How to use Cloth Sanitary Pads - Top Tips

8 May 2014  |  Admin

Following this brilliant post from Tamsin over at Fit and Fluffy Mama, I really wanted to share my personal hints and tips to help you make the switch to reusables and ditch horrid disposable sanitary pads forever!

Here's 5 top tips on how to use Cloth Sanitary Pads:

  1. Tight Knickers with a good percentage of lycra
  2. Make sure your cloth menstrual pads are the right way up!
  3. How to keep cloth sanitary pads in place
  4. Change regularly (less often than a disposable but still in line with your flow)
  5. COLD water wash


Tight Fitting Period Pants

Tight fitting pants or pants with a decent amount of lyrca are ESSENTIAL. We know that normally you'd keep your old, saggy. baggy pants for that time of the month, so if that's the case, it's time to invest in some new ones! Snug pants will help your cloth pads stay in place and avoid the dreaded slippage.

I prefer the comfort and security of mid to high-waisted pants, with 5% lycra but it comes down to your personal preference.

Cheeky period knickers are an even better choice. Our Period Pants are 'game-changing' and absorbent enough to wear all day. However, if you want to change at lunchtime to freshen up (as you would with 'normal' disposable period pads), then it can be a bit of a faff to change your knickers in a toilet cubicle. 

That's why here at Team Cheeky on our heavier days, we'll often pair our moisture wicking period knickers with reusable period pads. That means they're easy to whip the pad out and wear the pants by themselves for the rest of the day.

'I bought the pants first and they are so comfortable. Unfortunately I have very heavy periods so I was having to change more regularly than I wanted. Sooooo I decided to buy some pads as well. OMG whats a fantastic combination. Soft very absorbent without feeling wet. I am 34 and just had the best period I have ever had.' Leiane, April 2021

Bamboo / Bamboo Charcoal Reusable Pads

How to use Bamboo Reusable Sanitary Pads from Cheeky Pants

Which way up do cloth sanitary pads go?

Generally with cloth sanitary pads,  the 'pretty' side should be facing down. The cotton, bamboo or bamboo charcoal 'plain' face should be upwards against your skin. Popper closed underneath the gusset of your underwear.

How to keep cloth sanitary pads in place

To keep cloth sanitary pads in place, if you notice any pad slippage, rotate it around 180 degrees, front to back.  The soft outer fabric of our bamboo plush menstrual pads has some grip as long as it's inserted against the nap of the fabric. .

'In terms of using the pads and pants I am totally converted after just one period.

They are extremely comfortable and you forget you're even on your period (well until you sneeze or stand up after sitting a long time ) I felt cleaner using these pads and pants than I do using disposable ones.

I had worries of feeling wet and the rinsing in the sink prior to washing but they are so absorberent I never felt uncomfortable and after the first rinse I realised it's really not that bad. Will be recommending these products to all my friends now!' Jodie, March 2021

Standard Cotton Period Pads

Reusable Cotton Sanitary Pads - How to use them

The same applies to our cotton period pads.  The pretty side should go facedown in your knickers, plain grey side upwards against your skin.    The slightly wider end should go to the rear of your pants.

'I just wanted to say how awesome your products are...usually after my normal monthly cycle I then end up being a bit sore and irritated down there from the use of disposable pads....Your reusable products have made this 5 months bleeding so much more bearable and comfy. I have had no irritation from the pads.  Even going through that heat wave hasn't caused any discomfort whilst using pads. And the period pants are my absolute fave...For work. I work behind a bar and they just give me that full protection but also are really discreet! ...I am happy to say, once my girls are older they will also be using your reusable products! Thank you.' Ruthie, August 2021

Black Cotton Non-Slip Reusable Period Pads

Black Cotton Non-slip period pads

If you've ever struggled with keeping reusable day pads in place, our anti-slip organic cotton reusable pantyliners and pads are for you! They're also a brilliant back up for a menstrual cup.

These reusable cotton pads have a silicone 'anti-slip' surface to the rear.  This goes against your knickers to hold them in place. If you suffer with really heavy periods or endometriosis and need the booster to make them extra absorbent and leak proof, place the booster against your skin.

Washable Incontinence Pads

Reusable Washable Incontinence Pads - how to use them

If you're using our incontinence pads, either our MiniVivi Limited Edition Pads or standard 'fearless' incontinence pads, it's all about the wings!   On the limited edition patterned pads, it's simple with the patterned side going against your skin. 

On our standard grey reusable incontinence pads, the outline of the pad should face up in your underwear with the wings poppering closed underneath.   Again, if there's a slightly wider end, that should go to the rear.

How often should you change reusable sanitary pads?

On a 'normal' flow or medium flow day, you should change to a clean reusable sanitary pad first thing. Then change your pad when you get in from work / school. And a fresh one for bed.

On heavy flow days, changing your pad at lunchtime might also be necessary which is where our wet bags are perfect, with two pockets for holding both clean and soiled pads. If you're using them post-partum, initially you may need to change several times a day, depending on the severity of your lochia, however this will tail off quickly.

If we have any problems from customers regarding their pads leaking, it's generally because they haven't changed them often enough.  Now reusable pads are way more absorbent than disposables, but they still need changing!  And depending on your flow, you may need a heavier pad than the one you first tried.

Cold Water Washing for Reusable Cloth Sanitary Pads

Once you've used your reusable period pads or period pants, how do you clean them? Our blogpost on how do you wash reusable sanitary pads will give more detailed information, however in summary:

  • ideally soak in cold water before washing
  • wash in a decent cycle length in your washing machine (no rapid wash)
  • using your normal detergent at no more than 30 degrees (Very important as 40c or over will 'set' bloodstains)

'Amazing. I have endometriosis and these have made life so much easier. First time i have slept well on my period in 15 years' Katie, May 2021

We hope that has helped give you confidence to ditch single use pads and tampons and choose a more eco-friendly alternative. We guarantee that your menstrual hygiene will improve with less chafing and soreness!

If you liked this article, you may also enjoy:

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. She went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include reusable makeup removing pads and reusable period pants & pads, launching Cheeky Pants in 2018. Her customer services team pride themselves on providing relatable friendly advice and just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long! The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.


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