7 Things You Need to Know about Handmade Reusable Tampons
If you’re a person who gets a monthly period, you might be really tired of buying tampons again and again (and again . . . and again . . . ). I’ve considered menstrual cups, but I’m not quite there, mentally. In my quest to find alternatives to costly and wasteful (but necessary) feminine products, I came across crocheted and knitted reusable tampons.
Many of you are probably clicking away right now because that sounds utterly disgusting.
Whether or not reusable tampons are up your alley, stick with me, because these little cotton creations are more than they seem.
You Want Me to Put My Knitting WHERE?
1. The Right Stuff
An obvious statement: It’s always a good idea to know what you are putting *up there.* Disposable tampons are made from cotton, so it only makes sense to use cotton yarn for reusable tampons. Additionally, cotton blended with bamboo or hemp makes for a more absorbent tampon. If you knit or crochet your own reusable tampons, make sure you use a 100% organic yarn to keep any harmful chemicals from getting into your hoo-ha.
This is the part that makes most people squirm when I talk to them about this subject, but it is absolutely necessary. It’s imperative that you thoroughly wash and dry your yarn tampons between uses.
This can be tricky if you work in a public space with other humans (I don’t think my coworkers would appreciate seeing me washing out a used tampon in our bathroom sink). Yarn Genius Lisa Shroyer came up with the idea to put used yarn tampons in a plastic baggie to take home for washing, which is a discreet and sanitary solution. For those who work at home or have more private workplace bathroom situations, washing and hanging up to dry immediately is the way to go.
3. Sustainability Factor
For me, the most obvious and important benefit to reusable feminine hygiene products is waste reduction. I read recently that if a woman were to experience a lifetime’s worth of periods back to back, it would last 10 years. Think of how many tampons you’d use during a 10-year period, and how much waste that would create. Most tampons have plastic or cardboard applicators that are not recyclable.
People who menstruate make up a huge part of this planet’s population, which means a huge number of tampons and applicators are ending up in landfills. Reusing tampons could eliminate a lot of this waste.
P.S. Sustainability in general on your mind? Check out these eco-friendly yarns. We’ve also got a great tip on how to eliminate waste in your day-to-day household maintenance with this sweet Yarn Hack.
What would you do if you had an extra $2,000? That’s about how much an average woman spends on tampons in her lifetime. I’d pay off my credit card balance and buy a one-way ticket to New Zealand. Ah, that is fun to think about, but let’s keep talking about yarn tampons.
5. Available for Sale Online
You don’t even have to know how to knit or crochet to get your own yarn tampons—THEY ARE AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET. Sellers on Etsy make these things for a small cost. For real, people do this for a living, folks.
However, if you want to knit or crochet your own tampons, there are patterns available on Ravelry, most of which are quite simple.
Reusable yarn tampons should be changed every four hours, just like store-bought disposable tampons, to reduce the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
I’m sure I haven’t convinced anyone (including myself) to try reusable tampons, but I hope you’ve had as much fun learning about them as I have. If anyone out there has experience using yarn tampons, we’d love to hear from you!
Featured Image: Kristin Lee/Emilija Manevska/Getty Images