An Introduction to Cloth Pads

It’s that time of the month again-the first day of my period. (TMI for most, I know, but I am unashamed.) In between cramps, I realized that I long ago wrote my post introducing the idea of reusable menstrual products and one on menstrual cups and some of the benefits of ditching the disposables but never got around to doing one on cloth pads. Shame on me.

I’ve already talked about why I turned my back on disposable menstrual products forever in my previous posts, but now I’ll talk a bit more specifically on what it is about cloth pads that I simply adore.

 

Comfort: These things are so darn comfy. Not something one would typically say about those scratchy disposables most Westerners use. Seriously, it’s practically like I’m not wearing a pad because it feels so close to underwear. If you get flannel, minky, or valour then things get even cozier (though I still prefer cotton).

Looks: Another fun plus is the design. The pads can be absolutely adorable. I mean look! How many people do you know that have a Spiderman pad? Hmmm? Not many? That’s what I thought. I’ve gotten several new pads since I took this picture including a bright pink pantyliner with little forest animals on it, a dark blue overnight pad with foxes camping, and an everyday pad with poppies.

This is my stash as of a few months ago.
This is my stash as of a few months ago.

Customizability: Many of the pads are made by working at home moms (WAHMs for short in the online selling arena). As such, many of these lovely ladies are willing to customize their pads as much as possible if it is in their abilities/time allows. I’m not just talking about the print, sometimes they will made the back a bit longer than the front for overnight pads if you wish or line the wings if you tend to bleed a bit to the sides. I have never personally done this, but from what I’ve read many women have great experiences with customized orders that allows for a completely unique product that you won’t find anywhere else.

Green-ness: The real seller for RUMPs for many people is the fact that it means less disposables will be used. As such, less cotton (a plant that is unsustainable grown in many areas of the world) will need to be used, less plastics created and thrown away to sit in dumps, and so on and so forth for all of the harmful chemicals/materials used in disposable pads.

 

Now, there are some drawbacks. They aren’t a big deal to me, but could be to some.

Cleaning: If you are going to reuse a menstrual pad, then you better be prepared to clean it. If you want, you can just throw it in the washing machine with your clothes, but that could lead to staining. I personally have a bucket that I throw my pads in when I’m done using them and then at the end of my cycle I add a bit of soap and water to let them soak before I put them in a delicates bag and toss it in the machine with the rest of my laundry.  This helps get much of the blood out before the actual wash. I’ve only had minimal staining and that was before I really got my system down.

Price: While in the long run using RUMPs will save money, there is a considerable upfront cost if you want enough pads to last an entire cycle. Generally the pads cost between $6-15.  At first, building a stash costs more money that a box of disposable pads, but they last years so it will all even out or come out with you saving money. If you buy from WAHMs, many newer sellers can be cheaper than more experienced ones. The quality could be great or it could have uneven stitching or something like that. While there is a risk with cheaper pads, it’s not a big one and it is a great way to test the waters.

 

As I’ve said in previous posts, there is an overwhelming array of options. My favorites come from Yurtcraft, an etsy seller. I personally like them because they are of an amazing quality and the cut works really well for me. If you prefer something a bit straighter, Mimi’s Dreams is also really great. I have a few of her’s but I prefer the cut of Yurtcraft. There are many more amazing sellers on Etsy, so if you just search for cloth pads and pick ones that you think are cute, you should be good. I always obsessively read the reviews first though, just to make sure the quality is alright. Party in My Pants is a bigger company based out of Wisconsin that even offers a free sample panty liner. I think there pads are okay (I even won a free full-sized pad from facebook once), but they aren’t my favorite and they are a tad pricier than etsy sellers.

If I forgot to cover something or you have any questions, feel free to ask because I absolutely love talking about this stuff. Strange, I know, but it’s kind of become a passion of mine.

Happy Menstruating!

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7 thoughts on “An Introduction to Cloth Pads

  1. brittabottle July 16, 2015 / 2:01 am

    My main concern with these isn’t the cleaning or anything…its, what happens if I need to change it when I’m on the go…I guess I only ever wear pads at night, though. I love the ideaa of these, though. Disposabal feminine products are SOO wastedul. I’ve considered menstral cups and may invedt in some once my stash of tampons runs out.

    • brittabottle July 16, 2015 / 2:02 am

      Also, forgive me for all of my speling errors in that last comment. This is what happens when I type out comments on my phone. :p

    • Katie July 17, 2015 / 5:10 pm

      On the day to day, I have a small pad wrapper (its about the size of a normal disposable pad all wrapped up and made from waterproof material) that I keep a clean pad in and once I need to change it, I just take it out and put the dirty one in there. It doesn’t smell or anything because the smell that we typically associate with periods is actually created with the menses mixing with the chemicals on the disposable pads, so as long as a used pad is in something that will keep it from touching other things in your bag (I always have my backpack, so that what I’m picturing in my head), then there isn’t a big problem aside from the space it takes up.

      For longer trips I just take a wet/dry bag with me. It’s not necessarily convenient, but it’s not terribly inconvenient either. The biggest issue is the amount of space it takes up in my duffle bag. I mostly my menstrual cup lately (especially on trips), but I still love having/using cloth pads.Sometimes I just don’t want to use my cup, so I like having an alternative.

      Anyways, that was probably more information than you were seeking, but I just love talking about this stuff. Odd, I know, I just feel that there isn’t enough discussion around alternative menstrual products or menstruation in general. As such, I have become unashamedly vocal about periods. I would recommend trying out a menstrual cup if you are at all interested! It’s been a life changer for me.

      • brittabottle August 27, 2015 / 3:53 am

        Really randomly late reply…but I JUST bought a menstral cup and am soo excited! I also immediately thought of you given how passionate you are about this.

        Also, since I realized I never replied to your reply, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being vocal about periods. It’s part of life and I think it’s silly that people are all hush hush about talking about it as is is. 🙂

        Also, thanks for your tips. I’ll definitely keep them in mind for the future.

      • Katie August 29, 2015 / 12:29 am

        Yay! You’ve joined the menstrual cup club! (and yes, there is a club, even if we don’t have meetings.) I really hope you like it! From my experience, once people start using them, they become obsessed as they realize how amazingly freeing they are. You’ll have to tell me how you like it! (if that’s not weird…)

      • brittabottle August 31, 2015 / 2:29 am

        Not weird at all! You’re comfortable talking about it, I’m comfortable talking about it, I’ll be sure to share. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to get my period…I really can’t wait to try it out! 🙂

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