Cleaning Your Pads
Soiled pads should be rinsed in COLD WATER. You can do this by swishing the pads in the toilet (careful not to flush them by accident!!) or running under cold water in the sink. Pads do not have to be completely free of blood or urine, just mostly free of it. Squeeze out all the excess water. It's okay to twist the pads to squeeze out the water.
If you happen to have a "diaper wand" they are fabulous for pad rinsing. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google it because it might be the best investment you make - aside from the pads themselves, of course! That little diaper wand sure makes life easier. :-)
Put rinsed pads into your laundry basket with your other laundry or in an OPEN container until you're ready to wash them. Closed containers only encourage the growth of bacteria! And, in my experience, pre-soaking pads in water is not necessary. Regular changing of the water (like several times a day) is required in order to keep bacteria from growing and unless you're going to be religious about it, you're best to just rinse, squeeze out, and launder within a couple of days.
Wash soiled pads in your regular wash, with either COLD OR WARM WATER. (Use a mesh bag if you want to keep your pads from getting lost in the load.)
DO NOT USE BLEACH. Oxy cleaners are fine. DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER. Bleach and fabric softener destroy the PUL layers in the pads and therefore your waterproof barrier. It also builds up on the material and prevents it from absorbing. Try not to use heavily scented detergents for this kind of product.
You CAN dry the reusable cloth pads in the dryer. Use a medium setting as opposed to super-hot. Of course you can hang them to dry as well. Make sure they're completely dry before putting them away.
DO NOT use dryer sheets. This keeps the PUL layer strong and there is no build up on the material to prevent it from absorbing. The fabrics have all been washed and dried prior to sewing so there should be little shrinkage if any. Snip any loose threads as opposed to pulling them.