But, Don't They Stain?!
If I had a nickel for every time I've been asked "won't they stain?!" I'd have enough money to... well, probably go and buy even more fabric to make even more pads.
But to answer the question on everyone's mind; Nope! They won't stain, if you care for them properly. (It's easy, I promise!)
The key to the secret of the unstained pad is COLD WATER. Cold water is best for lifting protein stains, like blood and urine. Hot water will set the stain.
It seems kinda counterintuitive, I know. In my mind, hot water kills the bacteria/germs/etc. but it's actually not necessary. Full disclosure, I still wash my sheets in hot water sometimes when I know my husband won't catch me and give me grief (which isn't very often how that he's working from home.)
But my pads are always washed in cold.
Overall, I am a very lazy laundry do-er. When it comes to my pads, I keep a large wet bag looped around the toilet paper holder and stuff the pads in as they are used. Because I have enough pads to last my entire period before washing, they all hang out and chill in that wet bag until the end of the week when I simply dump them into the washing machine. It's really just that easy.
My Bestie (and cloth pad guinea pig) sometimes prefers to soak her with oxy clean after use. Some of my customers also like to rinse their pads before sticking them in the wet bag, but neither are required. If you choose to rinse, remember to use cold water!
Our pads are dryer friendly and dry quite quickly! Of course, you can hang them on the line to dry as well, this is especially great if you like to grab the attention of your neighbours. ;)
If you accidentally wash in hot, hang them out on a sunny day - the sun actually does a great job lifting stains all on its own.