The surprising truth about cloth sanitary pads

Cloth sanitary pads - What are they really like?

When it comes to introducing people to the idea of cloth sanitary pads, nearly every single person has the same reaction. “What, you mean you wash them…?” followed by a raised eyebrow or perhaps even a grimace, then “How do you get them clean?” We will get to this further on in this article, but first question we wanted to raise is this; why is it is that our initial reaction is one of mild shock when the thing that is most shocking is the plastic waste problem?

Partly it is because of the association with the impoverished rags of days gone by, but nowadays cloth pads are soft beautiful high-performance fabrics made from eco-friendly bamboo and recycled plastic bottles. Not a handmade rag in sight.

People assume they are messy. With periods one thing is inevitable, there will be blood and mess, but it’s much less messy than disposables as you will get fewer leaks. The common assumption is that washing cloth sanitary pads is a bit gross, even though we all wash our period pants without as much as a second thought. It's no different to that really, the washing machine does all the work anyway!

People worry that they are unhygienic (back to the days of old again) yet cloth pads are more hygienic than disposables. You take off the pad, rinse it in the sink immediately and wash the blood away. Compared to throwing a blood filled disposable pad in the bathroom bin to sit for several days, then to be carried off to landfill to fester for hundreds of years, it’s definitely more hygienic. You can't avoid the monthly bleed but you can definitely avoid storing it in a bin in your bathroom.

People think they are hard work, this simply isn’t true. Once rinsed you throw them in the wash with your clothes/underwear and wash with non-bio washing powder on a normal cycle. Dry on the line or cool tumble dry and they are ready to use again. Imagine a life with soft natural materials in your knickers, no more unwanted sticky wings, just fluffy period protection, free from chemicals and there whenever you need them. Cloth sanitary pads are your answer to finally ditching the yucky period bin!

Whilst attitudes about periods are changing, the conditioning to be ashamed of our monthly bleed will take a generation to eradicate, but we need to go faster than that, for the sake of our environment. It is time to take control of your period; after all, it is your future. Periods are completely healthy and natural. We should be proud of our bodies; they really are quite amazing! We should be proud of our choices too and not let age-old stigma and period shaming stop us from making choices that are better for our bodies and our planet. That process starts with each of us. Flow on, try cloth sanitary pads, your future self with thank you for it!