5 easy steps to switch to "Mama Cloth"
You’ve stumbled across articles. You’ve googled it and voraciously read everything you can on the subject. You know the benefits to your health and your pocket.
And now it’s time to take the plunge.
You’re turning to the mama cloth side.
Woohoo! Welcome, sister! It’s quite ace over this side – almost like a special little group whose membership clause is the ownership of cloth pads.
You so won’t regret it (you’ve read that somewhere before, haven’t you?)
You’re going to save so much money! (That’s ringing a bell too, right?)
It’s very possible that your period will become lighter! (That was one of the claims that really drew you into researching this whole thing further, wasn’t it?)
You may not even suffer from cramps anymore! (There’s another one that seems almost too good to be true!)
But rather than tell you all the stuff that you’ve read over and over, how does one logistically go from using disposable sanitary products to cloth pads? Surely it’s not as simple as just swapping a disposable pad with a cloth one?
Um, yep. It is. But there are a few things I can let you know about to make the transition just that little bit easier. Just so you can do them right from the start, rather than work them out for yourself.
1. Wear fitted underwear
Now is not the time to just make do with your flimsy, half-dead granny knickers, or, conversely, your flimsy, sheer and sensual French knickers. You will be most comfortable with your cloth pads placed in and snapped around some kind of underwear that fits you well and will ensure your pad stays smack bang against your skin.
2. The velour side goes next to your skin
This might sound like a ridiculous thing to mention, but you don’t want to be putting it on upside down. Mamaminx cloth pads have a black bamboo velour side and a printed minky side. Minky side goes down next to your underwear; bamboo velour goes next to your skin. Fold the snaps around the crotch of your underwear, snap ‘em together and you’re good to go.
3. Grab a bag
If you plan on staying home and being a hermit for your entire period, you can skip this tip. However, if you like to go out past your mailbox every now and then, for an extended period of time, you’ll probably find you need to change your cloth pad while outside your home at some time or another. This is as simple as grabbing a bag: either a small wetbag in a cute design or a simple zip lock plastic bag will do – your choice. Before you go out, throw a clean pad into said bag. When you need to change, simply remove your current pad from your underwear and replace it with the fresh one. Fold up your used pad (with Mamaminx pads you can fold the top and bottom into the centre, then do up the snaps around this so there is only minky on the outside – nice and clean!) and place it into your bag. Take it home and launder with all your other pads. Simple.
4. How to clean your pads
This is one of those times when personal preference is going to rule. You can do it one of three ways. Or use all the ways at different times – up to you. See? No hard and fast rules.
You can rinse your used pad under cold water and then wash with your regular laundry or cloth nappies.
You can throw your used pad into a container to soak. There are plenty of container types you can use; something with a lid works well, like a small ice-cream container or something similar in size. Just fill with enough water to cover your pads and leave them until you are ready to wash. Then just give them a quick rinse and throw them into your washing machine.
You can just leave them as they are until you are ready to wash. Most people find this fine for light days. And as the fabric is black, you don’t need to worry about staining*.
When washing, don’t use any fabric softeners and if possible, use a nice simple detergent that doesn’t contain lots of chemicals and perfumes. Your skin will thank you for it. Our preference is to use Cushie Tushies Premium Laundry Detergent.
* Some people worry about stains. Mamaminx pads are topped with black bamboo velour, so not only does it feel divine against your skin, but you also don’t have to worry about dealing with stains. Easy-peasy.
5. When to change
There’s a short answer here: you’ll know. Just like with disposables, you’ll feel when it’s time for a change.
So go forth and cloth up mamas! It is no more difficult to use cloth pads than disposables and the benefits are huge: for your health and pocket as well as the environment. Is there any advice in regards to using cloth that you think we may have missed here?