With such a personal decision to switch over from disposable pads to cloth pads, there are many questions. Here I will list the questions I asked when first considering cloth pads, and any others that are asked of me. Please, feel free to contact me for any information that you need that you may not find on my site!
- Why did you make the switch to cloth pads?
- What differences have you noticed since you made the switch to cloth pads?
- How do you care for your cloth pads?
- I have problems with recurrent yeast infections. Do you think cloth pads can help with this problem?
- Am I really going to save all that much money buying cloth pads?
- I have teenage daughters. Can they use cloth pads too?
- How messy are cloth pads?
Why did you make the switch to cloth pads?
Quite a few years ago I first heard of cloth pads. My initial reaction was "YUCK!" and then I left it at that. Then one day I realized that maybe I should research cloth pads at least a little bit. I was having problems with 'irritation' every month during my cycle and I wondered if maybe cloth would solve this problem? Through my research I was amazed at my findings, and also sad that I didn't research this earlier. To find out what I found you can go to any search engine and type in "dangers of chemicals, menstrual pads". I am sure you will be as surprised at the information you find as I was.
What differences have you noticed since you made the switch to cloth pads?
- No more yeast infections.
- No more problems with sticky (from glue) pads bunching up in my undergarments and sticking to me!
- Less blood loss.
- Less cramping! I went from having severe cramps for 2-3 days to about 12-24 hours of fairly bearable cramps. No longer do I feel like I want to live in my bed for 2 days each month!
- More money in my wallet! (I just had to throw that in there! Tee hee!)
How do you care for your cloth pads?
For myself, I have 5 children so we do laundry pretty much every day, because of this, I don't bother with soaking. I rinse them out with cold water or just snap them up, and then I keep them in a small wetbag. Once a day I throw the pads in with a load of laundry washed in warm water. Sometimes if the pads are particularly 'dirty' I add baking soda to the load or a stain remover on the pad. One amazing thing about cloth pads is you don't flow as much as with a store bought pad. Disposable pads seem to 'draw out' the blood from your body. I noticed this difference immediately when I made the switch to cloth! I had very little blood on my cloth pads compared to disposables. Most of the blood was 'shed' when I went to the bathroom to pee. I truly found this, and still find it VERY amazing. I never would have dreamed that disposables were actually doing this very un-natural thing to my body! Now I can't imagine ever using disposables again!
If the thought of washing your pads with your regular wash doesn't appeal to you, then you can simply rinse them and wash them later. However, I really suggest you think about simply adding your pads to your regular loads of like colored laundry. If you are rinsing the pads in cold water first, there really isn't any 'mess' to worry about being added to your regular laundry that wouldn't be added at any other given time. I realise some people are 'squemish' at the thought of adding a 'pad' to a regular load of laundry, but just think about it for a moment. If you were to 'leak' onto your undies, what would you do with those undies? I suppose some may 'bleach' them, but others would simply rinse them out and toss them into the washer with other undies and things. If you were to cut yourself, and soiled some of your clothing with the blood, would you be concerned about washing that blood soiled garment with other clothing if you rinsed it out well first? Probably not.
Often, the only thing stopping someone from tossing their rinsed pads in with their regular laundry, is their own thoughts on a women's cycle. Ask yourself if it's really all that bad to toss a rinsed pad in with a pair of jeans etc.. It really isn't all that bad, really.;-)
Also, when giving yourself the freedom to simply toss a rinsed pad in with the other laundry, it frees you up to wash you pads much more frequently. Plus, if I have a pad that became stained, I will simply take it from the washer and toss it back in again with the next load. I've even washed the same pad 3 times from one load to the next (without drying in between), to give it a really good washing. Pads are so small, that this isn't a problem at all. It adds no extra work, or 'bulk' to my wash load, yet it allows my most soiled pads to be washed clean!
I have problems with recurrent yeast infections. Do you think cloth pads can help with this problem?
This was a question I asked, and I didn't fully get the answer until I made the switch. Now I can say that "Yes! Cloth pads DO help if you suffer from recurrent yeast infections!"
Am I really going to save all that much money buying cloth pads?
Yes, you will definitely save money! For me, I was spending between 5-10 dollars a month on my menstrual pads and then 5-10 dollars a month on panty liners. Let's say you spend 15$ a month. That's $180.00 on pads per year. My starter kit will provide you with enough pads to last you anywhere from 2-5 years, depending on how well you care for them. When we have to buy store bought, not only are we paying a certain amount per month for the pads, we also have to pay for the gas (the cost of which keeps getting higher and highter!) to get to the store, our time at the store picking out the pads etc... The cost of washing the pads is not much at all. If you wash them with your regular laundry, you aren't going to notice a change in your laundry costs at all. If you wash them separately, then it would be 1-2 VERY small loads per month. That shouldn't cost more then pennies.
I have teenage daughters. Can they use cloth pads too?
Most definitely! My eldest daughter thinks that cloth pads are just great! When she first began her cycle, it was her 'job' to make sure she put her pads into her own little wet bag in our designated spot. This works well for us. Now that she is older, often she simply cares for her own pads. I feel such a sense of 'security' (for lack of a better word) knowing that possibly none of my four daughters will ever be exposed to the chemicals in store bought pads! Of course the added benefit of the money we will save over the years, with five of us 'girls' here, it is a great bonus!
How messy are cloth pads?
As I mentioned in the other answer above, cloth pads are not nearly as messy as one would think. You will notice a very high percentage of your blood loss actually gets flushed in the toilet. When I first heard about cloth pads I was completely disgusted at the thought of using them. Then I read an article about disposable pads, and the possible link between these pads and endometriosis. I was diagnosed with endometriosis after my second child and the thought that any one of my four daughters could end up with a similar diagnosis one day due to disposable pads made me realize I should at least give the cloth pads a try. To my amazement, cloth pads were not 'gross' like I thought they would be and now I could NEVER go back to disposables!!
If you have any more questions that I have not answered on this page, please feel free to contact me and I will do the best I can to help you in any way!