If you are squeamish, or a man, be forewarned – look away!
As I have been contemplating ways to simplify my life, and be a better steward of God’s Earth, one thing I have been thinking about for quite some time is trying cloth menstrual pads. There are many styles and companies from which to choose once you actually start looking into these.
So, I recently ordered a set online (through Amazon from a company named Hailicare) and for the first time… EVER… I am eagerly awaiting that time of the month to try them out. I have to admit they are cute and fold up nicely into a little envelope-style for transport. I also ordered a set of two wet/dry zipper bags (by Dutchess) for carrying and storage until they can be washed. I will update you on the ins and outs of usage once I have had the opportunity to give them a try.
Simply said, my understanding is that they are easily hand washed, or run through your laundry, and then hung to dry. Some reviews I read suggested to rinse them out while in the shower, which seemed to be the preference of many. I will try all methods and let you know my thoughts.
Until then, looking forward to trying these little cuties, saving money, and leaving a bit smaller environmental footprint!
I recently had the opportunity to give these a “go” and wanted to let you know how it went. They were as easy to use as the disposable commercial variety and were not a hassle at all. They are easy to clean, comfortable, undetectable, and much more fun to see zebras smiling up at you than the usual dread!
I promised that I would try the different methods of cleaning, and as not to disappoint, as well as to discover what works best for me, I did just that.
First I tried what seemed to be the most popular method that I had read – lying it on the shower floor while you are in it yourself. Pros: Easy and time saving. Cons: Hot water sets in stains initially. I found this to actually be my least favorite way. It did set a stain and I ended ended up using a stain remover (when I wanted to avoid all chemicals while keeping the product in the best possible condition for continued use). I ran it through the wash and this is the only pad I have on which remains a slight stain.
Next, I tried simple rinsing in the sink under cold water. This worked well and I hung the pad to dry (as recommended regardless of your method of cleaning). Unfortunately, upon inspection, it did not have the completely fresh scent I desired when dry. My goal is also for the product to remain as sanitary as possible, and to not encourage any type of unexpected, undesirable odors the next time I go to use them. Pros: Quick in a pinch. Cons: Not as fresh as my standards require.
The final method I tried was to simply rinse, soak in vinegar water to freshen, kill bacteria, and break down any stains, and run them through the wash with the rest of my laundry. This was my favorite way of cleaning the pads. I hung them on a sock hanger to dry and when I used them again I felt that they appeared clean, smelled fresh, and I was confident that there was no residual odor or bacteria. Pros: Easy, environmentally safe, and met my standard for freshness and cleanliness. Cons: None for me.
In addition, I thought I would share my experience of use while at work. I did feel slightly self conscious making my way back and forth, and past co-workers to the ladies room with my cute little wet/dry bags. And I was a tad anxious as I stepped out of the stall to discretely rinse out the product. But I remembered my goals of simplicity, and environmental friendliness, and felt happy and accomplished. I believe a greater comfort will come with time and use.
Overall, I am very pleased with the switch and am glad I have decided to make the change!