How to use Cloth Pads

Simply put a clean pad into your underwear like you would an ordinary disposable pad.

Most styles have wings that fasten with snaps, buttons or Hook & Loop tape instead of the adhesive that disposable pads use.. so they will look and be worn like a disposable pad. You need to throw out the daggy "Granny Undies" though, as even winged cloth pads work better on snug fitting underpants (They don't need to be tight, but if the fabric is too loose, the pad can shift around a bit).

Wingless pads are generally made with corduroy, flannelette/flannel or fleece backing to prevent slipping. As long as your underpants are reasonably snug fitting, they should not move about so shouldn't require fastening to your underpants. You could also use baby/nappy safety pins (the kind that don't come undone easily). If you wanted to. You just need to remember to take extra care when pulling your underpants down to go to the toilet, as wingless pads can fall out onto the floor or into the toilet bowl! They can be more comfortable or bike/horse riding though, because there are no snaps to make it uncomfortable when sitting.

Many women prefer using winged pads for the convenience and extra leak protection they offer on the sides.

You should find them as absorbent as a disposable pad (if not more so), but for hygiene, change them as often as you would a disposable pad (that is meant to be every 4 hours). Many people use one or two pads a day and a night one for night time. On heavy days you may feel more comfortable changing them more often. How often you change pads depends on your personal preference and your amount of flow. Some women feel uncomfortable when they are slightly "wet" so like to change more often. Some women aren't as bothered by that and like to get as much use from each pad as possible.

As weird as it seems, the more often you go to the toilet usually dictates how frequently you change your pads. Part of this is because once you've had the pad off for the moment it takes to go to the toilet, the pad has had a chance to cool off a little, so putting it back on can feel unpleasant. It also tends to be a convenient time to change the pad, and you have the visual reminder that it is there. So women who go to the toilet very frequently may find they like to change their pads very frequently too.

When you change your pad, you have a couple of options on what to do, and this depends on your personal preference and situation.

#Put the used pad into a bucket/pot/container of water to soak and put on a fresh pad. Leaving the pads to soak until you wash them.
#Rinse out your pad straight away and put it in the washing basket to add to your next load of washing, or in a soaking pot to soak until you wash it.
#Put the used pad in the washing basket, or dry pail until your next load of washing, without rinsing.
#Hand wash it immediately

Whatever method you use, when you are ready to wash the pad, you simply wash the pad (by hand or machine) dry it (by clothesline or electric dryer) and reuse the pad again.

Most women find that if pads are soaked or rinsed out straight away (in cold water) they should be less likely to stain, (that the dried blood is more likely to stain). Other women can find the opposite. Different women have different methods for cleaning their pads, and it can be a little trial and error to find the which method works best for you.

You will need between 2-5 pads a day, depending on how often you like to change your pad and how heavy your flow is. It is recommended to have at least 6-12 pads… Around 20 is a good sized stash. The more pads you have the less wear & tear on each pad, making them last longer. For example if you only own 10 pads and use them all 4 times each during one period, then they are only going to last half as long as someone who has 20 pads and only uses each one twice each month. It is best to make sure you have several days supply in case you are not able to get them washed and dry in time. Ultimately having enough pads to last your whole cycle would be beneficial, allowing for emergencies where you wouldn't be able to wash and dry your pads quick enough.

This might seem like a lot of expense to begin with, but they will soon pay for themselves in savings. And you may find it fun to collect pads, having different colours and styles just like you would clothing choices. some women have ludicrously large numbers of cloth pads!

You can add to your cloth pad collection as time goes by, buying a few now and then to spread the expense and wear and tear on your pads. It is more advisable to build your stash that way than to buy lots of pads all together, as you might find that you prefer some styles/fabrics/brands other others

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