Reusable Cloth Pads FAQs
Why should I switch to cloth pads?
Disposable pads contain plastics, which block airflow to the vagina and are uncomfortable and crinkly.They also contain synthetic fibres like rayon which are bleached to give it a clean and white appearance. The bleaching process creates dioxin, a highly toxic pollutant that may lead to various forms of cancer and endometriosis. On the other hand, cloth pads are made of breathable fabrics that keep you comfortable throughout the day.
Although cloth pads cost more upfront, they are last for years with proper care. Using reusables also helps to minimize the waste created by disposables. In fact, an average of 17,000 pads, tampons and pantyliners are used per lifetime!
Cloth pads also come in lots of colours and patterns; there is surely something that will suit your personality!
How many cloth pads do I need?
Everyone's cycle is different. To determine how many cloth pads you need, consider the factors below:
- How often will you be able to wash the pad?. If you are able to wash your pads about every second day, you can cut down greatly on the amount of pads you'll need.
- What size of pads do you normally use? If you use liners, day pads and night pads on different days, you may want to get a good combination of sizes for your cloth pads.
- How many pads do you normally use? Keep track of the number of pads you use during a cycle so you can determine how many times you need to change your pad every day.
Rather than purchasing a whole stash for your first order, we suggest capping your order at 3-4 pads of the different sizes you need. This way, you can decide if they are a good fit for you. You can always make another order!
How do the cloth pads stay secured on my underwear?
Most cloth pads come with wings, and have snaps attached on both wings. They are fastened around the base of your underwear, similar to disposable pads with wings. Wearing fitting or snug underwear will help hold the pad close to your body and prevent it from sliding around during the day.
What is PUL?
Polyurethane laminate (PUL) is a compound fabric made by laminating a cloth fabric to a thin film of polyurethane. This laminated fabric is useful as a wind and/or water barrier in the construction of fluid-splash protecting garments, shower curtains, outerwear clothing, however it is primarily used for making cloth nappies/diapers and cloth menstrual pads. It can be machine-washed and dried.
Do cloth pads smell?
Many cloth pad users have reported that there is very little or no smell at all. Cloth pads allow moisture to evaporate, and less moisture means fewer bacteria to produce unwanted smells. If you do notice an odd smell, common bacterial imbalances could be to blame; you may wish to consult a doctor.
Do cloth pads leak?
Cloth pads are made to be very absorbent. Most have a leakproof PUL layer, which prevents menstrual fluid from soaking through the pad. Of course, just like disposable pads, it's possible to leak off the sides if you wear it for too long. The wings that snap around the underwear helps to keep the sides of your undies dry, but of course, it is best to change them out before they become totally saturated.
How do I wash my cloth pads?
Cloth pads can be hand washed or machine washed. Soaking or rinsing soiled pads in cold water before hand/machine washing helps to remove as much blood as possible and prevent stains. However, if it is not convenient for you to soak your pads, you can also moisten the absorbent side of the soiled pad with a little cold water, fold in the top and bottom and snap the wings together, and store in a wet bag until washing day. Some people prefer to wash their pads on a daily basis, while others prefer to wash everything at once after the end of the cycle.
Our favourite, fuss-free method is as follows:
- Get ready a small plastic basin or pail filled with cold water. When you come home, throw all the soiled pads into the pail and let them soak. Soaking gets most of the blood out and prevents any staining on your pretty, patterned pads. You can add disinfectant, baking soda, tea tree oil or soap to help with stain removal and to prevent odour. Cover the pail with a lid if it needs to be discreet.
- Every day when you come home, pour away the water and refill the pail with clean water. Continue adding your soiled pads into the pail.
- After your period is over, its time to wash the pads! By this time, most of the blood should have been removed by soaking. Throw them all into the washing machine with your regular laundry and wash as per normal. (Do not use fabric softener as it may affect the pads' absorbency.)
How long can cloth pads last?
The lifespan of a cloth pad varies greatly according to how they are cared for and how often they are used. Cloth liners for daily use tend to last about 18 months to 2 years, depending on how often they are used. Washing is hard on any cloth — pads or clothing — so if you have a small stash of just 3 liners, they’ll be washed a lot more than if you’ve got a larger stash that you’re able to rotate more often.
Menstrual pads that are used just once a month typically last longer — anywhere from 3-7 years, depending on how often each individual pad is being used and washed. Again, a larger stash with pads that are only being used 2-4 times per cycle will last longer than a small stash with pads needing to be washed daily and reused several times within a cycle. Some love a large stash for this reason, but not everyone can afford a huge stash, so we recommend you to decide how often you want to — or are able to — wash their pads and multiply that by how many days you need to use them.