When you first get your pads, they won’t be very absorbent as the fibres will need “fluffing up” by repeated washing and drying. Hemp and cotton are both natural fibres that grow more absorbent the more they are washed and dried so I always prewash mine at least 3 times before use, drying in between helps as absorbency builds faster as the fibres expand and contract. Hemp can take up to 10 washes to become fully absorbent depending on how vigorously it’s washed, but I just bear in mind that it’ll get more absorbent and change sooner to start with.
Once you’re happy with your prewash, wear your pad with the longer end at the front generally, but it can be turned round for spending longer periods lying down or if you sleep on your back. The grey fleece is the backing and goes against your underwear (this layer is impregnated with charcoal during manufacture to absorb any odours. This will eventually wash out. It lasts approximately 100 washes, which is around 2 years if washing once a week) then the wings reach underneath the gusset and fasten with the snaps. There are two width settings to suit different underwear styles.
When you want to change your pad, undo the snaps (we’ve added a tab to make this easier) and rinse under cold water if required to reduce staining (or you can soak in cold water for a few hours prior to washing if preferred) then fold with the fleece facing out, and place in a wetbag to store until washing.
Wash at 40 or 60 degrees on a cotton cycle with your usual non-bio detergent or ecoegg, do not use fabric conditioner as this coats the fibres and reduces absorbency. Rinsing or soaking in cold water should reduce or prevent staining, but hanging outside will also fade staining even in the rain or clouds. I’d avoid harsh stain removers, but Violet’s earth-friendly bleach should be fine if you need something to shift stubborn staining.
When your pads come out the wash, give them a gentle stretch and flatten back into shape before drying. Then check your topping fabric type above and dry accordingly. Repeated tumble drying, even on low heat, will reduce the life of your pads so line or airer drying is recommended (if you peg to an airer they’ll dry faster than if you drape them over it) avoiding direct contact with radiators if you have bamboo velour or brushed polyester as a topper.
Because our pads have a hemp and cotton core, they will shrink slightly for the first few washes and this has been taken into consideration. Gently stretching and flattening when removing from washing machine before drying helps them keep their length and shape. In the very rare event that you get any ridges inside or feel something isn’t quite right with the pad, PM Penny and we’ll help you out. The pads (with bamboo velour tops) have been tested for over two years of washing at 60 degrees and tumble-drying on low heat every 4/5 days with minimal wear (ongoing!) so they are very robust and should last well.