Description: Cloth menstrual pads are soft, washable, and reusable; most pads are designed to last five years. Most cloth pads are designed with wings that fold around the sides of the underwear; the wings are fastened with a snap so that the pad stays in place. Many women choose to use cloth pads because they are often less irritating for those prone to sensitivities. These pads are ecologically friendly because there is no waste byproduct. In addition to this, women can save money by not purchasing disposable pads that can only be used once. Even supplementing disposable pad use with organic cloth pads at night can make a substantial savings. By purchasing organic cloth pads, you not only spare yourself exposure to chemicals used as pesticides or herbicides, you also support healthy, organic agriculture.

In addition, underpants are available which are comfortable, made with organic cotton, and padded with a fleece-like fabric which can provide backup protection when using the menstrual cup or sea sponge. They can also be used to hold thicker cotton pads with flat, elastic bands, securely in place.

What to look for: Many cloth pads and pants are available in soft terry cloth and flannel. Always look for certified organic, cloth menstrual pads. Also look for un-dyed organic pads, or pads that have been dyed with “Eco-Dyes” or environmentally-friendly dyes.

Uses: Organic menstrual pads are fastened into the underwear in order to absorb menstrual blood as it leaves the body. These pads should be rinsed and washed after each use. Some women soak cloth pads in water before washing; in this case, the soaking water may be used to water houseplants as it is nutrient-rich, high in iron, and makes a great fertilizer.

Where to find: Find organic cloth menstrual pads at natural food stores or order directly from individual companies.

Avoid: Avoid the ongoing expense of disposable menstrual pads by using organic, reusable cloth menstrual pads. Avoid using chlorine bleach on your cloth menstrual pads; instead, use non-chlorine bleaches that can be found at most health food stores. Soak your pads so that stains do not set, and clean with lemon juice or vinegar.