Frequently Asked Questions:
What are reusable menstrual pads?
Reusable menstrual pads are a modern alternative to disposable sanitary pads. They are made of cloth and are fully washable! Unlike disposable sanitary pads, they can be reused over and over again and will save you from creating unnecessary landfill waste, and save you money!
What are Aku pads made of?
Aku pads are made with a moisture-wicking, stain-resisting suede-cloth top, a super trim but absorbent bamboo core, and a PUL backing that is waterproof but breathable.
The soft suede-cloth top layer wicks moisture away from your skin and into the absorbent inner core. The bamboo inner has four times the absorbency of cotton. It is also fast-growing, uses less water and has less impact on our environment. Bamboo has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The pad base is a fast-drying polyester knit that has been bonded to a breathable and waterproof polyurethane film, and will last up to 1000 laundry cycles!
How do I wear cloth pads?
Aku pads are so easy to wear. They are designed to fit into briefs or bikini-style underwear (not thongs or g-strings), just like a disposable pad. The black fluffy side goes next to your skin and the smooth waterproof side is attached to your underwear with wings to protect your clothing from leaks.
Simply place the pad in your underwear with the fluffy side towards your body, fold the wings around and underneath your gusset and snap the snaps together. (Wearing close-fitting underwear during use helps to keep the pad in place.)
How often do I change my cloth menstrual pad?
You can change your cloth pad as often as you would a disposable. We recommend changing your pad at least every 4-5 hours depending on your flow and freshness requirements. If you can't rinse it immediately, simply fold the used pad up, clip the snaps together to contain any fluid...and rinse when convenient.
How many cloth pads do I need?
Even if you don't use reusable pads full time, or if you want to use them as a backup for a menstrual cup: every Aku reusable pad you use is up to120 less disposable pads going to landfill! Some women like to use pads for the entire period, others use a combination of pads at home and at night, and a cup or tampon when out, with a light pad or liner worn as a backup.
For a full-time pad user, depending on your cycle length, you may find that you need 15-20 pads to last a full cycle. Less (9-12) are needed if you want to wash every day or every couple of days during your cycle. We have Cycle Kits available that have 4,6 and 9 combinations of units of each absorbency type. Eg a Light bleeder can buy a Light Cycle kit, Regular bleeder a Regular Kit, etc. These will keep you covered whatever type of flow day you are having.
What will it cost?
Getting started with reusable menstrual pads can be an expense at first, but they work out to be far more economical long term. Some calculations put the total monthly spend by women on period products to be $25 - $35 a month... multiply that by 450 periods and you have a crazy $15,750 spent on disposable menstrual products! That's around $450 PER YEAR!
Compare THAT to Aku reusable pads: Prices range from $18.60 for a single pad to $362.40 for a Deluxe Cycle set of 19 pads. For less than a full year disposable menstrual product spend, you can get a full set of reusables that will last 5+ years!!
It's not necessary to start with a full kit: every Aku reusable pad you do use over and over is saving at least 120 plastic disposables from ending up in a landfill. If a full set is difficult to budget for, think about buying one each month and building up your stash over time.
How do you wash them?
Aku pads are made to be super easy to use, and are specifically designed with a soft blacktop to be STAIN FREE! You will never feel the need to hide your pads or worry about them hanging on the line in communal areas!
To Hand Wash:
1. RINSE / SCRUB: Run them under COLD water to remove blood, then soak in cold water for 20 minutes to 8 hours.
2. SCRUB: by hand with mild soap and water.
3. DRY: the washed pad in sunlight/low tumble dry.
To machine Wash:
1. Remove all blood by squeezing in cold water by hand.
2. Wash in a short cycle.
3. Tumble dry or hang in sunlight.
• Always use a clean and dry pad.
• Change once every 4-6 hours even on light flow days.
• Use a mild soap to clean the pad; rinse thoroughly to make sure no soap remains on the pad.
• Dry it in direct sunlight when possible, or dry in your machine on low heat.
• Store in a clean and dry place.
• Wash the cloth pad before first use.
• While drying, do not fold the pad or keep on a flat surface.
• Never use a wet/damp pad.
• Do not iron the cloth pad.
• Don't use fabric softener. This can make the pad less absorbent.
• Don't use chlorine bleach. It weakens the fabric fibres.