I remember the days when I thought reusable menstrual products were gross. I couldn’t imagine having to actually deal with my blood, rather than just throwing it out. Weren’t periods terrible enough already without having to do extra cleaning?
Then a few years ago I started to prepare for long-term traveling and I came across so many packing lists that included Diva Cups that I had to try! I had an incredibly positive experience with them (and my Diva Cup has saved me so much mental energy and money).
A menstrual cup was one thing – but I still wasn’t sure about a cloth pad. I couldn’t wrap my head around throwing the soiled pad into the wash with the rest of my clothes. Eventually, I decided that if the Diva Cup was a period-saver, I should probably suck it up and try a cloth pad.
Enter the Glad Rags Pantyliner Plus.
I didn’t want to start with the full-on pads because my periods can be pretty heavy and I knew that I would never be able to get over my fear of leaking (it’s happened one too many times in my adolescence for me not to be terrified of this).
I decided that a pantyliner would be the perfect idea. I normally wear liners at the end of my cycle, or along with my Diva Cup during particularly heavy days.
The Glad Rags Pantyliner is one piece of cloth, whereas the Day and Night pads have extra insertable bits to accommodate your flow. The heavier it is, the more bits you insert – kind of brilliant.
How to Use & How to Clean:
With the Pantyliner, all you have to do is snap the pad around your underwear. The smooth side (no snap button) is the side that will touch your skin.
Ideally, Glad Rags recommends you change your pad every 2 to 6 hours, but realistically you should change it as often as you would a disposable pad (never leave longer than 8 hours).
Annoyingly – and forever the main issue – you still need to clean the pantyliner afterwards. In order to properly clean them, you need to soak them in cold water to prevent staining (kind of annoying if you aren’t doing a wash anytime soon). Either hand was them or machine wash on cold and tumble dry low or line dry. Glad Rags sells ‘Carry Bags‘ that are machine washable and have separate pouches for clean and dirty pads to make the whole process a bit easier.
Why Use Cloth Pads?
The Environment: Think about every pad and tampon you use that ends up in a landfill. If you’re anything like me – my period happens every 28 days and lasts for 5 solid days. If at a minimum, I’m changing my menstrual product every 8 hours, that means at least 15 menstrual products were used and thrown out. If I consider how many times I “double up” on heavy days… well, it is more than 15 products. Every 28 days means I get 13 periods a year… 195 menstrual products minimum.
The Budget: Do I even need to say that menstrual products are expensive? Cloth pads are also expensive but they are a one-time purchase. (Glad Rags are made to last at least 5 years).
The Comfort: If you’ve ever had issues with wearing pads, then these might be a solution. Glad Rags are made out of cotton, without any added chemicals, which might be a nice break for your body.
While I am still not a fan of having to soak my liner until I start a load of laundry, it has been a better overall experience than expected. I have to admit that I have only really worn it on light days or as a back-up on heavier days, so I have risked leakage. The cotton is super comfortable to wear and I always feel good about wearing it. I haven’t saved too much money or too much of the environment yet as I only just own one, but I would definitely consider buying more. I think ideally I would end up with 15 types, so I could go a whole cycle without throwing out any menstrual products.
I’m not super convinced yet about cleaning a cloth pad on a heavy day, but I’d be up for trying it in the future.
I personally think that Glad Rags cloth pads are an amazing way to improve our periods and the impact of them on our wallet and the landfills. It’s the perfect sidekick to my Diva Cup.