Why Choose Cloth?
Cloth Pads are an alternative and environmentally friendly version to their disposable counterparts. Instead of disposing of them in a bin like you would usually, you wash them. Washing cloth pads instead of throwing disposables out each month helps to reduce the amount that goes to landfill or washes out to sea. It is estimated that we throw out around 15,000 sanitary pads during our menstruating lifetime. Just think of the cost and the sheer amount at landfill. That’s a lot of pads. But as I say, it doesn’t just end up in landfill; a lot washes out to sea and lands back on our beaches. Not so sanitary now, huh?
Most disposable pads are laced with chemicals which can cause itching, burning and recurring yeast infections. But it doesn’t stop there – some chemicals found in disposables like dioxins, a chemical left behind after the bleaching process, have been linked to cancer and abnormal tissue growth on the uterus.
This is where Cloth Pads really come into their own; They have no chemical nasties; nada, zilch. What you see is what you get; a beautiful cloth pad that is not only comfortable to wear against your skin but also respects your body. But it doesn’t end there – Cloth Pads are tailored to meet the needs of different flows from post post-partum bleeding right through to very light days and everything in between. So you’ll be able to find something to suit your exact needs to make sure you’re well covered and comfy during your moon time.
And because they’re reusable with washing at the end of each cycle, you’re saving yourself a tonne of money as well as being kinder to the Earth.
How Many Will I Need?
You will need around 15-20 pads to get you through your cycle but should you need to, you can always wash them in with towels if you’re running low. Remember, you don’t need to buy an entire set right away. You can simply buy 1 or 2 pads each month to help spread the cost out if you can’t afford the initial outlay in one hit.
What Fabric Topping Do I choose?
That’s entirely up to you. Everyone has their own personal preference for what feels comfortable but here’s a brief run down of the fabrics and their properties to help you decide.
Plush (minky): this is a very soft and snuggly fabric. It’s made from 100% polyester and has a ‘stay dry’ property to it, keeping you feeling dry. The biggest selling point for plush is that is is extremely stain resistant so definitely one to consider if you’re worried about staining.
Bamboo Velour: a cool, breathable and natural material. It’s anti-bacterial so if you’re sensitive down there or prone to a bout of thrush, this is the topping for you. Bamboo velour is also quite stain resistant so a fairly easy fabric to look after.
Woven Cotton: looking for super cute prints? Then look no further than cotton. Very breathable and cool against the skin so ideal for summer or hot climates. Cotton needs a little more care than plush and bamboo velour to avoid stains.
Jersey Cotton: same as woven cotton except it has a softer feel to it. Think stretchy t-shirt. It’s also slightly thicker than woven but still breathable and cool.
Do I choose PUL or no PUL?
Here at Busy Little Bee we give you the option to decide whether you want PUL or no PUL in your Cloth Pads. As it is, our pads are super absorbent and backed with high quality water resistant fleece. So even on your heavy days you can be sure that your undies will be safe! But if you like a little backup and peace of mind there’s PUL, a hidden waterproof layer inside your pad for added protection.
> How to Use Cloth Pads
It’s super simple – instead of throwing your used pad away, you wash it! Not right away, mind. One lonely pad whizzing around in the machine, perhaps not. All you do is nip to the bathroom, un-popper your used pad and pop it into your wetbag or plastic bin. Then just put on a fresh pad. As simple as that! Once your wetbag/bin is full or you’re at the end of your cycle, you simply put your moon cloth in the washing machine on a cool cycle and hang to dry at the end.
NB – The only ‘must’ I advise my customers to do when using Cloth Pads is to wear well fitting undies. Anything loose will not only be uncomfortable but could cause leaking issues if the pad isn’t snug against your body. Well fitting undies will also keep your pad snug against your body, making it super discrete if you happen to be wearing tight clothing.
Caring for your Cloth Pads
Caring for your pads is easy peasy! There are a few different methods to suit you in terms of storing/pre-treating before they go in the machine but the actual washing machine routine is the same.
All you do is get your soiled pads and pop them into the washing machine. Set it off on a cold rinse first. Once finished add your detergent to the dispenser draw (I recommend Rockin’ Green for use with Cloth Pads) and put the machine on a cool/warm wash. Never hot unless you’re treating the Moon Cloth for a yeast infection. And lastly at the end of the wash you will need to set the machine on another cold rinse. Reshape the pads whilst damp and air dry. I told you it was easy!
Before your Cloth Pads go in for a wash you’ll need to store them and pre-treat them if you want to. So here are 3 storing methods that should work for your lifestyle.
The ‘lazy’ method – or as I like to call it ‘shove it in a wetbag and forget about it’ method. This is the easiest and works well with pads that are topped in either plush or bamboo velour due to their stain resistant properties. You simply store your soiled pads in a wetbag (or plastic bin) totally dry and when you come to wash them you just pop them in the machine. Due to the pads being stored dry and not being pre-treated with a stain remover, you may find that there will be some light staining to cottons.
Dry Pail/Soaking Method – similar to the lazy method but prior to putting the pads in the machine, you will treat them for any staining. You simply take your pad off each time you change and pop it into a wetbag or bucket/bin. Then when running low on pads or you’re at the end of your cycle, fill the bucket up with cold water and then pop the pads in there to soak overnight. The following morning pour the water down the toilet and put the pads in the wash. Ta-da!
Rinse/Wet Pail Method – this is my preferred method and the one I recommend to all of my customers because I find it the most effective at preventing staining. Once you’ve taken off your soiled pad, you want to rinse it out under a cold tap and keep rinsing until the water runs clear. If there’s a stain there after rinsing you can pre-treat with some Ruby’s Red Wash. Next put your rinsed pad/s in your bucket/bin. As this is a wet pail method, the bucket needs to be about ¾ full with cold water. If you have any lavender or tea tree oil in the house you can add it to the water if you wish, although this isn’t essential. And again, same as above; once the bucket is full or you’re running low/at the end of your cycle, pour the water away and put your Cloth Pads into the washing machine. It’s as easy as that.
So as you can see, Cloth Pads are super easy to use and the benefits of switching are worthwhile; saving money, looking out for the planet and feeling more comfortable during your moon time. Definitely a good reason to try Busy Little Bee today!