Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pads: What to Do With the Dirty Ones

Taking reusable cloth menstrual pads in public can be tricky, until you know how. Unlike a disposable pad or tampon, you don’t throw reusable pads away. They need to stay in your purse or diaper bag until you can take them out at home. Used pads need to stay odor free and neat. You don’t want to reach into my purse and accidentally pull one out at the grocery store checkout…

As a long-time cloth diapering Mom, I knew just what to look for: A great wetbag for my purse! Just like cloth diapers, reusable cloth menstrual pads are easy to wrap and conceal in public. I can easily take pads and my reusable menstrual cup with me in my purse, bring them back home and wash them for next time. See how to do it and find this wetbag at my affiliate.

reusable cloth menstrual pads how to care for the dirty onesOnce I became familiar with reusable menstrual pads, I added a cup to my routine. While I don’t use it every day during my cycle, I love to use it on heavy days to keep my flow collected and leak-free. In addition to being great for heavy days, I use my menstrual cup for swimming! Just like my reusable menstrual pads, my cup needs to come home with me. However, unlike my pads…I need to empty the cup and reuse it again. Luckily this is easy to do, clean and keeps my lady parts free from chemicals in disposable products. It fits right into our reusable wetbag and even has it’s own pocket. Here’s how I care for my reusable pads and cup when I’m “out” with the brood (cluck cluck):

First, find a bathroom. Once I find a toilet I can sit, or hover, to change my reusable menstrual pad and/or cup. First I remove my reusable pad. If I’m having a heavier day and don’t want to drip on my clothing, I make sure I’m over the toilet and my underwear are infront of me. Next, I take the worn pad off and fold one side in, fold the other side in and then use the wings to hold it closed. Both my organic cotton reusable menstrual pads and my synthetic fiber pads have this snap and are easy to close. Next, I place it in my reusable wetbag and close it. This helps keep odor contained and when I arrive home I simply rinse the pads out and apply a stain stick if necessary. However, most of the time my pads rinse and wash clean! Awesome, right?

1. First remove worn pad.
2. Next fold top down with clean side out.
3. Then, fold bottom up leaving clean side out.
4. Close pad using snaps on pad wings.
5. Finally, place in a small wetbag.
6. Rinse pads at home and apply stainstick if necessary.
7. Wash, dry and repeat!









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Caring for reusable cloth menstrual pads is easy, once you know how. Here are simple steps for caring for used pads on the go, managing a reusable menstrual cup in public and cleaning them to use again.

Taking a reusalbe menstrual cup in public is easier then taking reusable menstrual pads. The cup will be removed, emptied and reinserted. Ideally, I wash my hands first. This means washing my hands before diving into a stall, or finding a stall with a sink inside. If I can find a bathroom stall with a sink, and not take up the handicapped stall, I give it a rinse. If no sink is available I empty it into the toilet, it usually empties nearly clean, and reinsert the cup with a small amount of menstrual blood remaining. If I’ve remembered to bring a cloth wipe with me, I pat the cup with the wash cloth and place it back into my wetbag. If I’m carrying two cups, put the used cup into my wetbag and use the new cup. However, it’s not necessary to carry multiple cups and generally the reusable menstrual cup stays clean. Unlike a tampon, they are not a TSS instagator and are made from high quality medical grade silicone. Then, I wash my hands thoroughly.

So, now that you see how easy taking reusable menstrual pads into pubic can be, you’re ready to go!

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janie vezina
janie vezina
4 years ago

this is a great how to on cloth pads and sharing, thank for writing it all in one place

4 years ago

This is great info, I felt a little lost when I started using reusable menstrual products. Wish I had known about blogs like yours back then.

Staci M
Staci M
4 years ago

Thanks for sharing, I would like to start using cloth and hadn’t even thought yet of what to do while our and about! I did just get my first cup, so we’ll see how this goes!

Lindsay N
Lindsay N
4 years ago

Good to know. I’ve been a little hesitant to try cloth pads and menstrual cups for one of these reasons.


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