Sorry, Fellas - this post is for the ladies only.
In recent months I was toying with idea of going back to cloth menstral pads. I have used them in past, I even made my own. So it wasn't a new topic for me. I just found myself in a different season of life and went back to store bought pads. I blessed someone with my cloth stash (I did the same thing with diapers in that season too and just recently had to replenished that supply!) Now that we are living on the farm and I am "training myself in frugality" in order to put every spare penny we have toward paying off our farm and developing it into something we can making a living from. I could not ignore the disposable nature and repurchase of this monthly need when I am not pregnant. Well...as I was pondering all these things and "leaning back in that direction" to convince myself to sew up a batch of pads...I found myself actually developing a sensitivity to the commercial paper products I was using. My procrastination was turning into a real urgent issue when that time of the month rolled around! The commercial pads made me itch and chafe! Yikes! That's not OK! So in the midst of my NEED, I started searching for them online. I came across a lady that makes and sells them on Etsy and purchased a pack. I was so pleased with them that I decided to give her my business instead of making them myself. So I bought more (probably more than I relly needed - but now I am well stocked for many many years to come and for me and my daughters to use.). I think she makes them better than I would anyway! I have been asked in the past for resources regarding this topic and this maker excels all the others I have suggested/used in the past. So I wanted to share her information with you.
Rachel (a.k.a. Pleat on Etsy - linked above) makes a "all in one pad" in several sizes. I personally own every one (with the exception of the thong style!). There is a panty liner, regular, overnight and an extra long overnight. Her descriptions are very thorough and detailed if you visit her page on Esty, so I will leave that to her. Below is photo of some of my (used) pads to show you the difference in scale between all 4 sizes. (I also want to show you how nice you can keep them if you wash them the way I do.) In addition to size coverage, they have different thicknesses to keep you covered in obsorbancy too. She quilts the different layers into a sturdy one piece pad, which seems to make the absorbancy more effective than the pocket style (in my opinion/experiance). Rachel (at Pleat) has thought of everything!
I have really come to appreciate the "all in one" style over the "pocket style" that I used to use. The pocket style pad is one that has inserts (usually folded to the thickness desired) and tucked into a pocket of the main pad. These are said to be advantageous because you can take them apart for cleaning and drying and customize the level of thickness/protection you need. However, I found them (in comparison) to be cumbersome and less comfortable than the "all in one" version. Depending on the brand/maker they can feel "wadded" and even slip some. Than you have lots of pieces to deal with in washing and storage. They seem bulkier to me than the "all one" design that Rachel makes. Because that was all I had used in the past, I was concerned about the idea that I might not be able to get them clean and or that they wouldn't dry effectively. However, I am very pleased to find out that I actually prefer the cleaning process with the "all in one" style pad!
Caring for the pads are easy. I just wash most of mine by hand in the sink after each use by using very cold water, and ringing them until he water runs clear. Then a add a squirt of my foam pump liquid castille soap I have on the counter with warm water, scrub it together and ring and rinse until it rinses clean. Than I ring the water out and hang it on a hanger with a clothes pin to dry. Or throw it in the dryer if I have another load going in at that time. Sometimes, I will do a partial rinse and throw it in a load of wash that is going it at the same time, but I rarely do that. Washing them right awat by hand ensures that I leave no stains behind. If I let the pads sit unwashed (like in a can or waterproof bag) they are more suseptable to stain. But hand washing at each change with cold water does the trick! They are so pretty, so I would like to keep them that way as long as I can. :-) It really is a simple process. When I go away, I just have a opaque waterproof bag, I carry in my purse or diaper bag. If I am in a place where I am not comfy rinsing them (like a public rest room) I will just do it when I get home or change to paper for that short time. I still keep some paper in stock in case company needs one.
Another thing I really appreciate about Pleat's design and function is the heavy duty snap she uses. I have used velcro before and had ones with cheaper snaps that were not constructed as strongly as these. The velcro, can become uncomfortable if it is not lined up just right. It also can collect lint in the wash, if you use a machine. I didn't like having to pick lint out of the sticky side of the velcro to get them to continue to hold together well! The cheap snaps wore our quickly, while I have not used these for along time, it is very obvious that the construction on these pads are much more solid than the other brands I have tried. Which was another reason why I just went ahead and stocked up hers instead of trying to make them myself.
Lastly, my oldest daughter is entering into this new season of life. I wanted to teach her how to use cloth right from the start. W would not have to pay for the expensive organic disposable pads to avoid the chemicals yet she would be protected. I like that!
Cloth pads are a little bit of an investment right up front...but it pays for itself in so many ways down the line! I feel really good about my choice to (finally) get back to cloth.
So if you are considering, a safe, soft, comfortable, effective, pretty, chemical free and sustainable alternative to commercial disposable personal care...I highly recommend checking out Rachel's Pads over at Pleat. I believe you will be as satisfied as I am.
(This is not a paid referral or affiliate program. Rather, just a satisfied customer who would love to send business Pleat's way because she has produced an exceptional product! You also might like to know that, the sales of these pads are the primary income for there family at the time of this writing!!) We have a developing friendship (they hope to homestead one day and thinks outside the box too, so we have some things in common!). So, go ahead and tell her I sent you. She'll know who you are talking about! :-)
This post was Shared at Simple Life Thursdays