Did you ever think of using cloth sanitary pads? When tampons and disposable sanitary napkins were not invented, women used self-made hygienic napkins back in the day. By switching to cloth pads, you can save money, get rid of potentially terrible infections, and save the planet.
The disposable sanitary napkins we use have plastic and chemicals, which is neither good for the planet nor us. Every day, millions of sanitary napkins are used by women worldwide. All of them contain plastics, so they are not biodegradable. These are later thrown into landfills and remain in the soil for years and rot the Earth.
There are also health problems from using disposable pads. They are filled with chemicals, so there’s a risk of having rashes and infections since the cloth is a breathable material, reducing the chances of rashes and infections.
How to make Cloth Pads
There are other options like biodegradable sanitary napkins, menstrual cups etc., but self-made hygienic napkins are the best alternative. They can be washed and reused and made quickly at home following these simple steps.
You need a top layer, an absorbent middle layer and a waterproof bottom layer. Natural fabrics such as flannel are best for making cloth pads. To prevent leakage, you can use flannel in all the layers, with a waterproof layer before the back layer.
Waterproof fabric such as microfleece bonded with PUL or nylon
Step 1: Wash the cloth before in case it shrinks and then dry it.
Step 2: Use an old sanitary napkin to make a template. Trace the sanitary napkin on the fabric. Spread the wings to overlap so that you can secure the snaps on top of each other. Don’t forget to add seam allowance. You can set the size to 10″ for smaller pads, 12″ for medium and 14 to 15″ for larger ones.
Step 3: Cut the pieces. As mentioned earlier, you need to cut a top and bottom layer and as many middle layers as you want. You are also missing a layer of PUL or nylon to join the back layer to waterproof the pad.
Step 4: Sew the middle pieces to the top layer and the waterproof fabric to the back layer. Place the material of the intermediate layer on the top layer and sew with zig-zag stitches along the edges. So, it is just about layering the middle layers between the top and bottom layer and sewing them.
Step 5: Now, place the top and bottom layers on top of each other. Sew along the edge by keeping around ¼ inch gap from the edge. Also, leave around 3 inches unsewn.
Step 6: Flip the napkin through the unsewn space, and using a hot iron, press it into place.
Step 7: Sew the unsewn part.
Step 8: Attach plastic or metal snaps on the wings to be secured around the underwear.
Lastly, wash the pad before using it. After use, rinse using cold water and disinfectant to remove germs. Use bleach or hydrogen peroxide, or soak in saltwater for an hour to remove stains. They must be dried thoroughly in the sun before reuse for sanitary purposes. This job is a must.