Will cloth pads work just like disposable ones? How many should I have? Get the answers to all your cloth pad questions here.
Thinking about making the sustainable switch to reusable cloth pads? Going sustainable with period care can really save the planet a lot of waste - according to this study, one person who menstruates uses anywhere from 108 to 504 menstrual products in a year. That’s an estimated 2.4 kilograms (or around 5.5 pounds) of menstrual products per person in just one year. Of course, there’s no reason not to prioritise your comfort first. Your primary concern on your journey with cloth pads is to find quality cloth pads that work for your flow and lifestyle. You will also want to know the number of pads you’ll need for an entire cycle. The sustainability factor and reduced cost over time is the extra bonus for yourself and the environment.
Let’s start with the basics.
What kind of size(s) should I pick?
If you’re using cloth pads primarily for your period, you’ll likely need a couple of sizes to work for your whole cycle. At JuJu, we have five sizes that work for different needs. Liners that work for spotting and vaginal discharge. Mini, for those with a very light flow (or to use on your last day of your period), regular size for moderate flow, large for heavier flows, and overnight that allows you all night comfort without the fear of staining. For example, someone with a light to medium flow who has a cycle of four days will likely need a mix of mini and regular pads. Maybe a couple of liners for last-day spotting. You can find out more about the amount of period blood each size can hold here. Reusable pads can also be used for mild bladder leaks, spotting, vaginal discharge, and postpartum spotting.
What are quality reusable pads made out of?
Cloth pads should ideally have no bleaches, dyes, or other ingredients that can irritate very sensitive parts of your body. JuJu’s reusable pads are made out of 100% organic cotton and GOTS Certified (Global Organic Textile Standard). The absorbent cotton fabric is covered by a waterproof PUL lining with plastic snaps to keep your cotton pad securely in place. Why plastic? Because many people have metal sensitivities and plastic buttons reduce the chances of you reacting to them. The small things add up to the way you experience cloth pads. If you’re iffy about your pads accumulating stains over time (which is totally normal), you might want to choose dark coloured pads, like our JuJu Organic Black pads.
How many reusable pads will I need for my period?
You’ll want to have a combination of pad sizes to match your period flow and the number of days. For example, if you have a heavy flow and a cycle that lasts between four to six days, you’ll want to have 24-32 reusable pads that are a mix of regular, large, and overnight sizes. If you have a light flow that lasts between six days you’ll want to have between 16-24 pads that are a mix of liners, mini, and regular. These Should give you a good indication of how many and what sizes you’ll need based on your period.
What about washing them?
Some people have concerns about the washing of your menstrual pads. It can seem like an adjustment, especially if you’ve been only using tampons and disposable pads. When you need to change a pad, you just need to rinse your pads in cold water and then add them to your washing machine on a gentle warm cycle. You can also soak your pads in cold water overnight, and handwash the next day with soap. Always line dry them (preferably in the sun). Your pad can last years by falling through these simple steps. The best way to work with reusable pads with a busy schedule is to always have a reusable pad storage bag with you. You can just put your used pad in there, and wash it when you get home. Sure, using reusable pads adds a couple of extra steps, but you’ll get used to it very quickly.
You don’t have to worry about making a complete switch at one go. It’s more than ok to go slow. Try using reusable pads along with your usual disposable products at first and see how that feels for you. Over the next few cycles, you can see if you’re able to work with cloth pads alone. There is no one perfect period care routine that works for everybody, so it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you. Our only hope is that we’ve made it easier for you to decide.
Have you used cloth pads? What’s your experience been like? Share your tips with us! Learn more about our cloth pad range and see if it’s a choice that can empower your period.