Last Updated on April 27, 2023
If you’re feeling put off using period pants during your time of the month because of how difficult it seems to wash them, don’t be. It’s much easier than you think.
Period underwear is a great alternative to tampons, pads and menstrual cups. The latter is a good sustainable option but can be tricky to get used to, while tampons and pads contain plastic that wreaks havoc on the environment.
I’m guilty of simply throwing them in with the rest of my washing, sometimes by mistake.
However if you want to get the most out of your menstrual underwear and help them last for as long as possible, washing them carefully is the most important thing you can do.
It’s not as difficult as it sounds. If you’ve just bought a new set of period underwear, getting into good habits early on is a good idea. Before you know it, you’ll do it every month without a second thought.
So follow our advice on how best to wash yours by following these simple steps.
Wear Next may receive a small commission if you click a link from one of our articles onto a retail website and make a purchase.
How to wash period underwear
After wearing period underwear, it’s important to rinse them under the tap or shower.
You can either hang them up to dry if you’re planning to put them in the washing machine later on, or put them on a delicate cycle straight away.
This should be at a low temperature, ideally 30°C, or you can hand wash them at a low temperature.
Don’t use fabric softener or bleach, as this will cause them to lose elasticity quicker.
Once clean, hang them up and make sure they’re completely dry before putting them back into your drawer.
Most period underwear companies will send you detailed information about how to wash yours, but this guide will work for all types.
Do you need to wash period underwear separately?
Period underwear can be washed with the rest of your laundry or separately if you prefer.
You can use a mesh bag and pull them out when the wash is done, so you don’t accidentally put them in the tumble dryer with your other items.
Do you need to wash them straight away?
You should rinse them, but you don’t need to wash them immediately after wear.
How to get the smell out of period underwear
Many period underwear has antibacterial properties to reduce the odour and bacteria, but if they do smell, Wuka advise diluting white vinegar in a thin layer of water (1 part vinegar, 3 parts water – just enough to cover your underwear) and soaking your underwear for 20 minutes.
Then pop them in the wash with more vinegar, and/or add a few drops of essential oil to the wash.
Can you put period underwear in the tumble dryer?
No. To keep them at their best, you should air dry them.
Is period underwear hygienic?
Period pants work very similarly to pads or tampons, and in that sense, they’re just as hygienic.
It’s of course important to note that all of these period products need frequent changing so you don’t encounter any problems.
How you wash and maintain your period pants will also determine how hygienic they will remain.
How often should you change period underwear
It depends how heavy your periods are, but you should be able to wear them all day long with no leaks.
You can usually work out how often you’d need to change them by looking at the absorbency of each pair. So for example, if you change your tampon 4 times a day, you might want to buy Wuka’s Ultimate™ Midi Brief, which holds 4 tampons worth of period flow.
Regardless of how heavy your periods are, you should change them before you go to bed and put a fresh pair on.
How many times can you use period underwear?
Some brands recommend changing period underwear every 12 hours to prevent odour and leakage. If you feel wetness or skin irritation or see blood on your clothing, you should change the pair because the underwear has absorbed all it can.
How long does period underwear last?
According to Thinx, their period underwear will stay at maximum performance for 40 washes, which is around two years.
However that’s if you look after them properly, making sure not to wash them at high temperatures or to put them in the tumble dryer. Doing so will reduce their lifespan.
Shop period pants
Essential Hipster (Moderate Absorbency), £18, Fluxies – buy now
Classic Bikini (Heavy Absorbency), £28, Fluxies – buy now
Hi-Waist (Absorbency Super), £30.12, Thinx – buy now
Air Hiphugger (Absorbency Light), £30.12, Thinx – buy now
Midi Brief – Heavy Flow, £24.99, Wuka – buy now
Lace – Hipster Brief – Medium Flow, £17.99, Wuka – buy now