There was a time when I could have never imagined using cloth pads for my monthly cycle. I just couldn’t imagine cleaning them and letting them go in with my regular wash. I didn’t do well with body fluids when my daughter was in diapers, how could I ever do well with this? On top of that, the idea that they were just cloth and didn’t contain anything other than that to absorb anything, I felt it was a disaster waiting to happen. I imagined myself having to be anxiety ridden and changing them out every hour and not being able to leave my house. Then, I decided to give them a try and I am here to say I will never be going back to disposable menstrual products and here are some reasons why as well as how to care for cloth pads if you are thinking of making the switch.
How I Switched to Cloth Pads and Got Over the ICK! Factor
Cloth pads absorb a lot more than you think. The ones I use, anyway, and I have been told this is pretty much the same across the board. Call them what you want; cloth pads, mama cloth, it all works well and the only time I have ever had a leak incident is when I put it on backwards the first time. I can go a solid 6 hours not changing them out in most times during my period. And not to get to TMI on you, but I have very heavy periods sometimes.
Cloth pads don’t cause rubbing or skin irritation that many disposables do. When I used disposable menstrual products, I was constantly getting skin irritations and rashes from them. No matter how “soft” a brand claimed to be, the same thing would happen. As if periods aren’t enough of a pain to deal with in the first place! Disposables are full of chemicals that are not good for your skin. Cloth pads cut that stuff right out and to be honest, they feel like a soft cloth against my skin, because they are. I also notice that they lock away moisture much better and I don’t get that gross wet feeling.
Cloth pads save tons of money. Because my cycle was so heavy at times, I found I was using so much product that it was costing me at LEAST $10 to have my period every stinkin’ month. The cloth pads I bought were only $25 for 4 with a wet bag (a place to put them when I changed them out in public.) and they will last for at least 5 years. This means that over the next 5 years, I will save $600. That’s HUGE.
Cloth Pads are not as gross as you think. How many times have you stood over a sink and cleaned out your “accidents” from your period in your panties? I know I have since I started my cycles in middle school many times. Cleaning out a cloth pads is pretty much no different. And if you are worried about odor, I have never had a problem with it.
How to Take Care of Cloth Pads
To wash them, I start with hand wringing in the sink with cold water. I just do this until the water runs mostly clear. Then I throw them in the wash with other clothes like delicates. They can be washed with other stuff, I just like to keep them separate because despite my best efforts to explain to my husband that its not gross, he still won’t get over it.
I recommend washing with an Eco-friendly, plant based detergent like ECOS. I get mine at Costco for less than $13 for a huge bottle that lasts us an entire month of washing or you can buy ECOS on Amazon, too.
Dry them in the dryer just as you normally would. Some people say to air dry them or tumble on low, but I haven’t had an issue with drying them on a regular setting.
I find that washing them right away is better than letting them sit too long. No reason other than I just don’t want odor to become an issue if it will.
I recommend buying at LEAST 4 or 5 to start with. I have 6 now and find that with my heavy periods this is enough to get me through so I am not doing too much laundry.
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