If you want to use cloth menstrual pads, but you don’t want others to find out—whatever the reason—you’ll be glad to know I’ve got you covered there!
Buying the pads/menstrual cups
Obviously, if you’re a teen and unable to buy your own because you lack a credit card, consider asking for a prepaid gift card, like from Visa or American Express, for your birthday or holiday celebration (e.g. Christmas). They come in quantities anywhere from $25 to $100, and just charge a small, one-time fee. Alternatively, if you’ve got a cool aunt, cousin, sister, or even neighbor/best friend, perhaps you could ask them to buy it for you and pay them back in cash.
Right now, I only have, like, seven pads and three menstrual cups. The Lily Cup Compact stays in its case, my Lunette came with a pouch, and I keep the Instead Softcup in its pouch until I’m ready to use it—and I have a little zipper pouch I can easily keep a pad and my Lily Cup Compact and Instead Softcup inside for emergency purposes, or whatever.
I bought a wet/dry bag from Tree Hugger Cloth Pads with my first purchase, so I store my pads in there right now.
Since the bathroom is kind of not specifically mine, as I still live with family, I can’t exactly go about storing my stuff in the plastic container in the cabinet, because when family visits, questions might be raised, and… eh. My fam is kinda nosy and, for some reason, thinks I would forget to not flush tampons down the toilet or something (I can’t even wear those, because I get what feels like electrical shocks).
If you have a shoe box, drawer in your room, or other kind of container no one will really look into, store your things in there.
If you do your own laundry, washing your cloth pads is easier, I think. You can also wash pads in the sink, shower or a bucket. What I find to work best is rinsing them in the sink and putting them into my wet/dry bag. Depending on the day, I’ll wash what I used that night after my shower, then dry them in the dryer on low heat.
It works well for me, I think, because I am usually the last to go to bed, I do my own laundry, and I can easily work my laundry so I actually have other clothes to wash, too.
There are also mesh laundry bags, in which you can put your cloth products to keep in all one place in the wash.
As far as menstrual cups go during washing, Bree’s video covers this well.
photo © Julia Caesar