Earth Day Related: Cloth Pads

29 April 2013

Hey Lovelies! So as promised I am back with the post to highlight the cloth menstrual pads I talked about in my Earth Day Post.

I purchased these pads from GEM Cloth in 2010 it has been three years since I made my cloth pad transition. I can say that I will never go back to the conventional store bought pads. I made the switch because I was tired of the irritation I got with the store bought pads. I was looking into cloth diapers and I thought to myself it would be so awesome if they had something like that for women. Then I started to find an array of cloth pads. There were rave reviews written by the women who made the switch so I began doing my research to find the best pad for my needs. I ultimately settled on GEM Cloth for the shape, materials, customer service, and the cost.

This post is not written to try and conform you, it is instead written to inform you. I want you to know that you have many options for your feminine care, there are products out there that are free of chemicals and can be used to care for your cycle without exposing your sensitive organs to harm.

Benefit of Cloth Pads
Chemical Free
Fragrance Free
Plastic Free
Saves Money (after initial investment)
No odor
Earth Friendly/No Waste
Most Women Report : Shorter, Lighter, and or Cramp Free menstrual Cycles
No glue getting adhered to places they do not belong
Better for Sensitive Skin/No Irritation

I can honestly say that I have received every single one of the benefits associated with cloth pads. My normal five day menstrual cycle went down to three days with only one heavy day. I was not plagued with tons of menstrual cramps before but the ones that I did have are completely gone. Not only am I thrilled about it but so is my husband, he's all for cloth pads now haha!

Most cloth pads are made of three parts. The top layer is a cotton woven material, the inner layers for absorbency are also cotton, hemp, bamboo or zorb, and the bottom layer is fleece which helps the pad to not move around on your underwear and also helps to make the pad leak resistant. The pads also have handy little snaps on each side to help them adhere to your underwear. The pads below are diamond pads the shape allows for maximum coverage to protect against leaks - also pictured are cloth pantyliners.

The pads from left to right are 12 inch Postpartum/Overnight Absorbancy, 10 inch Heavy Absorbency, 9 inch Regular Absorbency, and 8 inch Light Absorbency. These pads are very comfortable and feel similar to underwear. For maximum protection I would advise that they be worn with proper fitting underwear.

These are cloth pantyliners, they are great for daily use and can even work well as a tampon back up. They do not work well for heavy absorbency and are made for light use.

Traveling with cloth pads is very easy. When I take mine out I put them in a simple wetbag. This bag looks very similar to a makeup bag but it is water proof. I purchased a dual zippered wetbag to separate used and unused pads. In the end I actually used the side for unused pads to hold my makeup, because I rarely ever have both used and unused pads in the bag at the same time.

The brown side is not waterproof and is meant for unused pads. The blue side is water proof and made to house used pads. When pads have been used they are can be folded and stored in the bag like shown below.

Cleaning Pads

After storing my pads in the wet bag when I am on the go, I return home to rinse them out. I rinse them in COLD water. Hot water will set a stain so you do not want to use that until you are ready to wash the pads. I rinse the pads until the water runs clear. I then store them in my pad pot with cold water and vinegar. You can store your pads in a large jar, bucket, or pretty much anything that can hold water if you are doing the wet storage method. I purchased this beautiful pot for mine.

When my menstrual cycle comes to end I rinse my pads again and then mix up some OxiClean "like" solution. The Oxi cleaner will instruct you to mix it with hot water to release the cleaning power. Follow those directions but do not put your pads into the water until it has cooled. If you have major staining you can put the Oxi cleaner directly on the pads by making a paste, and allow them to soak a little longer. I usually allow my pads to soak in the solution over night.

When I am ready to wash, I do a prewash in cold water using a fragrance and dye free detergent, followed by a final wash with hot water. The hot water sanitizes the pads and removed the detergent. For the rinse cycle I make sure to fill my downy ball with vinegar as it acts a natural fabric softener that is fragrance and chemical free (If you have a really good washer you can preset your washer to do all these steps for you). Do not use other fabric softeners like downy, gain, or dryers sheets - these products will coat your pads and cause them to be less absorbent. Your pads can be washed with anything you wish if you are comfortable with that - like bath towels, cloth baby diapers, or whatever.

I dry my pads the same way I would dry towels. You want to make sure they are very dry, all the way to the core. To soften the pads even more you can use wool dryer balls if that is your thing, they wick away moisture and cut down on drying time.

Once those steps are complete you are ready to wear your pads again. Pantyliners can be washed just like underwear, if you are using them for Tampon of Diva Cup backup I would suggest using the pad washing method for them.

I hope I have answered all the questions you may have about alternative feminine care. I have made a list of things mentioned in the post in case you are interested in purchasing them for yourself.

Cloth Pads
GEM Cloth(My top choice)

Menstrual Cup
Diva Cup (Also Sold at Whole Foods)


Washing Supplies

If you have any other question let me know in the comments below.




  1. as though this may be a good idea. I haven't worn a pad since middle school and dont plan to now. esp if i had to wash them. um gross. um no thank you. not into bulky things and since i'm on bc i'm very light so i rarely wear anything b/c it doesn't flow LOL

  2. Great post, I love seeing other ladies like myself embracing the cocoa crunchy side of life!

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