5 polka dot reusable pads in different colors

All you need to know about reusable pads

Did you know that you can use sanitary pads more than once?

Well before you say Eeeew! or curse someone out, we are not talking about the single-use disposable pads, or the pads that you use once and then dispose of. We are talking about pads that can be washed and worn again over a long time.

These and menstrual cups are reusable menstrual products.

Reusable pads save you money. While the initial price may be a bit higher, it makes sense to invest in them if you want value in the long term. These pads can last up to 5 years but of course, depends on how often they are worn and cared for.

Just like the disposable pads, reusable pads come in different sizes and their ability to absorb menstrual fluids differs as well.

In case you’re curious yet not sure reusable pads are for you, here are commonly asked questions and answers:

How do they work?

You wear a reusable pad in the same way you wear the disposable pad. The reusable pads are designed in such a way that there have wings that help secure them in place and do the job of absorbing menstrual flow.

The pad will not fall off because it is well secured. 

How often should I change reusable pads?

The reusable cloth pads often have the same, if not better absorbency than, single-use disposable pads. The best practice is to change your pad every 4-8 hours depending on your flow. You may need to change more regularly than this if the pad seems to be full and not absorbing more menstrual fluids.

Are they even comfortable?


One advantage of reusable pads is that they are made from gentle fabric thus feels soft on the skin. They also absorb moisture thus your skin is protected from any irritations.

Are they hygienic?

The washable, reusable sanitary towels are hygienic as long as you maintain simple hygiene. Just like the disposable pads, it is important to change when they become saturated with menstrual fluids.

Also, reusable pads are safe and healthy to use so you don’t have to worry. 

How do you clean them?

If you have some time, you can first rinse the pad to remove any blood clots and then soak in cold water to get rid of stains. To soak, add detergent and some antiseptic disinfectant liquid such as Dettol, if available. Hang them and leave them to dry.

Avoid using direct heat to dry faster as this can lead to shrinkage thus reducing the absorbency level. Once they dry, you can use them again and the cycle continues.

What are the disadvantages?

There are several disadvantages of reusable pads.

  • First, they are not a good fit for women with a heavy flow.
  • Second, sometimes the blood stains do not come out after washing.
  • Third, it is hard to predict when the pads will dry. In some cases, it takes longer especially if the weather is not suitable. This may be a big inconvenience to those who do not have many pieces of the pads.
  • Finally, the idea of carrying a used pad around does not sound that good. If you are traveling you have to have a separate storage bag.

Over to you, have you ever used a reusable pad? If not yet, would you use it? Talk to us in the comments section.

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Recent Comments (3)

  1. The washable pads are good…
    The washable pads are good.they do help incase you dont have money to buy sanitary pads.but my question is where can we get or rather buy the washable pads?

    1. Hi Christine, 

      Yes, they…

      Hi Christine, 

      Yes, they are. 

      Most shops won’t have them. To get them, organizations such as PadMad, Huruinternational, and One Acre Fund have programs that produce these products. 

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