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Sustainable menstruation: Learn how to wash and reuse cloth pads in a hygienic way

Have already switched to reusable pads? Well done! But can’t maintain their cleanliness? Here are some tips on how to wash cloth pads to be able to reuse them for a long time.
Right way to wash cloth pad during periods
The right way to wash cloth pad during periods. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Manasvi Jain Published: 25 Apr 2023, 17:00 pm IST
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Are you tired of spending money on plastic-based sanitary pads and polluting the environment each time Aunt Flo visits? It’s time to ditch the disposables and join the reusable revolution with cloth pads! Not only are they a sustainable and eco-friendly option, they are more comfortable than their plastic counterparts, so you can focus on crushing your goals and not your cramps. But the way to make sure you can reuse cloth pads for many years is that you keep them clean by washing them properly. So, here’s a guide on how to wash your cloth pads.

Benefits of reusable cloth pads

1. Environment friendly

One of the most significant advantages of reusable cloth pads is their environmental sustainability. Unlike disposable pads, which are made from plastic and other non-biodegradable materials, cloth pads are made from natural fabrics such as cotton, bamboo and hemp. This means that they can be reused for several years, significantly reducing the amount of waste generated by menstrual products. Additionally, the production of disposable menstrual products requires a large amount of water and energy, contributing to carbon emissions and pollution. Cloth pads, on the other hand, have a minimal carbon footprint and can be washed and reused for years, making them a sustainable and eco-friendly option.

reusable sanitary pads
Use reusable sanitary pads for these benefits! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Cost effective

While the initial investment in cloth pads may seem higher than disposable pads, they last much longer, and therefore are more cost-effective in the long run. The cost of disposable pads can add up quickly, especially for those who have heavy periods and need to change pads frequently. In contrast, cloth pads can be washed and reused for several years, making them a more affordable option over time.

3. Comfort

Comfort is also a significant advantage of reusable cloth pads. Unlike disposable pads, which can be bulky and uncomfortable, cloth pads are lightweight and breathable, allowing for more comfortable wear. They are also less likely to cause irritation or rashes, as they do not contain any chemicals or synthetic materials that may irritate the skin.

How long do cloth pads last?

Studies suggest that it is safe to reuse cloth pads for several years, as long as they are properly cared for and washed. However, it is important to note that the length of time a cloth pad can be safely reused may vary depending on several factors, including the individual’s menstrual flow and the condition of the pad. As a general guideline, it is recommended to replace cloth pads every two to five years, or sooner if they become worn or damaged.

How to wash cloth pads?

Now that we know that in order to use cloth pads effectively, their cleanliness is very important. Pankti Pandey, a scientist and social media influencer, has shared some tips on how to wash cloth pads to promote a more sustainable and environment friendly menstruation:

 

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A post shared by Pankti Pandey (@zerowasteadda)

Step 1

Immediately after taking off the pad, soak it in cold water for 30 minutes. Do this immediately after use as this will help prevent stains from setting. Also avoid using hot water as it can leave stains on the pad.

Step 2

Rinse the pad until the water runs clear after soaking. Pre-soaking the cloth pad can reduce the amount of water needed for rinsing and help save water.

Step 3

Use a natural and eco-friendly liquid soap made at home by using soapnuts (reetha) to wash the pads. Add 30 ml of this solution to a tumbler and soak the pad for 10 minutes before washing it thoroughly with water. This liquid cleanser effectively cleans the pads without leaving any residue or clogging the fabric, thus maintaining its absorption capacity. It also softens the fabric.

reetha
Soap made with reetha is best for washing reusable cloth pads!

Step 4

If using a washing machine to clean the pads then try using a natural detergent or soap, and avoid using fabric softeners, as they can reduce the absorbency of the pad.

Step 5

Always dry the pads well in the sun, as this is the most important step. This will help to disinfect them and remove any remaining stains.

wash cloth pads
You must clean cloth pads properly to prevent bacterial growth. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Also read: These 7 period hacks will ensure you never stain your clothes ever again

With proper care and cleaning, cloth pads can last for several years, reducing waste and promoting environmental sustainability. Switching to reusable cloth pads is a small but impactful step towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle!

 

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About the Author

Manasvi Jain is a professional writer with a keen interest in spreading awareness about various health and wellness issues through her articles. She writes well researched articles by connecting with various doctors and health experts. ...Read More

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