Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tips and Tricks for making the switch to Cloth Mama Pads!

Guest post by Amanda

One of the barriers that women everywhere experience when deciding to switch to mama cloth, or cloth pads, is learning how to store and care for their pads. I will be the first to admit I was a little more than intimidated by switching over. It took a real change of thinking for me to consider the benefits for both my body and the environment.

Washing and Care of Cloth Pads

The first thing that you will want to know is that mama cloth is very easy to care for. If you cloth diaper you already have everything you need to wash your cloth pads. I usually wash mine with a load of diapers since I wash them every other day. My washer is right by the bathroom door so I toss them in on my way out. Simple. For soap, I personally use Gain but you can use anything that you normally use. Clean rinsing detergent may be better if you have any sensitivity to detergents.

If you don’t cloth diaper then you can wash your pads with towels. I have found that washing pads daily is ideal if you want to avoid staining. You can also soak the pads in a mixture of Oxy Clean and water in an old wet wipes container under the bathroom sink or just in plain water if you don’t wash that often. I haven’t ever had to soak my pads, though, so it totally isn’t necessary. I toss them into a small wetbag under my bathroom sink (or in my purse-sized wetbag if I am out) when I can’t put them into the washer right away.

So far, I have had zero issues with staining. OBV, organic bamboo velour, is definitely one of my favorite materials for cloth pads because it seems to reduce staining significantly and it is super soft and comfortable. Pads are also available in cotton, flannel, OBV and a lot other materials. A waterproof backing like fleece or PUL is nice to have on heavy flow days since it will provide an extra layer of protection for leaks, while an inner layer of zorb or microfiber will provide extra absorption.

Darker colors and dyed OBV also hide staining nicely, so I usually buy darker colored or swirl dyed OBV pads just for the cute factor.

Is It Gross?
Using cloth pads is honestly one of the best things I have ever done for my personal comfort. The cloth pads I have never chaff or rub and I have actually experienced a lighter period that lasts for a shorter time with cloth pads. I promise, you will notice the difference immediately. A lot of people think that cloth pads are gross. I really don’t think they are. It’s my body, and I am totally comfortable with it.

You don’t have to touch anything and most pads with wings and snaps can be rolled up for storage. Just roll the pad ends in toward the center, and pull the wings together and snap them. Everything is contained inside the pad until you wash it. This is the method I use when I am out and need to store a used pad in the wetbag in my purse, and then toss everything, including the wetbag, into the washer when I get home.

So, What’s the Bad?
I don’t have anything bad to say about mama cloth. Really. I have experienced nothing but positive things since making the switch. I take them when I spend the night with family; I use them all the time. They are a little bit of an investment but since they can be used for literally years I think you actually save money over time. Well, unless you are like me and keep buying cute mama cloth even when you have a complete stash!

About the Author:
Amanda Hall is a green mom of six kids and a blogger who also writes professionally. You can check out her blog at Cloth Diapering Mommy to Six or her business website at www.SEOProOnline.info.


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