Reusable menstrual pads are becoming more widely known, and are more popular than ever.
For those who don’t know what reusable menstrual pads are, they’re sanitary pads that look and feel a lot like standard disposable pads, but are actually reusable.
They work just the same, or better than normal disposable pads, but you remove them and wash them instead of throwing them out.
Not only are reusable pads cheaper in the long run, but they’re also healthier and better for the environment.
Reusable pads are kind to your skin, your purse and the planet!
They help end period poverty and are an all-round excellent choice for you and your body.
So, how do you use reusable menstrual pads?!
Using Reusable Menstrual Pads is Easy!
Reusable pads are easy to use – there’s really no stress or hassle involved.
To wear, you simply place a reusable pad into your underwear like you would a disposable pad.
Instead of the kind of adhesive you find on disposable pads, reusable pads are fastened around your underwear with poppers, clips or velcro.
You can use reusable pads with the underwear you normally wear on your period. A tight fit is usually best, though.
Reusable pads can be used for roughly the same amount of time as disposable pads, so you’ll probably need 1 pad for every 4 hours or so depending on flow.
You’ll probably find that you need to change reusable pads less frequently, as they’re more absorbent than standard disposable pads – which is obviously awesome!
Use Different Pads for Different Flow
Reusable pads usually come in different thicknesses.
Trade For Aid’s reusable pads come in light, medium and heavy flow versions so you can choose the best pads for your cycle.
It’s best to grab as many pads as you normally need for each day of your period, then add a couple of extras for emergencies, and then double it to account for washing time.
- So, if you normally use 3 pads a day, then you’ll need a bare minimum of 6 pads in total – but 10 to 15 pads are recommended for most women.
- This could mean buying 2, 3 or 4 packs of reusable pads – it depends on how often you’ll be washing them.
- You’ll quickly recover the cost of buying a few packs of reusable pads. They can last many years if you look after them properly, resulting in massive savings (possibly even in the thousands of pounds!)
Washing Reusable Pads
Washing reusable pads properly is important, but thankfully easy!
Many women and girls are put off by needing to wash reusable pads, but in reality, washing reusable pads is easy and you won’t need to diverge from your usual clothes washing habits.
Once you’ve finished with a reusable pad, you can either place it in a sealed bag, say if you’re out and about (supplied with Trade For Aid pads), or immediately place it in cold water to soak.
Soaking pads in cold water helps lift out bloodstains. Some women chuck their pads straight into in a bucket or washbowl until they can be washed – it’s up to you!
If you like, you can add some tea tree oil or white vinegar to the water to act as a disinfectant and soft cleanser – but don’t worry too much as you’re about to wash the pads properly!
Wash Pads in the Washing Machine or by Hand
Soaked pads can be washed in a standard dark 40-degree wash or by hand.
Don’t be tempted to crank up the washing heat – this could damage the pads.
You can use light detergent but fabric softener will leave a residue on the pads, which you don’t want.
If you’re concerned about disinfecting the pads then you can add some white vinegar to the wash too (which is perfectly safe and fine for your washing machine, and great for other clothes too!
Bar the soaking, washing reusable pads is the same as washing any other clothes!
Dry the Pads
Once washed, you’ll need to properly dry the pads.
Line drying in direct sunlight is ideal. This will dry pads quickly and thoroughly.
When that isn’t possible, drying them in front of a radiator is fine.
Bear in mind that pads are designed to be absorbent, so they’ll absorb a lot of water and will take a while to dry.
It’s crucial that the pads are completely dry before storage or reuse.
Store your Pads
Reusable pads can be placed in any standard clothes drawer or cupboard, so long as it’s completely dry and there’s no moisture.
Keeping pads dry is paramount as bacteria and other nasties can’t grow in a dry environment.
And that’s Pretty Much it!
Anyone who uses disposable pads can use reusable pads, and all girls and women can benefit from making the switch.
Reusable pads are the sustainable and eco-friendly option, but they’re also comfy and perform better than disposable pads!