Cloth Pads FAQ
Why use Cloth Pads?
- Your Health
Conventional disposable pads contain all kinds of chemicals, and manufacturers are not required to list these ingredients on their packaging. These ingredients range from adhesives to artificial fragrance and chemical gels. Not the type of stuff you want next to one of the most sensitive parts of your body.
- The Environment
On average, a person will use between 10000 and 16000 disposable pads, tampons, and pantyliners in their lifetime. That’s a lot of waste to go to landfill, not to mention the manufacturing, packaging, and transportation waste of getting these products to you. When you choose to reuse anything from dishes to towels, you are helping make a cultural shift that values quality over wastefulness.
- Your budget
Ten thousand disposable pads add up. While it seems like a small monthly expense, over your lifetime you will spend thousands of euros on pads that will end up in the rubbish bin. Although cloth pads are an initial investment, they pay off over time as they are reused over and over.
- Your comfort
Seaside Squirrel’s cloth pads are soft and breathable, which is so much better than plastic pads that can chafe and irritate your skin. If you are often raw and irritated at the end of your period, please know that it does not have to be that way! With these cloth pads you will experience the comfort and breathability of cotton: the printed top layer is 100% cotton so super comfortable against your intimate parts, and the soft flannel ‘backer’ conforms to your body without the twisting and bunching up that can happen with disposables. Taking care of your body feels good, and so does eliminating plastic and chemicals from your period routine. And youʼll never again experience an adhesive pad wing sticking to your leg!
How do I use Cloth Pads?
Although they may seem a bit daunting at first, cloth pads are really very simple to use. All our pads have wings that snap around the gusset of most styles of underwear. This holds them in place while you go about your day – just make sure you wear underwear that fit you well - avoid slippery fabric knickers so the pads don’t move around in your undies.
The pads are worn printed fabric facing up and flannel side facing against your underwear. Snap the buttons closed underneath and you’re ready to go! Your used pad goes in your laundry basket if you’re at home. When out and about, you can bring a wet bag (or a small make-up bag) to carry soiled pads, or simply fold the long sides of the pads towards the middle and snap the buttons to close them tight and small.
How many pads will I need?
This all depends on your flow and how long your periods last. In general, you will want to change your cloth pad about as frequently as you would a disposable pad. Seaside Squirrel’s reusable cloth pads are just as absorbent as disposable period products, only without the plastic waste! As a general guide reusable cloth pads will absorb the same amount as your standard-size disposable menstrual pad or pantyliner.
Consider your cycle: which style pad do you prefer and when? how often do you find yourself changing disposable pads? are some days heavier than others, so you swap in a fresh pad more often?
When deciding which style of cloth pads you need, the most important factor is the absorbency level. Once you determine the absorbency, you can choose if you need a longer or larger style for additional coverage.
Seaside Squirrel’s menstrual pads come in three sizes: 9.5” (24cm), 10.5” (27cm) and 12” (30.5cm). They are suitable when:
- you have moderate or heavy flow
- you sometimes leak urine when you sneeze or laugh (it happens to the best of us!)
The daily liners are 6.5” (16.5cm) and are suitable when:
- you have very light flow, including at the very beginning or end of your cycle
- you want back-up for a menstrual cup or tampon
- you experience spotting
- you want to wear everyday protection
Will my Cloth Pads leak?
Seaside Squirrel’s cloth pads are designed to be highly absorbent, having a core layer of fabric material specifically designed to absorb fluids quickly. The pads are fitted with a waterproof yet breathable layer underneath the absorbent core, so that will prevent leakage, and the flaps that snap around your underwear act as wings to protect the sides of your panties.
How do I care for my pads?
When you are done with a pad, rinse it in cold water until the water runs clear and gently squeeze any excess water out. Using cold water reduces the chance of staining. Be gentle and avoid twisting the pad when rinsing it as this will reduce its life.
When the pad is rinsed, hand wash with detergent or throw it in your laundry basket until you are ready to do a laundry. Avoid using fabric conditioner as this will affect the absorbency of the pad.
To make the pads last longer, air dry them. You can hang them to dry, lay flat to dry, or however you like. You can also tumble dry them on low heat. It is important not to dry on high heat or the snaps may warp.
If you are concerned with stains, you can pre-treat the pads with a stain remover or let them dry in the sun. A few drops of tea tree oil in the wash water can help disinfect and deodorize them. Should your pads develop a musty smell from sitting in an enclosed space (like the bottom of your bag if you forget them for a few days) you can use white vinegar in the wash water followed by an extra rinse to be sure all the vinegar is gone.
How will I know which pad is for a moderate flow and which pad is for a heavy flow?
Seaside Squirrel's cloth pads are fitted with a little ribbon on one of the side wings: a little pink ribbon indicates a moderate flow, and a red ribbon is a heavy flow pad.
What if my snaps break?
In the unlikely event that one of the little snaps on your Seaside Squirrel cloth pad breaks or warps, I am happy to replace the snaps free of charge. Just drop me a message and post the clean pads to me, and I will endeavour to replace the snaps and post the pads back to you within a couple of days.
Are your reusable pads PFA free?
YES, my cloth pads are PFA free!
They are fitted with a waterproof layer of PUL (polyurethane laminated) fabric, sandwiched between one or two layers of an absorbent fabric called Zorb (a mix of bamboo, cotton, viscose, and poly microfiber) and cotton fabrics.
I’m happy to report that PUL is PFA, PFOA, and PFO free, as is the Zorb fabric, and that I seek cotton textiles that have the GOTS standard - a rigorous certification label that ensures the textiles and fabric products are grown according to strict ecological and toxicological guidelines.
I'm still a bit apprehensive. Anything else you can say to reassure me?
This is what people have told me after they switched to using cloth pads:
"These are so comfortable. I wish I started using them years ago"
"They are much lighter than I was expecting, I could hardly feel it on"
"I won't be going back to disposable pads, there is no comparison"
"Your pads are the best! I've tried a few on the market and yours have the best shape. Also they're super cute!"
And my favourite >>> "I'm actually looking forward to my periods now!"