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Topic: Cloth Menstrual Pads

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Subject: Cloth Menstrual Pads
Date Posted: 2/19/2009 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2005
Posts: 1,239
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Hi everyone. I just wanted to post a few links for some cloth sanitary napkins that can be sewn either by hand or using your machine. I think the idea is both eco-friendly and economical all in one. http://www.millennium-ark.net/News_Files/INFO_Files/menstrual.html

http://www.labyrinth.net.au/~obsidian/clothpads/DIYpads/DIY.html

http://shewhorunsintheforest.googlepages.com

 



Last Edited on: 2/19/09 10:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2009 10:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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For those of us who are not crafty, there are also sellers online!  Pads can be as inexpensive as $4 (plus shipping), there are different lengths and absorbancies availalbe for different needs, and they're pretty!

I've purchased pads on etsy and a good resource for learning about pads (including absorbancies, sellers, and how to wash them) is http://community.livejournal.com/cloth_pads

I've been using them since June and I don't want to see another disposable pad or tampon again!

Date Posted: 2/19/2009 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2005
Posts: 1,239
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Yeah, sorry. That's true also. Maybe I should post this in the crafty site also. I've seen a few on etsy also.

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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For those who prefer tampons and want a greener option there are menstrual cups such as the diva and the keeper. I've been using the Diva cup for a little over a year and I love it.
Date Posted: 2/23/2009 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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I highly recommend lunapads. (http://www.lunapads.com/ )  They are very comfortable, easy to take care of, and well made.  No chafing.  They also have lunapanties which have built in pads for runners & such.  They also offer organic cotton versions.

My only note is that toss them in a basket or such before then tossing the entire month in the washing machine.  Don't try and store them in water (which is one of their suggestions)--it will smell horrible & stains worse.   No odor (unless you stick your nose in the basket after tossing a pad in, then really, you deserve it) when storing them dry before washing.

edited b/c linking is hard and to add some info.



Last Edited on: 2/23/09 4:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/23/2009 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I rinse mine in cold water after use, let them air dry, and then I stick them with the rest of my laundry.  I wash them in cold water with the rest of my clothes, and I don't have a terrible issue with staining.  Nothing worse then when I get my period in the middle of the night without being ready for it. :)

(oh, and if I'm showering, I'll just put them on the floor of the shower and stamp on them.  Does the same thing.)



Last Edited on: 2/23/09 6:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/23/2009 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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What do you do when you go on vacation? I've been several places that do not have a laundry for guests.  This is the major reason why I have never switched. Also the idea of carrying around a dirty pad in my handbag just does not appeal and I work full time so would need to do that :(

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2005
Posts: 1,239
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I was also thought about the diva cup and it's a good idea but it seemed kinda confusing because of the sizes and such for woman who are over 30 who've had a vaginal deliverily etc, etc.

Also, it's plastic so eventually it'll go in the landfill. Just a little update. I did make one pad and it's pretty wonky looking because my sewing is horrible right now and I just know how to stitch straight lines lol....I think I might post a pic soon when I make some really nice ones.

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Well, when I'm at work I put the used pads in a small bag I keep in my purse.  All of my pads have snaps on them to hold them in place -- I fold the pad in on itself, snap it closed, and put the pad in the bag.  I rinse them out when I get home.  I haven't yet had my period while on vacation, but I'd do the same thing.

(The bag is basically a small make-up bag that I already had lying around the house.)

Date Posted: 2/23/2009 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2005
Posts: 1,239
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My friend and I are possibly going to set up an etsy site to post some of our stuff if anyone would be interested. Maybe we'll do like custom orders for a variety pack etc. I'll keep everyone else informed.

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 326
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I have Lunapads and really like them. I do know how to sew, but it was easier for me to just buy them instead of figuring out the snaps and such. If I was going on vacation I would do one of two things. I would either take some woolite or some other handwashing laundry soap and some clothespins and just wash them out in the sink and clip them to the shower curtain to dry or something OR I would use disposables only while on vacation.

I have found my periods to be shorter while using cloth pads (I have the organic cotton lunapads if that matters). I am down to about 2 days from 4 or 5. So, that is a nice benefit for me.

I also put mine in the shower or give them a quick rinse and a *short* soak (like til I am in the bathroom next) when I take them off. So far the only staining has been very light (and the pads are cream colored) and I wash them in cold water and line dry (like all the rest of my laundry!).

Anyway, that's my two cents worth. I love mine and I'm hoping to get a few more soon. If you want some lunapads you can enter the code "greendaily" until the end of March for 10% off. It's from a review of them I wrote for the blog I write for, http://www.greendaily.com

ETA: if you work out of the house all day, I would definitely look in to a Diva Cup. Many people use them with a simple cloth panty liner in case of leaks - which apparently happen since it's a bit tricky to get the hang of at first. But you can safely wear it for 8-12 hours before you remove it and rinse it out. And someone said it is plastic and won't break down, well, that is true, but you could have one, maybe two Diva Cups over the entire course of you lifetime or like, a dumptruck full of tampons. So, it's worth it. :-) My husband thought it was all gross overall and then I figured out how much we would save every month by not buying pads or tampons ever again.

 



Last Edited on: 2/24/09 12:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/24/2009 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I cant use Diva cups, both my mother and sister had fibroids and were told not to use tampons or anything that would irritate the wall linings. I was told I could have the same problem so have never used tampons for more then a day every few months (if going swimming I did).

How do you stop them from moving around? I know they have snaps but dont they slide forward or back?  Can they be put in the dryer? (I mean on air dry)  I dont have much access to a line to dry them on. And there is no way hubby would allow me to have them sitting around the bathroom.

 

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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I bought enough pads to last my entire period.  So if I go on vacation, I just toss the used one in a plastic bag in my suitcase or dirty clothes until I get home.

Lunapads come with a lined pouch that I tuck the used pads in and tuck them in my pocket at work (I wear jeans).  You only change a thin pad, not the entire thing with wings/etc, so it isn't bulky or such.  That's one thing I like about lunapads--I just change a thin layer through the day, and then the bottom layer w/snaps at night.  Folded in on themselves the pads don't smear or such.  It isn't like you are dealing with a drippy piece of cloth.

I don't rinse mine out.  There has been mild staining, but whoopie-doo--who sees it but me?  It isn't extreme, and I think most of it came when I tried to soak them the entire week (yes, I bleed for a week. lunapads not chafing was a HUGE improvement).   They don't seem to be getting worse which supports that belief.  I toss them all in the washing machine in cold, let them soak in there with the soap for a while, then start it up.  Ease of use was important to me--which means no mucking about rinsing them out.  I have a wire basket setting on a shelf above the toilet and I toss them in there until I'm done, then they go in the washing machine.

It did take me a few months to adjust to how they feel--they do feel different than disposables.  Course, when I changed types of disposables at one point I had to adjust, so this isn't surprising.   They are quite comfortable once you get over the fact they are a bit different.

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 4:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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OK this will be my last question I promise..LOL Is their anything stopping them from staining my underwear? I have one day that I bleed very heavily and am worried they might seep through. Is there a plastic lining like on the disposible pads?

I am leaning very strongly towards getting the Luna pads and then maybe I could make my own when they wear out.  I have seen one thing mentioned here, less chaffing. OOH that would be nice!

Thanks everyone for answering my questions. I am sure they are ones you've been asked before.

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2005
Posts: 1,239
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The ones that I saw on the site have like cotton in the middle of the pads so that all of the blood will be drawn in the center. I there's not any plastic though (kinda defeats the purpose) The ones that I will be making will have all of the cotton in the middle. I hope that helps :-)

Date Posted: 2/24/2009 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2005
Posts: 1,239
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I just wanna let everyone know that I actually used one of my pads and I was very happy with it. It was comfortable and I felt so empowered! Lol...Unfortunately, I only had one so I had to go back to disposibles ugh! I'm making more tommorrow so I'll be happy.

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I just noticed that drugstore.com sells packages of the lunapads. I might try them that way :) They sell packs of 2 maxi and 2 liners for $10.99  And the with wings kind $12.99.

I worked out that I pay around $9 per month on throw away pads. So I could buy $118 in lunapads and after the first year I would be saving. 

THANKS everyone.

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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There isn't a plastic liner.

However, there is the pad, then there is another pad that is on the bottom layer, then the bottom layer is a different kind of fabric. On days I'm worried I will just put two layers in--I can change/remove the first one when it soaks through or I can ignore it until both are soiled, depending on how my day goes. 

They also have extra-longs with extra-thick pads for overnight or for days you really don't want to deal with it.

I'm sure if you ignore it long enough it can bleed through, but that's true of disposables also.

One other benefit--unlike disposable wings w/sticky stuff, these never grab hair or twist the sticky side up.  I hated that!  Wings and I never got along in disposables (whcih sometimes resulted in stains, grumble mumble).  Now I can have my wings and comfort too. :)

It is much cheaper.  I figure I paid for mine in the first year, and I'm on year 3.  They say 5 years (minimum) and I haven't noticed anything coming apart or such, so I figure I'll make at least 5 and probably longer.   It's also nice to not have to go out to the store in the middle of the night when I discover I ran out--I just need to make sure to do that load of laundry sometime during the month!



Last Edited on: 2/25/09 3:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/1/2009 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 7,917
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I am considering giving the luna pads a try.   I have a couple of real heavy days and was wondering if I need the post partum ones.  I need ones that are kind of long.  I usually use the overnight disposable ones.  Any help would be appreciated!

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Kara- I am too interested in swapping over and found the lunapad site to have alot of information. They do make long and extra wide pads for heavy days and someone told me that you can use 2 lines in one pad on really heavy days. This is what I am going to try.

I am just going to get 2 of the $10 kits from drugstore.com and see how it goes.

Date Posted: 3/1/2009 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/6/2007
Posts: 7,917
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I was checking out their sight and did see that they had ones for heavy days.  I think I am going to break down and get a few just to see how I like them.  They are a little pricey but in the long run, I know they will save me money.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2005
Posts: 1,239
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Hey, if anyone is interested, I do actually make them now and I can offer you a deal because they are relatively easy and fun to make  (for me) I'm always willing to help a fellow PBS'er out.  So PM me if you'd like a few.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,354
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Kara: I also used the overnight disposables for overnight.

I use the long Heavy Pads and the Post Partum Liners overnight.  At least, I think I do.  They've changed them around--didn't used to have Heavy Wing Liners and the long ones came with the folded pads that seem  to now be called Post Partum. I'm kind of glad they weren't, I don't want to use Post Partum every month. :P   They work fine.  My only complaint  is the snaps are in the center.  I sleep on my back, I'd rather they be off-center so they were longer in the back.   If you are wearing them during the day, it's better they are in the center, though.

For my heavy days, I just layer a couple normal pads on, then I can switch them off when I use the restroom & have a clean pad, which I like.  It's nice to not be dropping money in the garbage when I do that.   You can actually layer them 3 deep, it's just a bit of a push to shove them under the rick-rack that holds the pads in place to  last longer. I have done that if I knew I was going to be unable to hit the restroom during the day. 

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 3:24 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2005
Posts: 1,239
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I wanted to let everyone know that I used the pads that I made up pretty quickly while my Aunt Flo was visitng and I was very impressed and surprised at how they felt and how comfy I felt with them on. The pads that I make have the cotton liners in the middle and it really helps if you bleed heavily because a few of my friends just say that they use a few layers of flannel butI think that would just go right through and stain your pantaloons...lol.

For my heavy days, I just layer a couple normal pads on, then I can switch them off when I use the restroom & have a clean pad, which I like.  It's nice to not be dropping money in the garbage when I do that. 

Kayote, does your pads have anything in the middle of them? I've heard people making their pads with terry cloth or old rags in the middle of them because they bleed so heavily. Are they basically just the cloth?



Last Edited on: 3/2/09 3:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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My one problem with the lunapads is the colors, sorry but having bright colors just does not do anything for me.  I saw the organic ones that are natural cotton color. But all the rest seem to be a party in your panties type style..LOL

 

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