DIY: Washable sanitary pads

I was interested in getting washable sanitary pads, but the price really put me off. That’s why I decided to make washable sanitary pads myself instead!

Making washable sanitary pads
Just before I went to the Netherlands last summer, I ordered some nice fabrics to make my own washable sanitary pads. Back from holiday, I was so busy that it took me a while to get started, but they’re finished and in use!

I used the pattern provided by shewhorunsintheforest and adjusted it a little bit so it would fit well. I chose terry fabric for the inside, waterproof PUL fabric in between layers, and a cute cotton fabric with bee print for the outside. Okay, I have to admit that my choice of colors could’ve been better, but I only had enough for four pads. Next time, I’m using darker colors.

Is it hygienic?
Well, that’s up to you. If you ditch your used washable sanitary pads in the laundry and leave them there for days until the next time you do your laundry, then obviously no.
But no worries, there’s a special way to keep your pads clean. When used, immediately rinse them with cold water. This will get rid of the stains. After this, let them dry in a mesh laundry bag (the ones you use for bras). You can wash the bag separately at 60°C or put them together with towels and other cottons you’d normally wash using the “hygienic cycle”. Make sure the fabric you use for your own washable pads is suitable for tumble drying, otherwise let it dry on a drying rack.

Why choose washable sanitary pads?
Whether you buy washable sanitary pads or make them yourself is up to you. If you don’t have a sewing machine or don’t feel comfortable with your sewing skills, there’s tons of ways to get yourself some nice pre-made pads.

I must admit, I usually just use a menstrual cup, but on days when my body just feels all cramped up, I love using these pads. They’re super soft to the touch and very comfy!

But why not use disposable sanitary pads? Well, they have a huge impact on the environment. According to The Guardian, the Marine Conservation Society found 20 tampons and sanitary items per 200 metres of shoreline. states that “[a] disposable sanitary pad requires about 500–800 years to decompose. Thousands of tons of disposable sanitary waste is generated every month all over the world.” To me, that doesn’t feel right.

And then there’s the chemicals that are used in disposable sanitary items. These toxic chemicals are leaching the soil, in order to obscure the “nasty odors” coming from your period. Why would you want those chemicals near your vagina? According to Huffington Post, “tampons and pads with odor neutralizers and artificial fragrances are virtually a chemical soup, laced with artificial colors, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene and propylene glycol (PEG), contaminants linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness and infertility.”

I’d definitely recommend wearing washable sanitary pads. It’s no hassle, just a little bit extra laundry, but imagine the plastic and chemicals you’ll be skipping! If you don’t like the idea of washable pads, try the menstrual cup. Also very comfortable, and no chemicals in there!

2 Replies to “DIY: Washable sanitary pads”

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