This is a very common question. The reality is it is more simple than you could imagine!
Most people prefer to rinse them out first under cold water. Do not be tempted to use warm water as warm water can set blood stains so the colder the better! Rinse till they run clear if you like. Then just add them to the usual load in the machine with similar colours or hand wash them with detergent. It is up to you. You can also choose to use a lingerie bag to wash them in too if you wish.
Never use bleach or fabric softener as this will damage the secret tech that keeps you dry. If you find a stain persists - however it should not if you follow the above correctly- use either a little paste of bicarb of soda with water to make a paste or use plain old table salt and rub that on them till the stain comes out.
I even have a friend who ( hope this does not sound odd or yucky! ) but she has found that if she rinses them out in a bucket she likes to use the bucket water on her plants and has found that they flourish and seemingly love it! So there you go you can try that if you are game!
Then once you remove from the wash hang to dry in the sun as nothing beats the natural antibacterial effects of the sun for sanitising your knickers or sheets or whatever it is you hang on the line.
Never put them in the dryer as once again it will damage the hidden tech that is what you need working for you.
With proper care your period proof underwear should last you around 200 washes or a couple of years. Given how much pads and tampons cost these days using period underwear is the cheapest option by far to manage periods.
Not only will you save money but think of how much waste you will be keeping from going to our oceans and landfill? Not only the tampons or pads themselves but all the extra waste from the packaging and applicators etc too.
Back to the money you will save though for a minute. If you buy 2-3 packs of pads, liners or tampons a month you will easily spend over $20 on those items. A pair of period knickers comes in under that if you are lucky so boom the first month in you save big time.
It is a good idea to purchase more than one pair though of course and bundles and period kits seem to be a thing so go for one of those options to save even more and try out different styles.
I also think it is a good idea to keep them in a separate bag in your lingerie drawer so late at night if you need them you aren’t rummaging around pulling out the wrong pair to put on in your sleep only to wake to red blood stained sheets because you put on your favourite cheeky undie not you favourite cheeky period undie! Mynickerbot sells period underwear with little reusable bags that are handy to keep them in so that is a thought too.
Period underwear will change your life for the better. There will be no more horror stories of leaking and no more asking perfect strangers for a tampon in the toilet. No more late night runs to the chemist and no more “ hey dad can you go to the shop to buy me some um er - pads?” No more mortifying embarrassing moments and no more stress getting to work only to realise you forgot to insert a tampon that morning!
For the mums out there they are life saving knowing your precious daughter can manage at school ok and she won’t have the horror stories we know you no doubt did with first periods. Pop a pair in her school bag and when the day comes ( why does it always come at school?!!) she will be ready and no need to have to go to the dreaded nurses station and tell the entire school reception about it.
Go on ditch disposables and do your bit for the planet and remember that each women will use aprox 14 000 pads or tampons in a lifetime so learning how to wash reusable period underwear seems a far less daunting task now doesn’t it!