homes, it’s not always clear how best to wash certain, more delicate or specific products. So, with that in mind, let's discuss how to wash your period panties, to keep them looking just as beautiful and ready to go after each and every use.
HOW TO WASH YOUR PERIOD UNDERWEAR
Knowing how to wash your period panties is certainly the greatest way to care for them and keep them working at their best for many cycles to come.
It’s actually relatively simple, making your life easier and more cost effective in the long-run. After every use, rinse the crotch thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear. You can then continue to wash them by hand, pop them straight into the machine with your laundry, or set them aside and they can happily wait until your next wash.
When popping them into a machine, always use a cold or cool cycle and a delicate setting is always best. Don’t use any fabric softener, and preferably a laundry detergent that doesn’t have any glycerine ingredients in them. If you have a mesh laundry bag, it’s always worth using to protect the delicate lace from the inside of your machine.
Once the cycle is finished and they’re all done, take them out, and hang them to air dry. It’s that simple. Do not put them in the tumble dryer, fresh air or the warmth of your home is plenty, and far better for them (and the planet).
WHY THEY NEED SPECIAL CARE
Period panties are not like normal panties – as you know! With their clever absorbent fibres, moisture wicking and antimicrobial elements, enabling you to feel dry, confident and feminine through your period, requires a little extra care.
Although they can survive well without any particularly special care or attention, the unique properties that make up the absorbency, moisture wicking and waterproof layers, can be damaged, affecting their ability to protect you fully, and lasting as long as they should.
Some consumers may think that soaking the period panties would help to release the stains or the residue, however, this isn’t the case. The best way is rinsing them thoroughly in cold water and letting the water run clear, giving them a squeeze to release any deposits or build up, and then washing them in a normal cold cycle or hand washing. Soaking them can actually inhibit their absorbency properties in the long-run.
Something we often forget is that blood contains protein, and proteins react to heat by binding together, so hot or even warm water can cause any of the blood sediments to be harder to wash free from the fabrics causing remaining build ups and decreasing their effectiveness on your next cycle. Some more delicate fabrics are also much better with cold water washes as heat can also damage the fibres.
WHAT NOT TO DO WITH YOUR PERIOD UNDERWEAR!
As we can see, they’re relatively low maintenance pieces, and with a little care and attention when washing they can protect you for many, many cycles to come. However, to ensure this is the case, there are a couple of fundamental things to avoid doing when washing your panties.
- Do not use a fabric softener. Thankfully our beautiful fabrics are soft enough that you don’t need one. And even if you’re still tempted, please don’t! Using a fabric softener on your period panties inhibits their ability to absorb by coating all of the tiny absorbent fibres in the softener residue that’s left behind, making them less affective over time.
- Do not tumble dry them. Warm undies straight from the dryer can be a nice start to the day, but even if you’re in a hurry and want to put them back on asap, don’t be tempted. By putting your period panties in the dryer you are exposing the delicate fibres to too high a temperature and they can burn too easily. In fresh breezy air or a cosy warm home, they will dry quick enough, and it’s always best to have few pairs on hand to keep you in a perfect cycle rotation.
- Avoid using a glycerine content laundry detergent and Marseille soap. They are sneakily hidden in a lot of the laundry products. These are effectively fatty acids and components, which are incredibly difficult to rinse off and will clog the absorbent fibres over time, making them unable to absorb fluids as effectively and unable to do the job that we rely on them for!
- They also need to be kept away from any severe and harmful chemicals. Refrain from using any type of bleach or bleach content product, washing sodas or white vinegar. Again, these just aren’t necessary and will damage the products.
- And lastly, where possible choose a delicate cycle. While we make all of our period panties and period wear carefully and to last as long as possible, a little extra care with a delicate cycle is much preferred to an over eager spin cycle.
And that’s it! It’s pretty simple to do and in the case of washing your period panties, less is certainly more. Go for the low temperatures, delicate cycles and simple detergents with no harmful or acid contents and you will be happily and easily period protected for many cycles to come. Making wearing, using and loving your washable and reusable period underwear almost as simple as any other pair in your draw. So, that’s good for your wallet, good for your body, your health and great for the planet, what could be better than that?!