Bamboo is around 60% more absorbent than cotton, weight for weight. Because of this, bamboo takes longer to dry than cotton. In PUL backed waterproof pads, there is even less airflow available for drying. PUL is breathable, but when the bamboo is sewn into thicker pads they do not wash as thoroughly and take a long time to dry. They also hold onto odours – probably due to both of those issues.
This is why I have developed the Flip-Out design for my larger pads (Regular, Uber and Uber Long and New Woman Pads). They are still all-in-one, but they are also pockets. At the open end of the pocket, the inner absorbent core is securely sewn in under the PUL hem.
When you have used a pad, it is a good idea to soak in a bucket of plain cold water if you are not planning to wash it soon after. I have a bucket with about 15 – 20cm of plain, COLD water in my ensuite during my bleed. The used pad goes straight into the water, used side down. Since blood is heavier than water, the blood will slowly sink to the bottom. You can flip out the inner core now, or prior to washing.
When I’m ready to do a load of washing, I tip the soak water on the special plants in my garden, then rinse each pad under a cold running tap. The absorbent core can be flipped out now if it isn’t already.
The pads go straight into the wash with whatever else you’re washing at the time. However, please note that microfleece will pill if you wash it with towelling articles – even one face washer can do it.
Hemp and bamboo are both antibacterial, so no need for a hot wash. Blood will stain if you use hot water. Luke warm or cold is sufficient. Stains may still occur, but that doesn’t mean that there is actual blood still present in the fibres. Think of it like a natural dye. It’s not dirty.
And to dry, hang on the line with the absorbent core hanging down-wards.
Pull the bamboo fleece into shape, stretch it out so that it doesn’t dry creased.
Any stains should fade when drying in direct sunlight.
Replacing the flip-out bamboo is easy if you know how. Here’s a quick demo:
Breast pads need to be stretched out and reshaped prior to drying. You will find that the absorbent fabric will shrink slightly, and the PUL will not. This will help the breast pad mold to your breast well.
Milky Mats should not need to be pre-washed. When the time comes for washing, the bamboo inside can be pulled out and machine washed, as can the cover.
The bamboo will take a bit longer to dry than the cover – it can be clothesline or tumble dried. The cover should not be tumble dried.
A folded up towel can also be used inside the cover for absorbency.
Wipes can be machine washed, however, any towelling wipes should not be washed with any articles that have microfleece or polar fleece as it can cause pilling.