Just Fussy Cloth Pad FAQ

We're sure you'll love your Fussy Moonbow organic cloth pads and Moonlite panty liners, but we also realize that as with anything new, it may take a little while to get the hang of using cloth instead of disposable products. We'll bet you've got a lot of questions; we've been in that situation too, and have compiled this list of frequently asked questions to help you make the transition to cloth pads effortlessly.

Section 1 - Just Fussy Cloth Pad Products
Section 2 - Cloth Menstrual Pad Use and Wear
Section 3 - Caring for Your Fussy Moonbow Cloth Pads
Section 4 - Moonbow Pad Design and Materials
Section 5 - Building a Cloth Menstrual Pad Stash
Section 6 - Cloth Menstrual Pad Cost Savings
Section 7 - Cloth Menstrual Pad Safety Concerns

If you have a question that's not covered here please contact us - we're more than happy to help.

Section 1 - Just Fussy Cloth Pad Products

Q: What type of cloth pads do you offer?
A: Just Fussy offers winged and wingless Moonbow "all-in-one" cloth pads in sizes petite (8" length) through extra-large (13" length,) with custom sizes available by request. We also offer two-layer Moonlite panty liners for everyday wear, no matter what time of the month it is. Our selection of organic cloth pads and liners come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and lengths, so you're sure to find what you're looking for!

 

Q: Which size and style is the best for me?
A: When switching from disposable to cloth pads keep in mind that all women are different. Just because a certain cloth pad works wonderfully for your friend, mother, sister, co-worker, etc, does not mean it will be the perfect pad for you. The best way to find your ideal cloth pad is to try a sampling of pads from several companies before purchasing your entire stash. Because the size of the pad will also affect how they fit and wear, you should try different lengths; even if you think you know which size will work best for you.

Q: Which size should I start with?
A: We recommend starting with our regular size cloth pad, which is also our best-selling size. For overnight wear and typical heavy-flow days large size cloth pads will come in handy. Both large-extra and X-large Moonbow cloth pads are also good for overnight use; as well as the perfect option for postpartum use and for women with a very heavy flow. On the other side of the sizing spectrum, petite sized pads work well when paired with a menstrual cup, for very light-flow days, and for petite women, tweens, and teens. Our Moonlite cloth pantyliners are excellent for daily wear outside of your menstrual cycle and when experiencing minimal spotting. As you can see, we have a size and style for every stage of your cycle!

Section 2 - Cloth Menstrual Pad Use and Wear

Q: Is using a cloth pad really better than using a disposable one?
A:Thousands of women prefer cloth pads over disposable products for comfort, health and environmental reasons, but that's not all. Check out ***Why Use Cloth Pads*** page for more reasons to love cloth pads!

Q: Can I use my new cloth pads right away?
A: All the fabrics used to make your cloth pads have been pre-washed to minimize shrinkage, but we still recommend that new cloth pads be washed before the first wear. This will remove any lint that may be left from production, increase absorbency, and make them even softer. To keep pads from looking dingy, always wash undyed pads separately from hand dyed pads. See our

 

Q: Aren't they bulky and uncomfortable?
A: Bulk is often a concern with new pad users, but Just Fussy cloth pads are designed to be as thin as possible while using all natural (and mostly organic) breathable fabrics, and still providing the protection you need. Our Moonbow pads are around 1/4" to 3/8" thick when lying flat. While they may not be quite as thin as some pads made with a PUL backing, we think that the reduced heat and greater breathability of our organic merino wool jersey makes them superior to man-made synthetic backings. To allow for thorough cleaning, quick drying time, and maximum comfort, most of our Moonbow pads have no more than three layers of fabric; except our Extra-Large and Large-Extra size pads which have a total of four layers. If you prefer more absorbency you can simply slip a wingless booster underneath your cloth pad.

When you first start wearing cloth pads you may be more aware of their presence, just as you'd be aware of wearing a watch or bracelet after years without. Our trim design and plush breathable fabrics make our Moonbow cloth pads ultra-comfortable; you won't feel like there's a huge wad of cloth stuffed in your pants, or like you're sitting on a layer of cardboard. In fact, many Just Fussy customers tell us that our cloth pads are so comfortable they forget they're wearing them!

Q: Do cloth pads smell?
A: Many cloth pad users report that there is very little to no smell at all when using cloth pads, unlike tampons and disposable pads that carry their own particular odor. When we made the switch to cloth pads we were skeptical, but after intensive personal research switching back and forth between cloth and disposable pads we were convinced!

Q: Do they leak?
A: No menstrual care system is foolproof, but Just Fussy cloth pads rarely leak when used correctly and changed regularly. If allowed to become overly saturated, it is possible to leak through the wool layer, but most of the time the pad would have become uncomfortable enough from the excessive wetness to warrant a change before leaking actually occurs. More commonly you may experience leaking around the wings instead of through the wool layer; the same sort of leaking found in disposable and fleece or PUL-backed pads. Rarely, sudden gushes may cause wicking straight through the pad because the moisture cannot be distributed quickly enough. Placing a wingless booster underneath your winged pad and changing your pad promptly will decrease the already-low chance of leaking.

You may notice that you can see blood behind or even inside the wool layer. This does NOT mean your cloth pad has leaked; the wool is doing its job and absorbing the blood so it doesn't leak.

Q: How often will I need to change my cloth pad?
A: It's hard to say exactly how often you'll need to change your Moonbows because it all depends on your individual flow, the fabric and style of cloth pad you're using, and your comfort level. However, it won't take long for you to instinctively know when a change is due. Some women only use three to four pads in 24 hours, even on their heaviest flow days, while others prefer to change cloth pads each time they use the bathroom. Many women find that they change cloth pads less often than disposable because the cloth pads are so much more comfortable that frequent changes seem unnecessary. At first you may find yourself changing your cloth pads more often than you would a disposable pad – sometimes just because they're so pretty you can't resist!

We usually suggest that new-to-cloth customers consider pairing a wingless booster underneath the primary winged pad to determine how long they can wear a pad before it's saturated enough to leak through. Using a booster allows you to check for spots while protecting your underwear; once you determine how long you can go between changes you won't need the booster anymore.

Q: How can I keep them from shifting or bunching?
A: The design and materials of our Moonbow cloth pads naturally prevent shifting and bunching in most instances, but just like disposable pads they may occasionally shift or bunch during use. Often, the primary cause of shifting is due to the type of underwear worn at the time. The style, fabric blend, size, and stretchiness of your underwear can all affect how well your cloth pad fits and performs. Underwear that is too loose or stretchy will not hold the cloth pad in place firmly enough to prevent shifting; try leggings or tights to help keep your pad in place. Since bunching may be caused by a pad that is too wide in the crotch, determining your correct pad size and snap setting is the first step in preventing bunching. If a pad you already own tends to bunch, try placing a wingless Moonbow booster underneath (a piece of fabric folded into a rectangle should work too,) wear underwear with a wider crotch, or use a safety pin to establish whether a more narrow width would hold your pad in place better. If you find that the safety pin helps, you can request to have an additional snap setting added to your pads in future orders.

Q: Tell me more about Moonbow wingless booster pads.
A: Boosters can provide a little peace of mind for you. If you're experiencing heavy flow or worried about leaking you may choose to use a booster to help prevent leaks. To use a booster with your Just Fussy Moonbow pad, simply place the booster underneath the pad with the wool side against your underwear and the natural fiber side against the wool of the winged pad. Snap the cloth pad in place to secure the booster between your underwear and the pad, and you're ready to go!

Q: Can I wear your wingless pads and liners alone? How do they stay in place?
A: Fussybutt cloth pad boosters and wingless liners will usually stay in place when paired with snug-fitting underwear but can fall out when you're removing your underwear if you're not careful! They were originally designed as absorbency boosters for our winged cloth pads, but they have become a popular option for light flow days and as panty liners on non-menstrual days. Because boosters are designed to fit comfortably under winged cloth pads they are not as wide as our standard cloth pads and may allow for leaking around the sides during a normal or heavy flow. For superior leak proof protection during these normal/heavy flow days, you are better off choosing a Moonbow cloth pad with wings.

Q: How do I use cloth pads when I am out and about?
A: Using Just Fussy cloth pads and liners on the go is really as easy as using disposable pads! Just as with disposables, you'll need to bring clean pads with you, but with cloth pads you'll also need a way to carry soiled pads home. One economical and easy option is to use Zip-Lock plastic bags, but if you prefer an opaque and more environmentally friendly bag, you can try a specially designed fabric pouch or a small makeup bag. When you're ready to change your pad, simply fold the used pad in half, soiled side in, and place into a separate waterproof bag until you get home. Another option is a double-sided waterproof bag with separate compartments so you can carry clean and used cloth pads in the same bag. These wet bags are usually made with a PUL (polyurethane laminate) inner layer and a fashion fabric for the outer layer.

Q: Can I wear cloth pads during exercise or vigorous activity?
A: You certainly can wear cloth pads during exercise or vigorous activity, although we recommend you wear them with snugly-fitting underwear to prevent shifting. If you generally wear tight-fitting clothing like biker shorts or leggings you may find you need to wear something on top – just as with disposable pads, cloth pads can potentially show through very tight-fitting pants.

Q: What about biking or horseback riding?
A: Customers with serious sensitivity issues who ride horses or bikes frequently claim that their Just Fussy cloth pads, have actually IMPROVED their comfort level during these activities. Just remember to wear snug-fitting underwear and be careful that your pad doesn't show through if you're wearing very tight-fitting pants. If you find that the snaps make biking uncomfortable, try moving the pad up or down slightly to see if you can get the snaps to fall outside of the area you’re sitting on.

Section 3 - Caring for your Fussy Moonbow Cloth Pads

Q: How do I wash my Moonbow and Moonlite pads?
A: Washing your organic wool-backed cloth pads is quite easy! Rinse soiled pads in cold water until the water runs clear, then wash in cold or warm water with an enzyme-free detergent. Do not wash in very hot temperatures. We recommend using cold water for dark and hand-dyed pads. Avoid bleach and oxy-clean type additives because they can break down fibers (especially the wool) and may cause irritation to your skin. Do not use commercial fabric softeners because they coat the fibers and make them less absorbent. Tumble dry on low-heat or air dry. Laundering on high temperatures and/or "sanitary cycles" will void the warranty.

Q: Do I have to rinse my cloth pads?
A: Rinsing is not necessary, but we do recommend it to keep your cloth pads in tip-top shape. Pads that are not rinsed after each use are more prone to staining than those that are rinsed. If you choose not to rinse your cloth pads after each use be sure to run them through a cold rinse cycle before washing them.

Q: What about soaking?
A: After rinsing, some women prefer to soak their pads in water until wash day. If you choose to soak be sure to change the water daily, and use a sealed container that is kept out of reach of children. Some customers like to add a few drops of tea tree oil to the soak water. If you rinse your pads but choose not to soak be sure to wash them within 24 hours of rinsing to avoid mildew.

Q: Can I wash my cloth pads with my child's cloth diapers?
A: Although it is a common suggestion to launder cloth pads with cloth diapers, we don't recommend this. Cloth diapers are usually washed at the highest temperatures possible, which is not the best choice for your cloth pads. High temperatures may set protein stains and make them harder to remove, and can shrink the wool backing of your cloth pads.

Q: Can I wash my cloth pads with regular laundry?
A: Rinsed pads can be washed with regular laundry, but remember not to use bleach or fabric softeners. If your cloth pads are very soiled, you may wish to run them through a cold rinse or cold pre-wash before adding them to your regular laundry.

Q: My cloth pad is stained - help!
A: Despite your best efforts you may end up with some staining. While the sun will lighten most stains, it can also fade colored fabric. For this reason, we don't recommend placing dyed pads in direct sunlight; sunning is best reserved for undyed pads. For persistent stains, make a thick paste of baking soda and water; apply to stained areas, and work in gently with your fingers. Let the paste sit for 10 to 15 minutes, rinse, then wash and dry before using again. Do not use bleach or Oxy-Clean on your pads because they can break down the natural fibers and also cause skin irritation.

Q: Do I need to lanolize the wool?
A: Its natural lanolin content is one of the most beneficial features of wool when it comes to water resistance. Repeated laundering can gradually strip wool of its natural lanolin, so if you notice a decrease in the absorbency of your pads you can refresh the wool with a spray lanolin. Be sure to treat only the wool side of the pads with the spray lanolin; do not treat bamboo, cotton, or hemp layers. Never wash your cloth pads in Eucalan or any other lanolizing wool wash because they will make the entire pad water resistant.

Section 4 - Moonbow Pad Design and Materials

Q: Who makes Just Fussy cloth pads?
A: All of our pads are handmade from start to finish by Christy of Just Fussy and Fussybutt. No additional seamstresses, independent contractors, or "sewing circles" are involved, so you can be sure that your pad lives up to our stringent quality standards. Because each pad is 100% handmade, there may be very slight variations in the size of the pads, but these variances will not affect fit, performance, or durability. Due to the different properties of each fabric type, you may notice that pads of the same style but different fabrics aren't exactly the same size; this is normal when using different fabric combinations. Because hand-guided serging is an art, not a science, it will not produce cookie-cutter results like mass-manufactured goods; please allow for up to 3/8" variance around the edge of the pads.

Q: What are Just Fussy cloth pads made of?
A: All of our cloth pads are backed with pre-felted 100% organic merino wool jersey. The middle layer is a heavy-weight fleece made with a blend of bamboo and organic cotton. The top layer may be any one of a variety of fabrics, including: bamboo velour, hemp velour, bamboo fleece, hemp fleece, and organic cotton velour.

Our wingless Moonbow boosters are made with the same wool backing as our winged pads, a center layer of bamboo fleece, and a bamboo velour top. Moonlite cloth panty liners consist of just two layers; a top layer of bamboo or organic cotton, and a bottom layer of bamboo or wool. Note that non-wool Moonlites are essentially reversible, so you can wear either layer against your skin.

Q: What top fabrics options and colors do you offer?
A: Since we believe that the comfort and absorbency of velour and fleece can't be beat, we generally do not carry printed knit jersey or woven fabrics. We do, however, offer a wide assortment of natural and hand dyed fabrics in an ever-changing rainbow of colors. All of our colored fabrics are dyed in small batches by hand so each batch is completely unique. Although we try to keep a rainbow of colors on hand, since our fabrics are dyed in small lots we cannot guarantee that all colors will be available at all times. Due to the nature of hand dyed fabric, colors may vary from batch to batch. This means that two pads in the same color may have different tones or shades; these variations add to the unique quality and handcrafted character of each pad.

Q: Why do you use organic wool instead of PUL or fleece as the barrier layer?
A: Without a doubt there are many fantastic PUL and fleece-backed cloth pad options on the market today! Although these synthetic fibers have their own unique benefits, we wanted to create an all-natural cloth pad (thread and snaps aside.) Due to wool's inherent properties it is the perfect natural barrier fabric. And unlike synthetic fibers, wool is breathable, has natural anti-bacterial properties, and can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling wet. As if that's not enough, wool helps to keep your cloth pads in place without slipping or bunching.

Q: Why are wool-backed pads more expensive than PUL or fleece pads?
A: Our 100% organic wool jersey fabric is definitely more expensive than commonly used alternatives like fleece and PUL. But on top of the initial higher expense of the fabric, the wool must be washed and dried on high heat multiple times to achieve maximum "felting" - the term for shrinking wool. This routine is absolutely necessary to make the wool as absorbent as possible, and to prevent uneven shrinkage between the wool backing and the non-wool layers of your Moonbow pads. The extra preparation required for wool-backed pads naturally adds to the final cost, but we feel that the resulting high quality and uniqueness of our pads is well worth the extra effort and expense.

Q: I hate wearing scratchy wool sweaters - won't wool-backed pads be scratchy and hot too?
A: Contrary to popular belief, wool isn't always scratchy and hot. Wool is a naturally breathable fiber, helping to cool your body and draw moisture away from your skin even in humid climates. The 100% organic merino wool jersey we use in our products is chemical-free and comfortable even for women who suspect they have wool sensitivities. And although our pads were designed so the wool backing layer never really touches skin, some of our customers have actually reported that they like to wear their Fussy Moonbow pads with the wool side against their skin!

Section 5 - Building a Cloth Pad Stash

Q: How do I know which top fabric to choose?
A: Just like choosing a style of cloth pad, fabric choice is really a matter of personal preference. Some things to consider are:

  • Dyed vs. undyed: Hand dyed pads, especially dark colors and LWI (low water immersion) dyed fabrics, will hide potential stains better than undyed pads. On the other hand, undyed fabric is sometimes a little softer, but will stain much more easily. Because dyed fabrics hide wetness some women choose undyed pads so they can more easily monitor their flow. 
We use professional fiber reactive procion MX dyes that are safe to wear and will not rub off on your skin or clothing, so even if you have skin sensitivities you can be confident wearing our dyed items.
  • Cotton or bamboo: Our cotton fabrics are 100% organic, grown and milled in the USA, while our bamboo fabrics are blended with a small amount of organic cotton, and are grown and milled in China. In our opinion, bamboo is softer, washes better, and can be dyed more vibrantly. However, due to the process required to turn bamboo into fabric, organic cotton is probably the more environmentally friendly choice. Although organic cotton velour is not as velvety smooth as bamboo velour, it is a lovely, plush, and absorbent fabric that works wonderfully in cloth pads and liners.
  • Velour or non-velour: Velour combines the stretchiness of knit fabrics with the rich appearance and feel of velvet, but is lighter and softer than traditional velvet. Some women love the luxurious feel of velour against their skin, and believe that velour fabrics distributes their flow better and releases stains more easily than non-velour fabrics. Other women are not fond of the way velour feels and prefer non-velour fabrics such as fleece.

Check out our ***Just Fussy Fabrics*** page for more information about our cloth pad fabrics.
 
Q: How many pads should I start out with?

A: The minimum number of cloth pads you'll need will depend on how often you change your pads and how often you plan to wash your pads. The average woman changes pads about every 2-4 hours, depending on flow, comfort threshold, and cycle; wearing just one or two pads throughout the day on very light days and changing more frequently on heavier days. If you plan to wash your cloth pads daily or every other day you could probably get by with a dozen pads or less but if you are only going to wash only once per cycle we recommend 18 - 24 pads. If you're new to cloth we suggest starting out with just a couple of pads in different fabrics and sizes to see what works best for you; once you know what type of pads you like best you can start to build your perfect stash.

Q: What type of pads and how many of each will I need for a full cycle?
A: Because every woman is different, there is no set answer to this question. The quantity needed will vary depending on your cycle, frequency with which you prefer to do laundry, and so on. However, we've found that a good beginning stash for a typical woman with an average flow could include 2-4 wool-backed Moonlite liners, 6-9 regular pads, and 2-4 large or extra large pads for night. Your particular needs may be different depending on your flow; keeping track of your flow for a cycle or two will help you establish what type of pads and how many of each you need. And remember, you can always start out with a few and add more as needed!

As a general rule, our regular length Moonbow pads outsell all of our pad products. Larges are probably the second most popular, and Large-Extras and X-Larges are popular for postpartum bleeding and very heavy flow. While our petite pads work well for some women, they are too short for many, and tend to shift around more than the other sizes. If you are looking for smaller sized pads to wear as a daily liner, consider our two-layer Moonlite panty liners instead.

Our cloth pad wings are designed to fit most styles and sizes of underwear, however occasionally a customer feels that that the pad is too narrow, even on the largest snap setting. In this case we are happy to provide a free tab extender: please contact us so we can pop one in the mail for you right away.

 

Section 6 - Cloth Pad Cost Savings

Q: Can I really save money with cloth pads?
A: Yes you can! For about the same price as a large package of disposable pads that are only used a couple of hours before being thrown away, you can buy a natural-fiber cloth pad that can be used for years and years. While we realize that cloth pads require a more substantial initial investment, the long-term savings are phenomenal! And who can put a price on comfort?

Q: Why are your cloth pads more expensive than other cloth pads?
A: We firmly believe that "you get what you pay for" and with Just Fussy cloth pads you're getting nothing but the highest possible quality of materials and construction we can provide. Our organic and natural fiber materials are more expensive (and sometimes difficult) for us to obtain and require more preparation than the synthetic man-made materials used by other pad manufacturers, but we think you're worth it!

Section 7 - Cloth Pad Safety Concerns

Q: Are your fabrics and materials lead-free?
A: By nature, unless lead is added to fabrics during production, fabric is inherently lead-free. We do our best to obtain fabric from fair-trade sources. Most of our fabrics come from suppliers within the continental US, while others, like the bamboo fabrics, come from a supplier in China who uses fair trade practices. We would prefer to purchase only from US suppliers, but as far as we're aware, milled-in-the-USA bamboo fabrics simply aren't available.

Our snaps are lead-free polycetal resin, and thread, like fabric, is inherently lead-free. After plenty of testing we ruled out the use of organic cotton thread because it didn't hold up to repeated use and laundering. Therefore, we use colorful polyester blend threads that withstand lots of washing.

Q: Are your dyed pads safe? Will the dye rub off on my skin?
A: We use professional quality procion MX fiber reactive dyes which form a strong and permanent molecular bond with the fabric. Our dyed items are perfectly against the skin - even for infants. We promise your hand dyed Moonbow cloth pads and liners will not leave you with purple nether-regions or green underwear!

Q: I'm sensitive to wool, will wearing your cloth pads bother me?
A: The only wool in our pads is the backing layer, which is 100% organic wool. Because most sensitivities to wool are actually sensitivities to the chemicals used to process the wool, organic wool is less likely to produce irritation than non-organic wool. In addition, the wings of our cloth pads wrap around your underwear with the top fabric out so the wool layer shouldn't even touch your skin.

If you have a question that's not covered above please contact us -we'd love to hear from you!

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