Monday, June 9, 2008

Mama cloth...reusable tampons

Ok...I know some of you might think I'm nuts. Maybe I am, LOL. I continue to try and find as many ways to cut unneeded spending and reduce the amount of waste that we as a family contribute to the landfills as I can. I figure every little bit helps. We live just a few miles from our local landfill, and I am appalled by the number of garbage trucks, not to mention private vehicles, that go down our road every day headed to the dump. I was intrigued by the idea here http://www.borntolove.com/d-list7-make.shtml of reusable tampons...I really hate pads...I haven't tried cloth pads (I plan on making a bunch for my older girls though, as they are now at the age to need them...eegads!!), but I had a bit of a brainstorm...I had some scraps of organic hemp/organic cotton fleece leftover from making a sling and some diaper doublers for my son(I seriously hate to throw out even the littlest bits)...I cut rectangles about 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches, stacked two together and attached the layers as well as a strip of ribbon yarn together using an overlock stitch. I cut the tails of the ribbon about 4 inches long, and at the moment they are in the wash getting 'fluffed'...more to come...

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The rectangles of hemp/cotton fleece pinned to the ribbon yarn.

After they were washed and dried, they look like they will work really well...they roll up pretty easily, and since the layers were not sewn all the way around, they will wash and dry super easy. These also have the added benefit over the idea linked above (which is genious, btw) of the ribbon for easier extraction.

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I found a cute little drawstring bag to store them in...
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It is interesting to hear that I am not alone in my nutso-ness...I was given this link by a fellow crafty mama to a whole (LONG) discussion on the topic, and various alternatives...http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=82588.0 Which, of course, got me thinking, and playing around with a little organic cotton yarn (the brand escapes me, as the label has disappeared). I took off on one of the ideas that was discussed on the above thread for a drawstring style knit tampon...I cast on 13 stitches with a 2 tail cast on, size 4 dpn's, worsted weight cotton, and knit in the round for 16 rows, then bound off by slipping all of the stitches onto a tapestry needles like you would with a hat (just a very very tiny hat, LOL), I then ran a piece of yarn through the cast on row for a drawstring

I stuffed this one with cotton balls, just to see how it looked...


Then I had another brainstorm...combine the knitting aspect with my original easy clean roll up idea...again on size 4...this time a 12" circular...same worsted weight cotton...I cast on 20 sts, knit stockinette for 16 rows, bound off 18, knit an I cord for 4 rows, bound off, and left a long tail. Easy peasy, and becasue of stockinettes natural tendency to curl, it rolls up super easy!
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62 comments:

Satina said...

Nutso-ness or goddess-like creativity? I say it's the latter. One thing about the scarcity of resources, it really brings out the creative genius mind in each of us.

I LOVE these. I really love the first idea, with the layers and the ribbon, the best. Seems like they'd be easier to clean and dry.

Would you be willing to make some of these for me? You can email me at satina@goingholistic.net.

Thanks!

Satina

wheelerclothbaby said...

I have some terry cloth and flannel. Do you think that would work for the reusable tampons? By the way, where would I get some hemp material? I don't think JoAnns sells it. Thanks! I love the idea, and like you I don't really like pads all that well. My email is wheelerde@yahoo.com

ribbit1976 said...

I too would be interested a set of these for. I think both ideas look great, but am a bigger fan of the first design, Please email me at ribbit1976@yahoo.com thanks

Barbara said...

This is the first time I have ever been able to find somebody blogging on this. I started making my own tampons three years ago. I love your method for the second photo, how you crochet the organic yarn through the entire fabric, and your strings are so small, nice! How did they fluff out? How does the yarn feel? I also wanted to tell you, not to use colors or dyes in tampon fabrics or strings. We are really absorbent down there and you will absorb the dye. If it's too synthetic you can feel it.

I make mine out of natural organic cotton squares and bamboo terry cloth, I use organic natural thread. The absorbency of the materials is what should dictate your pattern. Ultra Very Heavy Flow (15-18 g)
Super Plus Heavy (12-15 g)
Super Normal to Heavy (9-12 g)
Regular Normal (6-9g)
Lite-Light to Normal (under 6 g), you can use water to test it just shrink your fabric before cutting the squares, or shrink it to size in the yarn so you know your patterns absorbency.

I like to use a combination of cloth and tampons. AFter several days of one, it's nice to switch, also shouldn't sleep with them in anyway. You can reuse a plastic applicator to put them in.

You can get hemp online. There is a good selection and lots of different types too. Hemp is really absorbent, but the one I got wasn't very soft.

Your pretty tampons make me wish I knew how to crochet. If you ever want to trade some tampons, let me know!
momma@moocowmomma.com

Barb

Amy said...

oh my...I didn't even know all of you had posted! I don't check this post often, as it is not one of my more requested patterns, LOL. I made this set in anticipation of a first postpartum AF that never came...and am currently 20 weeks preggo with baby #6, LOL. I'm attaching my email so I will get any futher posts on this! I really loved these, but ended up selling them on my Etsy. :)

Jailee said...

I completely LOVE these! They are such a good idea! Do you think you could make me some? My email is:

jaileeklein@gmail.com Thanks!

Ana said...

This is really disgusting and I find it more appalling that you would wash them. Would you wash them daily? Or will they sit somewhere until you can wash them all?(you know, to save water)
I'm sorry, but this is really too much.

Claire Barraclough said...

Mooncups ladies....www.mooncup.org.uk xxx

The Farm-Marm said...

I find the naysayers comment hilarious! If she has a "leak" does she throw her underwear or her clothing away? Or does she go ahead and rinse the blood out and wash her clothes as usual? If she has kids I'll bet she never noticed the directions on the side of the bag of diapers that tells her to dispose of the "solid" waste into the toilet. I'll bet she just wraps up that diaper and puts it in a "diaper genie" type pail so as not to have any offensive odors in her home. Which of course is just a giant plastic bag full of poop bombs! Does she realize that these said bombs will stay in her local landfill for 100-500 years give or take? I'll bet she uses paper towels like they're going out of style. Some people are just ignorant as to what they do to our planet. They just can't help it. Media has trained the last 2-3 generations that all these modern "conveniences" are "better" for us. Never mind they can cause toxic shock syndrome, skin rashes, etc,etc! They waste our resources, poison our water, land and bodies.
If she has kids..has not potty trained them? How many accidents did they have? Did she trow out all those clothes they peed or pooped on? Bet not. I bet she washed them and reused them! Me? I'd much rather wash out blood than poop any day!

mparryuk52 said...

Hi, I find this all to be so disgusting. It is probably counter productive to use these home-made pads/tampons. When you consider how much water will be required to wash them and the energy needed to dry them there really is little advantage. Yes, you may believe that you are in some way 'saving' the planet but you are not.

My vagina is quite dry and I can imagine that my fluids will be dried up by using them.

Also what if my husband makes love to me while I am sleeping and wearing it. He simply wont know if it's deep inside me. I am extremely tight so he would probably miss it. And before you all start saying that my husband is raping me: I actually enjoying waking up with my husband inside me.

Really you should do better things with your time! Millions of £££ goes in to developing tampons which do not cause Toxic Shock Syndrome, you leave yourself open to infection and potentially death. Do you know how many women died over the years from TSS?

Amy said...

I think any little bit we can do to be more natural in our lives is a good thing. For centuries before the advent of modern methods, women used things like this, and it wasn't until the modern tampons were in wide use that the subject of toxic shock ever came up. Why? Because the materials in modern tampons is TOO absorbent. Women, especially teens, are tempted to wear them longer than they should, and staph can develop. With these more natural alternatives, that is not the case. If you and your husband are into that sort of thing, by all means, enjoy...but perhaps he should keep your cycles in mind, too, so as not to cause such a situation. My husband always has known my cycles, sometimes better than me! I'd also much rather wash a few cloth tampons than send them to the landfill, or fill up my septic tank. I also have 5 daughters, and I am trying to teach them to be personally and ecologically conscious. The older girls already use teen 'mama' cloth, totally love them, and say they wouldn't buy 'yucky paper' ones, even if they were free!

Stalker said...

To each their own. I've found by making things for my kids (diapers, diaper covers, cloth wipes etc) that there are more and more things that I can make myself, they work better, and they are a TON cheaper than the store bought disposables! Although I may not try these for awhile, I don't see anything wrong with them at all! :) Way to be green :) and to the naysayers- really? do you have to be so negative? if you don't like the topic, why cause a fuss?

The Farm-Marm said...

To the people out there who are under the assumption that you can get TSS from these homemade tampons..medical studies show that TSS comes from using the tampons (from the store) for prolonged periods of time (ie: hours of constant use of same tampon) This is due to the chemicals that are used in producing the tampons. These same people need to read up on how much waste goes into producing the tampons, pads, and diapers they care so much about using for their "hygienic" qualities. These products are extremely wasteful. It takes tons of trees, water and petroleum to make the said products. That's not including paper products such as toilet paper or paper towels.
I personally use homemade pads. The only "waste" I do, is by using 1 gallon of water a month to soak my pads. 1 GALLON! I have a container that holds trhe pads and a quart of water. i change that water 4 times during my cycle. By the time it gets to wash day, the water is almost clear. I wash the 10-12 pads with my regular laundry. I dry them with regular laundry as well. it would be the same as washing a dozen socks. just without the bleach ( which I only use maybe three times a year on socks-bleach eats your clothing fibers)I also use the outside clothes line to dry my laundry during the warm months of the year.

I've never heard of a person dying from TSS by wearing wool or natural cotton. As far as I know TSS didn't even exist until tampons came into use. At least the store bought manufactured ones. I'm pretty sure that 100 years ago, when our ancestors were using rags made from cotton or wool or some other natural cloth (and let's face it SOMEONE had to have come up with the idea of stuffing themselves with the said cloth, hence the tampon) none of them died from TSS....it's the chemicals people.

Survival Vault said...

To all the "I can never use those and it's so disgusting" People, What are you going to do when society finally collapses and you can't go buy you tampons and pads? People need to get back to natural products since the big drug companies make everything so toxic to make us sick and then gives us their drugs that make us more sick and for the all mighty dollar. Now that is disgusting if you ask me. Wake up to reality.

Survival Vault said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melanie said...

I think the reusable tampon idea is great. I am not sure they would work for me but I wouldn't be opposed to trying. I cloth diapered all of my kids and for those that THINK it is counter productive since we use water and energy to dry them...do your research! Do you through your clothes away and just keep buying new ones or do you put them in the hamper and wash them? Do you only use paper plates or do you use pots and pans, cups and regular plates and then wash them? Do you dry yourself off with paper towels or do you use bath towels and wash them? The amount of water needed and the energy used to wash our reusable products (clothes, dishes and diapers) is MINIMAL compared to the damage done using disposable products. Saying that disposable is better because reusable products are a waste of water, is just a lazy person's excuse...there has obviously not been any research done to back this up. To each their own if you want to use disposable products. I use SOME disposable products from time to time but it is NOT to save water..LMAO...it is really the funniest excuse! Most of the water we use is recycled back into the environment. Can't say the same about you disposable tampon or diaper sitting in a land fill for 500 years (and even then it doesn't completely biodegrade). Also, like another person said. MOST people do not read that you should not be putting the feces in the trash. All of that human waste is reabsorbing back into the earth, our food, our water and that is NASTY! If you are going to use disposable products...at least use them properly.

More Natural Mama said...

This is an awesome pattern. Thank you so much! I had a friend who used cloth for her cycle and it intrigued me. She was hardcore though... We were all on vacation and she still washed and dried everything every other day. I am going to look for super sensitive org. cotton and make some tampons and liners. I might look for the cloth diaper material for the liner though. :) Thanks!!!

CarolM said...

The only thing I would have a problem with is the nasty girls who dont/ wont wash them right away. That would be gross, im wanting to throw up thinking about that. Other than that, its a good idea.

Party Poision said...

Cool idea... but it looks like it would hurt haha. My vagina would be so raw from wearing this.

Princess Heather said...

I'm not so sure about using reusable tampons but them I'm not a fan of tampons to begin with.

Does any one know of a place to get a good pattern for reusable pads??? Or a good site to buy them from????

mom of 4 babes and 3 angels said...

wow, I am amazed at the negative input.
I personally wash only cold for clothing and hot for diapers and towels/underclothes with an HE washer AND ONLY hang dry all my wash, ALL year round .
I love this idea as those expensive useless tampons I have used over the years, constantly leak, so I need to wash more anyhow, would rather wash a few extra small pieces of cloth, and mamma pads, than a pair or 2 of pants ,or all my sheets again that week.
WAY to go mamma, keep the ideas coming, I for one am on board with going green, because like a previous person commented,what will all those poor people do when the world does crash and all those lovely conveniences are no longer available, and believe me there will be a day when something does interefere with regular ongoings of life.
This will be one less thing on my mind, thanks momma, and Gl

Darath Akhen said...

To mparryuk52, I have just one thing to say:

if you're against reusable tampons because you think they might get in the way when your husband tries to "make love" to you while you're sleeping.....here is my question to you:

WTF is your husband doing by violating you like that, WHY are you accepting that kind of disrespect upon yourself (that strongly suggest he's into necrophilia, because the body is "as if" dead when we sleep), and WHY IN GOD'S NAME do you think that is NORMAL????? What, he can't make love to you when you're looking up at him?????

and what kind of wife does NOT tell her husband whenever she is on her period????

again, if that is seriously your reason for being against reusable tampons, then find some counseling. State medical benefits will even pay for it, God help both of you.

Darath Akhen said...

and i'm sorry about my crudeness, but the ridiculously negative comments about one mother's creativity and eco-friendly ways to take care of herself are off the wall.

if you don't like this woman's ideas, then don't visit the site. simple. you only risk getting TSS if you use the store tampons because the machinery used to make them has also been exposed to nylon particles. as long as you don't stuff your homemade tampons with Barbie hair, you're perfectly safe.

i for one agree with the poster who said "what are you going to do when the economy collapses and you can't afford to buy tampons?"

for all negativity, go stuff yourselves.

BabsyMama said...

If you are looking for a good alternative to pads and aren't happy with tampons, try a cup like the Diva Cup. Frankly, I will never use anything else! I have some cloth pads and they are great for the waiting for period to start period, but the cup is awesome! Of course, if you can't handle washing a cloth diaper/pad/tampon, you probably won't bother with a cup either, but there is NO absorption with a cup. Most are silicone based so no allergies, and no waste for the landfill. Happy periods, ladies!

Amy said...

I for one think any green alternative ought to at least be looked into. I have daughters aged 16, 15, and 12, and from the beginings of their cycles they have used "teen" cloth (can't being myself to call it mama cloth, LOL) In fact I think they are a bit spoiled...their entire stashes (made by me, of course, LOL) are minkee topped yumminess. My eldest told me she wouldn't even think of wearing a paper pad..."Not even if it was free, mom!" LOL. And truly, this is very much like the way generation upon generation of women took care of AF.

m&t said...

Love it. I've been using cloth pads for a couple of years now and couldn't believe it took me so long to discover them, as they have been great. I also suffer less period pain, and have less heavy periods when I use cloth (no idea why?!) and if I were a tampon kinda gal I would be into these too. Reuseable always beats disposable when it comes to energy and resources used to manufacture these products, even when one takes in account the energy and water used for washing/drying. By a long way. Thanks for this great idea.

Becca said...

I am completely new to cloth. Be it diapers, mama cloth, tampons etc. I am cloth diapering my son at night and my infant daughter. I want to use mama cloth when my AF finally arrives, and i want to try tampons too. My only question is what do i do when i am out and about. I can get away with sticking my daughters dipes in a ziplock bag (no wet bag at the moment) but i want something a little more secretive, esp if i'm out with the hubs on a date.

Up In The Valley said...

Like so many other women, I used disposable diapers, pads, and tampons for many years. I had wanted to use cloth diapers for my first four and lack of information led me back to disposable. I then found cloth pads and then the "Keeper" and was very pleased. I did not learn about reusable tampons until recently but have no need any more. I am cloth diapering my newest and love it.

For those of you who are disgusted by this idea....there are many other blogs that may be more interesting to you. So just walk away.

Maggie Mae said...

This is a great web site for info on cloth pads. Be sure to look at all her info. esp on the charity tab for info.
http://www.clothpadshop.com/

If you have more questions, let me know I have tons of info. on making pads. Check out New Moon Pads.com

Maggie Mae said...

Here's a little more pad making info:

http://alter-eco.info/donate_folding_pad_pattern.html

Here is an interesting site
http://zigezige.taobao.com/

Two part patterns
http://www.daysforgirls.org/#!__learn-more/vstc1=sewing-info

Noel Wright said...

Always nice to see a blog post about handmade pads/tampons and know I'm not the only weirdo out there! lol I personally use cloth pads after making the switch years ago. I was AMAZED at the difference in my flow, cramping (not noticeable when I use cloth, to severe can't-hardly stand-it with store bought). I will never go back to store bought ones again!

Some people just can't fathom a life lived differently than their own, but I don't understand why they have to criticize those that don't live their way.

I loved "The Farm-Marm" replies especially. So true!!

Jessyka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessyka said...

I don't know if I could put in a tampon w/o an applicator. I like tampons (minus all the chemicals) and I'm just now discovering cloth pads. http://ilovemymoon.com/
I just purchased one at local store here in town. I was thinking of maybe somehow making a reusable tampon applicator...but I have no idea where to start or if there's any market for it, lol. But I'm definitely all for finding ways for cutting down on landfill waste.

Noel Wright said...

I buy my cloth pads from here: http://www.etsy.com/people/MomsCrafts4U

I never worry about them leaking or flying off in a public restroom (as my homemade ones without velcro do)

and have used ones from here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/CozyFolk

They are both great companies!

As far as reusable tampons go, if you want to use them but don't crochet, there are a few etsy stores that sell them, including some by:

http://www.etsy.com/people/gwenwalls

which are in her clearance section. I found it interesting that she mentioned this on her page:

"They carry the same risk of toxic shock syndrome as with any tampon and should be changed every 4 hours. They can be inserted with the finger or a disposable lollipop stick available from the craft store, if desire."

I thought the risk of tss was from using store bought ones only?

Other shops in etsy sell them for less btw.

Liberty said...

this is absolutely BRILLIANT!
thank you so much.
I hate pads and have been using reusable sea sponges instead of bought tampons. I really like them but it would be very nice to have something like your design, that I could rinse and toss in the wash with my other laundry rather than having to wash the sponges by hand.
I would still use the sponges sometimes but I love the idea of having a reusable tampon like this.
this may sound weird but I'm totally excited to make these!!
the string idea is great.
thanks again

LexxyV said...

I didn't get a chance to read all comments but I have to add... the people who are against reusable tampons and pads are just downright ignorant to the facts....

When you do the research you will find that each site that talks about resuable pads and tampons that our disposable pads smell! They smell while you wear them smell while they sit in our trash cans and cloth pads do not smell at all!

Not only this but the water that cloth pads or tampons soak in is good for your garden and I know some people will think that it is gross but hello fertilizer has poop from another animal!

I feel cleaner, fresher, and absolutely love cloth pads I want to try the reusable tampons but just a bit nervous! I am not a big tampon user. Loved this post!

Christine said...

I love the idea of reusable pads & tampons and am thinking about trying. I cloth diaper my 10 month old daughter and I love it! But I have one question, what do you do with them when your out? PS,I loved reading all the posts and all the opinions ha!

SunshineMom said...

I think I'd worry about lint being left inside.*shudder* (Although I like the idea of cloth pads and hate tampons in general)

BUT, I love my menstrual cup! I have a Diva but there are many different kinds--Lunette, Mooncup, Keeper, Fleurcup, etc. You should really try them!

jhays84 said...

I think your comment is completely out of line! No one cares about your sex life and how dry you are. A simple "this is not for me" would of been much nicer. And yes I know someone who has gotten very sick from TSS and almost died. There are a ton of chemicals in disposable products. This is the reason I use washable pads. And use cloth diapers on my babys! Also buy not buying disposable products I an not putting blood, urine, poop, and chemicals into the earth and YOUR water supply. Disposal products take thousands of years to decompose. Natural products decompose faster. Please next time before you add your 2cents think about what you are saying. A little reasearch will go a long way!

jhays84 said...

You can find really cute small wetbags for your mama cloth. People will just think your carring a clutch.

AM Dole said...


I am a bit late in responding to this, but some of these comments are hilarious, particularly the woman upset if her husband wakes her up in the night to have sex and pushes her tampon in further. Alrighty. I love the idea of reusable tampons and pads. I would imagine the cloth aspect of the pad is 1) way more comfortable than plastics and 2) doesn't make a loud, crunchy sound. 3) The cost savings would be a welcomed relief in this economy.

For post-maternity stage I will use pads but after that I really am glad to have found this and be introduced to reusable tampons. I think if some are concerned with absorbency messing with ph levels, follow the guidelines of baby diaper inserts. Don't put ultra-absorbent fabrics next to your skin, aka microfiber. However, you could always put that as an inner layer with a cotton or hemp outer layer.

Ellen Morris said...

Wow, what a lot of different opinions here. Now that I'm into menopause and don't have to worry about this anymore (hurrah!), I feel like I can share my own experiences without feeling defensive. And you "green" ecological gals are remarkably defensive. A few women say that they find it yucky and disgusting, and they are told to keep their mouths shut and to go elsewhere, that they are ignorant, to walk away, etc. rather than to stay and learn the possibilities of another way. Be nice to them if they don't know the "right" way to do things.

In my family, the women have very heavy periods. Very heavy. I remember having to use two super plus tampons at once, and having to change them in two hours because they were soaked. My mother and sisters were so happy when the Rely tampon came out, because the super plus Rely would last longer than two hours. They were great. We were sorry for the TSS sufferers, but they worked for us, and then they were gone. We had to change so often that TSS was never a concern anyway. My mom used to say that if men had periods, meetings would never last longer than two hours.

After Rely went away, I started using the OBs, for the main reason that I saw them as being more ecologically sound with no applicator of any kind, and the wrapper which disintegrated in water. (The issue of tampons dissolving in water we will not take up at this time, because we could spend a year discussing that issue, see the Yahoo Answers page.) OBs worked OK but still needed pad backup. Then I was prescribed a diaphragm for birth control, and I discovered their ability to block menstrual flow. Awesome. From that time on, I used mostly mechanical barrier methods and washed them as needed. As I got older and after I had my children, my period only got heavier, until finally I was forced to use Depends instead of pads as a backup.

With such a heavy period, I'm not fussy about my menstrual blood. Touching myself "down there" (ha!) is not an issue. (It's me, for God's sake!) However, I have friends who are squeamish. (Some people are.) So washing off a Diva cup or a diaphragm is no issue for me. But no one answered the question of the woman who asked about comfort. That occurred to me right away. I suppose you use your finger to push it up, but it looks like it would be scratchy and hurt to use. Does it hurt or not? How much bleed-through do you get? Why stuff them with cotton balls, when you'd have to throw those out anyway? Answer the questions that women have, and maybe you'll make some converts of those poor ignorant women y'all are so superior to, ecologically speaking. OK, not all of you, but definitely some. Darath Akhen, I'm looking at you. Go stuff yourself, indeed.

AM Dole, I'm curious about the loud crunchy sound that your tampon makes, and the conversation about the woman whose husband enjoys sex with his sleeping wife was pretty amusing. Except when her husband was called a necrophiliac. Not nice. She said she liked it, she was OK with it, so that should have been the end of it. As I said at the beginning, many different opinions, but not much respect for them all, unless they are the same as yours. Live and let live, people. Women's periods are different with every woman, and every woman experiences it differently, and it's all perfectly natural. Even when you're using the evil tampons. Go to this website
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2252/who-invented-tampons
for a fascinating history of tampons and pads. Apparently we've been using them for thousands of years.

AM Dole said...

Hello Ellen. I was referring to the noise of pads, which always drives me crazy when I have to wear them. I do agree that some eco-gals get a bit out of place when they take their views and elevate them over others. Being earth friendly really isn't a new idea and not one that should be pushed down the throat of previous generations when it was them that had rewashed milk jugs, victory gardens, hand-made vs imported clothing, etc.

Ellen Morris said...

Hi AM Dole. The pads are kind of crunchy, true. My hairdresser of the last 35 years hates the feeling of cotton balls, she says it crunches horribly. We always laughed about it because she has to use long cotton strips in her work at the salon, and it drives her nuts! So I know what you mean.

Wisened One said...

Hi. I have been using cloth pads from Glad Rags (and now even better ones from newmoonPads.com LOVE em! However, I sleep in the nude so use tampons at night. I've heard of the baby sock idea and am considering trying those. I currently use Moon cup, Diva cup or OB's.

Leora said...

Wow, great idea! I will definitely be making some of these once I get the right materials (and I'm 24!). I think there are some really extreme opinions on this board..all I have to say is that I don't judge other ppl for their different habits, and so long as it's not hurting anyone, they shouldn't judge me for my different habits. Research or no research, time will tell if there really is any affect of re-using homemade tampons from natural, clean fibers. I am unable to use Diva cups or things like that, so I will be a willing subject for homemade tampons! Woot!!
Ps, oh my goodness it's take 5 tried to get past the text verification for comments!!

Corrie Parr said...

I was wondering how you keep the tampon shape during insertion? I am not a nay sayer I use cloth pads and wanted another option besides the cup. please fell free to e mail if you have the answer Marlin1014@yahoo.com
thanks

xxMercyLOVE said...

i started looking into reusable menstrual products last year and was planning on trying out some mama cloth (i can't stand the feel of disposables but i figured cloth would be more comfy) and some sort of cup... but i found out i was pregnant a few weeks later lol so i never got the chance. i'd like to try something like this out, but it seems like they might be a little uncomfortable. its a great idea though and the washing doesn't bother me as i'm cloth diapering anyway.

and to the ladies who think its disgusting... what do you think women used to do before there were 'sposies? ever heard of being "on the rag"?? its not just a figure of speech lol. but i understand where they're coming from, i guess. disposables are easier to deal with for some people.

Sumiko said...

I just used my own homemade tampons for the first time this past week. The following are some tips that I have noted so far:

1) I didn't like the idea of lint being left up there from unfinished edges of fabric so I sewed two pieces of heavy flannel together and flipped inside out- no lint!

2) Towards the end of my period, I did get drier (more difficult to insert); I will make some thinner ones for the end of my next cycle, maybe even some thicker ones for heavy flow days.

3) The tighter you roll the fabric, the stiffer and easier it becomes to insert.

4) A homemade tampon does not hold up like store-bought (2hrs vs. 4hrs)

5) A ziplock bag works nicely for holding dirties in the purse.

6) I kept used tampons in a bowl (with a plastic lid) filled with water, vinegar, a squirt of my homemade soap. These were washed with the dark colored clothes.

7) I will be buying a small mesh bag for washing all the dirties in, it was a pain to search for all of my little 'tampon'fabric pieces amongst the clothes.

8) There was less odor with my homemade tampons, I really liked that!

9)Inserted well, they felt like normal tampons in my body.

I really felt good about this and I really like the idea of the money this will save me over time!
Hope this helps those of you considering this option!

Mae said...

wow I totally thought I was doing some groundbreaking stuff by going organic with my menstrual cycle, but i'm at least 4 years behind you!! I've been doing cloth pads for a few months, I just made a couple, but I hadn't thought about tampons. And after making it through the comments I figured out how to insert them. (for the life of me I couldn't think of a tactful way to ask how to get them IN lol). So glad that you posted this and appreciate that I'm not even close to the only one who takes environmentally friendly to a whole new level. :)

Mae

Melanie said...

I personally would not use these... then again, I don't use tampons PERIOD!!! (Heehee... get it?? Period?? =P)

I LOVE this idea though and am interested in reusable pads. (Which is how I came about this post to begin with!)

To the naysayers... What do you think women used before Kotex and Stayfree came about?..... Grow up!

What is a Passion Party? said...

I didn't read all the comments so sorry if this is a repeat but how the heck to you put those things in???

Fern said...

I realize this is an old thred, but I just came across it. I no longer need pads or tampons and I don't have daughters (4 boys), but I wish I had known about making my own pads and tampons when I did need them. I totally don't get this is gross and disgusting comments! So your body is gross and disgusting? Sorry but I taught my children and hopefully will help teach my grandchildren that our bodies are wonderful things that we should treat with dignity and respect. That being said, I have a couple of comments as a nurse. I do think that TSS might have been a problem even 100 years ago. We just wouldn't have the same term for it nor would we have a way to know about it. It just wasn't something anyone talked about back then and doctors wouldn't have had a clue, because they were all men. So I just would caution you all, no matter what kind of tampon you use, to please not leave it in longer than 4 hours. The danger, as someone pointed out, is the opportunity for bacteria to grow. Bacteria love dark, damp places. Add in a medium for them to grow: blood, dye, fabric, and it's a recipe for opportune infection. For the woman who found turning flannel inside out, I hope that it was not a dyed fabric! Otherwise, I am all for products that are more natural and cost less to make. But I would also add that if the economy fails and you don't have electricity or an internet connection, what are women going to do to get these items? Many women can't crochet, knit, or sew without an electric machine and if you can't access etsy or other online shops, then how would you get your homemade pads and tampons? Just something to think about!

Azzy said...

OMG GET OVER YOURSELVES HIPSTERS. TO EACH THEIR OWN. YOU DONT HAVE TO DEFEND YOUR ORGANIC PADS BY CALLING PEOPLE IGNORANT. SURE SOME NAY SAYERS ARE RUDE BUT YOURE ALL BEING JUST AS PETTY AND STUPID BY TRYING TO EDUCATE THEM. as for ME I Personally dont like the idea of using reusable tampons for staining reasons, possible UTI reasons etc. Not to say that you ladies dont clean or that you dont know your products but idk doesnt seem like my thing. creative, handy and cost effective but not for me.

Ashley Kling said...

this may be TMI but I'm curious how do you get them in? with the sposie tampons they come with the "applicator". I am about to make a bunch of cloth pads, but am curious about making some of these for swimming.

~melly said...

there are applicator-less tampons (OB) and you just push them in with your finger. as to the "lint" issue, there is residue left in your body from the covering of disposable tampons, especially when removing them at the end of your cycle (or any time when they are not completely soaked.)

having used just about every product out there (disposable pads/tampons, reusable pads/tampons, and menstrual cups) i'll say that the cloth tampons don't hurt any more or less than disposable ones, especialy if you use a smoother cloth, and knitted covers for a rolled tampon are REALLY smooth.

my personal preference is for the cups, i have a diva, have had it for 5 years, and love it.

for those talking about the cleanliness of cloth, you choudl be aware that those nice clean disposables are NOT STERILE. the fibers they are made with are bleached with dioxins BEFORE actual production of the item, and they are not sterilized afterward, like bandages and sterile gauze are. at least with cloth, i can boil them if i want to sterilize them befor use. 9also my cup.)

now, as to miss "my husband like to have sex with me while i'm asleep" up there, you know, that's cool! she likes it, no big! when i was married, i dint' mind my husband waking me up with sex either, BUT who doesn't let their husband know when they are on their period? i mean, really? do you HIDE your period from your husband? and even if so, isn't it a surprise to do a little morning delight and come out covered in blood?? why the heck wouldn't you just TELL HIM? that's my issue. you do what you want in your sex life. if you both like it, more power to you! yay! but my partners are always appraised of the situation in my pants. i can't imagine my partner going, "hey!! i can't screw you because there's a tampon in there! do you have PERIODS or something??" i mean, seriously.

stolenbonechick said...

I am for sure gonna try the pads and don't have a problem trying the tampons. I am not afraid of using my filanges as as inserts. Thousands of years ago they used different grasses, moss and papyrus. Here is a link

http://www.naturalmenstrualproducts.com/history.php

. ..I am going through the change and my flow is very different all the time but lots of cramping and hot flashes.

It sounds like hard and fast rules no polyester, no dyes,

Benefits
Less smell
Increased comfort
Save 100s of dollars a year
Ability to manage ingredients
Reduce chemical exposures
Reduce what was thought to be menstrual symptoms from the feedback given.
Give back to the environment by not giving so much.
Maybe attract husband more by reducing smelliness...lol

Sounds good to me...
To the squeamish - I won't ask you to insert, pullout the product or wash my laundry.
And even a little saving will help save money on a larger manufacturing scale for chemical processing.

Also at least the product is no longer alligator dung. ..see see link above

Elizabeth Innuso said...

I just wanted to add another couple benefits I have found since I switched from disposable to cloth.
I used to get chronic yeast infections. Since I switched, I haven't had any yeast infections!
Another benefit I have found is that I used to get a rash much like a diaper rash from disposable pads-- no more! I even had tried disposable tampons, but my flow was always too heavy, and I bled through.
I absolutely recommend the switch to cloth...its alot easier than you might think, and so much more comfy! I have had 5 children, and was always grateful to have these during the sensitive postpardum time.
I have one recomendation to any who do try the cloth tampon thing(as I am going to when I have the time and materials to do so), is to make sure you either sun dry or use a HOT dryer, or boil them, as this will keep you from accumulating bacteria in the materials..something I encountered while cloth diapering my children, if I only had cold water and tumble dry, he'd get nasty diaper rashes...just a thought.
My family is very low income, and I actually don't have the money to use anything but cloth rags now, and am glad I bought a good stash of durable comfortable cloth before I couldn't afford to. My stash is wearing out now as I also have some minor urine incontinence issues(5 kids in 8 years)and have to use mine in between periods sometimes too, so I'm going to learn to sew/ crochet some new additions to my stash.
I am a very squeemish person, btw, and I got past my gag reflex in order to do this and have only ever been happy about it.
Folks that are against using cloth ought to research the pesticides in the cotton and the harmful chemicals in the paper that are in most commercial feminine hygiene products. The skin of that most sensitive region is very permeable and quickly absorbs what is put against it for example pessaries(herbal medicine placed vaginally in the fashion of a suppository)
Sorry my comment is so long.

Mrs.Robertson said...

Knowing this post is not new (congrats on generating conversation for this long on such a great topic!) I hope I can get an answer to a question I have: I am going to use some organic hemp fleece I received as a Christmas gift yesterday (yes, I requested it, and no I wasn't shy about how I was going to use it! Yay for understanding parents and my husband!) How could I change these up to have varying absorbencies? Wider cuts of fabric or more squares sewn together? Has any one made these to use though all stages of menstruation? I'm typically a mama-cloth and Diva cup kind of girl, but wanted to give these a try, after seeing a box of Tampax runs $7 for 20 at the store (which wouldn't last me a week with my flows). I haven't used tampons in over 7 years (BC took my cycle away, then it was months of IUIs and then pregnancy). Going all natural from here on out, since the years on birth control have done a number to my system, cysts run rampant with disposies, and I have had zero cramping issues since going cloth. Yes, my Dr. recommended I make the switch (I have a good Dr.) and I will never go back. Hope my question has an answer, or I'l have to do a little T&E to figure it out! Thanks!

Nannie of Five said...

Barbie hair....lmao! That made me literally "laugh out loud"...thanks! ;-)

de said...

How do you insert these? The disposables have some sort of stiffener or applicator.

ally shumate said...

This is such a great idea I'm just worried about how to clean them I will most likely try and make 1 and see how it works! Also your a genius!!