What You Need To Know About Cloth Pads
Reusable menstrual products make people cringe. Our society is strange. There’s a reason the term on the rag exists. Tampons and pads did not exist. Women had to use rags. The sad part is rags were a luxury for many women. The norm for a long time was to re-use your menstrual products. No one even batted a lash.
If I try talking about mama cloth to a lot of my peers, they act like it is the most revolting thing in the world. I have OCD so if I can grasp the concept without wincing why can't other women?
We have become a disposable society. We throw a lot of what we use away. Many people placate their guilt with hybrid cars and up-cycled furniture. Many misconceptions about reusable menstrual products exist. Let's dive right in.
If you prefer tampons a Diva Cup is likely for you. Menstrual cups have been around since the late 1930's. It’s cut and dry. You insert the cup. You remove and wash the cup. It's a pretty cost effective and fast method. A Diva Cup is not for me. Some women don’t like tampons or Diva Cups and prefer sanitary napkins.
When I heard claims mama cloth can cure cramps, I considered making the switch. I suffer from endometriosis so anything that can help I am open to using. A lot of women have less severe cramping or no cramps at all with mama cloth.
Mama cloth is more comfortable than those paper and plastic pads. Mama cloth is also better for your health because they’re not bleached and there are no chemicals in them. Many think the chemicals used in tampons and disposable pads contribute to cramps.
The great thing about reusable pads is you can buy handmade ones, you can make them yourself, or buy them new. They come in a wide range of sizes and prints.
I have many pads and my favorite and most cost-effective ones came from the Pat Pat app. If you use my affiliate link, you will receive 15% off your order.
The materials used to make your cloth pad matter. If this concept is a little icky to you a cotton print of your liking may seem like a great idea but opt for another material.
I am a seamstress and while cotton and licensed prints are amazing they fade. Fast. They also stain. One method to remove stains from mama cloth is sunning. That means leaving your clean pad outside for the sun to bleach the stains out. So if you do not rinse cotton prints right away they will stain. One of the best ways to get the stains out will make the print fade even faster.
I prefer fleece pads for many reasons. Most are black so it won't stain. Fleece wicks away moisture and dries fast. I cannot even feel the fleece, to be honest.
If you want a pad easy to wash and soft, then fleece is the winner. Minky and Velour are runners-up. They are very soft. Minky has never stained for me. Velour has had staining issues for me. My bamboo pads are very comfortable but it is also hard to get the stains out.
Sunning is the best way to remove stains from not only mama cloth but any laundry. It can also kill bacteria. It is a great alternative to bleach. Yet, if you live in an apartment like me sunning can be hard. I have only so many places to sun items. Still, if you only use it 5 days out of the month, you can let it sit outside for a few days.
Bloodstains aside the truth is most cloth pads you’re not even going to know you are wearing them. If pads still gross you out, there are always reusable menstrual panties like Thinx.
Thinx are panties made with an anti-microbial absorbent lining. You put them on and you wear them all day. I had leaks a few times with these but compared to using disposable pads its nothing. They are comfy and they even have a pair I can run in. Thinx makes having your period no different from any other day. They are easy to wash. I put mine in the rinse cycle followed by a delicate wash and hang them to dry. That's all.
With this referral link you get $10 off. These are expensive but worth every penny. You wear them all day. No pad or tampon to change. I love wearing these to Disneyland. These are freeing. You do not have to carry pads or tampons.
If you think it is gross to wash pads in the washing machine what do you do when you leak when you are on your period? Do you wash your underwear do you throw them away? No, you wash them.
Same difference and if you’ve cloth diapered, and this is gross grow up. No offense. Washing is simple. Rinse. Wash and then do an extra rinse.
There are terrible bacteria in your laundry from fecal matter like E. Coli. This is in everyone's laundry. But you cannot wash mama cloth? Most washing machines now have a sanitizing cycle which you can run when you’re done washing your pads. If you don’t have one run, a short cycle with hot water and bleach.
Some say mama cloth costs too much. The truth is Wish, eBay, and Etsy make the switch easy and cheap. You can start with two pads and then every month add more to your collection. I’ve had pads for years now and they are in the same shape as they were the day I bought them.
These are simple to use you can get a wet bag cheap on eBay when you’re done using your pad you put in the wet bag. Some ladies rinse them right away. Some put a little Bac-out from Bio-Kleen or peroxide to prevent stains and toss them in the bag. All you need to do is toss them in the machine and run a rinse cycle. Followed by a wash. Your wash routine may vary on preference or if you have hard or soft water. Rinse, wash, and an extra rinse.
Not that different from washing dirty underwear or cloth diapers.
If you’re saying it’s a biohazard, or it’s gross you need a reality check. We’re all adults here. The fact is even if you don’t use mama cloth disgusting bacteria exists in your laundry. Its part of life and some germs on your laundry are worse than menstrual blood. Like E. Coli.
It’s time that the stigma attached to mama cloth and menstrual cups dies away. It's amazing how immature people are. The suggestion it's nasty to wash mama cloth alone is laughable. People don't freak out and bleach their shower after they bathe when they are on their periods?
Our planet needs us to chill out on the waste. There are little ways to cut back. This helps the environment and your health. Reuseable menstrual products are cheaper. A set of menstrual pads might cost you anywhere from $10-$25. You won’t have to buy pads for years.
The average women will use 250-300 pounds of menstrual products in her lifetime. If you buy generic tampons is at least $500 for tampons in your lifetime. I spent less than $75 on my pads and they could last you decades.
It’s sad because many women can’t afford feminine hygiene products. They don’t know they have this option available to them.
So if you’ve been considering using mama cloth go for it. Pink Lemonade has starter kits and individual pads. Pat Pat with my discount you can get 4 pads for under $15. If you don't like it, then don't use them anymore. You could buy your mama cloth from independent small businesses run by women. Pink Lemonade or many of the WAHM shops on Etsy are awesome.
You doing something that is better for the earth and your body but you are supporting a small business. So the next time you see a Diva Cup in the store or hear about reusable pads check them out with an open mind.