What do you soak your reusable pads in? I've been using just plain water but would like to add something to the water to inhibit bacteria growth.
I don't soak them. I just fold them up and they dry like that. I rinse them before throwing them in laundry. I'm doing cloth diapers, so I just put them in with the diapers. But I do laundry very frequently with two kids in diapers - so I don't have smell issues.
If you do soak in water, I'd be leery of using something to kill bacteria because a lot of those things are pretty toxic (bleach, for example). You could try vinegar or put some tea tree oil in there. But those things would be so diluted I don't know that their antibacterial properties would have any effect.
I don't soak mine. I also wash with regular laundry. Since I have to do a couple of loads every day, they get washed within a day of my using them. I do not like the smell from soaking and I don't think they get any cleaner sitting in a solution for a couple of days.
Mrs. S - Crunchy child of The King, Wife to my best friend, and Mama to my many blessings.
I give mine a spray of hydrogen peroxide and throw them in the washing machine to wait for the next load. They can be washed at any temp that way, so I wash them with whatever load I put in next (diapers, sturdy cotton, or delicates).
:yeah: if you do laundry fairly often, even every other day, there should be no smell issues.
I stopped soaking mine after I forgot them one time and almost ruined them- the smell was horrible. :( I just fold them dirty side in and snap shut and throw them in a dry bucket. After my period, I soak them all over night in the washer with hot water, a little oxy-clean, and a little detergent. In the morning I run them through a normal cycle, and during the rinse, throw a little vinegar in to soften. If any of them have stains that didn't come out during the wash, I use a little Ecover (miracle product) on the spots and rewash those with other laundry. I have absolutely NO stains on my pads following this method. Even if I forget them for weeks.
I don't soak, like a pp, it was disgusting. If they are super bloody (I only use as tampon backup or for my super light mirena periods) I will rinse them in the sink and throw them right into the washer to go with the next load.
Not doing that anymore, but when I used cloth pads, I would soak them, but change the water often. I made my own out of white cloth that had been given to me and didn't want any more stains than I had to have. Cold water gets protein/blood out better than hot, I was told, so I'm surprised to read that some of you wash in hot water without soaking them in cold first.