Okay ladies, let’s talk. Yes, we’re going to talk about *that* subject. No! Not THAT one…the OTHER one. Get your mind outta the gutters! Recently, I made the switch from disposable to cloth pads. I know. That was more TMI about me than you ever needed to know, but this year I’ve been on this massive quest to lower our costs and this is one area that I felt I could lower. So yes, I ordered cloth pads and honestly? I’m thrilled! In fact? I will never go back to disposables. This post was originally written in 2014. Since then, there have been a lot of questions about the use, care, and just in general about using cloth pads so I’m updating it (March 2016) to include the answers to a lot of those questions. Honestly I should have put the answers in the original post but it simply didn’t occur to me to do that. I’ve learned a lot since then which is why if you read a recent post? They’re much more informative than this post originally was.
A lot of you know that I dream of homesteading someday and for most homesteaders, the need and want for a simple life is a large portion of why they want to homestead in the first place. I know that in my case, it’s a very large portion. Frankly, having to rely on disposables with an uncomfortable plastic cover that is REALLY bad for the environment and can be super expensive at the same time just isn’t something I want to keep in my life forever. So when I had the chance to pick up a few cloth pads, I did. I had been wanting to try them out for a while and as they say, “there’s no time like the present,” I went for it.
I realize that for some people, this is just drawing a line that they would never cross. After all, this topic can be a fairly gross one, but here’s how I look at it. Some folks don’t think twice about putting a cloth diaper on your babies bum so why not your own? Seriously. This was much less gross than a cloth diaper. It’s WAY less gross than using say a…menstrual cup? I’ve been down that road and no…never again. They’re just not right for me. For some, they love them, but for me, they are painful and just not something I want to mess with.
Why I Started Using Cloth Pads & Why You Should Too!
With these, there really isn’t any mess so if you’re squeamish, no worries. They’re not as hard to clean as you might think and the gross factor is no less than changing a disposable one. It’s toss and go. Yes, you have to wash them but really there’s not much “yuck” there either since you soak them before they’re washed. Caring for them is simple. You just need a bucket, lingerie bag, water and Borax. Keep your bucket under the bathroom sink (or where ever works for you) and soak them in the Borax water until you’re ready to wash. Wash them in the lingerie bag to protect the snaps in the washer.
Anyhow, I don’t see much of a difference between these and cloth diapers so I went ahead and made the leap. They’re fairly cheap to buy if you know the right place to get them from. I LOVE shopping Tree Hugger since they have great prices and the quality is amazing. I know that seems like a lot but this post was originally written in 2014 and I’m updating it in 2016 and those original purchases are still going strong. I have had only one that I had to repair and that was my fault. I washed without a lingerie bag so I had to repair the snaps. While it was more out of pocket at first, the savings in the long run has been huge. I’ve long admitted that I rarely use coupons these days so for me, buying disposables would be more expense than I have paid for my cloth pads over the long run.
Aside from the money saving factor, cloth pads are crazy comfortable. A lot of the time, you can tell you have a disposable on and God forbid you need a thicker one because you’ll walk around feeling like you have a diaper on. With cloth pads, a lot of them are made with Zorb as their absorbent core. This means that they are much thinner but absorb the same. In other words? I can’t even tell they are there and that is huge for me!
The other thing that convinced me was the fact that they take up less space. I’m not talking about a little bit of space either. I use 5 shelf shelving systems for our stockpile. The amount of disposables that I had to store for a 1 year supply took up an entire shelf and considering I prefer to keep a 2 year supply of that type of thing? I was losing 2 shelves. Now? They store in a small tote with a lid. Getting back that shelf space was huge for me since it meant I could stock up on other items that I was missing.
Finally, my last reason for making the switch to cloth pads was emergency preparation. The simple truth is that anything could happen at anytime to any of us. (Did that make sense?). My own family went through significant financial issues in 2014 due to a loss of income, I have been homeless, I have lived through 500-year floods, tornadoes and blizzards. Sometimes you can’t just run out and get what you need. Sometimes putting out the trash each week is an issue because of water or snow or whatever. Sometimes you really just don’t have the money to buy the items you need. Cloth pads takes all of those issues away since you have them at home already, there’s no need to replace them each month and since they really could be washed with very little water if you absolutely needed to.
One of the questions that a lot of you seemed to have was how you handle them when you’re traveling. The answer to that is a wet bag. Rinse them, fold them, store them in the wet bag until you get home and are able to soak them for washing. Another question that was asked was where I get them. The truth is that I don’t want to tell you. Not because I don’t want to share but because the government has imposed crazy fees for people that make them. Fees above and beyond what a small time seller who is just looking to make a few extra bucks each month should have to pay. The short answer to this question is that I get them off of sellers who sell in Facebook groups. You can also find cloth pads and wet bags on Etsy too without too much work.
So what do you think? Would you ever consider making the switch? I hope I’ve answered the questions that you may have but if not, leave me a comment and I’ll get it answered as best as I am able. I will tell you this though. I would never go back to disposables.