Getting started with Reusable Period Wear

Have you always wanted to give reusables ago but didn't know where to start? Have you only just heard about them and want all the information you can get your hands on? well, fear not! I'm here to help you.

After asking my Instagram followers what they wish they had known about cloth pads I'm here to help with some FAQs and bust some myths. I promise I'll try and keep it all as simple as possible.

Which way up do Sew Sustainable pads go?

Pattern side against your vulva

Cloth pads, as most things, vary between brand. Some pads are backed with a waterproof fabric called PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) and others (including ours) are backed with water resistant fleece. The main difference with these two types of pads is that PUL, which can be patterned, would face down whereas on fleece backed pads the top layer is usually printed and it faces against you. This is probably the most confusing thing about cloth pads but hopefully that's made things a little clearer. Do check with each brand to be certain on which way to use.

Why don't Sew Sustainable pads contain a layer of PUL?

I have found that using polar fleece as a backer on the pads offers water resistance whilst remaining breathable. The main reason the pads are backed with fleece is because of how well it stays still, PUL tends to move around more.

How should I store my clean pads?

There's no right or wrong way to store your pads. Some people love to proudly display theirs in the bathroom and others have a draw or cupboard for them. It is a good idea to store cloth pads in a wetbag between periods, this will keep them clean and organised. 

How do I store used pads? 

A wetbag makes for perfect storage until it's time to wash your pads.

Can I use them out and about? 

Definitely! In fact, it's pretty easy. All you need to do is take a small wetbag or pad pouch with you to store your used pads in until you get home. Reusable pads are so quite and discreet if you are conscious about that when out and about.

How do I Wash Cloth Pads?

It's actually really simple and only takes 3 steps...

1. Rinse! your pads in cooler water. This can be done under a tap or on rinse cycle in a machine.

2. Wash! you can add other things into the wash to fill it up- don't worry nothing is coming out red! Washing at around 40*c is recommended and fabric softener should not be used on reusables (it hinders the absorbency.

3. Dry! Air drying is best but sew sustainable pads can be tumble dried on low.

You can choose to wash your pads every few days or at the end of your cycle. If your cycle is longer than 7 days, I would highly recommend washing in the middle.

Do cloth pads smell bad?

Nope. It is actually the chemicals in most disposable pads that give them a funny and unpleasant smell. If you are washing your pads at the end of your cycle your wetbag may smell a little but it should contain and smell.

How many pads do I need?

This depends on you and varies between flow and how often you change your pads. Just work out how many pads you use each day of your period. If you are going to wash after 3 days you will need 4 days worth of pads (to give time for them to dry).

Here is a rough guide to how many pads you will need:

Washing every 3 days-

Regular pads: 12

Night pads: 4

Washing at the end of your cycle-

Regular Pads: 15-20

Night Pads: 5/6

Remember: you can just give one pad a go and take it from there!

Pad Size Comparison:


 Can I use Cloth Pads Postpartum? 

Yes! Go for heavy pads and always change regularly. You should find cloth pads way thinner than disposable maternity pads. Head over to my instagram for a helpful video talking in more depth about using cloth postpartum

If you still have any questions or you'd like for me to expand on anything, please do not hesitate to get in touch via the contact form or social media. I would love to help you out.