Revolutionizing Periods: Embracing Reusable Pads or Not?
Menstrual reusable pads are a practical solution for your periods if you’re not a fan of cups or tampons. Are you flirting with the idea of switching to reusable pads? We have gathered some necessary information about reusable pads in our Q/A.
History of reusable pads
Reusable menstrual pads may seem like a new invention to many, but it has actually been around since late 1800. It was launched on the market in 1921 by Kotex. Before that point, materials and rags were the norms for people to collect blood. Reusable menstrual pads can be found in most countries of the world and are widely known. However, they are often sold by smaller companies rather than the significant period product companies, mainly selling disposable products.
How do reusable menstrual pads work?
Reusable pads are no different than your everyday store-bought disposables, providing you with the same type of protection. Disposable pads and washable pads are no different other than the materials used to make them. Disposables are made with materials that will break down over time, whereas reusables will last much longer. The ones from Moon Time Store are not only reusable but are made with recycled materials such as old umbrellas, which I think is pretty neat. They are designed to fit in the underwear, often with a snap to secure the place and absorb the menstrual blood. Reusable pads come in different sizes and absorbency levels.
Are reusable menstrual pads safe and hygienic?
Reusable menstrual pads are safe to use if cared for correctly. Just like any other menstrual material that sits close to the skin, it is important to use them cleanly and to change them when they become saturated. Simple hygienic cleaning is all that is required with reusable pads.
How do you wash reusable pads?
The mess in using a reusable is a tad different than your standard pad. It's wise to hand wash in a sink when you have used the pad and are ready for a new one. Set it aside for when you are ready to do laundry, and then just throw it in as normal. The goal is to get the bulk of the mess off the pad before adding it to your normal wash. Leaving your pad in a bowl of water after you have rinsed them off to combat staining your reusable pad. The next step is cleaning it and using it as naturally as possible with detergents. Cleaning the pad in cold water is a recommendation to prevent staining. Never use fabric softener with your reusable menstrual pads; the conditioners in the fabric softener will coat the fibers and reduce absorbency. The last step is to hang them dry. Heating can cause shrinkage. That’s it; once dry, your pads are ready to use again!
How long do reusable pads last?
Depending on how often they are used, how much they need to be washed, and how you take care of your washable pad greatly determine the lifespan of your pad. It's typical for reusable pads to last up to five years with the right care, giving you a nice long life on your investment.
What do I do after I remove my pad?
As stated above you need to rinse your pad as soon as you remove it. If this is not possible, fear not. You may throw your used pad directly into a bag or zip lock for later washing. We do suggest even if you have to wash them later, do a throughout rinsing prior to washing.
- These can also be used for incontinence alone or in conjunction with incontinence under wear.
- Huge return on your investment, being this type of pad tends to last for up to five years. You can imagine how many disposable pads you no longer need to purchase.
- Pads can be handmade – you just need the suitable fabric and time to watch tutorials on how to sew them.
- Potentially better for the environment than disposable ones
- Reusable pads are super absorbent and can potentially work more efficiently than disposable ones collecting blood
Just like with any period-related product or care, materials that sit against your vulva may not absorb the amount of liquid you may need. If your pad, period panty, or any other form of protection is wet it will irritate the skin, making you more susceptible to infection by giving bacteria or fungus a home to thrive in. Although a dirty subject, this needs to be discussed as a medical risk, but no different than any of the other options given. Normal care and hygiene will prevent this medical risk from ever becoming evident.
If you have hepatitis, HIV, or any other form of STD’S specifically blood-borne ones, extra care should be taken when washing and storing your pads.
In the end, you can see from a sustainability point of view and health angle reusable cloth pads are safe to use—but not without practicing enough caution.