Getting Started with Cloth Sanitary Pads – FAQ’s

Getting Started with Cloth Sanitary Pads - FAQ's

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I have now been using reusable sanitary pads for over a year and in that time I have had people ask a variety of questions about switching. Today I thought I’d answer some of those questions. Please do bear in mind thought that this is my experience of reusables and other people may have had a different experience.

Getting Started with Cloth Sanitary Pads - FAQ's

What are reusable cloth pads?

Reusable cloth pads work on the same principle as cloth nappies. You use them, you wash them you reuse them.

Why would I want to use them over disposables?

Everyone has their own reasons for switching from disposables to reusables but here are some of the reasons people switch…

  • Comfort
  • Reducing household waste
  • Save money
  • Less exposure to harmful chemicals
  • Cloth pads breathe better than disposables
  • In some cases make periods lighter
  • They have awesome designs on them!

Do they stay in place?

The most common question I get asked is how do they stay in place? Unlike disposable pads there is no sticky bottom that you attach to your knickers instead there are poppers which you clip on the underside.

My initial concern when I first switched was that they were going to move around and cause leaking. I can safely say that I have never never had an issue with this. I always make sure I wear good fitting knickers and they just stay put.

Do they leak?

I have tried a huge varieties of different brands and makes and I have never had an issue with leaking.

Are they comfortable?

Hugely comfortable, so much nicer than the horrible plastic disposables which can cause you to sweat.

FAQ's cloth sanitary pads

Do they smell?

They don’t smell but you might notice a slight what you might call ‘body smell’ from them. Granted you’d only smell this if you stuck your head right down into your knickers, which I wouldn’t recommend!

The cloth pads breathe better than disposables which helps to eliminate smells.

Are they easy to clean?

They are very easy to clean. I simply put them into my normal wash and they come out completely clean. It is advised not to use fabric conditioner as this can affect the absorbency of the pads. It’s also advised to line dry the pads, I wouldn’t recommend putting them in the drier.

Do they stain?

I have never had an issue with staining. Some companies recommend pre washing your pads before they go into the machine but I have never done this.

What do you do when you are out?

To make life easier when you are out and about I would recommend buying a zip up wet bag. You can use it to store your used pads until you get home. Lots of companies sell the bags along with the pads. I personally have a bag from Bloom & Nora and it works perfectly. It even has two separate sections to it.

Reusable sanitary pads wash bag

How many do you need?

This is a difficult one to answer as everyone’s cycle is different. Personally I have about 16 pads and I could do with just a few more. It really does depend on your flow. A lot of companies provide starter packs with a selection of different pads in which can be a good option for newbies.

What size do I need?

I would recommend getting a selection of different sizes to support each stage of your cycle. There are night time pads, maxi pads, midi pads, mini pads the list is endless.

Personally I would recommend starting with a night time pad and see how you get on. My night time pads are from Honour your Flow and they are great!

Are they bulky?

This one completely depends on what brand you are using and what type of flow pad it is. Some pads are quite bulky whereas others are quite slim. Lazy Days are particularly good for slim pads and they have very funky patterns on them. Obviously my night time pads are pretty bulky and very big!

How often do I change them?

This will depend on your flow but it is recommended to change them every 4-6 hours.

Are they expensive?

This can vary from brand to brand. They are some good deals on ebay for reusable pads but it’s probably safer to buy from a known company.

How long do they last?

This one will depend on two things; how well the pad is made and how you care for it. It is generally said that a pad will last for 5 years but again that does depend on how often you use it.

What pads do you use?

As I said earlier I have tried a variety of different brands but some of my favourite companies are Lady Days, Bloom & Nora, Honour your Flow and Earthwise.

I really hope that you have found this information useful. If there is anything else that you would like to know please do ask in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.


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4 thoughts on “Getting Started with Cloth Sanitary Pads – FAQ’s”

  1. I see these around more and more as well as the moon cups as well. I’ve not been brace enough to do this so far. I’ve done washable nappies which I loved. Great info x

    1. I definitely recommend starting with a night time pad and see how you get on. That way if you don’t like it you haven’t wasted lots of money on lots of pads.
      Once you are comfortable with a night time one start using them when you are at home and then go from there.
      You should give it a go and see how you get on 🙂

  2. Hi Gina, great links thanks. I have been using pads for about 9 months. I have used a mooncup since I was about 19, but (even with the correct sized one) I can only use on my lighter days post kids. I’m generally happy with the pads I have, but I have started to notice a slight wiff about them. Like a damp smell. I have washed them at 60 and dried them thoroughly outside and finished in the radiator but I can’t seem to shift it. Any tips?

    1. I’m not entirely sure what to suggest for that as I haven’t had that problem myself. I’ve just done a quick Google and some people suggest washing with oxyclean or another lady adds a few drops of tea tree oil to the water that she soaks them in before washing.

      Another lady has suggested baking soda.

      Are you pre-washing the pads? That may help also. One lady I know soaks hers in water for 12-24 hours before putting them in the washing machine. A lot of the companies do recommend pre-washing.

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