Washable tampon: the right hygienic protection for you?
In the family of reusable sanitary protection, we ask for the washable tampon! Still little known, these reusable organic cotton tampons could however seduce all those looking for a zero waste alternative to the disposable tampon...
What is the washable tampon?
The washable tampon is a small roll of fabric made up of several absorbent layers. It comes in the form of a rectangular strip of fabric, which one rolls up on itself with one's little hands. In one of the corners of this strip of fabric, you will notice the presence of a string or a thin cord. It serves both to:
- tie the roll before placing it in the vagina;
- grab and pull out the tampon when it needs to be changed.
The models found on the market are generally made of organic cotton. Depending on the brand, they are sold in packs of 8 or in packs of 4. And if you are a fan of pretty prints, know that organic cotton pads adopt all kinds of floral, graphic, geometric patterns...
Like a conventional tampon, the washable tampon is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. Except that once it's been used, you don't throw it in the trash (and even less in the toilet). On the contrary, you keep it to wash it so that you can wear it again.
Good to know, the washable tampon is compatible with the IUD. The washable tampon is inserted into the vagina while the IUD is lodged in the uterus. So, no interaction is to be feared!
What are the advantages of the washable tampon?
Like washable sanitary pads, such as towels, panty liners, menstrual cups and menstrual panties, the reusable tampon is an ecological alternative for having zero waste periods.
In addition to being respectful of the environment, the washable tampon is also good for our wallet, because it is reusable almost infinitely (it generally has a 10-year guarantee). A good point when you know that on average, a woman spends in her life about 3,800 € in periodic protections.
But the washable tampon is above all a much better alternative for health than disposable sanitary protection. In recent years, the classic tampon has been increasingly criticized since chemicals have been detected in its composition. Researchers have notably found the presence of chlorine-bleached materials, pesticides and endocrine disruptors that can cause fertility problems.
With a washable organic cotton tampon, we forget the problem of the dubious composition! Most of the models are certified OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100, that is to say guaranteed without products toxic to health or skin. Be careful however, like all vaginal hygienic protections, there is always a risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). It is therefore advisable not to keep them for more than four hours in a row.
Finally, the reusable tampon seduces for its comfortable side. Just like the menstrual cup or the classic tampon, as long as it is well placed, you do not feel it. This allows you to experience your periods without any discomfort.
What are the instructions for using the washable tampon?
Before using your reusable tampon for the first time, you will first have to go through the washing box. Once dry, the piece of organic cotton fabric should be rolled up on itself. When the roll is formed, it is tied with the cord provided in one of the corners of the cotton strip.
The instructions for using the washable pad are then exactly the same as the instructions provided for the industrial pads. In the same way, you must change it at regular intervals (maximum every 6 hours) and it is not recommended to sleep with it.
Once removed, you must wash your reusable tampon. Starting with a first soak followed by a quick rinse in cold water to remove some of the blood (especially not hot water which would freeze the stains). The reusable tampon must then be washed with Marseille soap or detergent, by hand or in the washing machine between 60 and 90°C. To safely wash your cotton tampons in the machine, use a washing net (or laundry net).
Note that washing the reusable pad with bleach or any other chemical stain remover is strictly not recommended even if some stains persist. The best way to remove stubborn stains ? A little baking soda and white vinegar in the soaking water. Similarly, avoid adding fabric softener, otherwise the absorbency of the cotton strips will be reduced.
After washing, do not place your reusable tampons in the dryer. It is better to let it air dry before using it again.
Is the washable tampon for me?
In general, washable tampons are sold without an applicator. To introduce it into the vagina or remove it, you will have to use your fingers. As you will have understood, to adopt washable tampons, it is better to be comfortable with your body and with your menstruation, because it requires a minimum of manipulation, especially the first time. If the sight of blood frightens you, this tampon is not for you.
On the other hand, if you want to test, but have trouble putting on a tampon without an applicator, don't panic! Washable tampon kits with reusable applicator are now available for less than €30.
The other good news with the washable tampon is that you can find it in different sizes, more or less absorbent (which avoids changing the tampon frequently). In practice, you can therefore choose your washable tampon in light or mini flow, medium or medium flow and heavy or maxi flow version.
What are the best alternatives to reusable tampons?
If you are looking for a reusable, economical, good quality sanitary protection that respects your health, but you are not convinced by the washable tampon, know that there are other alternatives.
There is in particular the menstrual cup or cup, an internal hygienic protection that needs no introduction. There is also the washable sanitary napkin and the washable panty liners which work on the same principle as the reusable tampon.
Among the most comfortable and less restrictive reusable options are obviously period panties . Pleasant to wear, they allow you to experience zero waste rules without any risk of TSS. As they are easy to put on, changing protection is no longer a source of stress! So, would menstrual panties be the ideal alternative to washable tampons? In reality, the best reusable hygienic protection is obviously the one that suits you best!