What They Want You to Believe. Cloth Pad Myths.
Behold! It's time to shed some light on the cloth pad situation. If any of these myths are holding you back, prepare to be enlightened.
The following are a list of excuses (and their opposing realities) that I hear all the time from people who are reluctantly considering making the switch to cloth from trash pads.
Cloth pads are expensive
Gah, everything in 2022 is expensive, amirite?! Yeah, cloth pads feel like an "investment" up front. Just one panty liner is the same cost as what, 2 boxes of liners?! According to our math (you can see it broken down in the FAQ section) disposable period products will cost up to $3500 in a life time. ONE FULL SET of Body Honour Pads is about $200-250, and they will last for 150+ washes (so 10 years or more if they're for periods.) So, max $750 total for a lifetime of menstruation.
Don't even get me started on the cost of bladder leak pads. Because they are so much more expensive, the savings are even greater.
Cloth pads are uncomfortable
Wrong. Cloth pads are soft. They are not sticky, or made of sweaty plastics. They don't make noise. Can you tell you're wearing a pad? Of course, but it doesn't feel wet until it's time to change, and they don't require more frequent changes than the trash pads do. Also, Body Honour pads are usually topped with cotton, either flannel, a flat cotton, or a jersey cotton knit, so they absorb, but don't wick moisture away like other materials do which can be uncomfortable if it wicks too well and gets too dry.
Cloth pads can't be washed with regular laundry
Sure they can! As long as you're washing with cold water and a mild detergent, no bleach, fabric softener or dryer sheets, all is well. Sure, rinsing in cold in the sink before washing is a bonus, but it's not necessary. I often recommend that you wash them with dark colours, or towels, socks and undies.
Cloth pads aren't absorbent enough
There are different absorbencies and different sizes for cloth pads. Ours come with 1 to 3 layers of absorbent material, as well as 2 layers of cotton. We make everything from light day liners, to postpartum and custom waterproof heavy leak pads. Expect to need to change a cloth pad just as much as you do a trash pad.
Cloth pads are only for periods
Of course, cloth pads are excellent for periods. But, whatever you are using a trash pad for, you can use a cloth pad for. We have many customers who use our cloth pads every day, as an extra layer just in case. They are perfect for sneeze-pees, exercise and all other leak inducing activities, and can be made with custom waterproof interiors for those extra heavy days, or moderate bladder loss.
Cloth pads are gross
I hate this one. This statement makes me want to get out my tinfoil hat and preach about how "The Man" wants you to think you're gross, and wants you to buy their trash and be ashamed. (Not all men of course, mine stacks my clean pads by size on laundry day.) Honestly though, bloody nose drips on shirt, gets washed. Kid poops pants, gets washed. Dog barfs on rug, gets washed. Am I missing something here? Why should period blood be any different? I refuse to believe that I am the grossest one living in this house...
Also, have you seen what's in trash pads? Read the myth below, if you really want to understand "gross."
Cloth pads are too much work
This was my major hang up. Who needs another thing on the TO DO list? Not me. In all honesty, the benefits really outweigh the little bit of extra thought required. I have a wet bag beside the toilet, I replace my current pad with a new one, and put the used one in the bag. If they were used during my period, I empty the bag into the wash, and toss it in too, and do a small load with cold water. They are dryer safe, or can hang out on the line. If they were used during a cold, or just for everyday wear, I just toss them into the laundry with the rest of my stuff. You wash your underwear right?!
Cloth pads don't travel well
Sure they do! They've come with me camping, to work, to weekend's away for business, hiking the Skyline trail, the mall, a friend's house... if you can carry a garbage pad everywhere you go, you can carry a cloth pad too. Grab a pad pouch, or a wet bag and you're all set. You don't have to rinse them right away, so don't worry about being in a public bathroom attempting to rinse a pad in the sink while getting horrified stink eye from the passersby. Also, the idea that you'll be able to smell your used pad when it's tucked away in a wet bag or pouch is just not true.
You can't wear cloth pads when you have a yeast infection
Some believe this with the idea that you won't be able to wash discharge from the pad adequately, but this isn't the case. We wrote a blog about this one too. If anything, a cloth pad would be better than a yucky trash pad as it is better at allowing airflow.
The benefit to the planet is minor
One cloth pad can keep 150 trash pads from the landfill. A "regular" period will use about 15 cloth pads, give or take, for years. 15 cloth pads is the replaces 2,250 trash pads. And sure, the trash products are supposed to make it to the landfill where they will continue their immortal lives, but do they always? Tampon applicators are always seen in waterways, garbage bags get scattered by wildlife, etc. Your used cloth pad will be in your washing machine.
BONUS MYTH: Trash pads are "better"
Oh look, my tinfoil hat is back... WHO are trash pads better for? Not you... unless you're a trash pad manufacturer, I guess. Did you know that there are NO regulations regarding what can go into a trash pad? None. I did the research. I even had a government funded agency do the research and confirm, for reals.
So, here is what IS in trash pads:
Chloromethane: reproductive toxicant
Chloroform: carcinogen, reproductive toxicant, neurotoxin
Dioxin: carcinogen, infertility, hormone imbalance
And we wonder why our skin is irritated, our cramps are unbearable, and our flow is insanely heavy.
Oh, here are some sources... you can't just make this stuff folks.