How Should I Clean My Period Underwear?

Bleed, wash, dry, repeat.

Many people who menstruate are making the decision to move over to more sustainable sanitary products during their time of the month. From menstrual cups to cotton tampons, there’s plenty of eco-friendly alternatives when it comes to your period product choices.

One popular choice is period pants. They’re essentially just like underwear, except they’re absorbent, sort of like having a built in pad. They’re leak resistant, meaning you can go about your day with the comfort of knowing you’re covered.

For those who opt for period underwear, the only issue that arises is how to care for them. But the good news is, keeping them in tip-top shape is actually pretty easy. We’ve put together a list of steps to take to ensure they’re kept in good nick.


First things first, you’ll need to give your underwear a rinse. How long you choose to wear them will be completely up to you and dependant on how heavy your flow is, ie. the heavier it is the shorter amount of time you’ll wear them.

So, when you whip them off after a hard day of bleeding, the first thing you’ll want to do is rinse them in cold water. This washes out the major of the fluid that has been absorbed into the underwear, making the less step less messy and less likely to stain.

Many period underwear brands recommend against soaking the product, claiming that it could effect the absorbability of the product.

To prevent stains

Usually, simply throwing your underwear under a cold tap should be enough to work through any possible future stains on the fabric. But, as we know, sometimes periods can be unpredictable and pesky stains can show up when we least expect it. If you think your underwear may stain you can use some soap and gently scrub at the fabric. For really pesky stains you can take an old toothbrush to them and use that to work in the soap. Simply rinse it out with cold water afterward.

It’s always best to avoid using stain removal products in underwear as they can be harsh which can irritate the skin.

If that’s not enough

Usually, hand rinsing your underwear should be enough to remove the build up of fluid and avoid any stains. But, if you’re still not satisfied with that you can always put your pants in the washing machine. If you are throwing them into the machine, it’s best to wash them on a delicate wash. A good tip for this is to do it along along with other delicate clothes you or your family might want to wash too, as this will avoid putting the machine on for just one item. If you do choose the washing machine, fabric softeners are usually best avoided also, as they can interfere with how period pants perform.

Finally, drying

Drying your underwear is arguably the most important part of the cleaning process. The best way to dry your underwear is to leave them hanging, either on a clothes line or clothes horse. This can be a little tricky as period underwear takes longer to dry than normal ones as the thicker material means the air doesn’t get to it as quickly.

For this reason, it’s always recommended to have a number of pants to rotate so you never find yourself in a situation without any. If you’re really stuck for time and need your undies dry stat putting them on a low tumble dry should do the trick – but best only done when in a pinch as continuous tumble drying can cause them to shrink or lose efficiency.