I LOVE GladRags. My advice: Get them.
I was a tampon-user since my first period. One day in college, I decided to stop stuffing those bleached, scented, dry wads of cotton in my vagina every month. I switched to the more eco-friendly and body-friendly DivaCup. The Diva Cup is a menstrual cup: a soft, silicone cup that you manually insert into your vagina to catch your blood. They are safer for your body because they are not treated with all the chemicals that tampons are (unlike tampons, you have no chance of dying from leaving menstrual cups in). They are safer for the earth because they create far less waste: Once you buy one, you can use the same one for years. You’ll never have to rush to CVS in the middle of the night to restock again.
Overtime, my cup started to leak more and more. So I began thinking of another friendly menstrual product I could use.
Want it now? Buy it here!
Enter: GladRags. GladRags describe themselves as, “Good for your Body. Good for the Earth. Good for your Budget.” They are 100%cotton. No unnecessary chemicals, no plastics or wood pulp – like you find in your standard pad – are coming into contact with your sensitive bits. GladRags can be reused for years. That makes for a way smaller carbon footprint – less packaging, less shipping, less waste into the landfill. “The average woman will use up to 12,000 disposable pads, pantyliners, and tampons in her lifetimes.” Imagine if we eliminated that or dropped that number to 50! If we all used reusable menstrual products, that could be a reality. They save you wads of cash because once you buy them, you won’t have to buy more pads for a long, long time. You can reuse them as long as you like, until they’re worn thin. The founders of GladRags have been using the original Rags for 23 years.
This brings me to another wonderful point: GladRags has been women-owned and operated since it’s founding in 1993. Using GladRags is basically another way to flip-off the Patriarchy.
Type: Reusable/washable pads
Hearts: 5 Hearts
Quality: 5 Stars
Qualities: Safe, Comfortable, Reusable
GladRags provides different levels of protection to fit your needs. Personally, I use all three kinds to meet my needs.
All of the pads have wings with a snap to hold them in place. I found the gusset to be a perfect width for my underwear. Most underwear has a similar gusset-width unless they’re boy shorts, so the fit should be pretty consistent across users.
I love how soft all of the pads are. It’s like a mini-blanket between your legs. They are infinitely more comfortable than the scrunchy, noisy, plasticky material of conventional pads.
The pantyliners are a single-piece for light protection. These were perfect for my light-spotting days at the very beginning and end of my period and for unexpected spotting between periods. My favorite use for them is wearing them with my menstrual cup to protect my panties from leakage. They are soft, comfortable, and sleek enough that you can forget they’re there.
When I used the pantyliners for such light protection, I wore them all day and sometimes kept wearing them into the night. When I wore them during my light flow (more than spotting, but still light), I would change them after about 6 hours.
The day pads have a thin base-liner and two pad inserts for a varied level of protection. On a light day of my period, I used the day pads with one insert and changed them about every 8 hours. On a heavier day, I used both inserts and changed them about every 8 hours. To insert the pad, you open the base-liner kind of like an envelope and stuff the insert in. The inserts stay in place surprising well.
Sometimes when I wore the day pads and was walking around a lot, they would shift slightly forward or backward. I would go readjust them in the bathroom. Most of the time, they didn’t bother me.
The night pad has about twice as much coverage as the day pad. It has extra width at each end for full protection. This is really nice because you’re covered if you move around in your sleep, making the blood gather at different angles. The night pad has an extra layer of terry cloth, so by itself, it is thicker than the day pads. It also has two inserts that slide into a sleeve on the bottom. I wore the night pad through the night without any leakage. I used on insert on lighter days and two on heavier days. Because I only have one-night pad, I rinsed it in the morning, let it dry overnight while using a day pad, and re-wore it the next night. I think the fabric pattern on these is beautiful. But honestly, all of the patterns are cute!
GladRags recommends 3-6 pantyliners, 6-12 day pads, and 1-3 night pads per cycle. I would recommend starting your stock with 4 pantyliners, 2 day pads for every moderate-heavy period day (or 3 day pads total if pads are not your primary method of menstruation protection), and 2-3 night pads.
Immediately after taking off any of the GladRags pads, I thoroughly rinsed them in cold water and hung them to dry before laundry day. I also pre-treated the stains. On laundry day, I just threw them in the wash with everything else in cold water, then hung them up to dry. They can be tumble-dried, but I hang dry all my clothes anyway.
Even with pre-treating the pads and rinsing them immediately after use, blood leaves a faint stain on them. The pads looked so cute and fresh when I got them, and the stain makes them look slightly less fresh. On the dark purple day pass, however, the stain wasn’t noticeable.
The instructions recommend soaking the pads in cold water before washing them. I tried this once, and the result seemed the same as when I rinse them in cold water.
I tend to be a home-body when I’m bleeding, so I never had to change my pads when I was out and about. However, this would be easy, as long as you bring a small pouch to put the soiled pad in. If you want to rinse the pad first, make sure the pouch is waterproof. GladRags sells a CarryBag for this purpose.
Pros & Cons
- Easy on your budget
- Variety of options
- Easy to wash
- Stains are hard to remove completely
- You have to face your blood (I think this is a pro, but some people are ick-ed out by this)
- Only wearable with ‘feminine’ underwear
These are a fabulous product and I highly recommend everyone buy them right now! They are 100% cotton with no unnecessary chemicals, plastics or wood pulp – like you find in your standard pad. GladRags can be reused for years, which makes for a way smaller carbon footprint – less packaging, less shipping, less waste into the landfill. Plus, they save you wads of cash because once you buy them, you won’t have to buy more pads for a long, long time. You can reuse them as long as you like, until they’re worn thin. But best of all, they’re incredibly effective, comfortable, body-safe, and easy to use and wash. You should totally give them a try!
Get all types of GladRags
on their website here!
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