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If you are anything like me, the first time you heard about cloth pads, you thought “Ew, gross. I will NEVER do that.” I surprised myself when I decided to try them out. I didn’t jump into using cloth pads with both feet at first. I slowly crept in.
A few months ago, I was preparing a busy few months at work. Knowing that I was already in extreme pain from endometriosis and adenomyosis, I visited my gynecologist to find out what I could temporarily do to try to ease the pain. I knew I couldn’t afford to take off time to have a surgery done then, so, I opted to try a round of the depo-vera shot. I regretted that decision within a week. TMI Alert: I began to bleed and continued to spot for three straight months. Which meant I had to use disposable pads and panty liners. This led to some unpleasant side effects. Like ahem…chafing. (I was not able to use tampons or a cup due to the pain during that time).
Desperate for some sort of relief, I turned to the internet. And after diagnosing myself with all sorts of diseases, I kept reading about women who used cloth pads. I thought they were crazy but I decided to give it a try. I honestly thought that I would try one, write a review here about the horrible experience and never look back.
I started out by ordering a sample panty liner from Party In My Pants Pads. When I tested it out, I was shocked. Ladies….it was so different than disposables! I quickly ordered more from a variety of companies. I will be reviewing each company one at a time in the following days. I picked four of the more well-known companies, four of the cheaper ones from China (ordered on Wish and Aliexpress) and four from Etsy.
Before I get into the reviews, I want to answer some questions I’m sure you have. These are the questions I had when I started.
Isn’t It Gross?
Honestly, no grosser than dealing with a period any other way. At some point, a woman will have to wash blood out of her panties. It’s just part of being a woman. Dealing with cloth pads is not any grosser than that.
How Do You Wash Cloth Pads?
It’s really up to you. You can rinse them out and soak in a pail till wash day. Or, you can just throw into the washing machine without soaking. That option is more likely to result in staining, though. Some women (like me) prefer to wash a small load of just pads rather than mixing with the other laundry. Some pads are able to be dried in the dryer but I prefer to hang them up to dry, this helps them last even longer.
Where Do You Store Cloth Pads?
Anywhere you normally store menstrual supplies. I have mine in a drawer in the bathroom.
How Many Cloth Pads Do I Need?
This all depends on your unique flow, how often you change your pad and how many times you want to do laundry in a week. I don’t mind having to wash them so, I bought enough for 3 full days. Other women like to have enough pads to get through their entire cycle. I didn’t choose this option because I wasn’t sure how they would work for me. Take note of how many disposables you use and purchase the same amount of cloth pads.
Will They Leak?
Cloth pads are just as, if not more, absorbent than disposables. They shouldn’t leak if used properly. Common sense plays a part here. You need to be aware of how heavy your cycle is and plan accordingly. Obviously, you don’t want use a light day pad as an overnight pad. Not all pads are made the same way. You will find that different companies/sellers have different standards. This is one of the reasons I chose to review different companies.
Isn’t It More Expensive?
You can offset some of the initial cost by looking for clearance deals or seconds. Also, many companies allow you to get a free sample pad to test out (you usually have to pay the shipping fees).
Longterm wise, it’s actually cheaper to buy cloth pads than disposables. The initial cost can be expensive but they should last 3-5 years.
What are Seconds? Are They Used Pads?
Seconds are just pads or pantyliners that have a slight cosmetic defect that shouldn’t affect usage at all. They are definitely not used pads! They are priced lower than other pads/liners. This is a great way to build your stash while on a budget!
What are the Best Ones?
I can’t answer that question as it depends on what you want, what’s important to you in a pad and several other variables. I did try to help you all out by testing and reviewing several different cloth pads. I will be posting several reviews (12!) of different cloth pad companies and Etsy shops in the next two weeks. All of the pads I review went through the same review process.
About My Cloth Pad Review Process:
I tested the absorbency of all of the pads the same way to be able to accurately give these reviews. I used water as it is easier to measure than menstrual blood. I based it on the amount I typically have in my cup on a normal cycle day. I’m sure there is a more scientific way of testing but this worked for me.
I laid each pad out one by one with a piece of paper underneath to catch any water that might leak through. Then, I put about a 1/4 oz of water onto each one and let it soak for 10 minutes.
I did NOT perform an absorbency test on any of the pantyliners.
Notes About These Reviews:
I did want to make sure you all are aware that NONE of these companies were aware that I was going to be reviewing their pads before they were shipped to me. I wanted to make these reviews honest and fair. I know that sometimes, companies pay “extra, special attention” to bloggers who are writing reviews and I didn’t want that. I was determined to get the “real” experience of each company to be able to pass along that knowledge to my reader.
I did contact some of the companies after my testing process to see if they would be willing to pass along any discounts or savings to you. Some of the links in the reviews are affiliate links but I was not compensated for my review at all. All of the products were bought with my own money. Sometimes as a blogger, I am blessed to receive products to test but that was not the case with these reviews. I am not opposed to the idea of free cloth pads to test out though if any company/seller is reading! LOL 🙂
Come back tomorrow to read my review on Party In My Pants Pads, also known as PIMP pads. I find the name quite funny! Plus, I’ll tell you how to save 10% off your order!