Some women at their reproductive age have been wondering if there are any alternative products for their one-time disposable menstrual pads and pantyliners. Although some have tried alternatives such as the use of tampons and menstrual cups, the majority wants to find something common that would benefit both their budget and the environment too. 

However, not all women are comfortable with using tampons and menstrual cups. Thankfully, a new and simple alternative is here – the rise of reusable menstrual cloth pads. At first, using reusable menstrual pads may be a little tricky, especially for those who have been using disposable sanitary napkins since they got their period. But if you find the right pad materials for you, life would get better. 

In this article, every info you need to know about the reusable menstrual pads would be laid out. All related questions to the thing would have answers in this article. This will help you open your way of thinking and lead you to making the unique and best choice today. 

What Are Reusable Pads?

Reusable menstrual pads are composed of cloth that can be used repeatedly. Just like a normal sanitary napkin, reusable cloth pads are meant to absorb the blood coming out from the vagina during the special time of your monthly cycle. It is placed on the underwear and can be used for approximately several hours, depending on the flow of your period. 

If you have a heavy flow, replacing your pads more frequently is suggested. For lighter days, it can last up to four to five hours. 

After using the cloth pad, you have to wash it thoroughly and remove all the bloodstains before you can wear the same one. These pads that offer comfort are typically made of several layers of cotton fibers. Hence, it is absorbent and would not leak easily. Hemp may also be used, but plastic is never used in these pads. 

Some reusable pads are also handmade and organic, some made out of bamboo. It comes in sizes with varieties like small, regular, and maxi (which is suitable for overnight use). Thin reusables help keep your cover and privacy. It offers discreet protection, and you can still do your daily activities like running, shopping, and the like. 

Since its use has been increasing today, it now comes with liners that help prevent staining the fabric of your panty. Companies manufacturing this type of sanitary pads come with a holder that can help you place the pad easily. The majority of the brands come with an adjustable band too. You can wrap the band around your waist so the reusable menstrual pad would stay in place for a long period. 

Are Reusable Menstrual Pads Sanitary?

Reusable menstrual pads are sanitary, safe, and good for your health. Just like disposables, women should not be worried about the use of this wonderful and unique product. Reusable menstrual pads, in terms of cleanliness and safety, are at par with the one-time-use napkins. 

You have probably heard the myth that says you still need to take extra measures to kill all the bacteria accumulated in on the reusables because they are not sterile. This is proven to be false because a simple and thorough cleaning of sanitary pads is already enough. There is no need to do complex clean-ups to maintain its state. 

How Long Do Reusable Menstrual Pads Last? 

Reusable menstrual pads should be changed depending on your flow. On average, it typically lasts for four to five hours for low to normal flow. However, frequent changes may be required if you have a heavier flow than normal. This is pretty much individualized and you should observe it on your first few times of trying reusables.

As for the reusable menstrual pad’s life span, it is expected to last for at least 5 years. However, if you take extra care of your reusables, they may even work and last longer than that. It is estimated to last, give or take, 5 years if you have 10 reusable pads being alternately used throughout your monthly periods. 

How Do You Wash Reusable Menstrual Pads?

Washing your reusable menstrual pads is one of the most important factors to learn to prolong their use. Care instructions for washable menstrual pads different depending on your brand of choice. It is probably best to check the instructions attached when buying your reusables. 

Generally, your reusables can be treated just like any other laundry item. For some brands that come with an insert, you should separate it first from the sleeve before placing both items into your laundry. According to Dr. Shirazian, washing your reusable menstrual pads in the machine would not be any different medically and hygienically. You can either toss it in the wash or wash it thoroughly using soap and water. 

If you are thinking of the stains that will be left on your panty, you can easily soak the pads in cold water and leave them until you are ready to wash them. You may also use specialized stain solutions to help you maintain the condition of your reusables. After the pretreatment, just wash it normally. 

Are Reusable Menstrual Pads Worth It?

If you want a straight answer, then it is a big fat yes! They are environmental, sustainable, eco-friendly, easy to use and clean, and promote wellness. It comes with many advantages that are eye-opening enough to make you change your mind and choose the better one. 

Here are some reasons why purchasing a reusable menstrual pad would change your life for the better:

  • Reusable menstrual pads promote a healthier way of living. These pads are worth buying because the likelihood of contracting infections is lower than using typical disposables. Skin rashes are also reduced.
  • Reusable pads are cost-effective. Its price may seem expensive upon purchasing at first, but you will save money in the long run. You never have to spend on sanitary napkins for the next 5 years if you purchase 10 cloth pads now.
  • Reusable pads are sanitary and the likelihood of leaks is lower. They are easy to clean and their waterproof lining helps prevent leaks. You will never have to see the color red seeping through your pants again. 

Why Do My Reusable Pads Smell?

Reusable pads may smell because of several reasons. Among those reasons, soaking it in water for a long time is the most common one. When cloth pads are soaked for too long, they can become musty and mildewy. Another cause of smelly reusable pads is storing in a damp place or storing in an enclosed plastic bag for long periods. 

Here are some tips to help remove the smell of your reusable menstrual pads:

  • Add vinegar or lemon juice – When washing your reusables, add a little vinegar or lemon juice. This would help remove the smell and the stains. 
  • Add disinfectants or essential oils – By adding these things to the soaking water, the bacteria lingering in the cloth pad that is causing the smell can be eradicated. It provides extra cleanliness and assures you of a bacteria-free pad. 
  • Change the soaking water you are using frequently – Frequent changing of the water where you place your reusable menstrual pads help get rid of the bacteria removed upon soaking.
  • Rinse your pads thoroughly – Before soaking your used pads in the water, rinse them thoroughly first. Change the water as necessary to avoid rust-smelling soak water. 

Pads or Cloth: Which Is Better?

To compare which is better, let us list down the difference between both disposable menstrual pads and reusable menstrual cloth pads.

Reusable Cloth Pads

  • You get to save a lot of money – When you buy a total of 10 cloth pads, they can already last for at least 5 years. When compared to disposable sanitary napkins, buying reusables are more cost-effective. When needed daily, you do not have to spend on disposables anymore. 
  • You are helping the environment – Using disposables to lessen the waste women accumulate every month. The beauty of using reusables is that no plastic sanitary napkin is used, and there is zero waste. If you throw a single disposable napkin away, it takes more than a hundred years to decompose. With reusables, the planet is going to win. 
  • You will feel more comfortable – Cloth pads are less irritating when it comes into contact with your sensitive skin. It is also breathable so it allows proper airflow even in tight spaces and prevents you from feeling all icky and wet. 
  • You can customize your cloth pads – If you want one with a cute design that comes with art, you may pick it. It comes in plenty of designs and colors to choose from – black, charcoal, white, and perhaps any color you can think of. You can also pick the style most suitable for your panty and pants, and which one offers the best coverage. 

Disposable pads:

  • You know it is more convenient – Disposable pads do not need much care and maintenance. After using it for a few hours, you can already dispose of it directly in the bin.
  • The upfront cost is lower – When you come to think of it, buying disposable pads for just one cycle costs cheaper when compared to buying reusables. People who are on a tight budget may opt to buy disposable pads instead of investing in cloth pads.

Overall, reusable menstrual pads are the real sure pick. This offers more benefits and advantages compared to disposable pads. It is more beneficial to both the user and the environment as well.

Final Thoughts

Utilizing reusable menstrual pads for your periods may be tricky and inconvenient on your first try. However, once you are used to the routine, you will realize that it is exactly one of the best choices you have today. More and more women are falling in love with this product, and thousands have already made the switch. 

Perhaps, this is already your sign! It can easily be purchased, and a majority of online shopping platforms such as Etsy offers free shipping for these products. What else are you waiting for? Order and shop today! Start your journey today! 

References

https://www.healthshots.com/intimate-health/menstruation/wondering-if-reusable-cloth-sanitary-pads-are-hygienic-heres-what-a-gyno-says/

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/health/female-health/a30029682/reusable-sanitary-pads/

https://www.india.com/lifestyle/what-are-reusable-menstrual-pads-here-is-everything-you-wanted-know-about-reusable-cloth-pads-2078827/

About The Author

May can usually be found reading an eco magazine absorbed in the latest gripping articles on all things eco! May is passionate about the environment. May believes in looking and feeling good whilst living an eco friendly lifestyle. In her spare time she loves cooking, playing her guitar and going for country walks. May lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with friends, family and her two adorable cats.

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