The word “Kapda istemaal” in connection to periods was first heard by me in the advertisements of the disposable sanitary pads which often flashed on the T.V during the 1990s era.
I remember when I got my periods for the first time when I was in my seventh grade, in those days during the school recess we girls used to share our experiences and questions about different brands of sanitary pads which were available in the market then. The concept of using “Kapda” was automatically presumed to be the only option for the girls belonging to a lower socio-economic group. Gradually when I reached college then Office, these discussions were left behind and far forgotten as periods were adapted to routine by then.
Recently I read about Priyanka’s article on cloth pads which moved me completely and I realized that apart from body and health related factors, it is the responsibility of every woman for not adding any hazardous and non-biodegradable waste to the environment. Thus the concept of cloth pads suited my views and I immediately opted for them. Here I would like to share my review after the first usage:
- Eco Friendly – As the name suggests, It is indeed a matter of pride for today’s women using cloth pads, when they manage the washing and drying process within their busy schedule in spite of being economically strong and independent enough to easily afford disposables and are thus abiding their social responsibility towards the environment.
- Comfort and Feel – The comfort of cotton against your skin and between your thighs is way better than disposables. The hot and humid climate here in Goa paired with the ultra-pads resulted in worst rashes. Also the surface feel of cloth pads was a “similarly dry” experience as that of disposables. Altogether the cloth pads were far too good comparatively.
- Economic – Cloth pads available in the market are expensive but a one-time investment. If you do the mathematics in comparison to the disposables, cloth pads can last for 3 to 5 years if you care for them properly. So altogether you recover the cost within the first year itself and is therefore a much economic option.
- Odor – First time I realized that menses do not stink. Disposable Pads made the impression vice-versa. The actual smell of our menstrual blood is very mild bearable if not very pleasant.
- Storage of used Pads – The storage of soiled pad was way too easy and less messy then what I thought. As earlier I only knew to wrap pads and throw in bins. Here all you need is a wet bag easily available in the market or online. Soiled pads can be stored by folding the two ends towards the middle, fastening the buttoned flaps and placing them in the carry pouch / Wet Bag. This is a clean way to carry them home to be washed at your convenience.
- Easy Cleaning – Dipping of soiled pad in cold water for 45 minutes removed everything. I just squeezed the extra water while removing from the bucket and rinsed under running tap water, surprisingly water was clear. No redness found.
- Disinfecting – To be extra cautious, I added 3 drops of Lavender essential oil while dipping the soiled pads, thus my pads were perfectly disinfected and naturally scented. Lavender essential oil is enriched with disinfectant properties and the lovely smell is an additional advantage.
- Wash – Post dipping I tossed it in the washing machine along with my other laundry without any hesitation. It is because dipping itself removes the contents completely and the pad becomes like any other damp cloth. In my routine every alternate evening I use washing machine explicitly for my personal laundry. You can also rinse it by taking them into the shower with you and then washing them, but remember dipping in cold or normal water is a must.
- Dry – I dried the pads in my tumble dryer along with my other clothes. Of course the pads weren’t completely dry like other laundry and needed more time separately, but I hanged them on the clothes line exposing to direct sunlight for natural sterilization. Remember that pads should be 110% dry without any moisture to be safe and hygienic.
- Appearance – If anybody sees my washed pads, no one can make out if it was used or it’s a new one. No signs of usage or stains because of the dipping process.
Like any other product, this product also has certain limitations which are as below:
- Like disposables, this product also cannot guarantee about leakage or stains. It’s Only a Menstrual cup which can do that.
- Drying of pads is a time consuming process and hence several extra pads should be stocked for emergency, especially for the rainy season.
- You need to understand your cycle and stock different sizes of cloth pads for different days suiting your needs, since complete cycle kit available in the market may not be favorable to every woman’s flow.
- Every woman should have done lending or borrowing of the disposable sanitary pads at least once since she got her periods. Unfortunately reusable cloth pad is a personal hygiene product to the respective woman similar to her toothbrush. Once used, she may not like to share it with anyone.
I have completely mapped my review on this and expect every woman to opt for it. Trust me, it’s very easy to use and you will be proud for being environment friendly.