All about washable and reusable cloth menstrual pads

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cloth menstrual pads by cucicucicoo

Find all the sewing patterns for Cucicucicoo products in the Cucicucicoo Patterns shop!

When I talk to people about my cloth pads, they’re generally shocked. Pads…that you wash?! Of course! Disposable pads are a pretty recent invention. In the past women have always used different types of cloths…and were so much better off! Maybe you’re wondering:

Why should I use cloth pads?

There are plenty of reasons. Let’s start with

The cost

Let’s say you use two packs of disposable pads a month and one pack costs €4,50. So €108 a year, even if this amount is pretty variable. Women with a heavy, long, and/or irregular period can use a ridiculous amount of menstrual products. And for the mammas there’s the post-partum period. All those weeks of “discharge” that never ends = endless packages of pads. Cloth pads, on the other hand, after the first investment, are used time and again for years and cost…NOTHING!

The environment

These days we’re constantly discussing the trash emergency and full landfills, which are stuffed to the brim with useless and non-biodegradable products. Menstrual products are no exception. Every year more than 14 BILLION disposable pads and tampons are tossed into our landfills (info from Associated Content and Reusable Menstrual Products). And it takes centuries for the plastic to decompose. In addition there’s also the plastic and paper packaging. In order to make pads and tampons tons of materials are manufactured, using energy and resources, to be used once and thrown out.
As with diapers, wipes, and whatever other disposable product, disposable pads are full of synthetic and toxic substances. The paper in these products is pure white thanks to lots of chemicals, including latex, dioxin and sodium polyacrylate, some of which are lethal and cancerogenous. All of these substances are absorbed by the soil and contaminate ground water and eventually come right back to us. And this brings us to….

Your health

Sure, we don’t want all this junk in our landfills, ground water, soil, and certainly not squished against our genitals. These chemicals can cause irritations and severe reactions. It’s no surprise, seeing as we’ve already said that we’re talking about toxic materials. Many women that feel external pain in their genital area find that the pain goes right away using cloth pads. Others find that their period changes, becoming shorter and lighter with fewer problems of cramps, clotting and other less-than-pleasant symptoms.

They’re fun!

For some women, “that time of the month” can be unbearable, so why not make it as pleasant as possible?! The fabrics in contact with the skin are soft and comfortable, letting the skin breathe. Instead of being there, trying to pick pieces of plastic and glue off of your undies, you can look at your pads’ lovely colors and patterns as just another article of clothing, and you’re sure to feel better!

*NOTE* There will certainly be women who are reading this page and thinking, “Yeah, but I only/also use tampons.” Luckily there is a wonderful ecological alternative to tampons: the menstrual cup.

The menstrual cup

coppetta mestruale diva cup

Say what? A menstrual cup is a silicon cup which, instead of absorbing the blood, collects it. If you take care of it properly (sterilizing it in boiling water once a month), it’ll last you about 10 years, replacing thousands of disposable pads. It’s worth plenty more than it costs.

These days there are tons of different brands of menstrual cups*. I currently use the Meluna Cup*, but I’ve also used the Diva Cup* in the past.

I have always had a terribly heavy period (to the point of which it nearly killed me), but since I started using a menstrual cup with my Cucicucicoo pads, I no longer dread my period.

What are Cucicucicoo pads like?

All Cucicucicoo pads are All-In-One (AIO), meaning their absorbent layers are sewn inside, so there’s no need for any annoying inserts or straps to use them. The pads have a bottom layer of PUL, laminated cotton or polyester in uplifting colors and patterns. This makes the pad waterproof, though breathable. The laminated surface is on the inside of the pad, so it does not come in contact with the skin. The classic cucicucicoo regular, ultra and super duper pads have a top layer of either microfleece of suedecloth. These fabrics, besides being super soft and stain-resistant, are thin wicking fabrics which pull moisture down into the inner absorbent layers, leaving the layer against your skin nice and dry.

In addition, all Cucicucicoo pads have wide wings to protect the edges of your underwear and are closed underneath with a metal snap. You can tell the right way to wear the pad by keeping the colored part of the snap facing up.

I no longer produce Cucicucicoo pads for sale, however you can find the easy Cloth Menstrual Pads sewing pattern in my Cucicucicoo Patterns shop. The pattern includes all four sizes of pads, each of which has multiple variations, for a total of 16 variations so that you can create the perfect pads for your needs.

Don’t worry if you aren’t an expert at sewing! Many people have sewn these pads without having ever sewn anything else before. The instructions give lots of details and help every step of the way, so they’re perfect for beginner sewists!

Cucicucicoo Cloth Pads sizes and styles

Mini

MINI cloth menstrual pad - pantyliner by cucicucicoo

This pantyliner is perfect for spotting or menstrual cup backup, it is thin enough to forget you’re wearing it. It is 20 cm long with a top layer of high quality cotton flannel (1) in fun designs, inside absorbent terry cloth core and underneath PUL (2).

The two ends can be folded in and the wings snapped over them for easy carrying.

MINI cloth mama menstrual pad - panyliner folded by cucicucicoo

Regular

assorbente lavabile REGULAR di cucicucicoo

A bit more absorbent than the pantyliner, but still thin, perfect for days of light flow or menstrual cup backup. The central sewn channels minimize the spreading of fluid to the wings. The two ends can be folded in and the wings snapped over them for easy carrying. The regular pad is 26 cm long with a top layer of microfleece or suedecloth (1), inside absorbent cotton terry cloth core and underneath PUL (2).

REGULAR cloth menstrual pad folded by cucicucicoo

Ultra

ULTRA cloth menstrual pad by cucicucicoo

The perfect pad for days of heavier flow, it’s slightly longer and more absorbent than the regular pad. The lateral sewn channels minimize the spreading of fluid to the wings. It is 28 cm long with a top layer of microfleece or suedecloth (1), inside absorbent cotton terry cloth core and underneath PUL (2).

Mega

MEGA cloth menstrual pad by cucicucicoo

This option is a life-saver for ladies with a very heavy flow, perfect for nighttime use or the post-partum period. Besides being the longest and most absorbent cucicucicoo pad, it has a special widened back to protect clothes and bed sheets. The lateral sewn channels minimize the spreading of fluid to the wings. It is 36 cm long with a top layer of microfleece or suedecloth (1), inside absorbent cotton terry cloth core and underneath PUL (2).

How do you take care of Cucicucicoo cloth pads?

Easy! Put used pads in cold water in a basin or other container. I suggest rinsing them first to get rid of most of the blood. Change the water (try using it to water your plants-it works like fertilizer) and add fresh water at least once a day until washing day. You can machine wash them alone, with diapers, or with dark clothes in cold water. If you want, you can also add Napisan or another disinfecting additive. Do not use fabric softener, which reduces the fabric’s absorbency. It’s best to air dry them in the sun, but you can also use a machine drier. When they’re completely dry, store them in a basket, drawstring bag or in your bathroom cupboard until the next time you’ll need them. As with all cucicucicoo products, it is suggested that you wash them prior to use.

When you go out, no problem! Just bring extra pads with you and put them into a cute size small wet bag when you’re done using them.

It won’t be long until you come to love your special pads and “that time of the month” will become so much more pleasant, just wait and see!

Check out the easy Cloth Menstrual Pads sewing pattern in the Cucicucicoo Patterns shop!

 last revised February 13, 2021

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33 thoughts on “All about washable and reusable cloth menstrual pads”

  1. sono sottilissimi. è difficile misurare. gli salvaslip sono quasi come niente, diciamo circa 2-2,5 mm. gli assorbenti regolari, nel punto più doppio, massimo 4 mm, quelli ultra diciamo 5-6 cm e quelli notte ancora un pochino di più.

    non è come usare un pannolino. gli salvaslip e quelli regolari non danno per niente fastidio. (danno fastidio solo se porti uno slip troppo largo che non li tiene ben sistemati, ma non ha senso comunque portare slip larghi.) quelli ultra e notte sono abbastanza grossi (assorbono un sacco!), quindi si sentono. ma non è peggio di sedersi su un assorbente usa e getta molto grosso. l'unico che si sente veramente è quello di notte, ma perché ha il posteriore così grande. ma quando si usa, si dorme molto più tranquilla se hai un ciclo pesantissimo. quello non serve a tutte le donne. quelli fatti con il micropile sono appena meno sottili, ma ho smesso di farli con quel tessuto per proprio questo motivo. ora uso solo suedecloth, che è sottilissimo.

    sinceramente, a me dà fastidio usare quello ultra quando vado in bici, ma a parte questo, li uso tutti senza problemi.

    Reply
  2. ragazze io li uso da sempre! il mio consiglio è: provateci e vedrete. Io usavo addirittura quelli "della nonna", fatti semplicemente di spugna ripiegata in 3, e andavano benissimo pure quelli.
    E non danno irritazioni, niente a che vedere con la plasticaccia a contatto-pelle degli usa e getta (che io trovo fastidiosissimi, li uso solo in viaggio)
    -carla

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  3. grazie, carla! sono d'accordo; sono tutta un'altra cosa! è vero che all'inizio, l'idea può sembrare strana, ma da quando ho cominciato ad usare assorbenti lavabili, rifiuto di usare mai più quelli orrendi usa e getta, anche in viaggio!

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  4. sono intezionata all'acquisto di questi assorbenti. Volevo chiedere a chi già li usa se si possono igienizzare con prodotti disinfettanti come il Napisan: mi spiacerebbe rovinarli.
    Ciao

    Reply
  5. ciao, come ho scritto sopra, si può usare il napisan senza problemi, ma veramente non c'è neanche bisogno. io non lo uso, ma chiaramente c'è chi si sente più "protetta" usandolo. se vorresti farmi altre domande direttamente, mi puoi sempre scrivere a [email protected]. a presto! 🙂 lisa

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  6. Ciao, ho scoperto in questo momento l'esistenza degli assorbenti lavabili, e l'idea mi piace un sacco. Tu mi sembri una in gamba, quindi ti chiedo un po' di informazioni:
    Da quale negozio si possono acquistare? Vendi solo on line o hai anche un negozio? Fai ancora assorbenti in bamboo (li trovo molto più interessanti di quelli in semplice cotone)? E come si fa a scegliere tra un modello e l'altro (parlo delle forme, chiaramente, non delle capienza)?

    Scusa l'ondata di domande ma è una cosa totalmente nuova per me! Ciao,
    Susanna

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  7. ciao susanna, grazie per l'interesse. normalmente vendo nel mio negozio online (c'è il link nella colonna laterale del blog) ma al momento non si può ordinare perché ho partorito da poco e non posso gestire tutto. comunque, sì, ho assorbenti in bambù e ogni capienza di assorbente ha la sua forma, che non si scambiano fra loro. a presto! lisa

    Reply
  8. ma figurati! mica li ho inventato, ho solo fatto modelli miei con le mie preferenze come mi sono trovata bene. fa qualcosa anche tu, ma fammi sapere che cosa farai! sarò curiosa! 🙂

    Reply
  9. meglio che mi fai sapere perché non riesco a seguire altri blog sempre con molta regolarietà per il pochissimo tempo che ho a disposizione da quando è nato il mio 2° bimbo. buon lavoro! 🙂

    Reply
  10. le coppette interne in italia le vendono anche la ditta popolini e sono un po'anche allegri sono colorati e costano 28 euro.

    Reply
  11. ciao francy, hai ragione e ci sono anche altri posti dove comprarle ora. volevo aggiornare quella parte e scrivere proprio un post sulle coppette mestruali, ma aspettavo un pochino perché ne ho appena comprato una di un'altra marca (meluna) più grande, senza gambo e pure viola! quindi vorrò scrivere qualcosa dopo averla usata e con altre info pure. tu l'hai usata la coppetta?

    Reply
  12. ho appena scoperto l'esistenza di questo tipo di assorbenti lavabili, ma mi chiedo come possa usarli quando sono fuori casa per alcuni weekend e non abbia la possibilità di lavarli. grazie a chi mi risponderà.

    Reply
  13. ciao! in effetti, diventa un po' più complicato, ma si possono anche o lavarli a mano o tenerli sporchi per diversi giorni senza metterli in acqua prima di lavarli. non posso dire al 100% che non si macchiano, ma è possibile! se vuoi altre info, mi puoi scrivere a: [email protected]. 🙂 lisa

    Reply

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