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mama cloth questions:

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
1. Do you wash your mama cloth with your diapers?
2. Do you rinse? Do you wait until your period is done to wash all at once?
3. Anyone use re-useable cloth tampons?
post #2 of 11
I've tossed the soiled pads into the diaper pail and washed with the diapers in the past, but it's been over 5 years since I've had any diapers to wash, and I'm now washing cloth pads for 3 women! (What do you call a cloth pad for a teenager- sister cloth? )

When I was in college, I used to have enough pads to last my whole cycle, and then wash them all at the end. I didn't have the energy to go to the laundromat OR fuss with hand washing while I had my period. But now that I have a washing machine in my bathroom, I find it easier to wash as I go. I don't currently own enough pads to go my whole period without washing them, and both of my daughters are unwilling to share cloth pads.

For a while, I would simply toss soiled pads into the washing machine and then wash them with whatever load of laundry I did next. This resulted in some staining but I didn't care- they're sanitary napkins! Just as I didn't care about poop stains on diapers, I didn't care about blood stains on mama cloth. DD1 feels the same way.

But DD2 is grossed out by stained pads (and I used white fabric to sew her pads, which doesn't hide stains very well) so I started soaking her pads in salt water in the bathroom, for at least a few hours before washing. Sometimes I add non-chlorine bleach to the soaking water. This greatly reduces the amount of staining, but doesn't always completely eliminate it (sometimes salt water is enough to prevent stains, and sometimes bleach water isn't enough, like from an overnight pad). When her period ends, I take all her stained pads and treat them with non clorine bleach and soap (my typical laundry stain treatment: dissolve NCB in hot water then add a bit of liquid soap, then paint that onto stains, let sit a few hours and wash in cold water, repeat as many times as needed.)

I usually soak all of our pads now (especially if any of us have our periods the same time as DD2) but I won't bother stain treating any pads but DD2's.

I've never tried using reusable tampons- I'm too afraid of bacteria or yeast growing in the fabric and not getting it sanitized well enough to not be a health risk. I do use a menstrual cup at times though. I find pads more comfortable, but the cup is useful for a day at the beach or if I'm going to be out and about all day when I have my period.
post #3 of 11
Originally Posted by mandica View Post
1. Do you wash your mama cloth with your diapers?
2. Do you rinse? Do you wait until your period is done to wash all at once?
3. Anyone use re-useable cloth tampons?
1. Yup. Or I wash with other laundry if it's convenient.
2. I do rinse so I don't stain the other laundry when I toss the pad in the laundry hamper. I don't worry about staining the pad, though. My pads are dark fabric, which hides stains well.
3. No. But I love love love my Diva cup and use it almost exclusively. The pads I usually only use at the very end of my cycle when it's not enough flow to worry about the cup. I'm on my fourth menstrual cup by now!
post #4 of 11
I wash with diapers or towels.
I don't rinse. I did a soak method at first but it didn't make any difference either way.
I just toss each on in the laundry, I don't wait till the end of cycle.
I use a lunette cup, no tampons.
post #5 of 11
I crocheted a net bag and just threw my spoiled pads in the bag and then washed them all at once when my period was over along with the rest of my laundry (I don't have any babies in diapers at this point)

At first I used to rinse but I haven't done that in years now... it was just too much work plus the water gets pretty gross even after just a few hours.

I have a few crocheted tampons that I used last summer for swimming at the lake but about six cycles ago I bought a Diva Cup and its really a revelation to the world of periods (imho). I use it exclusively now.
post #6 of 11
I have a diva cup that i just got and used for my last cycle and love so will be retiring my pads but what I do/did was fill a ice cream bucket with cold water every morning and soak my pads till I washed diapers. I would squish them around every morning and rinse them well this way then refill the bucket and repeat each morning. It took just a few minutes (I did it before hopping in the shower every morning). I though this kept them cleaner then just throwing them in the dry pail for diapers like I had done in the past.
post #7 of 11
I soak a little cold water on them, spray with spray and wash (I keep that in my bathroom for pre-treating stains) and set them aside in the sink to dry. Once they are dry, they go in the regular whites bin for regular laundry day. Stains come out eventually.
post #8 of 11

1. No diapers to wash here, but I would (& have) wash them with the regular clothes if I had a washing machine at home. Since I don't currently, I hand wash them.


2. No, I don't rinse. I used to soak when I first started using them, but that seemed an unnecessary PitA. ;) Although I did use the soak water on my houseplants at the time (I changed the water every day). These days I hand wash out of necessity, & wash them as I go (also out of necessity - I really need to pull my sewing machine back out, esp since I just bought some new fabric to make more cloths from!).  When I had enough on hand, I would just wait & have DH wash them all at once in the regular laundry, usually in a load of towels (no fabric softener, so they're more absorbent).


3. I didn't even know about cloth tampons! I have heard about using rolled up baby socks as tampons, which I tried here and there but always found them too drying. I crochet (& knit, in addition to sewing) & a PP mentioned using a crocheted tampon...I'll have to look into that, though I'll probably have the same problem I had with the baby socks...


I have used sea sponges as "reusable tampons" however, with great success. I didn't buy those Jade Pearls or whatever (I'm way too much of a cheapskate); I just went to the art supply store & bought a medium-sized package of them - I think the pack I buy now & then usually has 4 sponges in it.  Then I boil them on the stove before first use & I'm good to go!  However, the cats got a hold of my most recent batch while they were drying off & batted them around the house while I was out & now they are coated in fur. *grumble* 


I would like to get a menstrual cup instead (like the MeLuna), but I have some questions about them that I will save for another thread...

post #9 of 11

I rinsed used pads with my diaper sprayer to get the majority of blood out.  It still stained, but not as much.


I also soaked mine in vinegar and water and would wash whenever I did a load of normal wash (warm cycle).


I prefer not to soak with diapers because some of the blood would seep out and darken the soaking water.  Remarkably, our diapers are very white without using any kind of bleach product, and I want to keep them that way for now.  So I do a separate soak.  Not a big deal for me.

post #10 of 11

I just wash my pads with all the rest of my laundry, because its easier for me that way.  As far as rinsing, I soak my pads in a bucket and just change the water everyday until wash day.  I do wring out all the pads before putting them in with clean water again.  This seems to take more of the bloody water out of them and reduces staining.  As far as washing, I just wash them after my period is over, which is usually 6 days.  Since I have to wash them at the laundromat, its cheaper to do it this way.  I just use regular detergent and no fabric softner


I have never heard of cotton/cloth tampons.  I don't use tampons hardly at all.  I usually only use them if I go swimming, and then, I just use chlorine free Natracare tampons.  I have never tried the Diva Cup, mainly because I don't know if you can use it if you've never had sex before or had a baby.  It seems big to me and I don't know if I'd be able to get it in me (just nervous, as you can tell).



post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by briannas auntie View Post

 I have never tried the Diva Cup, mainly because I don't know if you can use it if you've never had sex before or had a baby.  It seems big to me and I don't know if I'd be able to get it in me (just nervous, as you can tell).




I got a Keeper long before I was sexually active.  I had no trouble using it then, but I think if the Diva cup had been available then I would have preferred it -- the silicone in the Diva is a bit softer than the natural rubber of the Keeper, so it's a bit more flexible and easy to fold up really small.  There's a bit of a learning curve to using any kind of menstrual cup, but after one cycle I bet you'll love it!  I'd never ever go back to tampons. 


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