Are Women Really Making Their Own Sanitary Napkins and Tampons?

 

Are Women Really Making Their Own Sanitary Napkins and Tampons?Apparently everything old is new again.  It seems that women are taking another look at re-usable sanitary products for “that time of the month” rather than just reaching for the disposables.  Frankly, I can’t see myself going back to the old ways.  I still remember my mother sharing memories of her mother washing out her used strips of flannel back on the farm during the depression.  Mom made sure I knew how much better I had it than grandma did!

That being said, I know there may be other readers out there that do have an interest, so let’s take a closer look.  For a good tutorial on sewing your own pads, try reading this helpful post at the Hillbilly Housewife website:  Homemade Sanitary Pads

I also found a website about sewing diapers that had a pattern (with lots of pictures for guidance) for homemade sanitary pads:  Cloth Menstrual Pad Pattern

Are Women Really Making Their Own Sanitary Napkins and Tampons?

Believe or not, some women also have an interest in re-usable tampons.  You can try crocheting your own tampons with this pattern:  Crochet Tampon Pattern    And for even more information on re-usable tampons here’s a site with a whole directory: Re-usable Tampon Ideas.

So after looking at these different instructions and ideas, I think women need to consider the following:

1.  Are You  At Home?  It seems to me that dealing with cloth pads is going to be the easiest if you can be at your own home for much of the day.  I just can’t picture myself using this system while I’m at the office for 8 hours.  That’s a long time to keep the soiled pads in your purse.

2.  Do you have space in your bathroom?  The women who are using the cloth pads are putting the soiled pads in a pail of water until they can wash them, same as you would use a diaper pail.  It’s the most convenient, of course, to have that pail in the bathroom. If you have the space and don’t mind that addition to your decor, then you might be willing to try this method.

3.  What’s your motivation?  This system creates more work so it helps to be motivated.  Most of the women interested in this subject fall into two groups.  One group is motivated by saving money.  By re-using and re-washing your pads you eliminate the monthly expense of buying the disposables.  The other group is motivated by being eco-friendly.  Using cloth pads keeps waste out of our landfills.  If you fall into one of these two categories, chances are you will be motivated enough to make the change to cloth.

4.  Are you crafty?  I got the feeling that most of the women who had good things to say about the cloth pads were pretty comfortable getting out their sewing machines and fiddling around until they had a good design.  Same with the women who got out their crochet hooks and started creating their own tampons.  If you have a crafty side, you might have more success with the homemade method.

So after taking all this into consideration (and only being able to answer Yes to question #4),  I say Thanks, but No Thanks.  However, this is a very personal choice and women should feel free to do what is best for them and for their bodies.  Also, I have not tried any of these methods and cannot vouch for their safety, so try at your own risk.

 

 

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Comments

    Feel free to comment or share your bright idea!

  1. says

    OMG! hehe, I thought Obama said the recession was over! LOL If someone is actually considering making their own of these, we know for sure that it is not.
    A better way to save for these kinds of items would be use some coupons and pair them with sales to get other things for free or cheap and you will be able to have $$ left over for these. You can get these items sometimes at Walgreens and CVS with their sales for Free to nearly free just watch the weekly ads or check out my weekly deals or the millions of other blogs that post weekly Walgreens deals. Besides there are serious safety concerns with homemade tampons.

    • Trudy says

      tampons and pads became popular in the 60’s. honestly.. reudable pads and tampons are better for you body. so stop laughing at people. the chemicals in those products cause rashes and yeast infections and other problems. tampons in general reusable or disposable are linked to TSS (toxic shock syndrome). but the risk with disposables are higher then reusables. now please do your homeworke before you comment. you are rude.

  2. says

    I've ran across this idea for several years and it seems to fall more on the side of eco-friendliness and health reasons. I actually choose to spend a little more on chlorine-free/unbleached personal hygiene products, as well as disposable diapers, because of the toxicity of chlorine. I avoid tampons altogether.

  3. says

    I had not considered the chlorine factor in the bleaching process . . . good point. I think people are growing increasingly aware of how many chemicals are in our everyday life. I think we will see an increase in homemade solutions as we keep learning more about the chemical levels in our manufactured products.

  4. Anonymous says

    Using a Diva Cup, and home made cloth pad is the best combo from my perspective. Saves money, saves the environment, and very convenient at that! A cloth pad works great alone for light days,….or used as a panty saver. Sometimes we have lots to learn from our past…. and its surprising how new it can be again.

    • jkk says

      Seems I’m years late on this topic lol but I also use a cup similar to diva cup, the dutchess. And originally I used thin pantiliners but as I ran out and forgot about it, the next month I used a thin black sock as I ran out to the store to buy more. Then I got to thinking……. I only bought a small pack and then pulled out the sewing machine and used a coupon at Joann fabric for breathable water proof material to protect my underwear and flannel because its nice and soft….. Made my own and they don’t get nasty. I can’t imagine using ONLY cloth pads, but as for a thin liner, absolutely. Love using the cup, never again with tampons…

  5. says

    I do the same as the last commenter…Diva Cup and cloth pads (both were actually wins!). I really love using both, believe it or not. It's not as bad (as in, gross) as you might think, and it definitely makes me feel better to not be adding to landfills. I *do*, however, use conventional disposable products when I am going to be away from home on my heavier days. I have thought about making my own, but I'm not terribly crafty, so I'd rather support some of the etsy crafters who do make and sell cloth pads. Check them out…it's a good and inexpensive way to see if reusables are for you!

  6. Anonymous says

    I've been doing the diva with cloth pads for years as well. Just think about how much money and garbage that's saved! Even on my heaviest days I only need to check the diva once in the morning and rinse it out in the shower. Very clean and easy.

  7. Anonymous says

    I too combine the Diva Cup with a cloth pad. I actually only need one pad as a backup on my heaviest day so no piles of used pads here.
    I would never ever go back to disposables.

  8. Anonymous says

    I have extremely heavy periods and disposable products do not even start to protect my clothing! I use a Moon Cup and a very heavy cloth pad and still need to change both after 4 hours on the heaviest days. If you think your menstrual pads are sanitary you are living in a fantasy world. My Moon Cup is made in the USA as well. I challenge you to find disposable pads that are made in the USA. My menstrual items are more sanitary and safe than any item I could purchase in the store and place in or on my body! Cloth is not for everybody, but it definitely warrants a trial period, especially if you have had a reaction to disposable products or have really heavy periods.

  9. says

    I have extremely heavy periods and disposable products do not even start to protect my clothing! I use a Moon Cup and a very heavy cloth pad and still need to change both after 4 hours on the heaviest days. If you think your menstrual pads are sanitary you are living in a fantasy world. My Moon Cup is made in the USA as well. I challenge you to find disposable pads that are made in the USA. My menstrual items are more sanitary and safe than any item I could purchase in the store and place in or on my body! Cloth is not for everybody, but it definitely warrants a trial period, especially if you have had a reaction to disposable products or have really heavy periods.

  10. Anonymous says

    Look into the Diva Cup. It's amazing. Can wear for 12 hours. Reusable. And no more disgusting than tampons – without that pulling feeling when they're too dry *shudder*.

  11. says

    Look into the Diva Cup. It's amazing. Can wear for 12 hours. Reusable. And no more disgusting than tampons – without that pulling feeling when they're too dry *shudder*.

  12. Anonymous says

    If you are using cloth diapers you can add them to the diaper pail.
    I developed an allergy to laytex, at 30, and that is not the place that you want a rash.
    The packages were not (5years ago) labled, so the only way to avoid it was to make my own. They might be now, but I am not going back.

  13. says

    If you are using cloth diapers you can add them to the diaper pail. I developed an allergy to laytex, at 30, and that is not the place that you want a rash. The packages were not (5years ago) labled, so the only way to avoid it was to make my own. They might be now, but I am not going back.

  14. Anonymous says

    I have been using cloth pads that I made for over a year now. I will NOT go back to disposibles. It does take a little more work to rinse them out and then wash but it is worth it. I admit it does help if you can be at home on the heaviest days. The disposibles were very uncomfortable and weren't doing a satisfactory job for me. With the cloth, I hardly know I am using them. If you would use cloth diapers on a baby, why not use cloth napkins for yourself. Think about it.

  15. says

    I have been using cloth pads that I made for over a year now. I will NOT go back to disposibles. It does take a little more work to rinse them out and then wash but it is worth it. I admit it does help if you can be at home on the heaviest days. The disposibles were very uncomfortable and weren't doing a satisfactory job for me. With the cloth, I hardly know I am using them. If you would use cloth diapers on a baby, why not use cloth napkins for yourself. Think about it.

  16. Estelle says

    Women also use reusable products for health reasons, to avoid the dioxins and other chemicals in most pads and tampons. Dioxins collect in the body and make us ill, for example, exposure to dioxins has been linked to endometriosis.
    I buy washable pads online, here:
    http://www.vulvalovelovely.com/product-page/cloth-menstrual-pads-uterine-love/

    It makes me happy to buy from this site, as it is a woman-run, body-positive business and she is making her living out of helping women to have a happier relationship with their own bodies. Her products are handmade, made with love and devotion. They are delivered in the most divinely feminine packaging too.

  17. says

    Women also use reusable products for health reasons, to avoid the dioxins and other chemicals in most pads and tampons. Dioxins collect in the body and make us ill, for example, exposure to dioxins has been linked to endometriosis. I buy washable pads online, here: http://www.vulvalovelovely.com/product-page/cloth-menstrual-pads-uterine-love/It makes me happy to buy from this site, as it is a woman-run, body-positive business and she is making her living out of helping women to have a happier relationship with their own bodies. Her products are handmade, made with love and devotion. They are delivered in the most divinely feminine packaging too.

  18. Anonymous says

    Just wanted to chime in and mention that a “wet pail” as you described for cloth diapers or reusable pads is not really recommended by modern cloth diaper manufacturers, as it can be a breeding ground for bacteria. I use a dry pail for cloth diapers and a dry hanging wet bag for cloth panty liners. No need to soak for days in a bucket. I wouldn't want to be the one changing that water! Yuck!

  19. says

    Just wanted to chime in and mention that a "wet pail" as you described for cloth diapers or reusable pads is not really recommended by modern cloth diaper manufacturers, as it can be a breeding ground for bacteria. I use a dry pail for cloth diapers and a dry hanging wet bag for cloth panty liners. No need to soak for days in a bucket. I wouldn't want to be the one changing that water! Yuck!

  20. says

    For more than a decade, I've been using a menstrual cup together with homemade cloth pads. I've never looked back, and recommend the combination wholeheartedly. Besides being a huge money-saver, the cup and pads are convenient (all my supplies are at home where I need them; no more running out to the store for supplies in an emergency!), hassle-free (there's a learning curve, but the combination is very easy to use once you get accustomed to it) and comfortable (breathable, light cotton next to my skin instead of hot, chemical-filled disposable stuff). For me, the cup and pads are the best combination. At this point, I'd never want to use anything else.

  21. says

    For more than a decade, I've been using a menstrual cup together with homemade cloth pads. I've never looked back, and recommend the combination wholeheartedly. Besides being a huge money-saver, the cup and pads are convenient (all my supplies are at home where I need them; no more running out to the store for supplies in an emergency!), hassle-free (there's a learning curve, but the combination is very easy to use once you get accustomed to it) and comfortable (breathable, light cotton next to my skin instead of hot, chemical-filled disposable stuff). For me, the cup and pads are the best combination. At this point, I'd never want to use anything else.

  22. Anonymous says

    I started using the Instead cup for a couple months before I got pregnant. I'm thinking I'm going to have to get myself a Diva or Moon cup now. While I'd still have “leaks,” it was WAY more comfortable to wear than a tampon or just a thick pad. I don't have any allergies, but pads are just itchy. And for the past couple weeks, I've been uncomfortable since I have post-partum bleeding and that's all that's really gonna cut it right now. :/ My grandma also told me once that their pads were cloth. She said her sister hated rinsing them out, so she'd have to do hers too! We'll be doing cloth diapers again, I might try my hand at making cloth pads. Give me an excuse to buy snap pliers! LOL

  23. says

    I started using the Instead cup for a couple months before I got pregnant. I'm thinking I'm going to have to get myself a Diva or Moon cup now. While I'd still have "leaks," it was WAY more comfortable to wear than a tampon or just a thick pad. I don't have any allergies, but pads are just itchy. And for the past couple weeks, I've been uncomfortable since I have post-partum bleeding and that's all that's really gonna cut it right now. :/ My grandma also told me once that their pads were cloth. She said her sister hated rinsing them out, so she'd have to do hers too! We'll be doing cloth diapers again, I might try my hand at making cloth pads. Give me an excuse to buy snap pliers! LOL

  24. Beth says

    I love my Diva cup too and used Instead softcups for years. I'm looking into cloth pads for occasional backup and for my daughter who will probably start soon. I dislike the disposable pads and loathe tampons.

  25. says

    I love my Diva cup too and used Instead softcups for years. I'm looking into cloth pads for occasional backup and for my daughter who will probably start soon. I dislike the disposable pads and loathe tampons.

  26. Kellie says

    Diva Cup and Cloth Pad user here too…for many years. Wouldn’t go back to disposables for anything…for many reasons.

  27. says

    I am menopausal now, but had super heavy flows that we’re embarrassing. I used cloth pads the last 3 years of my cycle to save money. I carried a gallon sized ziploc in my bag for changes, and only my husband knew. Most comfortable, and no chemicals.

  28. says

    They are so much more comfortable and do great even postpartum. I just throw them in with my laundry and I do a load of laundry everyday anyways. Not really extra work for me or my daughter who wears them and washes them herself too.