How do cloth pads work? Are cloth pads safe and leak free? How often do I need to change my pad? How do I wash them? And why on earth should I change to reusable cloth pads instead of my regular disposable pads? There are a lot of questions and stigma surrounding reusable sanitary products. Here are some of the most common questions and answers.
WHY CLOTH PADS?
ImseVimse’s washable cloth menstrual pads provide a soft and natural menstrual protection and make a great alternative to traditional disposable pads and tampons. They’re all washable and reusable, made of natural and environmentally friendly cotton that’s guaranteed free from chemicals and are kind to your skin. Also, this product will never let you down and you will never run out of pads – because you will always have them at home!
The health benefits are as many as the environmental ones. By switching from disposable sanitary pads and tampons to cloth pads, you no longer need to overuse all the plastics, chemicals and perfumes that disposables are made of. Plastics contain many different chemicals that are no good for our health. Some might even be endocrine disruptive chemicals, that means they might play a hazardous game with your health. Even if one type of plastic or material is approved for humans to use, few tests are being executed to what happens when you will combine these materials and chemicals. On their own they might not be harmful to your health, but combined together they might make up a toxic cocktail of chemicals. This is called the cocktail effect.
A lot of women have gotten rid of itchiness and vaginal yeast infections simply by changing to cloth pads. Cloth pads are made of natural and breathable materials that are kind to your skin and your intimate parts.
Another aspect of health is your conscience. A better choice will make you feel better and feeling better will improve your health more than constantly feeling guilty knowing that you can do better. Sounds good right?
A menstruating person menstruates on average for 32 years and uses approximately 12,000-16,000 disposable pads and tampons in a lifetime. Disposables are after only one single use thrown away and left to decompose. Many of these products unfortunate end up in nature as well. Also the process of making disposable products have a great impact on the environment which should also be taken into consideration when looking at the environmental impacts that disposable sanity products have on our planet. The disposable product is made of different types of plastics and like that wasn’t enough, every single pad and tampon is wrapped up in a piece of plastic. That is a lot of plastics only being used once before thrown away. What a waste. To use something only once is simply not enough.
THE ECONOMIC ASPECT
Looking back at the previous information regarding how many pads and tampons we use during our lifetime, it is simple math to convert this into hard cash. During a lifetime we spend ridiculous amounts of money on something that we only use once to then throw away. Imagine if we did the same with plates and cutlery and only used disposable utensils instead and after every meal, we simply threw the plates away in the trash. Sounds crazy right? Well, that is exactly what we are doing by using disposable tampons and pads.
By swapping our sanitary protection to reusable ones you will quite quickly get your money’s worth. By the end of the day, using cloth pads might save you money that you can spend on more exciting things instead, like a train ride through Europe, that luxury designer dress that you long for or perhaps a gift for your loved one.
GETTING STARTED WITH CLOTH PADS
CLOTH PADS – AN INVESTMENT
Even though changing to cloth pads will save you money in the long run, it can be quite a pricey investment getting started with cloth pads. Fortunately, though you don’t need to change all of your pads straight away. It can be wise to gradually stock up on cloth pads, like buying one new pack of pads every month. In the beginning, you simply alternate your new cloth pads with your disposable ones and after a while, you have enough cloth pads to get you through the whole month. Another positive aspect of gradually stocking up on cloth pads is that you will get a better understanding of what sizes you need and how many pads that are ideal for you. Most of us have pads in many different sizes to fit the changing flow during your monthly cycle.
HOW MANY PADS DO I NEED?
It’s hard to say exactly how many cloth pads you’ll need since it’s very individual how many pads one person might need. It all comes down to how heavy the flow, how long does the cycle last for and your personal preferences of how often you’d like to change your pad. It can also vary due to your washing routines. If you do a laundry mid-menstrual cycle you don’t need as many pads as you would if you’d only wash the pads once your cycle is over. Our average recommendation about how many cloth pads you need are 4 packs (12 pads) of our regular size pads, 2 packs (6 pads) of the night pads and 4 packs (12 pads) of our pantyliner pads. This is just a rough guideline since it by the end of the day comes down to you and your period.
The Pantyliner is perfect for those days when the flow is lighter, like towards the end of your cycle. This mini pad can also be used together with a menstrual cup for extra protection and for everyday use for daily discharge and for lighter urine leakage.
Length: 19 cm
Width: 16 cm
Regular / Day pad is perfect for those days with medium flow. If your flow is not too heavy it might also be enough during the night. Also suitable for urinary leakage.
Length: 25 cm
Width: 20,5 cm
Night pad fits perfect during the night when you need that extra support and protection. This pad is longer and supports you with a great cover. Can also be used at daytime during those heavier days. This pad can also be used post-partum.
Length: 33 cm
Width: 20,5 cm
… when you need some extra protection with your menstrual cup or tampon
… when you’re flow is lighter, like towards the end of the cycle.
… for a daily protection for discharge.
… if sometimes you leak a little bit of urine while laughing, sneezing or during physical activities.
CHOOSE REGULAR PAD…
… if you normally use regular size in your disposable pads.
…if your flow is regular.
… if sometimes you leak a little bit of urine while laughing, sneezing or during physical activities.
CHOOSE NIGHT PAD…
… when your flow is heavy.
… during the night as a night pad for safe protection and great cover.
… during the heaviest days of your cycle.
… if you tend to leak sideways or in the back or front with a smaller pad.
WILL THE CLOTH PAD STAY IN PLACE?
Put the cloth pad in your panties and fasten around the crotch, adjusting the size with the snap buttons. Just like a disposable sanitary pad.
A used cloth pad can be handled in different ways before being washed. Here are a few examples of how to take care of your cloth pads. Find a routine that works for you and your lifestyle.
Some people prefer to rinse their pads in cold water straight after use before putting in a wet bag or a bucket in the bathroom until it’s time to do laundry.
Another way is to put them to soak in a bucket of cold water with a little bit of salt in it 24 hours before laundry. Make sure to rinse with cold water prior to this, otherwise, the excess blood in the pads may stain the entire bunch of pads mixed with the water in the bucket. Stains can be worked on with a stain removal soap of choice. Put the pads in the washing machine and wash in 60 degrees. Some people prefer to use a washing bag for their pads. It is ok to wash pads along with the rest of your laundry. Avoid washing them with whites only though. You don’t necessarily need to rinse or soak the pads before washing them, it also works fine to simply store the used pads in a wet bag until laundry and then throw them into the washing machine. Find a routine that works for you.
Rinse or soak the pads in cold water after use or just let them dry as they are before washing. The pads are washed in 60° Celcius and you can use your regular detergent. Do not use fabric softener since that will ruin the absorption of the pad. Try adding some vinegar in the rinse water. Let the pads dry hang. If you hang them in the sun for a day it will effectively help fade stains.
WILL THERE BE STAINS?
One often thinks that the pads will be completely bloodstained, but normally there are surprisingly few stains. Some people are not very bothered about the occasional stain and if you’re using black pads you won’t see the stains at all. But if you’d prefer cloth pads stain free there are a few things you can do rid your pads of the staining.
Rinse your pads thoroughly directly after use in cold water to get rid of the excess blood. 24 hours before laundry put the pads to soak in a bucket of cold water and a little bit of salt. Persistent stains can also be worked on with a stain removal soap of choice. Wash the pads in 60° C and let them hang dry. If you leave them in the sun for a day it will help fade stains.
USING CLOTH PADS IN PUBLIC RESTROOMS
It might seem like a bit of a hassle to use cloth pads while using public restrooms, like at school, work etc. But there’s no need to worry about that! With a mini wet bag, you’ll have a discreet cloth pad routine that will work for you wherever you are.
Keep your new pad in the bag, bring it to the toilet. Change your used cloth pad to the new one. Fold your used pad into a little square and snap it together, then simply put in in your mini wet bag. No mess, leakage and very discrete. It doesn’t have to be harder than that! Also, the bags are cute and discreet.
WHY ARE CLOTH PADS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN DISPOSABLE PADS?
Looking at the singular cost of one cloth pad compared to the cost of one disposable pad, yes, the cloth pads are at first glance way pricier. The difference is that the disposable pad is used only once before being discarded, whereas a reusable cloth pad can be used over and over again for many years. In fact, we have a 10-year warranty on our cloth pads. Our tip is not to look at the immediate cost of a singular product, but to look at the cost for that product over time. Cloth pads are an investment and it will save you a lot of money in the end.
ARE CLOTH PADS AS SAFE AS DISPOSABLE PADS?
Cloth pads are just as safe as disposable ones thinking about the coverage and being leak free. Cloth pads are even safer than disposables talking about the health and environmental benefits and impacts.
The cotton layers are absorbing the blood and the extra protective layer of PUL will keep the pad from leaking. Our different sizes have different levels of absorbency.
CAN I USE CLOTH PADS FOR URINE LEAKAGE AND INCONTINENCE?
Yes, you can, although the pads will only absorb so much. Urine leakage is a common problem among many women. Especially common after childbirth, but it can even occur in those who never given birth to or carried a child. If the pelvic floor is weak or damaged some leakage can occur when the abdominal pressure increases, like when you sneeze, cough, laugh or during physical activity. Our pads can be used for protection if you are experiencing these problems.
Although common it is still a problem that no one should simply settle for. Seek medical help. Many times these problems can be fixed with training or even surgery. If it’s inflicting on your daily life and limits you it is not normal and should not be accepted!
Important notice! If you’re using cloth pads for urinary leakage and incontinence, it is very important to rinse the pads straight after use, not leaving any residues of urine left in them. Don’t just leave them laying in water until laundry day, make sure they are properly rinsed before. If there’s still urine on the pads it will corrode on the fabrics and the PUL, leaving them damaged.
CLOTH PADS POSTPARTUM
Using cloth pads after postpartum is an excellent choice! Our night pad is generous in size and with extra absorbing layers, it will give you a good protection. Also being made of organic cotton it is also nice and soft on your skin and vajajay and you do not need all that plastic and toxins in your panties close to your skin just after giving birth.
ARE YOUR CLOTH PADS ORGANIC?
ImseVimse’s cloth pads are made of organic cotton. Read more here about why you should choose organic cotton over conventionally grown cotton.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO CHANGE MY CLOTH PAD?
How often you’ll need to change your cloth pad is different for each person just like with disposable pads. Many people find that they need to change their pad less frequent when using cloth pads. One reason for this might be that the cloth pads are made of natural material, organic cotton, which feels much softer towards your skin and opposed to disposable pads made of plastics, they will let your skin breath which means it won’t feel as moist or clamped in your undies. Sometimes it’s even easy to forget that you’re wearing a cloth pad while it’s so soft and airy. But all in all, how often you’ll need to change is individual.
DO CLOTH PADS LEAK?
Cloth pads work in the same way disposable pads do. There are absorbing layers to absorb the blood and a leakproof layer to prevent leaks. The pad is snapped around the crotch of your undies with the snap buttons to keep it in place and stop it from moving around. The natural cotton is soft and smooth and will move freely with the movements of your body.
ImseVimse’s cloth pads are made of 100% organic cotton layers for a good absorption with an extra lining of PUL to prevent them from leaking. Our different sizes have different amounts of layers.
For how long can I use my cloth pads before they are worn out? This depends on how frequently you use them, how you’re taking care of them and on your washing routines. Our pads have been tested for up to 200 wash cycles so if you take good care of your pads, they will last you a very long time!
WHAT ARE THEY MADE OF?
ImseVimse’s cloth pads are made of 100% organic cotton. All of our pads are reinforced with a leakproof layer of PUL to give you a great protection against leakage. Our cloth pads are produced in Turkey.
GET RID OF ITCHINESS, YEAST INFECTIONS AND DISCOMFORT.
A lot of women suffer from discomforts such as yeast infections, itching and other discomforts. Sometimes disposable sanitary pads tend to worsen or even be the cause of the vaginal problems. Disposable pads and tampons are made of many different materials such as plastics, chemicals and perfumes that won’t let your skin or vulva breath. The climate in your underwear can get quite humid and warm during times, especially wearing a pad and during menstruation. Using cloth pads made of natural cotton that will let air through and doesn’t contain any toxins or chemicals will help keep your vulva happy and hopefully free from discomforts. Tampons tend to absorb too well and will dry your mucus in your vagina making them dry and irritated. Cloth pads will keep you dry and fresh and are so soft and comfortable that you will hardly even notice wearing them.
Discomforts around your vulva may be caused by allergies or irritation due to close contact with materials and chemicals in the disposable sanitary products being used. Products with perfume increase the risk of developing allergies.
HEALTH & ENVIRONMENT
CHEMICALS & PLASTICS
Regular disposable sanitary pads are made of different types of plastics and other materials. There’s nothing in the law that says that the materials used in these kinds of products need to be listed for the consumer, therefore you can never know for sure what your sanitary pads are really made of and what they might do for your body and health. Most disposable pads and tampons are made of plastics and different chemicals and while there are many different kinds of plastics with many different names. Producing plastic is extremely bad for the environment and a lot of chemicals and toxins are released in the nature polluting our waters, harming both the wildlife, sea life and us humans. The finished product is then used only once before being thrown away and being made of plastic it takes around 240 years for a sanitary pad to decompose.
There is also the ‘cocktail effect’ that occurs when different chemicals that might be safe to use for humans mix together with other types of chemicals and together they will make up a toxic mix that can be harmful to your health. Chemicals and plastics are often tested on their own, not taking the cocktail effect into consideration. And having this cocktail of plastics and chemicals so close to your body not knowing the full effect of the mixture might be a risk to your health. Question is? Are you willing to take that risk?
A lot of pads also contain perfumes which can cause allergies.
PUL – ISN´T THAT A KIND OF PLASTIC?
PUL is short for polyurethane laminated polyester and is a polyester fabric with a very thin layer of plastic. PUL is used as a leak-proof layer in diaper covers, wet bags and cloth pads.
The PUL in ImseVimse’s products are OEKO-tex certified and safe to use for humans. PUL is, in other words, a type of plastic but a plastic of ”the better” kind and free from toxins. Also taking in consideration that you will reuse your cloth pads over and over again for many years before being recycled, while disposable pads are thrown away after only one single use. The environmental impact is so much bigger right from the production process to the end station for disposables. Instead of buying hundreds of plastic pads you only have to buy a few cloth pads.