How Long Do Reusable Cloth Pads Last?

11 March 2024  |  Admin

If you're thinking about switching from disposable pads to reusable cloth pads, you might be wondering how durable they are and how long they will hold up.

We understand. With costs for reusable pads starting from £3.29, there's no doubt they are more of an investment than disposable pads. So it's important to know how long your period pads will last.

Well, on average, cloth pads last between 8 and 10+ years with proper care. However, this depends on several factors, including how often you use them, how many pads you have, and how you wash and store them.

We can quantify this categorically as you can see from this picture which shows the period pads belonging to Jo, our Head of Customer Journey. These pads are about 9 years old, have been used by Jo and have now been passed to her daughter Flo!

How long do reusable cloth pads last?

Let’s get into more detail about what impacts the longevity of your reusable cloth pads.

Material & Quality of Product

As with many things in life, the material and quality of your cloth pads play a significant role in determining their lifespan. Opting for high-quality pads made from durable materials like organic cotton fabric or bamboo can make your pads last longer.

Cheeky Pads are guaranteed to be long lasting and durable. They're also great value for money and we offer a 100% happiness guarantee so if you don't love them we'll give you your money back!

"Quick postage. Great Tuesday deals and products last well! I've bought the wipes and period products. They're great!"

Shop Organic Cotton Pads

Frequency of Use

Another factor influencing the lifespan of cloth pads is how frequently you use them. Naturally, pads used more often will experience wear and tear more quickly.

If you rely solely on cloth menstrual pads for your period care throughout the entire duration of your period, they may wear out sooner compared to if you alternate between cloth pads and other menstrual products like menstrual cups or period pants.

"I love cheeky products, these are comfortable, for well and last a long time. Would buy again." Trustpilot Product Review

Shop Cloth Period Pad Kids

Number of Pads

The number of cloth pads you own also impacts their longevity. Having a bigger stash means you can rotate pads more frequently, allowing each pad more time to rest between uses. This reduces the wear and tear on individual pads and extends the lifespan of your entire collection.

Additionally, having pads in various sizes and absorbencies ensures that no single pad gets overused. Look for heavy flow pads for your heaviest days and overnight and liners or day pads, depending in your flow.

Check out the Cheeky Pads starter kit, which contains liner, day pad and night pads too.

Shop Strucket Bucket

Washing Routine

This has a HUGE impact on how long your pads will last. The single most important thing you need to know about washing cloth pads is that COLD water is best. Anything warmer than blood temp (36.7c) will 'set' blood stains.

Rinse pads in cold water after wearing or soak your pads overnight for no longer than 24 hours.  Our strucket bucket is BRILLIANT for soaking pads without mess.

Wash your pads in the washing machine, avoiding bleach which can weaken the fibers and cause your pads to rot through. Just use a decent quality laundry detergent to properly clean and remove stains.

Avoiding fabric softeners is also essential, as these reduce the absorbency of the pads over time and can cause cloth pads to leak.

Once you have machine washed your pads, opt for air-drying whenever possible, as heat from the tumble dryer can wear out your pads faster.


Proper storage when not in use is key to maintaining the quality of your cloth pads. Store dry pads with the rest of your underwear is probably the best idea. Store used pads in a wet bag until washing.

Also, always make sure your cloth sanitary pads are completely dry before storing them to prevent mould and mildew growth.

Don't store pads in airtight containers or plastic bags, as this can trap moisture and lead to bacterial growth. Yuck.


How to Make Cloth Pads Last Longer

Here's some tips on how to make your cloth pads last longer:

  • Invest in high-quality products: You get what you pay for, so if you buy cheapies from Amazon, don't be surprised if they don't last well
  • Follow the proper washing and storage instructions, always cold wash and air dry if possible
  • Add more pads to your stash so you have more in rotation
  • Avoid using bleach and fabric softener

If you have any questions or want to explore more about period products, check out our other blog posts or drop us a line. The team all use our products themselves and just love to help people make the switch and ditch disposable products.

And if you found this article useful, you may also enjoy these:


About the Author: Helen Rankin founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up. 4 kids later, she went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include period pants, reusable period kits and reusable intimate care. Both she and the rest of the leadership team are now navigating menopause, with all the joys it brings!

The Cheeky customer services team pride themselves on providing honest, friendly advice and just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long, helping people make the switch to reusables! The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.

Cheeky Wipes logo
Search icon Account icon Basket icon0