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Cloth Menstrual Pads

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Cloth liners for everyday use
here_never wrote in cloth_pads
Hi everyone! I just finished my first cycle with a menstrual cup, and now I'm thinking of switching to reusables for everyday use. I just ordered three reusable liners from a local online store (I'm based in the Philippines and this is the only store that sells RUMPs, and I'm not sure if I'll like the liners so I purchased only three), and I'm hoping to transition to reusables ASAP. Here are a couple of concerns, after the cut!

1) How many will I actually need if I am going to use them everyday? I have really weird leukorrhea that my OB-GYN thinks might have something to do with hormonal imbalance (I have PCOS), and it's like I'm ovulating everyday. So I really need to use liners everyday--how many will I need?

2) What's the best way to handwash them? I won't be using them for my period, so I won't need to remove stains, but I definitely want to keep them very clean (I am a neatfreak when it comes to anything down there) and discoloration-free. What soap should I use? BTW I live in a tropical country so sun-drying them isn't an issue, if ever that's a necessary step.

3) Would you guys recommend that I try to make my own liners, even if I'm complete shit at sewing? The liners being sold here are incredibly expensive (the cheapest ones go for 470 Philippine pesos a piece, which is roughly 10-11 USD), and the online store doesn't cover free shipping. Or if it really is not a good idea for someone with the fine motor skills of a cactus to make their own liners, would anyone know of cheaper liners that can be shipped worldwide?

Thanks, and I really hope I can get a few leads!

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I really don't know how many liners you'll need - all I can suggest is to get a small number to start with (maybe one each from a different pad maker, if you can swing the shipping, so you can find out whose pads you prefer). See if one a day will work for you, and buy more if that doesn't meet your needs?

Re: washing, I like to use non-chlorine (oxygen) bleach cleaners. My favourite is an eco-friendly version called OXO Brite and I just let the pad soak for a day in a bucket with OXO Brite solution, then I take it out, scrub/rinse well, and hang dry wherever it's convenient. I'm not sure what you'll have in the Philippines (OxiClean is another one I've seen here that has much better distribution). The benefit is that it doesn't require a ton of effort to get stains out, and the cleanser doesn't fade the colours at all.

Now, I'm talking about getting out bloodstains here - and if you mostly won't have staining, I should think any mild soap will do. Maybe a gentle laundry bar soap like Fels Naptha, something that doesn't include irritants that might lead to irritation/dermatitis.

Whether you make your own liners is entirely a matter of how confident you are at sewing. (I'm crap at it!) Unfortunately I'm not sure whom to recommend for less expensive liners these days - I'm in Canada and our dollar has collapsed against the American one, and even on Etsy most Canadian pad makers sell their wares in U.S. dollars. Maybe someone else can advise? (Note, it may partly depend on what sort of materials and weight you want your liners to have - I prefer thin, highly breathable ones which means I have a lot from Yurtcraft and Homestead Emporium ("HE") - in particular the latter makes lovely pads (Endurapads) from a wicking synthetic material that is pretty effective in hot weather. Both sellers are on Etsy but HE's selection is better on Hyenacart than on Etsy. One bonus is that HE is still listing her pads in Canadian dollars, which are less expensive against the Philippine peso. Our shipping can be a pain, though :-(

Good god, is the Canadian dollar already less expensive??? I've never been this behind on current events, I feel ashamed of myself.

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll check out those brands, and hopefully they come out more affordable for me. Still crossing my fingers that there are local brands, and I just haven't heard of them yet.

And thanks for the cleaning tips! How long do your pads take to dry? Would using a blowdryer be a stupid thing to do? Lol

Cotton pads usually take - hmm, not exactly sure - half a day to dry? Less if it's hot weather, I'd say, a bit more if it's cool and damp. The Endurapads I mentioned always take less time because they're synthetic. Liners typically dry out quickly (relative to other pads) because they're thinner and are simply not intended to absorb a lot of fluid.

I avoid putting pads into the dryer because (a) over time it will fade the colours more quickly, and (b) I'll feel like ironing them afterwards to make them smoother, and I hate ironing :-) But, you can totally put them in the dryer if you want to. Reason I say this is that a blowdryer is really just a very small dryer, so why not use it if you like; I just suspect it might take some effort for the whole pad to dry that way.

If the weather is warm, and especially if the pads are drying in the sun, my guess is that hanging them outside will result in their drying pretty quickly.

One question, have you tried any of the Facebook cloth pad communities? The ones I know are Amy Nix Cloth & Cups YT Group; The Sew N Tell; and Rump Rehab. All three are closed groups but you can ask to join. They feature a mix of people who are learning to sew pads for themselves, and people like me - folks who don't make pads but are interested in reading/sharing reviews of the many wonderful pad makers out there. The majority of members are American, but you could always post to ask if they know of anyone who is based closer to you and/or sellers whose wares (and shipping prices!) are in your affordable range. The groups are more active than this LJ group seems to be, so you might get a higher response rate, at least!

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