Reusable cotton pads are having a bit of a moment and it’s easy to see why. Cotton pads are a bathroom essential, but so wasteful. They are disposable for one, and two they come wrapped in plastic. That’s only the part that is visible to us as the end consumer. I wouldn’t know where to start to discuss the wider environmental impact their production and all the logistics creates.
I’d seen a few people late last year giving some quick and easy demo’s on how to make some reusable pads and made myself a couple of dozen.
Now I’ve been using them for a while I wanted to share with you not only the materials I used, but which ones I think perform best and also to tell you how I’ve been caring for them.
I have a mixture of pads which are quite simply two circles of fabric, one on top of the other and overlocked all the way round. The fabric combinations I have are as follows;
- Cotton lawn / cotton jersey
- Cotton jersey / cotton jersey
- Cotton lawn / bamboo towelling
- Cotton jersey / bamboo towelling
My favourite pads to use are the ones made from cotton jersey / bamboo towelling. They are softer and nice to use on either side. The cotton lawn is useful and pretty, but I can’t use both sides of the pad to clean with.
How do I keep them clean and fresh?
I have a little plastic pot which is the perfect size for my little pads which have an 8cm diameter. I half fill the pot with cold water and add a couple of drops of tea tree oil. As I use the pads I pop them in the pot.
Make sure you keep the pot away from sunlight, I keep them in the drawer next to the clean ones. I also change the water and add an extra drop of tea tree every couple of days.
When the pot is full I put the pads in a laundry bag and throw them in the washing machine. I like to put them in with towels on a 60oC wash. I don’t use fabric softener on my towels, I usually use some detol laundry cleanser.
Once the pads are clean and dry I give them a quick steam with the iron and they are as good as new.
I’ve used these pads in the photos for a few months. They regularly clean off makeup and mascara and look pretty clean and stain free.
When I made the pads I was keen to use white and light coloured fabrics because I wasn’t sure if they would be very good or if my process for keeping them clean would be good enough for keeping them mould free.
I hope this helps if you have made or bought some reusable pads and are frustrated at keeping them fresh. Just remember you don’t need a lot of tea tree oil and if you are allergic to it you should avoid it.