How to wash and dry reusable nursing pads

How to care for your reusable nursing pads

Nursing pads are just one of the many puzzling discoveries that come with new motherhood. But what’s the best way to keep washable absorbent breast pads in tip top condition? We know you’re busy, so we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to caring for your nursing pads.

Do I have to wash my new nursing pads before I wear them?

Yup. It’s important that you wash your Just’nCase nursing pads to activate our multi-layered absorbent textile ready for use. Please discard the hygiene sticker and wash your new breast pads according to the care instructions.

How do I wash my breast pads?

Our leakproof absorbent products can be hand or machine washed just like your ordinary laundry, so they offer a discreet, convenient and eco-friendly alternative to single-use nursing pads. Just pop them in the washing machine on delicate cycle below 40°C/105°F or hand wash them if you prefer. Use your ordinary washing powder or liquid. Do not bleach them, use fabric conditioner or antibacterial sprays or dry clean them.

Here are the little symbols that tell you what to do (and what not to do):

What do those little laundry symbols mean anyway?  

Good question. There are slightly different versions for different countries (which is why we have two rows of slightly different symbols), but here’s a translation:

Wash at or below 40°C. The two dots mean below 105°F in the USA. The bar underneath means to use delicate cycle.

Do not bleach.

Can be tumble dried. The single dot in the middle means to keep your dryer at low temperature.

Should the urge take you (though we can’t imagine why it would) it is safe to iron your nursing pads. The single dot in the middle means to keep the iron temperature low.

Do not dry clean.

Why can’t I use fabric conditioner on my Just’nCase nursing pads?  

It interferes with the absorbency of the textile and means they won’t be so absorbent next time you wear them.

Can I wash my breastfeeding pads with other laundry?

Yes! Just give them a quick rinse after wearing then toss them in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry. If desired, you can put them in a delicates bag to keep them together.

Can I hand wash my breast pads?  

Yes, you can hand wash them in a bucket of water that’s no warmer than 40°C/105°F.

Do I have to wash nursing pads straight away after I wear them?

If you don’t have time to wash your Just’nCase nursing pads straight away you can just rinse them in cool water, then squeeze or wring out most of the water and set them aside until washing day. Some women tell us they just give them a quick rinse while they’re in the shower.

Can I put my breast pads in the dryer?

Here’s the bit that will make you super happy that you chose Just’nCase nursing pads. Because they contain our patented leakproof textile instead of the layer of polyurethane plastic used by most other brands, if you don’t have the time or inclination to hang them on the washing line you can safely pop them in the tumble dryer on low heat instead – without affecting their leakproof performance.

Why can’t other brands of nursing pads be tumble dried?  

Not a lot of people know this, but most leakproof nursing pads (except ours) contain a layer of polyurethane plastic as waterproofing to stop your breastmilk leaking right through. Sadly for them, plastic tends to warp and shrink when it’s subjected to heat, so if you accidentally put them through the dryer the plastic will distort, leading to leaks. And even if you manage to rescue them from the washing pile before they go in the dryer, repeated washing will eventually break down the plastic, also reducing its ability to prevent leaks.

How long do nursing pads take to dry?

Because they’re designed specifically to absorb and hold liquid, absorbent breast pads will take longer than most clothes to dry – about the same amount of time as a pair of thick sports socks. That’s why it’s so handy that Just’nCase nursing pads can be thrown in the dryer so you can use them again sooner – meaning you need fewer pads overall. Of course, you can also hang them on the washing line outside – just keep them away from direct sunlight. They can also be dried in an airing closet or on an indoor drying rack or heated towel rail.

Do nursing pads get smelly?  

Our breast pads have been lab tested and verified odour-resistant by independent standards laboratory UL. Others won’t be able to smell your breastmilk while you’re wearing them, but some customers do report a slightly stale smell developing after they have been washed a few times, especially if they are left in the washing machine too long after washing, or not completely dried through each time. This is common to many high-performance sportswear textiles. Rinsing them after each wear will help to prevent odour build up. To refresh them, we recommend periodically submerging them in a solution of three parts water to one part white vinegar, then allowing them to soak for about 30 minutes before transferring them to the washing machine and washing as normal. Ensure they are completely dried before reuse – you can safely pop them in the tumble dryer on low heat to make sure.

How long can I wear each set of nursing pads?  

Because our breast pads are so high performing, you may not need to change them as often as other brands. Many customers tell us they can comfortably wear the same pair for 24 hours, particularly once their breastmilk supply has settled down into a predictable rhythm. Unlike most brands of nursing pads, Just’nCase breast pads can safely be tumble dried, which allows for quick turnaround between wear – meaning you may need fewer pairs than other reusable brands.

Can I wear Just'nCase nursing pads at night?  

Yes! We frequently hear from new mothers who, because they were wearing our nursing pads, finally slept through the night for the first time since having their baby.

How many pairs of washable breast pads do I need?  

We suggest a minimum of three pairs, which will give you one to wear, one in the wash and one on standby in your baby bag or nursing station. If you’re not doing laundry every day, if you don’t have a dryer, or if you have very heavy let-down and need to change them more often, you may need more pairs.

How long do reusable nursing pads last?

Luckily Just’nCase nursing pads are built to last. We know this because independent standards laboratory UL washed and dried them over and over again, then tested them to see if they were still doing the job they were designed to do. After more than 52 wash and dry cycles, they couldn’t find any deterioration in their absorbency or leakproof performance. That means every pair you buy will prevent at least 52 single-use products from reaching landfill – or many more if you would otherwise use more than one pair of single-use pads in a day. And when they do finally reach the end of their useful life, the fact that they don’t contain a layer of plastic means that they will take a much shorter time to break down than disposable products and most other reusable brands.

Shop Just’nCase breast pads now

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