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soapmommy60543 Posted - Nov 02 2011 : 10:47:52 AM
I'm interested in trying cloth "feminine protection" items, but I can never really get a straight answer on what to do AFTER they've been used. I've seen "just throw them in an old diaper pail" as the most common answer when I look online. That's all well and good EXCEPT a) I don't have a diaper pail, and b) nothing really says what to put in the diaper pail with the used items (guessing baking soda to keep down the stench, but beyond that I'm clueless).

Also very concerned about leaks...

My DD and I are currently using commercial pads, but have both noticed that we are getting what I would consider a chemical burn from the bleach. We would both LOVE to switch, but between concerns for the leaks (and subsequent stains) and the "what do we do when we are done with them?" questions, we both feel kinda stuck.

Any assistance from my farmgirl sisters would be greatly appreciated.

Wife of terrific hubby and mom to 2 kiddos, 2 bunnies, 2 geriatric goldfish, and the best dog in the world!

Check out my blog:

Avoid soil depravation and get your dirt on! Start a garden in your own backyard...

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hudsonsinaf Posted - Jul 21 2013 : 12:26:55 PM
I'm a diva-cup, cloth pad and cloth 'toilet-paper" user. With using a diva cup, I don't have to worry about much leakage on my pads, normally. Right now, however, I am 3 weeks postpartum, so my diva cup is out of the question :) I tried using the postpartum pads they give you in the hospital and ended up with a severe rash and irritation. Then a few days later, I had other complications. I felt a gazillion times better switching over to my cloth pads, which up to that point I had been avoiding because of how heavy I was bleeding. What I find super useful for my pads (and my cloth toilet paper) is to rinse in vinegar and cold water, if need be. We bought a cheap lidded trash can for each of the bathrooms that is strictly for cloth toilet paper and my pads. If they need to be rinsed, I rinse with vinegar and cold water and then put them in the trash can. As a momma of 6 kids, I have to do laundry everyday, so the pads nor the toilet paper stay in there long. Vinegar is great at removing blood (including "stains," especially if it has not gone through the dryer yet).
Lanna Posted - Jul 18 2013 : 01:40:39 AM
I have a little dollar store/Target dollar spot basket on top of the toilet in my teeny master bathroom. It's cute, has open holes so the used cloth pads can breathe. They won't stink unless you bottle them up. Yes, I'm lazy and have sometimes [accidentally] washed them a month after they were last used. Whoops.

I switched to mama cloth over 9 years ago. Had some interesting post-partum stuff, and basically had some pretty bad diaper rash from all those disposable pads. Decided that since cloth was good enough for my child, I could certainly handle it.

I will recommend that if you have hard water, stay away from hemp. Hemp can turn all brick-like after many washes in hard/mineral-laden water. Ahem.

Another container to put used pads in could be a [diaper] wet bag. Those are fairly easy to come by if you're cool with ordering from a wahm, and totally washable. I just wash them on hot/sanitize in the washer, and have to dry them twice because they're so thick. Just treat 'em like diapers - a little detergent, and absolutely zero fabric softener (it coats things so they can't absorb liquids).

Leaks... may be a problem if you have a *super* heavy flow. Like needing two tampons at a time or something. As long as you change your cloth pads throughout the day and don't ignore it, you'll be fine. I like wings on my pads, I have some that have snaps on them so they stay put. Love 'em.

I've also used a Diva Cup throughout the years. Cut the tail off asap. It has a learning curve, and wow, that suction when it happens can take your breath away the first few times. But it's definitely nice, especially when you need to not have to change anything for a while. It won't leach any ickies into you or anything, and if you so feel, you can boil it at the end of each cycle. I'm too lazy for that, a good rinse when I use it is good enough for me.

Other things? When I switched to cloth and no chemicals? My period went from 7-9 days and 4-5 days of full on cramps (bad enough that I'd call in sick the first day, suck down 30 ibuprofen a *day* and vomiting and the random blackout weren't unheard of) to 4-5 days and little to no cramps (like 2-3 ibuprofen, *total*!). Now that I've been using magnesium oil, I've had zero cramps. After two decades of cramps, you can imagine how much of a trip it is for me. Totally cool though, and I'm in tune enough with my body that when I feel a twinge I just dart up to the bathroom and I'm good.

Oh, and reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility is an awesome read, even if you're done with the baby-making phase.

Lanna, homeschooling mama to four little monkeys that still try to jump on the bed
Rosemary Posted - Oct 19 2012 : 10:52:14 AM
I'd like to echo Leah's suggestion about menstrual cups. I wish I had discovered them long ago!
grammytammy Posted - Mar 21 2012 : 10:47:45 AM
I also like my cloth pads. I got mine on etsy. Forgot how much irritation I used to have till I used a paper pad last cycle.. ouch

FarmGirl 2495
God loved us so much He gave His only son to die in our stead.
OakRoseMama Posted - Mar 20 2012 : 4:53:46 PM
I also really love using cloth and just started a few months ago after I got my cycle back after having a baby. I use a wet bag instead of a crock and I just rinse them and put them in there. I do wash at the end of the day. Let's say I get to the laundry more often when I'm cycling! I have a heavy flow and need to change them more often than disposable pads but they are so comfortable and do not irritate my skin and parts the way the disposables did.
I need to get more! I also got mine from lunapads.

Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again
Farmgirl sister #4010
Lyndell Posted - Mar 19 2012 : 6:18:01 PM
I love my cloth pads! Got mine from GladRags ( I have the large overnight pads and then some of the smaller ones for daytime use. My methods for cleaning are similar to the other ladies'. I usually just rinse mine in cold water until the water runs clear (or mostly clear), and then put them somewhere to air dry until I'm ready to wash them.

One thing to add if you haven't looked into it already are menstrual cups. This is what I use through most of my cycle (mine is a DivaCup ( I usually use my cup the first few days when my flow is heavier, then switch to the cloth pads. I know that some women don't use tampons because of similar concerns (wastefulness, irritation, TSS, etc.), but if you are comfortable with wearing a cup, they are fabulous! Mine is made from medical grade silicone, you only have to empty it a few times a day (depending on flow), and I hardly ever have leakage problems. They recommend you get a new one every year, but I had my old one for about two years and it was fine.

amethyst Posted - Dec 08 2011 : 7:35:17 PM
I love cloth pads! That time of the month is so much nicer than it used to be! I've used lunapads, gladrags, sckoon, and new moon pads. There are many different kinds. I would suggest a starter pack to help give you an idea of what you like.
For cleaning & storing, I keep a pot in the bathroom with cold water or sometimes soap and cold water so they can soak. Always use cold water first to get the blood out. Then, I wash them on hot or warm. As for panties, club soda will get out blood stains. I just keep a spray bottle of it in the bathroom and a squirt bottle in the laundry room. I have recently discovered that salt water will remove blood stains. A cold salt water mixture in the soaking pot may be something I try (but I still have a few months, since I am currently pregnant). I was babysitting my nephews and one came home with a bloody shirt from playground playing. My sister-in-law didn't have club soda, so I soaked the shirt in cold salt water. It did a pretty good job of removing the blood...there were little yellow spots still, hardly noticeable, and the blood had already dried on the shirt.
Like Tasha, I carry a wet bag with me. I bought the moon pad bag from lunapads. It has two pockets, so I can carry clean panties (just in case) and pads in one side and dirty in the other.
Good luck in your quest.

Farmgirl Sister #2581
OmgsItsTashaRose Posted - Nov 14 2011 : 12:09:34 PM
I have used cloth for years and years and love them. We recently switched to using family cloth too, so I just toss my moon pads into the bucket with the family cloth. We keep a dry bucket with a lid and there is pretty much no smell. I wash the bucket every other day so when i am bleeding the pads get washed regularly. I only rinse them if there is a lot of tissue and fluid on them, otherwise I just let them be.

I use pads that I made as well as some I bought on Etsy and a couple from the co-op (Gladrags I think?) and they all have wings. As for leaking, I make sure for night time I have super long pads which are a little thicker.

I keep a small wet bag with me while I am bleeding to put my used pads in while I am at work.

I don't have a baby in the house right now, but it all works very similarly with cloth bathroom hygenics... bucket, lid, wash every other day.

hth :)

Formerly GaiasRose
ClaireSky Posted - Nov 14 2011 : 10:38:57 AM
I have bought some cloth pads from and am very happy with them. She states how to care for them.

Use and care: All fabrics have been prewashed in hot water to eliminate shrinkage. Rinse or soak in cold, soapy water until laundry time to keep the pads soft and comfortable. Worried about stains? Oxiclean works well at preventing set-in stains. Pads can be machine washed and dried, but product may last longer if washed in cold water and allowed to air dry. Avoid fabric softener as it reduces the absorbency of the pads.

I hope this helps.

Farmgirl Sister #399

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
monique Posted - Nov 14 2011 : 07:51:54 AM
I have been reading a lot about this topic. And last week I bought some cloth from Lunapads. I'm very curious to try them. I have bought the regular ones and the night ones. I'm thinking of making some myself after I have tried these ones.
I have searched on you tube on menstrual cloth pads and found some help on how to wash them etc.
MagnoliaWhisper Posted - Nov 03 2011 : 01:48:27 AM
I'm the same, allergic to the disposables. That being said, when I used disposables they always "leaked" as well, so I also don't see the big deal.

My solution-
1. Buy colors that don't show that much-reds, browns, and blacks.
2. I prefer to buy microfiber panties, they wick away moisture (sweat), helping stave off yeast and the like. They tend to not stain so much.
3. If really concerned about staining, soak in hydrogen peroxide, it breaks up the red blood cells and often rids of stains.
4. Last but certainly not least. I keep older panties, that may already have stains, or getting on their last leg, for that time as well. That way if they get more stains, or even new stains-if they are already on the way out-wearing out, getting tiny holes, elastic about to go, etc, it's not a big deal.

All that said, I find number one the easiest solution! lol haha
soapmommy60543 Posted - Nov 02 2011 : 2:08:28 PM
Thanks so much for the info, ladies! We will start looking into this more!

Wife of terrific hubby and mom to 2 kiddos, 2 bunnies, 2 geriatric goldfish, and the best dog in the world!

Check out my blog:

Avoid soil depravation and get your dirt on! Start a garden in your own backyard...

star-schipp Posted - Nov 02 2011 : 1:45:16 PM
It sounds like I use the same kind as Kim and I would never go back either! The ones I use have an insert you can put in or even two or three if you flow is very heavy. I clean them exactly like Kim suggested. Trust me, you will not go back once you try them - and you don't have to worry about running out as long as you keep up with the laundry.

If you can't feed one hundred people, then just feed one. -Mother Teresa

Star - farmgirl sister #1927

Master Food Preserver
Lieberkim Posted - Nov 02 2011 : 11:14:54 AM
I use cloth and LOVE it. I found the commercial ones very irritating on the skin and would get sore spots on my legs, private area from them. I switched to cloth once long ago but they were horrible so I gave up on them. But then I found some again and they are great. I don't plan on going back ever.

To help prevent leaks I got the long ones (night time). They have wings that go around your panties and snap into place. The ones I have (I can't for the life of me remember what site I got them off of) have a waterproof type material on the bottom to help stop messes. The top piece is very soft material (flannel/cotton????) that is very comfortable. I've never had a leak during the day but I have had some during the night because things shifted a little, so my panties got a little stained. But I've had that happen with the commercial ones too.

The cleaning aspect is never going to be pleasant. But what I do is rinse/soak them in water until the water runs basically clear. Then I put them in a container with water and vinegar and cover with a lid until I'm ready to wash them in the washing machine. For me it's no big deal, it's not nearly as nasty as some of the cloth diapers I've had to deal with!!!! :D I'd love to hear how others clean them, maybe someone has a better way.

Excuse the mess & the noise, my children are making happy memories

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