As most of you know, I sew and sell my handmade cloth menstrual pads / pantyliners at my etsy shop — Omee’s Boutique. With this post, I want to inform the public about these pads, their benefits, why to use them, how to use them, etc.
left to right: 11″ heavy flow/overnight/postpartum pads + 9″ light/moderate flow/regular flow pads + 7″ pantyliners
Let me begin by listing a few benefits of using Cloth Menstrual Pads. They are all what cloth menstrual pad users have been been noticing since they converted to using cloth. Here you go: ~ they are comfortable ~ no more UTIs ~ less cramps ~ lighter shorter periods ~ less rashes and chafing ~ no odor ~ better mood ~ less clots ~ and you will begin to look forward to your periods 🙂
I’ve read that doctors recommend that women change their pads every 3 hours depending on your flow. Some women find that they need to change them every two hours. Multiply that by the number of days an average period lasts, and again by the number of periods per year, and once again, by the number of women in the world who use sanitary products. That adds up to BILLIONS – in both dollars and items in our landfills! The alternative? Reusable Cloth Pads! They’re not only less expensive and eco friendly, they’re also healthier for you.
6.5″ wingless pantyliners: cotton/flannel top, backed with water-resistant fleece
6″ reversible thong pantyliner for everyday use, topped with cotton, and backed with bamboo fleece
7″ reversible pantyliner for everyday use, topped with cotton, and backed with bamboo fleece
9″ cloth pad front
Here’s a well known fact among cloth cloth pad users, once you make the switch to cloth, your menstrual flow will usually lighten. This lightening will make your heavy days not so heavy, and those least favored blood clots will most likely cease to exist. When you first make the switch be prepared for your cycle to go through and adjustment period, it may take 2-3 months before you know what your actually menstrual flow is like when using cloth pads.
Cloth menstrual pads should be changed every 2-3 hours depending on your flow, and when used with care, they can last 5+ years.
Cloth pads can be folded and snapped shut into convenient little bundles to contain any mess (& odor) and use the snaps to secure before tossing into your wet bag. perfect for when you are on the go!
11″ heavy flow / overnight / postpatrum pad
back of 11″ pad – backed with water-resistant windpro fleece
13″ heavy flow / overnight / postpatrum pad
Materials Used and Types of Pads:
~ 6.5″ Wingless Pantyliners: they are constructed of cotton/flannel top and backed with water-resistant fleece, designed for use daily moisture protection, or for daily freshness
~ 6″ Thong Pantyliners (with wings): they are constructed of a cotton/flannel top and backed with either bamboo fleece or water-resistant fleece or cotton/flannel. Use these pads for daily moisture protection, light spotting, discharge
~ 7″ Pantyliners (with wings): they are constructed of a cotton/flannel top and backed with either bamboo fleece or water-resistant fleece or cotton/flannel. Use these pads for daily moisture protection, light spotting, discharge
~ 9″ Light-Moderate Flow / Regular Flow Pads: they are constructed of an ultra absorbent zorb or bamboo fleece or flannel core, topped with cotton or flannel and backed with water-resistant windpro fleece or PUL(Polyurethane Laminate). Use these pads as a back-up to a tampon, light incontinence, or during light-moderate flow or regular flow of your periods
~ 11″ Heavy Flow/Overnight/Postpatrum pads: they are constructed of an ultra absorbant zorb or flannel or bamboo fleece core, topped with cotton or flannel and backed with water-resistant windpro fleece or PUL(Polyurethane Laminate). They are perfect for moderate-heavy flow, incontinence, overnight, postpartum, etc
~13″ Post=Partum pads: they are constructed of an ultra absorbant zorb or flannel or bamboo fleece core, topped with cotton or flannel and backed with water-resistant windpro fleece or PUL(Polyurethane Laminate). They are perfect for overnight, postpartum use
Zorb is a bamboo, hemp and cotton blend that is sure to offer amazing protection, even for very heavy flows. It is manufactured by wazoodle.com
My handmade cloth pads are very soft and super comfortable, you will not mind wearing these! On each winged pad you will find high quality KAM poly resin snaps applied with my pliers for closure. The bottom layer of fleece or PUL not only helps hold the pad in place but it also acts as a barrier to stop leaks and it is breathable as well, so no odors.
How to use/How they feel: Wash the pads atleast once before you start using them. This will help increase their absorbency. By the way I prewash all fabrics before I use them to sew pads, so don’t worry about the shrinking as it will be minimum to none. To use simply wrap around your panties and snap underneath. The printed cotton/flannel side with channel sewn on goes next to your skin. Liners made using Bamboo fleece and cotton/flannel are reversible and can be worn any side. Cloth pads are soft, much more breathable than disposables, no more sweaty feel or chafing!
hanging dryer from dollarama used to dry pads, can be used to dry pads indoors or outdoors
Simple Laundering Instructions/Sanitizing: Pad care is easy! After use, just rinse in cold water until water runs clear. Avoid using anything other than cold water on your cloth pads until the stain is removed. Heat will set the stain and make it almost impossible to remove. Apply a stain stick to discolored areas. Throw the pad into your laundry bin. Then run through the washing machine at your leisure (before they dry out is best).
handmade laundry stain sticks – available in my shop
Use your regular detergent in the wash cycle. A bit of white vinegar added to your wash load is an amazingly effective, inexpensive, all natural deodorizer that eradicates odors and mildew and leaves them fresh as new. Do not use bleach, fabric softener or OxiClean, they will ruin the pads. To get rid of stains after washing, dry cloth pads in the sun and these will be sanitized ready to be used again. You can also hang to dry them indoors.
How long will they last: These will last you many, many years, You can Reuse over and over. Average life of a cloth pad is 5+ years if used with care.
How many should I have: For one cycle, I recommend between 6-12 pantyliners and 3-6 overnight/heavy flow pads, depending on how heavy your flow is and how long your periods normally last.
How to Store them: at home: I store my clean pads after wash in drawers. Used pads can be stored in wetbags until laundry day.
zippered Wet/Dry Bag with handle
When you are out and about/travelling: store used pads in a sophisticated water proof bag, called as wetbag, featuring a large pocket, and a front dry pocket to carry clean items. Keep smells and moisture in. The bag is small enough to hide in your purse but large enough to hold several mama pads. It would also function well to hold make-up, wipes or a few disposable diapers, cloth wipes, swim gear, gym gear, beach items, bibs and more
Saving Money: One Reusable Cloth pad = 144 Disposable pads
On average, a woman uses 6 disposable pads per day during her period. So during her period of 6 days she will be using 36 disposable pads. A box of 38 pads costs around $6-8, lets say $7. So she will be spending $7 every month on 36 disposable pads x 12 months = 432 disposable pads per costing $84 per year! In 6 years she will be using 2592 disposable pads costing $504!! And these figures are very conservative. As oil prices rise, the cost of disposables will go up as well, since they are made of plastic etc.
Lets now talk about reusable cloth pads. With Cloth pads you dont need to calculate in additional laundry costs because the pads go it with whatever laundry you are currently doing. A woman will use 18 reusable cloth pads on average each month which may cost her around $182. One reusable cloth pad will last upto 6+ years when cared for properly. Therefore for almost 6+ years, her expenditure on cloth pads will only be around This means that she can buy far less reusable cloth pads and save a huge amount of money !!!
Do you know how many chemicals are in your store bought disposables? Companies are NOT required to list the ingredients on the labels. Some toxic ingredients found in disposables include, aluminum, alcohol’s, fragrance additives, and hydrocarbons. Worst of all, tampon bleaching processes leave behind dioxin. Dioxin is a toxic chemical (chlorine-compound) linked to cancer, immune system suppression, ulceration, pelvic inflammatory disease, reduced fertility, changes in hormone levels & even endometriosis. (Simple test: put a regular tampon in galss of water & come back in a few hours, you will find the water cloudy & filled with residue)
Environmental Impact: Minimal Packaging, so it lowers fossil fuel cost for transportation of disposables. With an average of 20-25 pads per cycle, that means 8,000-10,000 pads in 33 yrs (avg woman’s menstruation time) About 300 lbs worth in our landfills!! That will NEVER go away!!
Additional Facts: A misconception of cloth pads is that they will promote increased odor. The opposite is true, disposable pads are made of plastics that don’t breath causing odors to develop, cloth pads allow your body to breath so there is virtually no odor! Sewn with care and decorative top stitched for extra absorbency & leak protection. Less bacterial & yeast infections, because cloth is more breathable than disposables. No more running out of pads are the worst possible time! I am sure once you try them, you will never go back to those store-bought, disposable pads.
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