General Question

ubersiren's avatar

Any ladies tried reusable cloth feminine products?

Asked by ubersiren (15046 points ) May 28th, 2009

I’d like to try a washable maxi pad like these but I’m not sure what I think yet.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

86 Answers

SuperMouse's avatar

I have never tried them, but I am considering it. I have also heard of the Diva Cup, but I’ve never had the nerve to try that either. Although it is a pretty simple switch, it is so different from what I usually use that it would certainly be an adjustment.

eponymoushipster's avatar

holy crap. what’s next, reusable condoms?

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@eponymoushipster I’m with you. I can’t imagine anything more disgusting! Both of those items look SO old school & nasty. I can’t believe something like this is on the market. EWWWW

casheroo's avatar

I’ve heard about these, but I keep forgetting to even open my Instead box (like a disposable diva cup..) lol. I have friends that use them, and love them.
I personally couldn’t even do cloth diapering, so I can’t imagine using cloth pads. (I used gDiapers instead.)

eponymoushipster's avatar

seriously, if you thought cloth diapers are bad…i can’t…even…imagine….washing…<shudders>.

i worked in a laundry for a few years, doing spot removal. A woman brought in khakis she was wearing when she had a “lady accident”. the memory haunts me.

just throw them out and buy new ones. ack.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@eponymoushipster I’m a woman & even I wouldn’t wash them!

Your khaki story reminds me of something that happened to a good friend of mine years ago. I’ll spare you the story, LOL.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@jbfletcherfan thanks. i’m eating.

sakura's avatar

Nice idea in principle, couldn’t do it myself because prefer to use tampons rather than pads.

Just a quick question how good are they for the environment in terms of using the washing machine etc… or do you have to hand wash them?

hug_of_war's avatar

Too gross for me. I’m not a fan of keeping things I bleed on.

ubersiren's avatar

I would LOVE to try the Diva Cup, even over the cloth pads, but I get queasy inserting stuff into my vagina. I know, what a dufus, right? I mean, I’ve had sex, so you’d think it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I just can’t do it. The first time I tried to use a tampon, my best friend and her mom were outside the bathroom door coaching me through it and I passed out! When I came to, I had no hearing for like an hour. I don’t know what my problem is…

I wouldn’t mind the cleanup, I don’t think. You launder them just like anything else… you just rinse them by hand first, it’s not like you’re scrubbing.

@sakura: My thought on the impact of laundering them is that they don’t take up a lot of room and it’s only a week out of every month, so it’s not much to add to your already existing laundry. I mean, I really don’t know… I’m out to get as much info as possible! I just feel so bad for throwing out disposable stuff. Treehugger or whatever, I really do feel bad about it.

Darwin's avatar

I think menopause has been a gift to me. I no longer have to worry about stuff like this.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I don’t use pads because I’m little (my periods aren’t) and they always end up looking like a diaper under my clothes. The Diva cup definitely has an appeal though.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

This is how our mothers did it but in a nice package – and I think it’s great…but then again, we also use cloth diapers so as a family we just must be pretty gross..NOT

eponymoushipster's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence buckets of nasty come in little packages?

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@eponymoushipster: heh heh heh, there are so many things I could say but I’m trying soooo hard to be a good girl

Supacase's avatar

I must have issues, but I think they are gross. I think pads in general are gross and the idea of revisiting the mess on/in them makes me ill.

saranwrapper's avatar

I’m all for the environment but I draw the line there. I’m going to throw out things I’ve bled on.

casheroo's avatar

@Supacase I think tampons are gross. The thought of plugging myself up just doesn’t seem natural.

Facade's avatar

no thanks

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@casheroo Believe me, if you ever stood up & felt like your insides were going to come out on the floor, you’d use tampons!

casheroo's avatar

@jbfletcherfan I have felt that. I still prefer pads. Tampons are way too uncomfortable. Have you had any children? Ever since I’ve had my son, tampons bother me.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Yes, I have two girls. The way I was 5 years ago before my surgery, a pad would have lasted maybe 5 minutes. I used them only as a backup.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@eponymoushipster LOL again!!! Patting your hand, you’ll be fine

Darwin's avatar

Smelling salts, anyone?

ubersiren's avatar

@eponymoushipster : I am amused that you’re even still following this thread!

eponymoushipster's avatar

@ubersiren i’m too lazy to hit “Stop Following”.

Darwin's avatar

@simone54Bucket?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@simone54 i think someone in here can probably advocate something to pick that up. i just hope it’s not a reusable something…

basp's avatar

Back in the olden days we did use pieces of cloth… They were called ‘rags’. (hence the expression, ‘on the rag’)
Thank god they invented pads and tampons!

sakura's avatar

@ubersiren I ike the idea of them but not to sure if they are for me, maybe I am a bit too sqeamish about washing them??? Just wondering on the washing side, don’t know enough myself, just thought I’d play devils advocate and throw the question into the mix!!

Darwin's avatar

The answer is Oxyclean.

sakura's avatar

yup its called vanish over here and napisan in NZ!!!

YARNLADY's avatar

I can’t believe how many flutherites are such wimps. I volunteer in a nursing home for severely brain damaged people, and none of this even phases me. We wash many things worse than these.

A maid in a motel deals with this kind of thing every single day.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@YARNLADY The majority of us can make that choice, tho. Our daughter is an RN in a nursing home, so yeah, I KNOW you deal with way worse than that every day. But that goes with the job there. That’s not a choice you can make..whether or not you can deal with it.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@YARNLADY then by all means use them. not everybody is such a steel coated captain of awesome as you. kudos.

SuperMouse's avatar

The only thing that concerns me about the reusable stuff is the hygiene. If I am going to use something in that area I want to be sure it is sterile because the last thing I need is a bladder infection.

@casheroo, I’m with you, I like pads better than tampons, the idea of plugging myself up with processed cotton just doesn’t do it for me.

Supacase's avatar

I have never had a tampon hurt or bother me at all. Pads, on the other hand, get stuck to things like hair or delicate skin when you move around. Plus, you can’t wear them with certain clothes without them being ovbious or a bathing suit at all. They’re bulky; I feel like I’m wearing a diaper.

I have a friend who says she doesn’t feel “cleaned out” if she has a tampon in, but I am the opposite. I feel dirty and smelly and slimy (sorry) and gross when I use a pad.

eponymoushipster's avatar

<shifts awkwardly in seat>

ubersiren's avatar

@eponymoushipster : Run for your life, dude.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

laughing AGAIN

eponymoushipster's avatar

@ubersiren that time is was a toss up between “slimy” and “stuck to things like hair and delicate skin”...

casheroo's avatar

@Supacase What your friend feels is what I feel, regarding tampons. It just doesn’t feel like everything can leave my body properly. And I feel like I just don’t know what they put into tampons…I don’t know, guess I’m paranoid. I do use them occasionally, especially during swimsuit season…so I’m not adamantly against them.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@casheroo don’t ask how i know, but they sell organic cotton ones at Whole Foods.

i don’t know what the thread count is or anything, but no doubt it’s some fine quality materials that they expect you’ll stick up in your sniz.

casheroo's avatar

@eponymoushipster of course you knew that. the organic cotton tampons were just popping out at you. lol

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@eponymoushipster SNIZ?????? I’ve heard it called lots of things, but never that. oh, my sides are achin’

Supacase's avatar

@casheroo I can kind of understand, without getting into the gory details, the feeling that everything isn’t getting flushed out with a tampon. I will also spare everyone the gory details of why I don’t find that to be an issue. (Blech, what a topic!) Everyone is different; I guess that is why they have so many options.

Supacase's avatar

@jbfletcherfan I was just laughing about the same thing!! SNIZ! Good one @eponymoushipster

eponymoushipster's avatar

@casheroo they were….wait for it….stringing me along.

@jbfletcherfan @Supacase glad i could expand your knowledge of terms for lady bits.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@eponymoushipster You have made me laugh several times today. You get to go to the head of the class. ’-)

YARNLADY's avatar

And yet only two GQ points? What’s up with that?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@jbfletcherfan i do what i can. <curtseys>

SuperMouse's avatar

@casheroo I totally relate to you feeling like everything is moving properly with tampons. That is why I find the Diva Cup interesting, it is a way to catch it all without the hassle of pads (which @Supacase makes some excellent points about), while allowing things to keep flowing.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SuperMouse I’m considering the cup too
hmm

zina's avatar

Well, I’ve used Glad Rags (similar to your link) for years and I LOVE them. Washing them is totally not a big deal, and you can do it many different ways – I find the easiest is just to wrap them up after use (just like a pad, just put it in a bag rather than the trash), then just before doing laundry you rinse them and then toss them in the laundry with everything else. Hand washing/rinsing really isn’t grosser than muddy pants/shoes or washing dishes or pets or any number of other things (I’m trying to think of examples that people do!) – I guess it’s just how you think about it. Really it’s just some cloth that you throw in a sink/bowl and fill with water and soap. It all washes away and you wash your hands afterward. Anyway, after all this time I hardly think about that part. Yeah, it can be a little diaper-y, but less so than non-cloth pads, especially because on the lighter days you can just use one (or two) of the inserts (at least I can) – and that’s very absorptive and thin, and soft cloth just like underwear. I just wear a skirt or something looser on those days, and underwear that really hold them snug (like boy-cut shorts). I could definitely see the case for people who aren’t as into it using tampons/disposable pads for the heavy days then using cloth for the ‘stragglers’. That’s kindof best of both worlds. I’ve started to use tampons for ‘special occasions’, especially the first day or two – if I need to dress up or wear something fitted, a beach party, etc etc – and otherwise use these.

I was amazed recently on a few occasions when I needed to use ‘regular’ period things – someone handed me a disposable pad and it seemed HUGE! And crunchy squeeky plasticy awkward. And the big, invasive, non-natural tampons (like, ich! what am I putting inside myself!) with big applicators… I opted for the little organic cotton tampons, which are fine for me, but it definitely reminded me how much more comfortable the rags are. I guess I really take it for granted. I couldn’t believe how uncomfortable, how much waste, how expensive, and everything else most women are going through every month!

So I guess that answers your question, and maybe voices a little contrasting viewpoint to some of the other responses. :)

ubersiren's avatar

@eponymoushipster : Is sniz short for snizzatch?

@zina: Thanks for your insight! Yeah, cleaning them won’t bother me at all. I mean, I have plenty of clothing that I’ve washed pee, poop, barf, blood from injury, mystery stains etc out of… not all mine- I have a 2 year old, so if I threw away clothes every time something gross got on them, I’d be buying a new wardrobe every few months. So, I don’t think a little blood is going to bother me. Especially if its my own, and not very much.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@eponymoushipster I think you mean a bow. Altho, it MAY be interesting to see you curtsey, LOL.

zina's avatar

@ubersiren: Yes, great, then you know what I mean about washing. Beyond that, I think they’re really comfortable, basically soft cloth like underwear or clothes rather than some other material (with bleach and who knows what chemicals up against your body). It might just take finding the brand/size/etc you like and like I said underwear that work well with them. I guess I lucked out as far as that goes, because I stuck with what I first tried and I already have underwear that work – so I use GladRags but others might be great too, I’ve just never tried them. Let me know if you have any other questions!

ubersiren's avatar

Great, thanks @zina.

nomtastic's avatar

I’m a little floored by how grossed out so many folks here get by menstrual blood. The idea that it is somehow yucky seems problematic to me, coming from people who were born out of vaginas, and either bleed or have sex with people who do.

In any case, I’d like to put in a vote for the diva cup, which can take a little getting-used-to, but doesn’t need to be left to soak (just wash it out with soap and water when you use it) and doesn’t leak.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@nomtastic i was actually born out of a pod.

sakura's avatar

It’s not that menstrual blood freaks me out it’s more the fact that I don’t fancy leaving them to saok in the kitchen sink!!!

I am probably just too lazy and prefer the convenience of the all ready to go products, also I much prefer using tampons, and I don’t imagine you can buy those as reusables? – @zina Where can I buy natural cotton tampons? They sound good :)

I do use panty liners though towards the end of my period, can you buy reusable thin liners? May be interested in those!

ubersiren's avatar

Soak ‘em in the bathroom where menstrual blood belongs. :)

jbfletcherfan's avatar

This still just groses me out. I say throw them in the trash where they belong. Those things definately wouldn’t have worked for me in my situation. Blech.

SuperMouse's avatar

Having read the whole thread through again, I have officially decided that I am going to make the change to reusable products. @ubersiren I’ll let you know how it goes.

ubersiren's avatar

@SuperMouse : I just heard He-man say I have the power! in my head. That’s great! I am convinced as well… I’m still unsure about which brand/product to try though.

SuperMouse's avatar

I am probably going to go with the ones you linked. I don’t want the Diva Cup because I still like the idea of letting it flow and it stops that. Let me know what you decide too!

nomtastic's avatar

@SuperMouse – the diva cup doesn’t stop your flow. it just catches it, so you can pour it out later. blood is still exiting your cervix, which is the important part.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Pour it out….. shudder

hug_of_war's avatar

@jbfletcherfan the very thought makes me want to vomit

SuperMouse's avatar

@nomtastic I understand that, I just want to let it keep flowing.

laureth's avatar

Used them. Love them. Live them!

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@hug_of_war Honey, this whole question makes me want to vomit!

SuperMouse's avatar

I ordered some and they should be here for my next cycle. I’ll let you all know how it goes, or should I say flows?!

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@SuperMouse So in other words, you’re going to go with the flow, huh? hahahaa

casheroo's avatar

@SuperMouse Definitely let me know! I use pads pretty often, because tampons annoy me, but I don’t need many pads and I feel it’s such a waste, you know?

SuperMouse's avatar

Tried them. Love them. Never going back.

evegrimm's avatar

I’ve heard (anecdotally) that switching to cloth pads can really help with cramps…which is one reason why I’m considering switching. (PMDD sufferers have even said it helps.)

Another is that menstrual blood doesn’t really bother me, and the idea of never having to buy those supplies ever again really appeals.

Also, I like that you can make them yourself and use materials that are soft and comfy and with known fibers…the stuff used in feminine supplies is just weird. (It’s like cloth, but not. ‘cotton-like’, ‘absorbant’, etc.)

kellylet's avatar

I have a question…

What about when you are done with one of these but you are not at home? Do you carry used product around in your purse?

YARNLADY's avatar

@kellylet When I expect to not be at home, I would make other arrangements, such as use disposables, although most rest rooms have wash basins, so it is conceivable that a re-useable product could be rinsed out and put in a baggy, but that would be extreme.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Heh, a feminine napkin that doubles as birth control..

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