How long do period pants last?
14 July 2022
Period pants should last as long as your regular underwear, as long as you treat them right! The length of time they function directly correlates to your care of them. By washing them avoiding bleaches and fabric softeners, on a 30 degree wash and hanging to dry away from direct heat they will last you as long as your normal knickers.
How long can I wear period underwear?
If you mean 'how long can I wear period underwear' in a day, you can wear period underwear for 6 to 8 hours normally, depending on your flow. If you mean 'how long can I wear period underwear' before it wears out, period underwear can be worn as long as normal underwear, as long as you follow the care instructions.
My period pants have all lasted for two years with no sign of them wearing out yet, and I have reusable pads as old as my tweenage son. As with all clothes, especially underwear, they will get holes, pulls, loose elastic the more they are worn and used. Even though we think our pants are magic, they will wear if treated badly. The gentler you are, the longer they will last.
By following our easy to manage guide, your pants should last well into their third year and still look great whilst absorbing to keep you secure and confident!
How to make period pants last longer
To make period pants last longer:
- Rinse after use in cold water
- Dry store or wet store for a max of 2-3 days
- Cool wash at 30 degrees
- Use adequate detergent
- Avoid fabric softener
- Spin gently
- Hang dry away from heat sources
- Ensure fully dry before storing for next month
When you change pants, rinse in the sink with cold water until the water runs clear - this can be quite satisfying! If you are out and about you can save this until you get home, just take a wetbag out with you.
Store in a wetbag or and empty tub (like our mini strucket) in the bathroom until you are ready to wash or soak them in our soaking box or strucket - you can add some tea tree oil to the water, or some salt, stain remover or some of your normal washing powder.
Reusable period pants need long cool washes. The proteins in blood can set as a stain if they are heated up - think scrambled egg. There is no need to wash reusable pants separately to your normal washing, I have been chucking mine in with the school shirts for years, no hiccups and no-one notices in our house! If you are worried or have a squeamish other half, just run a rinse cycle before adding the rest of the washing.
The machine should be 4/5th full to help agitate everything and get it clean. Follow the recommended dosage amount on the label for heavy soiling. We recommend powder over other detergents, and as an added bonus you'll cut down on single use plastic as they come in a cardboard box!
To be absorbent, fabrics need to have their fibres plumped up and primed to hold fluids. Your period pants will gain absorbency over the first 3 to 4 washes. Fabric softener coats these fibres in a waxy layer that feels soft to us - but stops them soaking up moisture. It can also trap wetness inside your pants leading to them not cleaning properly and smelling musty, so avoid at all cost!
To help your washable pants last as long as possible they need to be treated delicately! Using your manufacturers guide you can aim to keep the spin to 1000 rpm or below.
In this glorious heat wave my pants are drying in under an hour outside on the line, but in the winter it is no faff to either hang them in the airing cupboard or use a 'socktopus' multipegged hanger and dangle above a radiator, turning them inside out allows the absorbent layers more chance to dry. Just avoid direct heat so the waterproof layer doesn't get too hot. SO no radiators, no tumble dryers and definitely no ironing!
Nobody wants musty knickers! However you choose to store them til your next period - in your dry strucket or soaking box, in a bedside table, in a wetbag, or like my teen screwed up at the back of a cupboard or bedroom floor - be sure they aren't damp or you run the risk of them smelling funky!
We hope you've enjoyed our Cheeky guide on how long period pants last and that if you haven't tried a pair yet, you feel more confident to. We are so sure that you will love our period pants and pads that we have created a 90 day trial scheme for them, so if they don't work for you, we'll refund you in full.
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As always, if you're unsure of what you need to make the switch, please do drop the team a line or use the online chat function. The team all use the products themselves and just LOVE to chat pee poo and periods, all day long, nothing is TMI and we all love to overshare based on our own experiences...
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About the Author: Kirstin Scriven is part of the Customer Experience team at Cheeky Wipes, which since 2008 has been selling the original reusable wipes kit. She is mum to 3 and loves the forest, the sea and the hills!
Along with the rest of our crack team, she spends most days talking about poo, pee and periods and loves a chance to overshare. The business was recognised with a Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2021, celebrating their hard work over the last 13 years.