Finally and as promised, I’m getting started on the second part of my Menstrual Series. If you didn’t read my introduction to this series (click here to catch up), please be aware that there will be a decent amount of TMI and honest period talk. Sorry for the delay in the post peeps but it takes time to thoroughly review menstrual products, you know, with waiting on my cycle to come around and all.
In this blog I will be sharing with you all my introduction into resusable menstrual products. After searching the web for affordable products with good reviews, I stumbled upon this beautiful Etsy Shop named Pretty Comfy Shoppe (Check it out here). The shop owner, LT, was really friendly, patient and helpful. I sent her a few messages before deciding to purchase and she was just such a kind soul.
This is going to be a long post so if you want to skip to the actual review, just scroll to the bottom to read the “Overall Impressions” section. Otherwise, grab a snack and beverage and keep on scrolling 🙂
I decided on ordering reusable cotton rounds, reusable winged menstrual pads without PUL lining, winged pantyliners and a handy strap that serves as a place to hang the products for air drying. Her shop automatically adds a certain cost for shipping with each item that you order. She rounds up the total cost of shipping and then reimburses you for the difference. I asked if she could send me additional items of her choice instead of refunding me the shipping costs. Below is all that I received with reviews of how things have performed thus far.
L: Reusable menstrual pads with wings
Center: Reusable pantyliners with wings
R: Terry/Flannel wash cloth
I absolutely loved the washcloths. She sent me an oversized face cloth and body cloth. One side is terry cloth like a towel, which is great for gentle exfoliation. The other side is a soft flannel that is great for gentle cleaning. I use the face cloth daily. I love how great it removes my makeup and how nicely it exfoliates without the need of any additional exfoliating products. The body cloth is so plush and is just like an oversized version of the face cloth. I love it!
I love these! I got a pack of 15 (which comes with an additional 3 free rounds) but really only use about 2 at a time. These are great for applying toner and removing makeup. I chose the ones that are flannel on both sides but you can choose between terry & terry, flannel & terry or flannel & minky. They come in varying sizes and patterns but are all equally soft.
Wingless liner inside pattern
I had ordered about 10 winged pantyliners because I wanted enough to last me a week with a couple of extras for use around laundry day. LT sent me the wingless liner for free, to try. I have to be honest, I wasn’t sure about the wingless liner. In my mind, I thought it was going to go all willy nilly in my underwear and end up somehow escaping my draws in what would surely be on my top 3 embarrassing moments.
LT suggested I use it with tighter fitting underwear and make sure that I “tucked it in” really well. It actually came in really handy as I had to wear compression shorts one day and it didn’t make sense to use the winged liners. It worked great! I did as LT recommended and tucked it in and it stayed put. The winged liners were also great. Since they snap around the crotch, they also stay put. I really love the fact that they don’t disintegrate when I’m out on a hot day the way my organic cotton panty liners would. Also, with all the moisture/sweat, the adhesive would stop holding on to my underwear and end up dancing around in my underpants. Because these are made of actual cloth and there is no adhesive, those are currently non-issues.
Menstrual pads with wings without PUL
I wasn’t sure which pads to order at first because I wasn’t sure how cloth absorbency would compare to regular pads. I decided on medium flow pads that are 8 inches long. I also chose to get these without the PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) lining which would make them more water resistant and therefore leak resistant. I honestly didn’t think I would need the extra protection as my periods haven’t been super heavy.
These boosters where also a sample item from LT that extend the life of your pad by offering extra absorption.
How I fold up the Menstrual pad to place in my handbag/purse (inside a ziploc or wet bag).
Drying strap for use with a shower curtain rod or any other rod
How the drying strap works
Hand written notes that came with each item
More mestrual pads with PUL lining
After having used the non-PUL lined pads, I decided to order some more pads for the following cycle and I wanted to see how these held up in comparison to the non-PUL. I also ordered them in the 9 inch and 10 inch sizes. I’m more of a dog person but I just couldn’t resist this “You’ve gotta be kitten me” pattern. I also ordered the other patterns below:
The other menstrual pads with PUL and free additional strap for drying.
Cleaning: As you can imagine, cleaning a reusable product does require you to get hands on with your used pantyliners and pads. The pantyliners, honestly, come clean in the washer if they just have your typical vaginal discharge, etc. If you use them while wearing a menstrual cup (stay tuned for my Lunette cup review, coming up soon), a tampon or on the spotty days of your period, and they get stained with blood, you will have to hand wash them first.
LT includes care instructions with each shipment of these products and this is what I found works for me. Immediately after removing the used pad, I rinse it as best as I can with cold water until the water runs mostly clear. Then I store it in my ziplock bag until I get home in which I soak it in water, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide-overnight. In the morning, I rinse them out, and hang them up to dry while I am away at work. In the evening, I toss them into my laundry pile. Once washed, I let them air dry and then store for the next cycle. This method works the best at removing stains, for me. I will say that when I have used these pads overnight, the prolonged period of time that they are holding on to the blood makes the stains nearly impossible to remove completely. Though I haven’t tried OxiClean, I did re-soak them and hand wash them but they remained stained to some extent.
Honestly, they are menstrual pads, I figured they were bound to get stained eventually because it is the nature of getting blood on stuff. However, if this is something that bothers you, you may not want to wear them overnight without getting up in the middle of the night to change and soak the pad you previously had on. I like to sleep through the night so…yeah, no thanks.
Overall Impressions: I love these products! Now, lets be clear, you cannot really substitute regular, disposable menstrual products/liners for these and not expect there to be an adjustment phase. For starters, you must carry a wet bag or ziplock bag to keep your used pads when you have to change during the day. If you don’t have access to a private bathroom with it’s own sink, you might feel awkward about rinsing your used pad in a sink where someone else can walk up next to you and wonder what in the world you are doing?! If that is the case, you can just place your used pad into a wet bag/ziplock bag and deal with it when you get home.
In terms of absorbency, if you are a heavy bleeder, I would suggest the larger 10″ pads with PUL lining. These have the absorbency of an overnight pad. Do keep in mind that, though the PUL lining is on the bottom side of the pad, the area of the wings is not PUL lined and that area can leak. Also, the booster pads may help.
In terms of comfort, wearing these feels similar to wearing regular pads. They can be a bit bulky if you use the more absorbing kind but then again, so are regular disposable pads. To a certain extent, I still prefer the way these feel against my skin and the fact that they don’t make noise when I walk as I have noticed some pads will do since they have that plastic-y outer layer.
In terms of discretion, these pads can easily go unperceived as pads when they are rolled up like the picture above. Plus the patterns are so cute, it looks like some type of accessory and not a pad per say. However, I can’t guarantee that someone won’t see them and ask you “what is that”? To me, that is a great opportunity to spread the word about reusable products but hey, to each their own.By the way, LT offers a TON of different patterns from flowers, to hearts, to Star Wars and Cats; you are sure to find some that you like in her shoppe.
In terms of durability, I have used these pads and pantyliners for 3 cycles now. I have noticed some very minor piling on some of the pantyliners but mostly the ones I use most often and because I wash them by hand (absorbency is not affected though). The pads are all still looking great despite repeated soaking in baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
In terms of customer service, LT from Pretty Comfy Shoppe was absolutely amazing! She responds quickly, she offered me a return customer code on my second order and she even shipped my third order with priority shipping when I explained to her that my period was fast approaching and that I had waited too long to place an order with her. I highly encourage you to check our her site and browse through all of her products and patterns. She also makes custom items if you see a pattern that you like but not in the item that you want.
She was even kind enough to make this exclusive offer for my peeps:
If you purchase 2 or more pads or 2 sets of pantyliners, you will receive a Free Drying Strap. Simply type “Joceys Beauty Files” in the seller notes (not in the promo code).
This has to be my longest blog post ever so kudos to you if you made it till the end. Please leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. Do you use reusable menstrual products? Which are your favorite? Stay tuned for my review on the Lunette Menstrual Cup (that one won’t take me 2 months to post, I promise!).
Stay Awesome Peeps,