Friendly, independent advice with 20 years of real nappy experience

Washable Menstrual Pads and Panty Liners

Sounds a bit odd? How do they work?

Cloth sanitary pads are just like disposable pads, except that you wash them, dry them and use them again, saving money and creating less waste.

Like disposable sanitary pads, they come in a range of different sizes to allow you to match the pad with your flow. They come as small pantyliners right through to night time, high absorbency pads.

The required absorbency is provided through layers of cotton rather than absorbent chemical gels.

The pads have wings which fold around your underwear and are fasted with a popper. Wearing well-fitting underwear helps ensure the pad fits snugly against your body.

Here are few FAQs:

  • How do I wash them?

Cloth pads can be washed by hand or in the washing machine. The secret is to soak the pads in cold water for 30 minutes before washing (at 40 degrees C or less). Most of the blood comes out in the soaking process. After that, it’s just like washing your clothes.

  • Do they feel wet?

The blood doesn’t stay on the top flannel, it gets absorbed into the inner cotton layers. If your pad starts to feel wet it means it’s time to change it with a fresh one, just as with any other product. In fact many users report feeling less wetness and more comfort with cotton against their body as compared to sticky plastic pads.

  • How often do I change my pad?

You should change your pad about as often as you would change a disposable pad, every 4 to 6 hours, as needed, depending on your flow. You will easily learn when it’s time to change.

  • How do I manage cloth pad use when I'm out and about at work/school?

To become confident using the pads you might like to begin by using the pads at home. Before going to work / school you can put clean pads in a travel pouch. You can discretely carry it to the bathroom when you need to change. Soiled pads can be stored by folding them and placing them in the carry pouch. This is a clean way to carry them home to be washed at your convenience.

  • Are they hygienic?

Cloth has been used by millions of women across the world to manage menstruation for generations. The real question is not whether cloth is hygienic, but whether it is cared for hygienically. Are knickers inherently unhygienic? When cloth pads are washed well, dried in direct sunlight and stored properly, they are perfectly hygienic. Traditional knowledge tells us that the UV rays from the sun is nature’s best disinfectant. They should be totally dry before reuse or storage.

Lizzie’s Real Nappies stocks a range of washable sanitary pads including EcoFemme, Baba & Boo, Earthwise, Bloom N Nora, Charlie Banana and Cheeky Mama.  We also offer full-cycle starter kits. as well as menstrual cups. If you need any advice just get in touch.

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