Cloth Menstrual Pads Are An Eco-Friendly Alternative

Intro to Cloth Menstrual Pads
Regan Shea

As the switch to more eco-friendly alternatives becomes more mainstream in today’s society, the stigma behind menstruation and the use of cloth menstrual pads is finally beginning to fade. Women are growing increasingly curious about reusable options for menstruation and for good reason!

Cloth Pads Are Chemical and Fragrance-Free

There are many benefits in ditching the chemical containing and fragrance enhanced disposable maxi pads and making the switch to reusable pads.

By choosing cloth pads you will be able to significantly reduce their exposure to toxins and carcinogens.

Disposable pads are made from bleached rayon, plastics, cotton, fragrance and moisture-absorbing compounds similar to those found in disposable diapers. A woman's body can be sensitive to theses chemicals, causing unnecessary irritation, discomfort and dryness at a time when comfort is of the utmost importance.

Cloth pads are made from a variety of fabric options, both synthetic and natural, that are far more comfortable and breathable than rough paper and plastic products. Fabrics used are capable of wicking the moisture away from your skin and into the core of the pad.

Cloth pads also feature a water-resistant fleece backing that will keep your panties dry and keep you leak-free. By investing in a cloth pads, you’ll always have a pad on hand so you won't have to make last minute trips to the store when your cycle hits!

Cloth Pads Provide Many Options

In addition to different fabrics, reusable pads also come in a variety of sizes to best suit your needs and style. Pink Lemonade Shop, a popular US manufacturer of cloth pads, creates cloth pads in sizes ranging from 6 inch pantyliners to 13 inch postpartum pads. They even offer thong pantyliners.

Having a variety of sizes available allows you to build a "stash" of pads that are best for your flow and length of your period.

The absorbency of the pad increases with the size of the cloth pad, so you’re covered from light flow days to the extended coverage needed overnight. Cloth pantyliners are also a great choice for women who prefer to use a menstrual cup. They provide backup for days when you're worried about menstrual cup leaks or light incontinence, not quite sure if your cycle has ended, or for days when you're unsure of whether it will begin.

Choosing Your Cloth Pads

It’s best to consider your cycle when investing in cloth pads. As each woman’s cycle is different, your cloth pad stash may also differ greatly. If you’re looking to introduce your teen to cloth pads, consider a few pantyliners and light pads. It's important for teens to get a feel for cloth pads as they learn what they can come to expect from their cycle each month.

If you have a heavier cycle, you’d want to invest in more heavy and overnight pads. These larger sizes will give you the coverage and absorbency that you’d need for a heavier flow. For those that are looking to use cloth pads with a menstrual cup, your stash may be smaller than others.

You may want to consider more pantyliners and light pads, as they’re used as a backup for the menstrual cup.

For your first cloth pad order, consider purchasing a set of cloth pads. These sets include a variety of sizes and differing fabric options. So you’re able to try a few different cloth pads and see what you prefer.

Caring for Cloth Pads

Is the idea of washing cloth pads keeping you from making the switch? It shouldn't, because caring for cloth pads incredibly easy! If you’re on the go with cloth pads, you simply put the soiled pad into a reusable wetbag until you return home.

Once returning home, rinse them in cold water, squeeze out the excess water and toss them in with your ready-to-wash laundry or store them in a larger wetbag until you’re ready to wash them. Cloth pads can be washed in cool or warm water and tumble dried in the dryer.

You can wash them alone or with your regular laundry to eliminate the need for an extra load. Just be sure to avoid using bleach, vinegar, dryer sheets and fabric softener. It's that easy!

No Need to Rush Into It

The average woman menstruates for 2,000-3,000 days or more in her lifetime so the switch to cloth pads doesn’t have to be overnight! Simply purchasing and trying a few cloth pads at a time allows you to figure out which styles you like, which fabrics you prefer and which absorbencies work best for your needs. Reusable cloth pads will last you years resulting in great savings for your bank account and our environment.