Over the past month our world has been turned upside down and life as we know it has changed. The uncertainty and the rapid development of the situation with no guaranteed end in sight, has left many of us feeling fearful and anxious. Many of us worry about getting the essentials – like menstrual products. There has been an increase in interest in reusable menstrual products, perhaps because of concerns over the availability of disposable pads and tampons or having period products during self isolation or quarantine. These are difficult times for everyone with many feeling the financial implications already. If you’ve been thinking of switching to reusable cloth pads we’ve gathered all our expert advice and top tips in this blog post.
Here’s how to build a functional stash of cloth pads quickly and affordably!
Look at the products you already use.
We normally recommend that you start small, only buying a few pads at a time, this is so you only purchase the pads you know will work best for you. However this process can take a few cycles, so a way of bypassing this process is to look at the products you already use. Pick out what features you need, such as, do you bleed towards the back? Then you need a pad that will give you coverage in that area like our ‘Day Pad Plus’. Really heavy flow? Then you need a pad that has the absorbency to match.
Don’t just buy heavy flow pads.
We know it feels counter intuitive, surely the longer you can wear a pad the better? You might be tempted to only buy heavy pads but if you have a light to moderate flow then stocking up on only heavy pads might not be the best idea. But why? We hear you ask. Well ideally you want to be matching your pads to your flow so that you are able to wear the pad comfortably for around 3-5 hours. Heavy pads have more fabric hence they take longer to dry than pads that are designed for a lighter flow, which is an important factor to consider when you have a limited number of cloth pads. Heavy pads are also more expensive. In short if you really don’t need the absorbency of a heavy flow pad then purchasing two light to moderate flow pads (these are our Day Pads) is a much better option.
How many cloth pads do I need?
Take a note of how many disposable pads you use per day during your period and replace with the same amount of cloth pads per day x2 to allow for washing. Doing that extra bit of homework and finding out exactly what you need really pays off financially.
Do I need a wet bag?
Yes and no. Wet bags are very useful when using cloth pads especially for storing used pads ready for the wash. That said, if you are on a tight budget they can be easily substituted by using a make-up or wash bag that has a water resistant fabric. Never put your cloth pads in a airtight container.
Washing your cloth pads.
Whilst we never designed our modern cloth pads with pandemics in mind, they were designed to be ultra practical and reliable. They are made of stain resistant and antibacterial fabrics and are super easy to care for. Washing is simple just give them a quick rinse to get the blood out after use, you can do this by rinsing them underneath the tap or having them on the shower floor when your having a shower at the end of the day. This also helps save water! Alternatively you can just pop then in the washing machine on the rinse cycle before washing at 30-40c with your other laundry. If you need to rotate your cloth pads very frequently then hand washing them is also an option. Don’t tumble dry your cloth pads as this can damage the fabric. Air dry your cloth pads, you can also hang them next to the radiator to speed up the process, just make sure that they are never directly on the radiator.
There are many great benefits to switching to our modern cloth pads, they aren’t only great for the planet but also save you money as they pay for themselves within a year. Our cloth pads have a lifespan of 7 years plus, so you do the maths!
We hope you found this blog post helpful. Our friendly team is here to support anyone making the switch to reusable menstrual products. If you have a question or need expert advice – we are here to help!
Love from the Eco Dreams Team.