The responses we get from most people who are absolutely new to cloth pads are – gross, dirty, unsanitary. The concept of using reusable cloth pads for menstrual cycle is new but there are many people who have already started one, including myself. We wrote about How to Switch to Washable and Reusable Cloth Pads and we thought it is time for an update on how 2-year-old cloth pads look like, and to convince those who think cloth pads are gross and dirty otherwise.
How did you get started on using cloth pads?
I came across these certified organic cloth pads online and I was intrigued. My first impressions of these cloth pads were how great they would be for the body and environment because it means no more burning or dumping of disposable sanitary pads. As with all products, I needed to try these out for myself so I can share my experience, and that’s how I started with my first cloth pad. The cotton sheets are un-dyed and unbleached, which is perfect for me with sensitive skin. I started with a pantyliner and slowly added other sizes to my collection.
How long have you been using cloth pads and what do you like about using them?
As the title suggests, I have been using my cloth pads for nearly two years now. I personally have 4 hannahpads (1 pantyliner, 1 medium and 2 overnight pads), and they are used on rotation during my 5-day cycle. Some people choose to wash all their cloth pads at the end of their cycle, but I don’t as 1) I need to rotate my cloth pads and 2) I prefer not to accumulate my laundry as our bathroom is shared.
Having used hannahpads for nearly two years now, I realized a couple of things. First, my flow is more regular now and it comes on time between 28-30 days. Having irregular periods is a sign that the hormones are out of whack, so apart from taking medications, supplements or adjusting diet to help with this, using less chemicals in your everyday products will also help. Some chemicals (such as parabens) are found to disrupt the hormone systems.
Next, I was also having less cramps! This is what I love most about cloth pads. I used to have very painful periods, especially on the first day when I can hardly move and have so little energy. I’m cramp free 99% of the the time and it isn’t 100% for me as if I would still have cramps, but they are not as painful as they were before.
Finally, I like the feeling of having less trash to throw. Disposable sanitary pads are made from plastic, making them less breathable and traps moisture in them. Bacteria breeds easily in moist areas and bacteria smells, so the stank from the used disposable pads in the bin was not pleasant at all.
How do you keep your cloth pads clean and stain free?
While in shower, I would let the excess fluids run off from the cloth pads until the liquid runs mostly clear. I would then spot treat any stains by rubbing the spots with my (also) 2-year-old Probiotic Laundry Soap, and soak in a bucket of cold water overnight. The next day I would wash the cloth pad till the soap is washed off and let it hang dry. They dry quickly, so I could rotate them during my cycle. At the end of the cycle, I would throw the cloth pads into the washing machine for a final wash and sun them till completely dry. My hannahpads work hard as they are used a few times during the cycle. Their colours are not as fresh as new ones with some areas a tad darker, but they are still usable and have lots of life left.