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Do period pants smell?

Periods 101
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Do period pants smell?

We all know the feeling of dread when we realise we've forgotten to pack a spare pair of underwear. But what about when you're wearing period pants? Do they smell? There's no need to fear - period pants don't smell any different from your regular pants. 

The absorbent material in period pants works just like a menstrual cup or pad, so there's hardly any odour. In fact, your period pants are more comfortable to wear than regular underwear, as they don't get as wet and bloody.

However, it goes without saying that hygiene and absorbency are key to keeping your period pants odour free. So for those of you who love the idea of wearing sustainable period panties, but do not want to take the chance that they will increase in odour, then this blog is for you.

But first… what are period pants, and how do they work?

Our super-absorbent period pants are designed with two things in mind: vaginas and the planet. A pair of period pants contain an absorbent core that wraps around the posterior to prevent leaks when sitting or posing. They are equivalent to four tampons in absorbency!

They are made of organic cotton, so it is hypoallergenic and breathable and prevents sweat from entering your vagina, therefore preventing bacterial vaginosis and thrush as well as keeping you comfortably warm. These period pants are also reusable, washable, and free from environmental pollution. Learn more about period pants here.

reusable period pants

Why do period pants smell?

When you are on your period, together with the blood that flows from the lining, there is also other fluid, bacteria, vaginal discharge and tissue matter that is released. There are two possible causes of the smell: bacteria mixing with old blood or bacteria in the vaginal canal coming out with each period. 

In general, these are the key factors that are responsible for determining the smell of period blood, and even though the smell of period blood is normal, sometimes it can smell fishy or oniony. 

Some of the reasons why your period pants smell include 

  • All period products will start to smell after a while if they are left unattended for too long. They start to smell if you have worn them too long or not changed them frequently enough for your flow.
  • If the pants are not completely rinsed before washing, they have been soaked too long, or they have been allowed to dry without rinsing.
  • After washing your period pants, you might notice dried blood that hasn’t been washed properly or are not dry enough, leaving a damp smell.

How to stop period pants from smelling

It’s completely normal for us to worry about our hygiene. After all, we want to look after our vaginas just like we do with any other part of our body. 

When you wash and launder your period pants, you're helping to keep them clean and smelling fresh. Soap and water will get any residual blood out of the fabric, and this will help them to keep their absorbency. But what happens when you have a period pant that has started to smell less than fresh?

This happens when the fabric gets saturated with menstrual fluid but you have been too busy to change your period pants. In this case, you get it out of the way as soon as possible, wash your period pants and let it dry in the open air.

Here are some more tips on how to keep your period pants from smelling. 

1. Wash your period pants as soon as you can. 

Period blood can cause odours to develop and fabric fibres to deteriorate if left on the garment for too long. We recommend washing your period panties together with other dark-coloured items in cold water to prevent staining and colour loss. If you find that your period pants have stained, pre-soak them in water with a few drops of mild detergent before washing them with your regular laundry load.

2. Rinse your period panties thoroughly after washing them. 

Hang your period pants to dry after rinsing and repeat these steps regularly before the smell develops into an odour problem and before the fabric starts to deteriorate.

3. Air out your period pants

Air your period pants after they have been washed to prevent them from smelling. To air your period pants, spread them out on a flat surface and let them air out away from direct heat or sunlight.

4. Change your pants regularly 

Generally, you should change your pants every 10 hours, but this depends on your flow. If you are particularly heavy and would normally use more than four tampons a day, change more regularly, and vice versa if your flow is on the lighter side. Always make sure you are wiping your vulva area clean each time you change your pants. 

5. Rinse period pants before washing

It’s always best to rinse your period pants, especially if you are not ready to start a washing load. You can also consider wet pailing in a container filled with water, tree oil, or salt or even with your favourite stain remover.

remuvie intimate stain remover

6. Store period pants after each period cycle

Storing your period pants after your period cycle is just as important as keeping them clean. To keep them lasting for years, ensure they are fully dry before putting them away and keep them in a place where there is natural airflow.

We hope we’ve given you some good takeaway tips to help keep your period pants in the best condition possible. And if you haven’t tried period pants yet, but feel like giving them a go, then you can buy them directly here, or if you have any more lingering questions, feel free to send us a message at

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