In an effort to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle, I’ve been keen to try reusable sanitary pads for some time.
It’s estimated that the average woman will use and throw away in excess of 10,000 sanitary pads in her menstrual lifetime. The sad thing is that many of these sanitary products end up in our rivers because they’re being flushed down the toilet.
Just a few weeks ago, the below tweet popped up on my timeline and I was shocked for a number of reasons. The main question I had to ask is how can any grown women think that it’s ok to flush sanitary products down the toilet?
Loads of sanitary products on branches of River Raff at this morning’s clean up below Radyr. Ladies, please switch to more responsible products and DONT flush anything down the toilet! #bagitandbinit #ditchsingleuse pic.twitter.com/ChUR265vB8
— Cardiff Rivers Group (@cardiffrivers) February 16, 2019
The annoying thing is that this is totally preventable.
Did you know that some sanitary pads are made up of around 90% plastic? That’s as much as four supermarket bags. In addition tampons have plastic applicators and are also individually wrapped in plastic.
These products are even ending up on our beaches.
— DIANE WATSON (@naughtyDOG2) February 25, 2019
Did you also know that the time it takes for a tampon or pad to degrade in a landfill is centuries longer than the lifespan of the woman who used it, particularly when wrapped in a plastic wrapper or bag.
So what can we do?
One small change women can make is to ditch the disposables and opt for reusable items such as cloth sanitary pads or a menstrual cup.
I recently tried reusable sanitary pads from Cheeky Wipes.
The cloth sanitary pads are priced at £4.50 each, but I would recommend opting for one of the starter kits which start at just £27.50.
There are a few things to think about when using reusable sanitary pads. Cheeky Wipes offer them in Bamboo or Minky. The bamboo & minky pads are more absorbent than the cotton pads which need to be changed more regularly.
I’d also suggest that if you’re squeamish you opt for the charcoal grey ones as they won’t show blood as clearly, plus they’re less likely to show any staining, although if you follow Cheeky Wipes care instructions and cold soak and wash, then that shouldn’t be a problem.
How do they work?
The pads work pretty much in the same way as a disposable pad in that you wear them the same way except instead of having the sticky wings to keep them in place, you have poppers.
Some people worry that by having poppers the pad will move about, but I can reassure you that this isn’t the case. I found that they stayed put for the duration that I was wearing them.
The main thing that I really like about the Cheeky Wipes sanitary pads is how comfortable they are. I always find disposable ones uncomfortable and I find that I go through so many of them in a day, whereas with the cloth pads I used less because I found them more absorbable.
They’re so comfortable that I actually forgot I was wearing it. When you need to change them, you have two options depending on where you are.
If you’re out and about, you can simply fold the sanitary pad up and place into a wet bag until you get home.
If you’re at home you can simply rinse them under cold water and soak them in a bowl of cold water. Some people suggest adding half a scoop of vanish powder to the cold water and/or spraying some vanish onto any stains before you put them on a cold wash in your machine. It’s important not to use a warm wash as that will set stains.
Initially I was concerned about staining, but after washing the pads I was so pleased with how they came out. They look like new and there were no stains at all and I inspected them very well to make sure!
I also love the different designs available. That’s something you don’t get with disposable pads!
I also tried Cheeky Wipes period pants. As a runner I want to be comfortable when I run during my period and disposable sanitary pads just aren’t comfortable to wear when running.
I recently wore the Cheeky Wipes period pants on a 15 mile run and they were awesome! They were comfortable, absorbent, they didn’t leak and they kept me cool.
The period pants are made up of four layers and cost just £9.50 a pair.
The absorbency on these pants protects you all the way up the back of the pants and under your vagina. This makes them great for lighter days and flows.
The body of the pant is cotton/elastane (95%/5%). With 4 layers to give you maximum protection but also keeping you comfortable:
- moisture wicking
- highly absorbent
- never leak
- breathable fabric
As with any sanitary option, if you’re using these as your only means of protection, Cheeky Wipes recommend that you change them during the day, just like you would a pad or tampon.
I’m a cloth sanitary pad fan! I can’t ever imagine going back to disposables. The reusable pads are comfortable, absorbent and eco-friendly. The period pants are also equally as good as the reusable pads.
Would I recommend them?
Yes! Absolutely! You won’t regret it!
For the purpose of this review I was sent two sanitary pads and a pair of period pants from Cheeky Wipes. All views and opinoins are 100% my own.