They may seem a little scary at first, but cloth pads are actually incredibly easy to use! Cloth pads have wings that fold around your underwear like a regular pad, and usually have a snap button to hold them in place. Your main challenge is picking a good brand. (I like GladRags or Lunapads!) You'll need to change your cloth pad about every two to six hours. As often as you would personally change a regular disposable pad, you should change your cloth pads too, because just like a disposable pad they can become too full and leak. If you're out of the house, you can simply bring a plastic grocery bag with you and put your used pad in there until you get home, or buy a product made for them like this carry bag from GladRags, which I personally love. Having a cute and discreet bag to carry around menstrual products rules, and it's easy to just grab it and go to the bathroom instead of lugging my whole purse or bag around.
Then once you're home, just wash your pad when you are ready! Do try to remember though to rinse in cold water first so that the stains do not set, and I like to put mine through an extra rinse cycle to make sure I really get all the detergent out. Cloth pads are simple to wash. Just rinse them in cold water and put them into your washing machine on a hot water cycle. You can wash them with other clothes and stuff to if you want or need to, but make sure you don't put them in with any whites. You don't want blood all over your favorite white tee! Make sure you are washing those pads on HOT though, so that they can really get clean, and don't add any clothes that hot water will ruin.Now, you may be thinking to yourself, why should I use cloth pads? Your personal health is the best reason why! Love yourself enough to invest in cloth pads, because they will change your life. We all know that tampons carry the risk of TSS, or toxic shock syndrome, and while disposable pads haven't been linked to TSS, there are still a lot of chemicals in them and no rules or laws stating that manufacturers have to disclose what those chemicals are or label them on their packaging! Many women have reported that switching to cloth pads has minimized their cramps and their bleeding. Cloth pads are said to reduce your risk of rashes and skin irritation. Many disposable pads and tampons use a synthetic fiber like rayon for example, which is super absorbent but also likely to absorb all the moisture from your vagina. This can cause a lot of infections and severe pain. Switching over to cloth pads was the best decision I could have made for myself, my cramps have decreased tremendously, and I'm no longer totally miserable every month.Think about how many pads you use every day, can you imagine how much that will be in your lifetime? That's a lot of waste that we're leaving behind on our planet! Plastic is so bad for the environment, and we've hurt our Mother Earth enough! It's estimated that nearly 20 billion disposable menstrual products are put into the landfill each year from North America alone.
While cloth pads may also seem like a steep upfront investment, if you break down the numbers, you should only have to spend a max of around $200 as a one time cost, where over the course of just one year the average woman spends around $120 in menstrual products alone! By switching to cloth pads, you also get the added benefit of knowing that you're supporting small independent companies. Etsy also has a ton of really good options for cloth pads, and who doesn't want to support independent artists? Etsy is much more likely to have cool, original, and gorgeous designs! Just check out this UNICORN pad from kellabearcreates! That's right, ladies, I said Unicorn pad! Kellabearcreates is a top-rated etsy store with awesome products.
All in all, cloth pads are where it's at, ladies. Good for you, good for our environment, good for your wallet! What is not to love?
Glad Rags sampler kit will help you get started, or if you really want to commit, they have bigger packages, too! Gladrags is a small company based out of Portland, Oregon here in the USA. They are a woman-owned company that has been a certified Benefit corporation since 2012! All of their orders are packaged in recycled or biodegradable materials, so this company is eco-conscious and they're certified as cruelty-free.
Lunapads is a women-owned Canadian based business that has been around since the early 90s. For over a decade now, Lunapads has made it part of their mission to donate washable pads to a lot of different organizations. They help girls in East Africa with their program called One4Her, and locally donate to people there are who need them as well. Supporting Lunapads is helping other women to, and if that doesn't make your heart happy, I don't know what will!