Don’t they feel wet and uncomfortable? Do they smell? How do you get rid of the stains? Aren’t they a nightmare to wash? Why would you want to use them?
These are the questions I get asked when I mention reusable period products to people who haven’t used them yet. I guess I had the same reservations before I first tried them years ago, so I’m going to give some answers.
Let’s start with the why – why would you want to use reusable period pads or underwear?
Reusable pads are great for the environment, as it means less waste. A standard, disposable pad is 90% plastic, and they are (obvious) single use.
Over 200,000 tonnes of pads and tampons a year are sent to landfill, and 2 billion are flushed down the loo every year!
These period pads from WUKA are made from the off-cut fabric from their period underwear. This minimises waste even further, as the brand are producing less fabric waste.
WUKA pads are made from organic cotton, and their materials are certified. Non-organic cotton is treated with pesticides, and some disposable products have been found to have traces of these in them. And you know where tampons go (eek).
Even some other reusable period products have chemicals in them, like dye or odour controls, but WUKA have certifications from Econyl, GOTS & Lenzing, as well as by PFAS for not adding any silver treatments. They don’t add any chemicals, perfumes, or nasties to their products, so you can be assured that your vagina is in good hands.
Don’t they feel wet and uncomfortable?
Nope. If anything, I’d recommend reusable pads for anyone who doesn’t like the feel of disposable pads. These ones especially are super soft and snuggly – which is exactly what you want when you’re on your period.
My major worry with reusables was that the blood would just be sat there against my skin, but it gets wicked away by the top layer, so you always feel dry.
Lined with COOLMAX technology, the pads are leakproof and ultra-absorbent. They also have a gusset inside, which I’ve not seen on any other pads, that acts almost like a dam, so you won’t get any leaks.
They’re also really easy to use, just make sure the gusset is facing you, and clip together using the (recyclable) plastic poppers. There’s no front or back line with some pads, and the poppers will fit in any underwear, so there’s no risk of putting it on wrong which could result in some leakage.
Do they smell?
WUKA period pads have antibacterial properties but aren’t treated with antibacterial chemicals like I mentioned before. This helps keep them fresh.
The breathable fabrics use to make the gusset of the pads reduces any smells. The middle layer of the pad is constantly absorbing the blood wicked away by the top layer, and keeping it inside. This keeps any blood trapped between the top and bottom layers. As they’re so breathable, you’ll sweat less, and that also helps reduce any smells. I’ve never noticed any smells when using them!
How do you get rid of the stains?
Simple answer for this one – no.
They’re black, so they don’t really stain. Even if they did, it’s the inside of your knickers that you only wear on your period. I don’t know about you, but nobody (aside from me) ever sees this.
Aren’t they a nightmare to wash?
Again, simple answer, no!
Just pop them in the wash with the rest of your clothes. The pads come with a laundry bag that you can use to keep your pads and underwear safe and looked after, so they last a lifetime. The bag itself is really easy to use, it air-dries quickly, it has a zip cover so that the zip doesn’t catch on any other clothing and it can hold up to three pairs of period pants. It’s also a great place to store your used pads and pants until wash day.
I wouldn’t risk it in a white wash for obvious reasons, but I’ve not had any problems with putting pads in a dark wash. Just make sure you hang them to dry and don’t put them in the dryer.
You do need to soak them before your first use to make them super absorbent. Just leave them in the sink for a bit and then hang them to dry.
So why choose WUKA?
After testing out the WUKA pads and underwear, I’m a convert. I did think the pads would be very similar to other pads I’d tried, but the gusset design and the fact that they don’t use any chemicals has sold it for me.
I do think that the WUKA period knickers are great, but I like that pads are easier to change whilst out and about. I’ve been in situations before where I’ve had to get undressed in a public toilet to change my period underwear, but with pads, you literally just change the pad. Each pad or pair of pants can be worn for up to eight hours, so as long as you don’t have a super long day ahead of you, just packing one spare will be fine. The pads are really small so they don’t take up loads of room if you only have a small bag with you.
I’m also very into the brand’s ethics. They are certified by the Vegan Society and approved by PETA for being vegan and cruelty-free. And they’re a female-led brand too!
WUKA donates pads to schools and nurses and educates them on the social and environmental impact of periods. As well as donating to projects that provide learning resources for PSHE teachers, and WEN who raise awareness of hidden plastics and chemicals in period products.
Another very important thing to consider is the payment and treatment of overseas factory workers. WUKA work closely with Rose, who owns their factory in Shenzen, China. They ensure fair wages and working conditions and are continually working on this, working to the standards set by global auditing companies. The staff members are also provided with health insurance.