Caring for your CSP
One of the big hurdles that prevents people trying reusable cloth pads, is the perceived complexity of washing, sanitation, and treating stains. In fact, looking after CSP is far easier than most people imagine and once you find a routine that works for you, its really simple and hassle free.
On a personal note, I don't treat stains, because I rarely have them on my own pads. I follow one of these two routines.
Dry Store - After using a pad I roll it up and leave it in a wetbag in the bathroom. At the end of my period I throw all used pads into the washing machine for a cold rinse. After that I wash at 40 degrees on a regular program. I use bog standard biological washing detergent with a small dose of Dettol Laundry Cleanser for good measure. I air dry and then stash them until next month.
Cold Rinse - After using a pad, I rinse under a cold tap until the water runs clear. Roll the pad up and stick it in a wetbag. Whenever I use the washing machine for a non-whites load, I add whatever is in the wetbag for a wash, with Dettol Laundry Cleanser. Air dry and stash for next month.
Some extra suggestions:
If your pads tend to stain, using a Vanish stain stick before you wash will help. There are more natural alternatives available too.
Hanging washed pads out to dry in the sunshine (even in our rubbish British summers) will help get rid of stains naturally.
Save water by doing the 'Shower Stomp' each morning to rinse the pads you used the previous day. Just chuck them all in the bottom of the shower and the run-off will do the job for you. Winner!
Don't be tempted to wash at a higher temperature than 40 degrees for the sake of hygiene. Modern washing machines and detergents are pretty awesome at getting rid of bacteria. Wash at 40, it'll be fine. You also run the risk of shrinking your pads if you wash at higher than 40 degrees.
Air drying is best. Tumble drying your pads is OK as long as you do so on a cool setting. If there is any chance you could accidentally tumble them on hot, keep your pads away from the dryer - pads may shrink, plastic snaps may break. It's not worth it!
Try not to leave completely wet pads for any more than 2-3 days in a wetbag, and always ensure that you leave the wetbag slightly open so air can get to your pads, to prevent mildew growing.