June 05, 2020 4 min read

"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. :slightly_smiling_face: "


Even really good things can come to an end - like a good book, a soul-searching vacation, and... the usability of your trusty hannahpads.

After years of dedicated service, it may be time to let your hannahpad be one with nature again. It may be a sad moment. But here is a reason to smile: you’ve just used up a hannahpad. This means you have saved a lot of money within its years of service, experienced its awesome health benefits, and you have helped mother earth tremendously.

In this article, we will cover a few basic things you need to know about your favourite reusable cloth pad when it can no longer be used. We’ll cover how long they are supposed to last, how you can tell when to dispose of your hannahpad, and what to do when it’s time to let your hannahpad go. Let’s get started!

Closeup of a woman holding a hannahpad

How Long Can Cloth Pads Last?

This can vary from case to case. illum Cloth Pads are made of organic cotton that is not only absorbent and comfortable but also durable and can last many years. Cotton fabric is known to have high tensile strength, making it less likely to rip or tear. This contributes to why the cotton fabric is one of the most preferred fabrics for making clothes - and for making your beloved illum cloth pads.

But, of course, since the usage of clothes is different from the usage of illum cloth pads, the pads are more likely to need replacement sooner. Each illum cloth pad can be used 75 times or more. On average, the pads can last about 3 years. But with proper care, they can last up to 4 years - or even longer, as some users claim.

You’ll be surprised how fresh and unchanged 4-year-old reusable cloth pads can actually look like with proper care. Check out our article called REVEAL: What 3-4 Year Old Cloth Pads Actually Look Like. It will pleasantly exceed your expectations!

But of course, there are certain factors that can extend the lifespan of your illum cloth pads. So let’s talk about that.

How Do I Make My Reusable Cloth Pads Last?

The main factor that influences how long your reusable pads will last is whether or not they were washed appropriately. There are certain practices that can accelerate a illum cloth pad’s wear and tear. Here are a few things to avoid:

  • Don’t use bleach or hydrogen peroxide when cleaning your reusable pads
  • Avoid tumble drying your reusable pads
  • As much as possible, avoid wringing/twisting your reusable pads
  • Boiling your reusable pads is not recommended

    For more information on how to wash your illum cloth pads step-by-step, check out our blog on cleaning best practices.

How Do I Know When My Cloth Pad is No Longer Usable?

As we mentioned earlier, various factors can affect how long your illum cloth pad will be of service. This is because the cotton fabric on your illum cloth pads responds to the treatment that it gets through the years. Over time, physical changes to the texture of the cotton can be seen and/or felt.

These physical changes can affect the texture and shape of your pad. So look for any changes around the 2-3 year mark. Then, you can decide if it’s time to replace your illum cloth pad.

Some new users think that the staining of the cotton will also be a problem, but actually, this is also dependent on the care practices you take with your reusable cloth pads. With some proper TLC, illum cloth pads can look fresh and clean even after 4 years.

What Do I Do With illum Cloth Pads I Can't Use Anymore?

Once you’ve decided that it’s time to dispose of your illum cloth pad and get it replaced, here is a step-by-step on what to do.

Just Throw the Pad In Compost Bin

This is a good opportunity to bring up one of the special characteristics of the hannahpad. Instead of using a PUL layer for waterproofing, illum cloth pads are manufactured with a TPU coating. This means that you get waterproofing and leak protection while still allowing air to pass through, maximizing the product’s breathability. This also gets rid of the “crunching noise problem” that reusable pads with the PUL layerhave

So why are we talking about this?

Typically, by the time that illum cloth pads need to be replaced, it’s because the TPU coating has started to crack. You’ll be happy to know that even the TPU coating, which is located on the inner side of the patterned fabric, is completely degradable in 3-5 years. For larger size illum cloth pads, you will need to separate the TPU coating from the outermost patterned cotton fabric and dispose of it in the regular garbage before composting the cotton fabric. 

Aren’t these refreshingly short decomposition times compared to the 500-800 years that it takes to decompose disposable pads? Yup, we can all be comforted by the fact that the illum cloth pads can be one with nature in no time and won’t outlast a human being’s lifetime like disposable pads too - as unsettling as that may be.

Now you know how to properly dispose of illum cloth pads that are no longer usable. Have fun recycling and composting!

Ready to Restock?

We at illum would just like to say congratulations on being able to sustain this lifestyle change that benefits your health, saves you money, and even helps the planet. We’re out to make the world a better place, one illum cloth pad at a time, and we sure are happy to have you with us!

If you’ve just said goodbye to a illum cloth pad or a set of pads, then chances are you are in need of replacements - and stat! So feel free to check out what reusable cloth pads are available right now in our store. You might even find some cool new patterns!

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