Reusable Menstrual Products
Reusable Menstrual Products are simply a menstrual product that is washed and reused, rather than a single-use disposable one.
While the idea may first sound gross and unhygienic, women had been using reusable menstrual products long before commercial disposable products became popular. Even with disposable products, often you may get some blood leaking onto clothing, bedding or towels, which is simply washed and you reuse the items. Using reusable menstrual products is really no different to that.
Using a reusable menstrual product is not only more environmentally friendly and cost effective, but they can have health benefits as well. Less exposure to harsh chemicals, less risk of TSS and thrush. As well as being more comfortable.
These are essentially a washable fabric version of a disposable menstrual pad. Mostly made by small businesses, these come in a huge variety of types. Using fabrics such as bamboo, they can be very absorbent and some even include a waterproof layer to give the same security as a disposable pad. Colorful fabrics can add to the positive aspect of using these, as can soft fabrics such as velour. Cloth Pads can be reused for many years and can be simply washed in the washing machine with the rest of the laundry.
▸𝟏. 𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐑𝐞𝐮𝐬𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐏𝐚𝐝𝐬
𝟏.𝟏 - 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭❜𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐫𝐞𝐮𝐬𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐬❓
Aside from the obvious fact that you don't throw away reusable pads; there are several differences. Some of the main ones are that:
• Cloth Pads have wings that snap into place; there's no adhesive like with disposable pads.
• Cloth pads tend to breathe better than disposables because they aren't made of plastic (although some cloth pads have a waterproof breathable lining.) This makes them more comfortable than disposables.
• Cloth pads are more fun than disposables because you can get them in a variety of colors and prints to match your personal style.
𝟭.𝟮 - 𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘁𝗵 𝗽𝗮𝗱𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲𝘀❓
While its a personal choice; there are several good reasons for switching to reusable pads. You can:
• Keep thousands of disposable feminine hygiene products out of landfills.
• Save money by not having to buy pads each and every month.
• Experience the comfort of wearing soft, non-synesthetic fabrics next to your body.
• Have less exposure to potentially unhealthy chemicals
• Never again deal with an adhesive wing getting stuck in the wrong place
• Get rid of the risk of TSS toxic shock syndrome
𝟭.𝟯 - 𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗜 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝘂𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘁𝗵 𝗽𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁❓
Most cloth pads are estimated to last up to 5 years if they're properly cared for. Some people say theirs last even longer than that. The estimated 5 years is based on the assumption that you have a rotation of about 10 pads.
𝟭.𝟰 - 𝗦𝗼𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘀𝘀, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝘂𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗱𝘀 𝘀𝗺𝗲𝗹𝗹❓
The good news is cloth pads tend to stay fresher than disposable pads. That's because their fabric breathes which allows moisture to evaporate. Less moisture means fewer bacteria to produce unwanted smells. If you do notice an odd smell, common bacterial imbalances could be to blame. That's something to check out with a doctor.
𝟭.𝟱 - 𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗠𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘆 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗜 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝘆 𝘀𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝘂𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗱𝘀❓
Most women can expect to deal with 35 years of menstruation during their lifetime that can cost you thousands of dollars in products over time. When you switch to cloth pads, you'll save a lot less on feminine hygiene. Everyone's cycle is different, and so is the age when they start to use cloth pads.
𝟏.𝟔 - 𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞❓
Cloth pads absolutely can be used for light incontinence. People with this issue usually need to wear some kind of protection every day. When they wear disposable, plastic-based products, they run an increased risk of getting yeast and bacterial infections, in addition to ordinary irritation and chafing. Cloth pads can be heaven-sent for people who need to wear a pad every day due to their comfort and breath-abilty.
𝟏.𝟕 - 𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐢𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐢𝐫𝐭𝐡❓
Cloth pads are an excellent choice for postpartum wear, especially the longer and thicker overnight pads. Many women soak their pads in soothing formulations to wear against their skin to promote comfort and healing after giving birth. Cloth post partum pads seem to be a natural choice for women who choose cloth diapers for their babies.
𝟏.𝟖 - 𝐀𝐫𝐞𝐧❜𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐮𝐬𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐛𝐮𝐥𝐤𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐬❓
It all depends on the pads. Some pads made leak resistant by the thickness of their fabrics. Other cloth pads have a waterproof lining, so they require less cotton fabric than pads with no waterproof backing. The thickness of the pad also varies based on the flow level the pads are designed for, and whether they are all-in-one system or have an adjustable insert. Check out our blog post about how we keep our pads trim and absorbent without all the extra bulk.
𝟏.𝟗- 𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬❓
They sure can. They may want to start with panty liner or smaller size pads to see how they like them. Starting early with cloth pads can help young people to feel in control with their cycles, and teenagers love the many colors and Prints of cloth pads. You may want to start with pads that have a 2.25" or 2.5" snapped width. You can measure the crotch of the current panties your daughter wears if your concerned about fit issues. You are measuring the width of the crotch area.
▸ 𝟐. 𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐫𝐞𝐮𝐬𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬
𝟐.𝟏 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐩𝐚𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐲 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬❓
One way to get started is to measure the disposable pads that you like and order similar sized cloth pads. Grab a ruler and an unused disposable pad that fits you comfortably and measure the length. Also, consider what you don’t like about the sizing of the pads you currently wear. Are they too long? Too short?
↓Absorbency Guide ↓
▬ Liner = No Core, flannel backing
▬ Light = 200-300 GSM
▬ Moderate = 400-600 GSM
▬ Heavy = 700-900 GSM
▬ Super Heavy = 1000+ GSM
Example of layers-
▲1 top layer of fabric shown
▬inner core layers according to absorbency
▼1 back layer to prevent leaks (anti pill fleece, OR PUL on custom orders)
𝟐.𝟐 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐈 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝❓
Most of us one to have an assortment of pads in our stash to cover the entire menstrual cycle. While with the number you need will vary based on how long your period lasts and the heaviness of your flow, most reusable pad makers recommend about a dozen pads, give or take. For example:
• 3 to 6 pantiliners.
• 6 to 12 day pads.
• 1 to 3 overnight pads.
You will need between 2-5 pads a day, depending on how often you like to change your pad, how heavy your flow is and how absorbent your pads are. Pads are usually changed whenever you go to the toilet (otherwise when you pull your underpants back up you’re greeted with a wet and slightly cold pad, and that’s not so nice at all), so you can use that as a guide.
It is recommended to have at least 6-12 pads. 20 is a good sized stash (but of course more is better). The more you have the less wear & tear on each pad, making them last longer. This might seem like a lot of expense to begin with, but they will soon pay for themselves in savings. And you may find it fun to collect pads, having different colors and styles just like you would clothing choices. It is best to make sure you have several days supply in case you are not able to get them washed and dry in time. You can add to your cloth pad collection as time goes by, buying a few now and then to spread the expense and wear and tear on your pads.
𝟐.𝟑 - 𝐖𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐤❓
Cloth pads are made to be very absorbent. They're typically made with wings that snap around the underwear to keep the sides of the panties dry. Of course, just like disposable pads, you need to change them out before they become totally saturated. After wearing reusable pads for just a short while, you'll have a good idea of how often you'll need to change them.
𝟐.𝟒 - 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞❓
Most users of reusable cloth pads go on and on about how comfortable they are compared to disposables, which can feel clammy. Reusable pads are very soft and breathable. This exchange of air can leave you feeling dry and with less chaffing and irritation. Some users say the breathability makes them much cooler to wear than disposable pads, with their heat trapping plastic parts.
𝟐.𝟓 - 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐨𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐦𝐲 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝❓
You will probably need to change your reusable pad 1 to 6 times A day. You'll know it's time to switch out the pad if it starts to feel wet next to your skin. Naturally, the heavier your flow, the more often you will have to change pads, the lighter your flow, the longer you can get away with between changes.
𝟐.𝟔 - 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐏𝐚𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐞❓
Thanks to the wings with snaps on most pads, they fold up into perfect little squares that you can pack away in your purse. You probably will want to carry a small wet bag or Pad Wrapper when it's your time of the month. You can also use in ordinary ziploc or plastic grocery bag. (For a custom pad wrapper or wet bag feel free to send me a message)
𝟐.𝟕 - 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐲 𝐟𝐥𝐨𝐰, 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬❓
Yes, in fact, cloth pads can be extremely absorbent. If you have a favourite overnight disposable pad, take a measurement of it and then look for a cloth pad that's the same length or longer. We have multiple sizes to choose from.
𝟐.𝟖 - 𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐮𝐬𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐰𝐢𝐦𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠❓
Unfortunately, no. Just like disposable pads, cloth pads will absorb the water, making them soggy and ineffective for period protection. However, a menstrual cup is a great alternative when you want to go swimming during your time of the month.
▸ 𝟯. 𝗤𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗿𝗲𝘂𝘀𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗱𝘀
𝟑.𝟏 - 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦❓
Yes, it's recommended to wash your pads before wearing them for the 1st time period this will remove any fabric sizing and enhanced the fabric's absorbency. You only need to wash then 1 to 2 times before wearing. Flannel typically needs washed twice.
𝟑.𝟐 - 𝐈𝐬𝐧❜𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐰𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐥𝐨𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤❓
Washing reusable pads is as simple as cleaning any other items of clothing. Washing pads might seem weird at 1st, but after doing it a few times, it will become status quo.
𝟑.𝟑 - 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬𝐡 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬❓
The easiest way to clean your pads is to just toss them in the washing machine. Typically cold water is best to use. Avoid using hot water because that has the potential to set stains. Then you can either air dry the pads or tumble dry on the low to medium setting. Many women find they get the best results if they soak the pads before washing in cold water, particularly if there's any dry blood on the pads. An alternative to soaking the pads is to use the pre wash setting or rinse cycle if your washing machine has that option. You can also rinse the pad as soon as you take it off until the water runs clear.
Hand washing the pads is also an option. In this case, you will probably want to pre soak the pads to make washing easier. If you choose to soak the pads, be sure to change out the soak water on a daily basis. When the time comes to wash them, rinse the pads in cold water until the water runs clear and then gently scrub them to get them clean.
Any detergent is fine to use when washing your cloth pads. You may want to avoid fabric softeners because they can make fabrics less absorbent. It's not recommended to bleach pads either because it can break down the material and interfere with absorbency.
𝟑.𝟒 - 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬❓
You can wash the pads during your cycle as you go through your stash or launder them all once your period ends. Basically, just wash them whenever is the most convenient for you.
𝟑.𝟓 - 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐝𝐫𝐲 𝐦𝐲 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬❓
This will vary based on the particular fabrics that make up your pads; However the majority of pads can be machine dried on a low or medium setting. You can also air dry pads but just like with any item that's air dried, the pads might feel slightly stiff initially. You can toss stiff pads in the dryer for a few minute to freshen them up. Try to avoid leaving your pads in direct sunlight for extended links of time period the Sun can bleach out the colors of your pads or damage waterproof backing materials.
𝟑.𝟔 - 𝐖o𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐚𝐝𝐬 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐝❓
If you have pure white cloth pads, you may see some staining. However, stains don't mean that the fabric isn't clean. Pads that have patterns or darker colors tend to naturally hide stains. If you're concerned about staining, you can use a stain treatment on your pads before washing them.
A Menstrual Cup is a soft bell shaped item which is used inside the vagina to collect the flow. They are removed to be emptied, rinsed out and replaced. They can be boiled in a pot of water to be sterilized before and after each period. The one cup can last many years, can be used while swimming or sleeping and does not have the same TSS risks as tampons do. They also have a much greater capacity than tampons and can safely be kept in place for 12 hours.
Sea Sponge Tampons
These are a naturally occurring sea sponge that are used in the vagina to absorb the flow, much like a tampon. They are moistened for use, allowing them to be comfortably inserted. They are washed and reused, and can be boiled or sterilized if desired. They offer a cheap reusable option.
An Interlabial Pad is basically a cross-between a tampon and a pad, that is worn externally in the labia, rather than internally. These cannot be worn while swimming, but can offer a step between an internal product or a pad for those who don’t want to use an internal product.
𝗜 𝗵𝗼𝗽𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂. 𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝗿 𝗰𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗺 𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗿𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝘀, 𝗽𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗺𝗲. ʕ•́ᴥ•̀ʔっ♡JessieJayCloth♡