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Top Tips on how to use your Cheeky Pants Cloth Sanitary Pads


You've taken the plunge and ditched disposable cotton pads for reusable period pads. You've decided to embrace a more comfortable and sustainable period with reusable period products.  But how do you actually use reusable sanitary pads?

It's easy to use reusable sanitary pads, here's some top tips which will help:

  • wear tight fitting knickers / pants
  • make sure the reusable pad is the right way up (generally any labels go down into your knickers rather than against your skin_
  • as with disposable period products, change regularly, more frequently on heavier days
  • cold water wash is essential to prevent staining

Following this brilliant post from Tamsin over at Fit and Fluffy Mama, I thought it was worthwhile doing a few personal top tips on how to start using your Cloth Sanitary Pads.

Help - where do I start with Cheeky Pants Reusable Menstrual Pads?

Tight Fitting Period Pants

Firstly, I usually try to wear fairly tight fitting pants. If you usually keep your old, saggy. baggy pants which have really seen better days for that time of the month, time to invest in some new ones! Tighter pants will help your reusable pads stay in place and avoid slippage. Cotton knickers are best or cotton / lycra mix.

Personally I prefer the security of a mid to high-waisted pants, but it comes down to your personal preference.

Our period pants are even better. Period Pants are brilliant and super absorbent, but if you want to change at lunchtime to feel fresh (like you would a 'normal' disposable period protection), changing your knickers in a cubicle isn't much fun. 

That's why we often pair our moisture wicking period knickers with reusable sanitary towels, so we can just whip the pad out and wear the period underwear for the rest of the day.

'The period pants and pads are perfect for my 11 year old daughter. Having tried the sporty ones, which are great, we tried the boxer style ones this time, my daughter says they are really comfortable. She wears with a pad at night and when flow is heavier, never had any problems with leakage.' Tina, March 2022

Bamboo / Bamboo Charcoal Reusable Pads

Bamboo Reusable Sanitary Towels - how to use them

For our bamboo reusable sanitary pads, the 'pretty' side should be facing downwards, with the bamboo or bamboo charcoal face upwards. Close the poppers underneath the gusset of your knickers.

Turn around if you suffer from slippage

The soft outer plush fabric of these cloth menstrual pads has some grip - if it is inserted against the nap of the fabric. If you notice that your pad is slipping, turn it around 180 degrees, front to back.

'I wish I’d found these products sooner! I was a bit unsure of reusable sanitary pads at first, but I’m so glad I tried them. No more itching, no more skin irritations, no leaking, and no more monthly thrush episodes. The pads are soft and comfortable, incredibly absorbent, the designs are pretty (always a plus), easy to wash, and they’re kinder to the environment! I definitely won’t be going back to disposables.' Victoria, Feb 2022

Standard Cotton Period Pads

Reusable Cotton Sanitary Pads - How to use them

Again, with our cotton period pads, pretty side down in your knickers, plain grey side upwards against your skin.    The slightly wider end should go to the rear.

I loved using cheeky wipes and cheeky cloth nappies on my little boys when they were babies. Moving to cloth pads seemed like a natural progression.

'I love the patterns and since using them I can honestly say they are super comfortable, very absorbent, they don’t feel wet or sticky at all, I love the range of patterns, they stay in place easily on my underwear and they make my period feel less sore. They feel luxurious compared to plastic pads and there is no nasty chemical smell, there’s no bad odour at all and they are so easy to clean. I love them! It feels like I’m being kinder to my body and it feels lovely using them. The wet bag is great too. I’d like to see a smaller wet bag version that fits easily into a handbag for when you’re out and about ' Medbh, Dec 2021

Black Cotton Non-Slip Reusable Period Pads

Black Cotton Non Slip Menstrual Pad

If you've ever wondered how to keep reusable pads in place, these anti-slip reusable pantyliners and pads are for you! These reusable cotton pads have a silicone 'anti-slip' surface to the rear. This goes against your knickers to hold them in place. If you suffer with heavy flow and need the booster to make them leak proof, then the booster should go against your skin.

Washable Incontinence Pads

Minivivi Washable Incontinence Pads - How to use them

If you use our MiniVivi Limited Edition Pads or standard 'fearless' incontinence pads, it's the wings you need to look at!   On the limited edition pad this is easy as the patterned side goes against your skin.  On our grey washable incontinence pads, the outline of the pad should be facing upwards in your knickers, wings underneath.   If there's a slightly wider end, that should go to the rear.

Used your reusable period pads, period pants or other reusable menstrual products? Our blogpost on how do you wash reusable sanitary pads might be of interest next, however in summary:

  • soak in cold water ideally
  • wash in a decent cycle length in your washing machine, using your normal detergent at no more than 30 degrees

'I found this company through a google search into sensitive pads as I have PCOS and suffer long periods. The website is easy to navigate and each item lists exactly who/what its suitable for. The pads themselves are brilliant, easy to use and wash and come in lots of nice designs. The website includes the ever important info of washing, which I've followed to the letter and it works perfectly. I would definitely recommend these products to everyone, so comfortable, absorbent and affordable.' Vicky, Mar 2022


Elizabeth Marshall
15 May 2014  |  19:02

Ahh!!! Didn't think to turn it round! Have had major slippage problems today. SO far up the back, quite uncomfortable by the time I'd got round Sainsburys!
Will try that one. Thanks :)

05 December 2015  |  15:29

Maybe a silly question but the ultrapads, what is the top? The side with hearts or the white side?

22 April 2017  |  7:34

The white side!

17 February 2021  |  13:15

I have just brought the period box with pants and pads, which I plan to use.
I also brought some night time pads for my daughter who is not quite toilet trained at bed time , instead of using bedtime nappies. Which way is the right way, and does the fluid spill over the sides.

Rowena Wrixon
14 March 2016  |  13:44

Do you need to wash them a few times before using like a cloth nappy? :)

Heather Kitchen
28 July 2020  |  14:21

Pre washing helps absorbency

Gillian Fraser
21 April 2017  |  15:51

I used to get thrush most months and despite being a woman of a certain age with wonky heavy , light , heavy , light , stop and go periods I decided to try cloth towels at home .Thinking that if it was going to leak then I didn't want to do it publicly however they gave as good protection as the good quality winged towels that I ALWAYS ed used and were very comfortable .compared to the bulky heavy flow towels that I bought that f

Gillian Fraser
21 April 2017  |  15:59

Sorry hadnt finished and pressed the wrong button ! Any way I rinse them under the cold tap and wash them at 40 with my underwear and I now don't get thrush - it makes sense when you think about it - your own pants don't give you thrush so why would the cloth pads washed the same way - they don't get as hot as the disposable jobs and so don't smell at all - I just wish I had discovered them years ago - imagine the money I would have saved ! Not including the canesten cream !

29 March 2022  |  17:38

Love this Gillian!

22 April 2017  |  7:34

No need to prewash, although the absorbency will improve over time.

02 October 2017  |  21:58

What do you do with the towels during the day when you're out and about? do you have to carry them used in your bag until you get home to clean them? or are you only supposed to use them at home/at night?

Heather Kitchen
28 July 2020  |  14:23

hannah I have a small wet dry bag with 2 compartments, one for clean and one for used

31 January 2018  |  0:28

I'm not sure what top to go for on my pads- bamboo or charcoal?
What are the pros and cons?
I like the idea of the black top top to reduce the chance of any potential staining but bamboo is so soft I think it might be more comfortable.
Please help! I'm new to all this and I want to make the right choice!

31 January 2018  |  12:36

Hi Claire, it completely comes down to personal choice. If you're squeamish about blood or fanatical about stains, then go for the charcoal top. I'm not, so I use the bamboo top...the key is cold soaking and a good dollop of stain remover in your cold wash. Even then it doesn't bother me if there are lingering stains, no one sees them except me (and the builders if they're on the line....not that they have got any clue WTF they are!)

Sarah Hankey
01 February 2018  |  8:12

Hi, how do these cope with incontinance? Day to day spotting? And more challenging, an exercise class or horse riding? If you are sitting on the pad/riding will you squeeze the moisture out into your clothes? Thanks

Marie Goodacre
12 June 2019  |  13:37

Ive been advised to use pads in conjunction with the period pants for heavy days. How does that work, if the pants dont leak how does excess get into the pad, or if the pad doesnt leak how does the excess get into the pants to make extra secure? Does the pad go under all the 4 layers of the pants?

13 June 2019  |  10:57

Hi Marie, the reason we suggest using a pad with your pants on heavy days is because if you would normally change a pad a lunchtime on a heavy day, then we advise that you do the same with the pants. And this is obviously not the easiest if you're doing it in a cubicle at work or school as you have to completely undress your bottom half to do so. For this reason, we recommend wearing a pad which sits on top of your pants, against your skin and then can simply be removed and folded to take home at lunchtime. If you need any further help, feel free to contact and Jo will be happy to help.

Louise Stokes
19 October 2020  |  9:55

Soooo happy I switched to reusable pads. Wish I had done it 20 years ago. I have only used them once since delivery but I intend to use them all the time now going forward. I was the biggest skeptic at first but I have definitely had my mind changed. I bought some different size ones so I had some for days and nights and, although I was dubious how good they would be for overnight, I needn't have worried as there were no leaks. Also less irritation from wearing them unlike disposables.

I found it a bit "trial and error" to get them to sit in the right place for me but I have just read about turning them round so that might be worth a try next time. It is so easy to rinse and wash as normal, they dry quickly too. I got the grey colour topped ones as I thought I might be squeamish about the white but actually, I think I would have been ok! If I buy more, I would not be put off getting white. Thanks Cheeky Wipes!

19 October 2020  |  10:33

Hi Louise,

We hear this a lot, but I am so glad you're getting on with the pads. I find the combo of pads and pants works best for me, you should give them a go too!


Lauren Wood
06 April 2021  |  11:24

Does anyone have any tips for the intimate wipes included in the kits? I have always used flushable wet wipes when going to the loo on my period, as it feels much cleaner. So would really like to swap to the reusable option. Do I just keep a clean supply dry near the loo and wet under the tap when I want to use them?

10 June 2021  |  16:34

Exactly that Lauren! We keep a little mucky bin in the bathroom and pop the used ones in there and then pop in the wash when we have a wash going on. Keeps us feeling lovely and fresh and no leftover bits of tissue in your vulva.

Catherine Paxton
19 May 2021  |  20:47

Have I been using them wrong, with the patterned side up, with the longer end at the back? (This is the cotton ones) After washing, the blood stain hasn't fully come out - is that normal?

31 March 2022  |  16:14

Yep, sorry, should be patterned side down (except for the minivivi incontinence pads) but the standard cotton pads should go grey side up, pretty side down.
If your stains aren't coming out, it could be that you're washing at too high a temp (anything above 30c will 'set' bloodstains). I also usually give mine a bit of a rub with vanish soap, or chuck some oxi powder into the machine when I am washing and that tends to do the trick. Please drop us a line to if you need any further assistance though...

Tracy Burgess
28 May 2021  |  13:12

Was bought some from my daughter we both have endometriosis and very heavy periods especially at night with towel on bed and having to wear 2 other pads, but now what the hell these are amazing seriously Ladies I'm the most sceptical person ever but I can assure you AMAZING pads they work, only thing is.... needed you for the past 40 years lol

31 March 2022  |  15:55

Hey Tracy, better late than never! So delighted to hear that we've improved your suffering with endo - it can be so debilitating. They just work don't they - and no more hassle to wash and reuse . Way more comfortable too!

10 June 2021  |  15:57

How many knickers / pads would do i need to buy so i have enough?

10 June 2021  |  16:36

Great question Nerys! We've got a couple of handy tools to help with that, a short form questionnaire that will give you a 'quick and dirty' answer in a minute. Or a tailored personal questionnaire which is answered by one of our team and will also give you hints and tips on storage and using out and about:

02 December 2021  |  14:56

It is the first time i used washable pads and period pants and became a convert immediately. The products were true to size, very comfortable, look nice and are easy to wash. It took me a couple of attempts to sort out slipping pads, but now all is good! If you are a cyclist, i would advise not to go for pads but to head straight for the pants, they are so comfy on and off the bike.

31 March 2022  |  14:50

Definitely straight to pants if you're a cyclist! And also check out our new 'non-slip' pads - they're ACE! Search for organic cotton pads on the site or try this link for the regular pads:

20 February 2022  |  20:39

I have a question about which way round to wear the pads. I know which side down and which side against the skin, but the shape of either end of the pads is different - one end is more squared, and the other end is wider, but comes to more of a point. Which way is supposed to point forward, and which way is supposed to point towards the back?

31 March 2022  |  14:44

Great question - the wider end should go towards the back. Will update the post accordingly!