"INFO: The team previously at hannahpad Canada launched their own new brand, illum! These blog posts have been written when we used to run hannahpad Canada. All information is still relevant and everything is the same! We simply changed the brand that we offer. "
Ewww... Gross. Yuck.
These are just some of the first words that people say about using cloth pads. But is that all there is, really? As a cloth pad user myself, I think different.
I was already a long time cloth pad user before bringing it over to Canada. I don't really remember what triggered me to ditch the disposables and start using cloth pads. It was my husband (back then boyfriend) who recommended them to me after researching about them. I used to always complain to him about the discomfort of using disposable pads and how much cramps I had. (And of course he was always the one to take on all my stress and temper every month.) So, after hearing about reusable cloth pads from him, I gave some thought to it and decided to try it out. I think the decision maker was somewhere in between.. "badly wanting to stop skin irritations" and "wanting to try something healthier for myself".
For the past several years, my time spent during periods weren't so bad or uncomfortable as they were before using cloth pads. They were actually more enjoyable! I always had some fun picking out what pattern to use, my skin wasn't itchy and red anymore, and I was more aware of my cycle all together. But my number one issue in the beginning was how to wash them. It took me some time to find my best washing routine. I hand washed after every change, (and I still do,) so it was a bit of extra work compared to the disposable pads. And as a newbie to cloth pads, I didn't have any know-hows in hand washing them, so my hands would easily get chapped by the end of my period because I was rubbing too much. After a few months of experience, I started to get the hang of washing them clean without sacrificing my hands.
Many people ask, "isn't it unhygienic and unclean to wash your own bloody pads?" Short answer would be a simple "No." Think about it this way. When your period starts unexpectedly, and so an accident happens on your underwear, pants, or bed linen, would you throw them out each time you stain them? I sure hope not because that would be so much waste! As you would wash your underwear, pants, or bed linen, there’s always a way to remove stains and have them like new again. Cloth pads are essentially washed in the same way as you would a regular load with stains on them. The only thing we emphasized is the use of natural laundry detergents and soaps to keep fabrics soft. (It's better on your skin too.) And once you wash them, make sure to dry them completely before storing them away to prevent any damage to the pads.
We also offer an EM Probiotic soap that works well for cloth pad washes and can help eliminate odours while being gentle on the environment- it’s a WIN-WIN. (You can learn more about it here.)
1. Place used illum cloth pad under running cold water and rinse out discharge as much as possible.
2. Prepare bucket of cold water.
3. Apply illum Probiotic Soap (or any other natural washing detergent) on soiled area of pad and gently rub until it lathers. Do not wash pad afterwards.
4. Fold pad in half and soak in the prepared bucket of cold water for min 6 hrs, and up to 48 hrs (2 days). Change water in between if soaked for longer than 12 hrs.
5. Hand wash soaked pad in running water. (Machine wash possible, but hand wash recommended.)
6. Hang dry (in the sun or indoors.)
Our washing instructions are our recommendations and serves as a guideline for you to start off from. Soon enough, you'll start developing your own washing routine that works best for you!
Using cloth pads has helped me a lot in terms of not only minimizing (or even getting rid of) my PMS symptoms, but also making the amount of garbage I produced every month from disposable pads and packaging to ZERO. Now this is totally worth switching to cloth pads, isn't it?
So now, let me give you some new words about using cloth pads.
Zero Waste Period.
Easy to Wash.
... and the list goes on.
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