Men, close your eyes.
Girls… let’s talk periods.
Even when I was totally plastic-free for a few years, I still wore disposable pads. I like Natracare. They’re organic cotton, plastic-free, chlorine-free and my favourite – compostable. So as far as disposable pads go, they’re high on my list. They make pads, tampons, panty liners, etc.
I also have a Diva Cup. There’s a lot of love going around for the Diva Cup these days and I got mine many, many moons ago. But, I hate it. It just doesn’t fit properly, it’s uncomfortable and it’s a killer to get out. So, it sits untouched on my shelf. I’ve recently wanted to try a menstrual cup out again so I might try another brand. Right now the Keeper, Lunette and Mooncup (the British one, not the American one) are in the running.
Something else I’ve been wanting to try for years (but never have, due to the icky factor) is cloth pads. The Soap Dispensary, one of my favourite stores, sells a number of different local brands, but they’re not cheap! I’m tempted to buy some and then use them as a pattern to make my own if I like them.
I’m thinking a combo of the cloth pads and cup are the way to go. The research on which to choose is one thing, but how to keep them clean (and not stinky) without grossing out my husband is another thing. Here’s what I’ve found so far:
I’m thinking I’ll buy a lined, reusable, fabric-with-zipper sandwich bag to carry with me to used ones in until I get home. Before putting the pads into a bag, try to rinse them in cold water ASAP as dried blood is a lot harder to get out. Once home, you can soak them in a bucket until you’re ready to put them in the wash. Now, you can buy cleaner specifically for your cloth pads – but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of not buying plastic pads? My preference is definitely to make my own pre-soak. Cold water alone can later be used to water plants. Alternatively, put a few drops of tea tree oil in with the cold water as a disinfectant or perhaps some baking soda. Keep in mind that if you add anything to the water it will need to be poured down the drain or flushed and can’t be used on plants. Also, don’t forget to change the water daily.
(Another tip: try throwing them on the floor of the shower for a good rinse while you’re showering!)
You can then throw them into the washing machine with your towels or other laundry. If you or your roomies are squeamish, you can use a mesh laundry bag. Don’t use bleach as that will break down the fibres in the pads! As for drying – stick them in the dryer or (my preference) hang them to dry.
Voila! Any tips to share on pads or menstrual cups?