Glad Rags - Organic Cotton Nursing Pads - 1 Pair
GladRags ultra-soft organic cotton reusable nursing pads absorb leakage and protect your breasts from harsh chemicals found in disposable nursing pads. Easy to clean and -- best of all -- the fold-over flap gives you a natural look.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the complete GladRags Product line?
The GladRags Pantyliner is great for light days or those days when you're not sure if your period might come. It's also great backup for a Moon Cup or Diva Cup, or sea sponge tampon. The GladRags Pantyliner snaps around your underwear just like the wings of a disposable pantyliner. Only much more comfy!
- GladRags Day Pads:
These pads are perfect for day use and consist of a holder and two inserts. Depending on your flow, you can use one or both of the inserts. The GladRags Day Pad with both inserts is the equivalent of an average disposable maxi pad. You can even add a third insert and make it a super maxi.
- GladRags Night Pads:
These larger pads provide added protection while you're sleeping. The night pads consist of a holder and two inserts; both the inserts and the long holder are lined with absorbent terry cloth. The GladRags Night Pad with two inserts acts the equivalent of a super or overnight disposable maxi pad.
Menstrual Cups are a sustainable option for tampon users. The Moon Cup, The Keeper Cup, Lunette, or the Diva Cup are perfect for this purpose. They insert into the vagina and catch the flow rather than absorb it. The cups are emptied with same frequency as one would change a disposable tampon.
Sea Sponge Tampons:
Sea sponges are another great option for tampon users. Sponges absorb blood flow but won't dry out vaginal tissues and are not treated with harsh chemicals. They can be used for many cycles.
How do I use GladRags? Why the 3-part design?
One GladRags Day Pad consists of one holder and two inserts. To assemble, slip the inserts inside the holder, like a letter inside an envelope; then turn the pad over (so the smooth side goes against your body and the tag side against your underwear) and snap the "wings" of the holder around your underwear.
When you use both inserts, it is a maxi pad. When you use one, it's mini for lighter day. If you are having an extra heavy flow day, you can place a third insert in the holder for a super maxi. But it's easy to get the pads clean because you take the inserts out for washing.
How often do I change a pad?
You should change your pad about as often as you would change a disposable pad or tampon: every 2 to 6 hours, or as needed. You will quickly learn when it's time to change. Unsnap, and snap on a fresh pad. Remember, the inserts go inside the holder so you need to change the whole unit. Place the used pads in the waterproof Carry Bag if you are away from home and then wash when you get home.
The GladRags Experience
Are GladRags comfortable?
Yes! All cotton GladRags are soft and breathable, which is so much better than plastic pads that can chafe and irritate your skin.
GladRag's customer Nicole had this to say about trying GladRags:
"I just wanted to send you a line of appreciation. I love Glad Rags. I just started to use them. I cannot believe I waited this long! I am sold!! I am a lifer now. They are so comfortable and easy on my skin. I love how they feel like regular clothing. It is like nothing is there."
If you are raw and irritated at the end of your period, please know that it does not have to be that way! With all of their pads you will experience the comfort and breatheability of cotton. The soft flannel conforms to your body without the twisting and bunching up that can happen with disposables. And because there is no plastic backing you will have less chafing and irritation. One of their customers reports they're much cooler too (she's from Phoenix, she would know).
Who uses GladRags?
Women all over the world are using GladRags. Students, businesswomen, filmmakers, mothers, artists, travelers, and Peace Corps workers are just a few that come to mind. Everyday women use GladRags-the woman next to you on the street, at school, or at work might very well be using them right now!
What about travel?
Yes. They offer carrying bags that helps you travel during the day. The Carry Bag holds 4 day pads. Throughout the day you can place your used GladRags in the interior water resistant bag until you reach a place where you can rinse them out and wash them. You can also carry your GladRags around in style by using the fun Oilcloth carry bag.
If you are traveling for a longer period of time, they recommend soaking and washing them at the end of the day and hanging or laying them out to dry completely if you do not have access to a dryer.
GladRags' customer Lydia found her own solution:
"Sometimes I don't have access to the water I would need to rinse my GladRags out or soak them. I just let them dry out as is and soak them for several hours with soapy water when I get the chance. My GladRags come out good as new!"
How should I clean my GladRags?
It's simple: just pre-soak in cold water, then machine wash and dry.
Here are the specifics: remove the inserts from the holder; soak or pre-rinse in cold water (change the water daily). Then machine wash with your dark clothes in cold or warm water. Avoid using hot water to wash your GladRags. Machine dry completely. GladRags can also be safely hand-washed and dried, but it's not necessary to do so.
Wash your GladRags before your initial use. The pads may shrink a bit in the first washing. If you want to use additional laundry boosters, they recommend Bi-O-Kleen's Oxygen Bleach. Natural enzyme stain removers, like Bi-O-Kleen's Bac-Out are also effective.
Please note: Chlorine bleach is NOT recommended or needed. The bleach will not only shorten the life of your pads but will put toxins both into our environment and close to a very sensitive part of your body!
Will they stain?
The best way to prevent stains is to soak or rinse GladRags immediately in cold water so the stains do not set. The color pads don't show stain - the undyed pads may stain a bit.
If you want to use additional laundry boosters, they recommend Bi-O-Kleen's Oxygen Bleach. Natural enzyme stain removers, like Bi-O-Kleen's Bac-Out are also effective. The following products have also been suggested by GladRags users: borax, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or drying your GladRags in the sun. Also, keep in mind that stains do not mean the pads are dirty.
Where can I get a soaking container?
They sell a great soaking container on their site. It's practical and best of all, not made of plastic. Or you can look for a container at any department store or -- better yet -- a thrift store or garage sale. Look for anything rustproof that will hold water and a few GladRags. Remember, if you are soaking your GladRags for more than a day, be sure to change the soak water at least once a day.
Can I use fabric softener on my GladRags?
They don't recommend it for two reasons:
- Fabric softener is generally a collection of perfume and chemicals -- which you probably don't want polluting the environment, much less that part of your body!
- Using fabric softener actually makes GladRags less absorbent.
Can I use chlorine bleach on my GladRags?
They do not recommend chloine bleach for two reasons:
- Bleach is hard on the fabric and can deteriorate the area around the snap.
- Chlorine bleach is an extremely harmful chemical - both to our bodies and the environment. They recommend an oxygen based bleach.
Design and Materials
What is the difference between regular cotton and organic cotton?
Organic cotton means that no pesticides or herbicides were used to grow the cotton, so the soil and water were not polluted, nor did farm workers breathe in any harmful chemicals as they worked with the cotton. By purchasing organic cotton GladRags, you are supporting healthy agriculture. By supporting organic farming you encourage its further development and greater recognition for this desperately needed form of agriculture.
How absorbent are GladRags?
GladRags are very absorbent. The inserts are made with a layer of terry cloth sandwiched between the two outer layers of cotton flannel. The daytime holders are made of two layers of cotton flannel, and the inserts slip between each layer, like a letter inside an envelope. Each GladRags pad comes with 1 holder and 2 inserts, and you can opt to use as many as 3 inserts with a holder for your heavier days.
The night pad holders are wider at each end and longer than the day pad holder, and also constructed a bit differently: the holders also has a layer of terry cloth sandwiched between the two layers of flannel, lending the GladRags night pad even more absorbency for your sleeping comfort.
The pantyliners are shorter than the day pads and have absorbent terry cloth sandwiched between two layers of cotton flannel.
Will they leak?
GladRags are designed to be comfortable and absorbent. The flaps that snap around your underwear act as wings to protect the sides of your panties. However, GladRags can leak if left unchanged for too long, just as disposable pads will if they become too saturated.
Do they have a nylon backing?
The terry cloth makes them very absorbent, so there is no plastic or nylon insert in GladRags. And they find it is not necessary because GladRags are so absorbent! But just like disposable pads, they will leak or spill over if you leave them on too long. You will become familiar with just how long you can go before changing your pad. You should change your GladRags about as often as you would change disposables (every 2 to 6 hours, or as needed).
Where are GladRags made?
Portland, Oregon, USA.
How long will GladRags last?
GladRags are made to last at least 5 years. Many women still use the same pads they bought from us when they started in 1993!
How are they mini and maxi?
GladRags are meant to be as versatile as their customers are. You can customize your GladRags according to your menstrual flow by using more or fewer inserts inside the holder. On heavy flow days, use both inserts that come with the GladRag, or add a third (you can purchase extra inserts and extra holders in the GladRags Extras section of their website). On light days use only one insert.
Why do I change the whole GladRags pad, instead of just the inserts?
The versatile 3-part design of GladRags, serves multiple purposes:
- the layers combine to make a thick, absorbent pad that then separates for thorough washing and faster drying;
- the inserts allow you to customize the pad for your flow. Use one insert and it's a mini pad, use two and it's a maxi. If you have an especially heavy flow you can order an extra insert and use three inserts in the holder, so it's a super maxi. But note that GladRags are so absorbent they actually sell more extra holders because many women find they only need one insert much of the time!
What kind of fabric are GladRags made from?
All of their GladRags are made from cotton flannel and cotton terry cloth. The color pads are conventional cotton flannel and the undyed are organically-grown cotton flannel.
How does the Night Pad work?
This pad is longer and wider to provide more coverage while you are lying down. In addition to the terry cloth in the inserts, the night pad holder has a layer of terry cloth throughout so you get extra protection. It's wonderful to go to bed and rest assured that you're covered! The night pad can be used as a post-partum pad and some of their customers with larger bodies or heavier flows use it during the day.
What to Get
How many do I need?
Menstrual cycles vary greatly from woman to woman. Most women use 6 to 12 day pads and 1 to 3 night pads and maybe supplement light days with pantyliners. It all depends on your flow and how often you do laundry. Change your GladRags as often as you would change a disposable, and remember: a pad consists of the holder and two inserts, and so you must change the whole thing, not just the inserts.
You can get started with their Pad Sampler Kit. Or, you may wish to reward yourself with one of their comprehensive Deluxe Kits.
Which pads are best for me?
About the Cost Savings
Do GladRags cost more than disposables?
No, they're actually much cheaper. When compared to the amount of money spent on disposables, it only takes a couple of years to make up the cost of your GladRags. They are made to last 5+ years. Many women tell us they still use the same pads they bought when they started in 1993! Think of this: it would be tremendously expensive (not to mention wasteful!) to continuously re-stock their kitchens with disposable paper plates, so they buy plates that they can use indefinitely. They make an initial investment into something reusable that will last a long time. It's the same with GladRags.
I know using GladRags saves money in the long run but it's expensive to get started. What should I buy with a limited budget?
You could start with a Pad Sampler Kit. Another option is to supplement GladRags with your current products and add to your collection over time as your budget allows
Are GladRags as safe as disposables?
Yes! They've all had that time when they weren't quite expecting our period some blood got on our underwear. You didn't think they were now dangerous to your health because you got some blood on them and you probably did not throw them away. They think that it is safer to launder reusable pads than throw disposables in the landfill. Disposable pads and tampons are not sterile products, although the over-packaging and whiteness of these products leads you to believe they are. In fact, they are often laden with harmful chemicals that can be absorbed by the skin in one of the most porous parts of your body.
Can I get toxic shock syndrome when using GladRags?
There is always a "chance" of getting toxic shock syndrome (TSS) with any menstrual product. GladRags are one of the safer options because blood is not staying in the vaginal canal, where the development of TSS is most likely to occur. TSS is caused by usually harmless bacteria found on our skin or in parts of our body. If the bacteria get into the bloodstream, through a cut or tear, they release a toxin. While the risk is still minimal, tampons create a more ideal opportunity for the growth of these bacteria and can dry out the vaginal canal by absorbing the vagina's natural moisture, which can lead to minute tears and increase the chance of TSS.
Are GladRags FDA approved?
GladRags are FDA accepted for market (nothing is FDA approved) and registered with them.
Post-Partum, Vulvodynia, Allergies, Incontinence
Do GladRags work for women with vulvodynia, vaginitis or allergies?
Yes! They've sold many GladRags to women dealing with these conditions who find the pads helpful during their cycles. Many women have noticed that tampons and disposable pads can be a source of vaginal irritation, and most are unaware that disposable products are highly processed and may contain chemicals to "keep you dry" or cover up odor. Vaginal irritation, allergies, burning, itching, and frequent yeast infections, can all be the result of, or exacerbated by, disposables.
Do GladRags work for light incontinence?
Yes! A number of their customers have told us they use GladRags for light incontinence. Again, they help prevent irritation and allow your skin to breathe, which is important for people who are wearing them everyday. And just the same as with menstrual use, the number and style of GladRags you use will depend on how heavy your leakage is. Please note that GladRags are not designed for full incontinence.
Mary from Delaware notes her success at using GladRags for stress incontinence:
"Just sending a note to let you know how much I love your product! I don't really need any pads because they last SOOOOOO long...in fact I no longer need them "monthly". Yes, they have seen me through to menopause (and some occasional stress incontinence). I find the day holders alone are sufficient enough to make me feel secure every day... Keep up the good work..."
Are GladRags good for post-partum?
Yes - the night pads are especially great for post-partum. While many new moms find they need a large amount of GladRags or pads to carry them through post-partum, any amount of reusable pads would be helpful. They are softer and kinder than plastic on your skin. Some women place their inserts in the freezer after dipping them in witch hazel. The cool inserts soothe and help your tender parts heal.
GladRags' customer, Mary, had this to say about GladRags:
"Thought I'd let you know that I love my GladRags. I've had them for at least 10 years and they're still going strong! I've used them post-partum after having their three children, and not just in the conventional way. I made a tea of healing herbs and put some on my liners and popped them in the freezer...they were a welcome bottom-soother after delivery!"
GladRags are designed to last five years. But they know some women who still have the pads the bought early in their business that started in 1993. That's a long time!
Using a product one time is not enough. Think of all the tampons and pads you use each time you menstruate and then think about how many times you will menstruate in your lifetime.
If you menstruate 340 times in your lifetime, using 20 disposables per period, that amounts to 6800 pads or tampons thrown away. Now consider all the women using disposables in the world. If 500 million women use disposables throughout their lifetime, that's 3.4 trillion pads or tampons thrown away! Not only is landfill space taken up, but these materials cannot be reused and are no longer part of the resources available to us.
Then, of course, there's all that packaging, (wrappers, boxes, applicators) that are also thrown away, all the garbage bags used, all the diesel fuel used to truck those products to the stores week in and week out. Using GladRags for even a portion of your cycle makes a difference!
Inspired by the simple utility, earth-friendliness, and comfort of cloth diapers, GladRags was founded in 1992 in Portland, Oregon. It began as a home based business that quickly outgrew the extra bedroom and moved to its own building. Today, GladRags is still a small company but with a big presence, promoting positive attitudes toward menstruation and making the environment a safer, cleaner place. GladRags can be found in health food stores and natural pharmacies nationwide.
GladRags' Awards and Acknowledgements:
- Inherit the Earth Award for Environmental Education (1997) from Connecticut College
- Founder of a New Northwest (1999) from Sustainable Northwest with the Pacific Rim Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils
- Best Sustainable Sanitary Napkins (2009) from Willamette Week's Best of Portland
- 10 years commitment and support of Employment of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (2009) from Oregon Employment Services Corporation (OESCo)
They have a small team of employees that keep GladRags running day to day - filling orders, answering customer questions, and brainstorming how to get more women to switch from disposables and join the GladRags Community. In addition, they hire a crew from Oregon Employment Services Corporation (OESCo), which finds job opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. The OESCo crew joins us one afternoon per week to package pads, pantyliners, and cups for store shelves and mail order.
"Reusable pads. That's gross!" That's a comment they've heard more than once. But just envision your lifetime supply of used pads and tampons in landfills or washed up on a beach. Now that is gross! The menstrual cycle is a healthy and natural process and it is their mission to create healthy products and market with a positive spin. Language is a powerful force. By talking about their cycles more openly - with positive images and language - they believe women can re-define menstruation.