I know, I thought reuseable menstrual pads sounded disgusting, too, until I tried one for myself.
Now I think the plastic commercial feminine hygiene products are disgusting. They feel sticky, sweaty, icky. Only cloth is good enough for my baby's bottom; now only cloth is good enough for me.
I even used my home-sewn pads post-partum and they worked great.
Here's the link to a PDF with instructions and a pattern I put together for making cloth mama pads.
What about washing cloth pads? I throw my pads in with my daughter's cloth diapers to wash. When I don't have a baby in diapers, I keep an old lidded bucket of cold water under the sink and drop in the pads. When my period is over I pour the water down the toilet and dump them in the washer. I set run one cold rinse, then wash them on hot with some Biz or Oxi-Clean plus a little tea tree oil in the rinse (it's antibacterial and smells nice). I haven't yet tried washing them in my homemade laundry soap, but that will probably work even better and not require anything extra in the wash.