How to Use Cloth Pads
You'll want to change your cloth pad about as often as you would change a similar disposable pad. For example, if you typically change your disposable pad about every four hours, you'll want to do the same with your Annie Day Pad. You can also check the pad (even remove it from your underwear and turn it over) to visually see how saturated it is. Like a disposable pad, if a cloth pad becomes fully saturated, it may leak.
If you're out of the house, you can easily use and change your cloth pad. Simply bring a discreet Carry Bag with you to hold your used and fresh pads. After removing your used cloth pad, you can easily fold the pad in on itself and snap it shut to form a neat little package that can be slipped into your Carry Bag. Once home, you can wash the pad when you're ready.
How to Choose the Right Pads for You?
When you're deciding which style of cloth pads you need, the most important factor is the absorbency level. After you determine your absorbency, you can choose if you need a longer or larger style (like our Plus line of Pantyliners & Day Pads) for additional coverage. The table below will help you determine which styles may be right for you.
CHOOSE PANTYLINERS IF...
- you want back-up for a menstrual cup or tampon
- you have very light flow, including at the very beginning or end of your cycle
- you want to wear everyday protection
CHOOSE DAY PADS IF...
- you typically use standard absorbency disposable day pads
- you sometimes leak urine when you sneeze or laugh (happens to the best of us!)
- you have moderate flow
CHOOSE NIGHT PADS IF...
- you have just given birth and need postpartum protection
- you tend to leak heavily over the front or back of your pads
- you have heavy flow
Why Use Cloth Pads?
Disposable tampons carry a risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). TSS is caused by usually harmless bacteria found on our skin or in parts of our bodies. If the bacteria enters the bloodstream through a cut or tear, they release a toxin. Tampons may create a more ideal opportunity for the growth of these ￼bacteria, and can dry out the vaginal canal by absorbing its natural moisture, which can lead to minute tears that may increase the chance of TSS. Toxic Shock Syndrome is real and can be fatal. Learn more about the symptoms of TSS here.
While pads have never been linked to TSS, conventional disposable pads contain all kinds of chemicals -- and manufacturers are not required to list these ingredients on their packaging! These ingredients range from wood pulp and adhesives to artificial fragrance and chemical gels. Not the type of stuff you want next to one of the most sensitive parts of your body!
In early 2012, a blogger discovered mold on a wrapped, unused tampon from a mainstream tampon company. While the company stated that the mold carried no health risk to consumers, who wants to use a moldy tampon from a company that doesnʼt seem to care that its product was tainted? Switching to reusable menstrual products means that YOU are in charge of how clean your products are.
The average American woman will use 12,000 to 16,000 disposable pads, tampons, and pantyliners in her lifetime. Thatʼs a lot of waste in our landfills! Not to mention the manufacturing, packaging, and transportation waste of getting these products from the factory to you. Sad but true: the most common trash items found on North American beaches are plastic tampon applicators.
Using something once is not enough! Our society has gone from relying on high quality reusable products to cheap disposables. When you choose to reuse anything from dishes to towels, youʼre helping make a cultural shift that values quality over wastefulness.
Twelve thousand disposables add up! While it seems like a small monthly expense, over your lifetime youʼll be spending thousands of ￼dollars on pads and tampons that just end up in the trash. Although cloth pads are an initial investment, they pay off over time: many customers report saving over $500 in just a few years.
I like to use the analogy of ceramic dishes. Buying paper plates would certainly seem cheaper, but everyone agrees that investing in dishes youʼll use for years is the smarter choice! Plus, youʼll get greater enjoyment from your nice dishes. Cloth pads are exactly the same. You can compare your costs below:
|Disposables||$10 per month x 12 months = $120 per year||$600 for 5 years|
|Cloth Pads||$150 one-time cost||$150 for 5 years|
Before switching to cloth pads, many of us had no idea that the chafing, irritation, and soreness we experienced each month were due to disposable pads and tampons. We thought it was a normal part of menstruating! Taking care of your body feels good, and so does eliminating plastic and chemicals from your period routine. Cloth is more breathable than disposable pads and wonʼt over-dry like a tampon can. And youʼll never again experience an adhesive pad wing sticking to your leg. Whatʼs not to love?
THE BOTTOM LINE
Deciding what kind of menstrual protection to use is a personal choice. Think about the products you use now and why. Was it because your mother or sister used them? Or because they were the first ones you tried? Most importantly, are they working for you? Choosing your form of protection based on what you value is an important part of self-care. We often ignore our own health -- to our detriment! Making conscious decisions about the way we treat our bodies is a powerful message to our children, friends, family, and ourselves.
Frequently Asked Questions
WILL CLOTH PADS LEAK?
Cloth Pads are designed to be highly absorbent. The flaps that snap around your underwear act as wings to protect the sides of your panties. We choose not to include a nylon or waterproof backing because these materials can trap in moisture, leading to odor or bacterial growth. And we find it is not necessary because cloth pads are so absorbent! But just like disposable pads, they may leak if you leave them on too long and they become saturated. You will become familiar with just how long you can go before changing your pad. You should change your Aneer about as often as you would change disposables (every 2 to 6 hours, or as needed).
HOW MANY CLOTH PADS DO I NEED?
Menstrual cycles vary greatly from person to person. Consider how often you renew your period protection throughout the day to get an idea of how many products you may need to cover your cycle. You'll want to change your cloth pad about as frequently as you would a disposable pad of a similar absorbency level. You may choose to purchase enough pads to last your whole cycle, or you may be like the many customers who choose to do a load of laundry midway through their period. Very generally, we recommend having about 6 to 12 day pads, 1 to 3 night pads, and 3 to 6 pantyliners, however it all depends on your flow and how often you do laundry.
I HATE THE FEELING OF DISPOSABLE PADS. ARE ANEER COMFORTABLE?
Yes! All-cotton cloth pads are soft and breathable, which is so much better than plastic pads that can chafe and irritate your skin. Our customer Nicole had this to say about trying Aneer : “I love Aneer . They are so comfortable and easy on my skin. I love how they feel like regular clothing. It is like nothing is there.”
If you are raw and irritated at the end of your period, please know that it does not have to be that way! With all of our pads you will experience the comfort and breathability of cotton. The soft flannel conforms to your body without the twisting and bunching up that can happen with disposables. And because there is no plastic backing you will have less chafing and irritation. One of our customers reports they're much cooler too (she's from Phoenix, she would know).
HOW LONG WILL CLOTH PADS LAST?
With proper care, cloth pads are made to last at least 5 years.
WHAT ARE CLOTH PADS MADE OF?
Cloth pads are made with soft cotton flannel on the outside and absorbent cotton terrycloth on the inside. Our color pads are made with conventional cotton fabrics, while our organic pads are made with unbleached, undyed GOTS-certified organic cotton.
WHY DO CLOTH PADS COST MORE THAN DISPOSABLES?
In the long run, reusable menstrual products actually cost much less! When compared to the amount of money spent on disposables, it only takes a few years to make up the cost of your cloth pads. Think of this: it would be tremendously expensive (not to mention wasteful!) to continuously re-stock our kitchens with disposable paper plates, so we buy plates that we can use indefinitely. We make an initial investment into something reusable that will last a long time. It's the same idea with Aneer!
If you're on a limited budget, it's great to start by supplementing your current products with Aneer and increasing your collection of reusables over time as your budget allows. Also, watch for specials that we offer on the website from time to time - we've got some great deals. To stay informed, be sure to sign up for our free email newsletter that includes many awesome discounts!
ARE ANEER AS SAFE AS DISPOSABLES?
Yes! We've all had that time when we weren't quite expecting our period some blood got on our underwear. You didn't think they were now dangerous to your health because you got some blood on them and you probably did not throw them away. We think that it is safer to launder reusable pads than throw disposables in the landfill.
Disposable pads and tampons are not sterile products, although the over-packaging and whiteness of these products leads you to believe they are. In fact, they are often laden with harmful chemicals that can be absorbed by the skin in one of the most porous parts of your body. In recent years there have been discoveries of disposable products contaminated with mold or e. coli. By laundering your menstrual products yourself, you won't have to wonder if they have been treated with care and are properly clean. In addition, Aneer are FDA accepted for market (nothing is FDA approved) and registered with them annually.
Aneer are one of the safest options when it comes to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) because blood is not staying in the vaginal canal, where the development of TSS is most likely to occur. TSS is caused by usually harmless bacteria found on our skin or in parts of our body. If the bacteria get into the bloodstream, through a cut or tear, they release a toxin. While the risk is still minimal, tampons create a more ideal opportunity for the growth of these bacteria and can dry out the vaginal canal by absorbing the vagina's natural moisture, which can lead to minute tears and increase the chance of TSS.
DO ANEER WORK FOR PEOPLE WITH VULVODYNIA, VAGINITIS OR ALLERGIES?
Yes! We've sold many Aneer to folks dealing with these conditions who find the pads helpful during their cycles. Some sufferers of these conditions have noticed that tampons and disposable pads can be a source of vaginal irritation, and most are unaware that disposable products are highly processed and may contain chemicals to "keep you dry" or cover up odor. Vaginal irritation, allergies, burning, itching, and frequent yeast infections can all be exacerbated by disposables.
DO ANEER WORK FOR LIGHT INCONTINENCE?
Yes! A number of our customers have told us they use Aneer for light incontinence. Again, they help prevent irritation and allow your skin to breathe, which is important for people who are wearing them everyday. And just the same as with menstrual use, the number and style of Aneer you use will depend on how heavy your leakage is. Please note that Aneer are not designed for full incontinence. Mary from Delaware notes her success at using Aneer for stress incontinence: “Just sending a note to let you know how much I love your product! I don't really need any pads because they last SOOOOOO long...in fact I no longer need them "monthly". Yes, they have seen me through to menopause (and some occasional stress incontinence). I find the day holders alone are sufficient enough to make me feel secure every day... Keep up the good work...”
ARE ANEER GOOD FOR POSTPARTUM (AFTER GIVING BIRTH)?
Yes - the night pads are especially great for postpartum. While many new moms find they need a large amount of Aneer or pads to carry them through postpartum, any amount of reusable pads would be helpful. They are softer and kinder than plastic on your skin. Some new mothers place their inserts in the freezer after dipping them in witch hazel. The cool inserts soothe and help your tender parts heal. Our customer, Mary, had this to say about Aneer : “Thought I'd let you know that I love my Aneer. I've had them for at least 10 years and they're still going strong! I've used them post-partum after having our three children, and not just in the conventional way. I made a tea of healing herbs and put some on my liners and popped them in the freezer...they were a welcome bottom-soother after delivery!”