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Do you have a question about Palesa Pads? You’ll find the answers to the questions we get the most often about Palesa Pads below:

1Q How often do you need to change a reusable pad?
A reusable Palea Pad needs to be changed roughly the same number of times in a day as a disposable pad; however, should you need to wear your pad for longer, it can be worn for up to 12 hours, depending on how heavy your flow is.
2Q How many Palesa Pads do you need to cover your monthly period without any issues?
It would be ideal to own three to six Palesa Pads if possible. This will allow you to wear one pad and keep a second pad as a back-up, while you wash and dry your other pad/s. There’s no need to wash your pads in a washing machine but if you would like to do this and only want to wash your pads once during your monthly cycle, then it’s better to have 12 to 15 pads.
3Q Will my Palesa Pads feel wet or dry when I wear them?
The top layer of a Palesa Pad is made from a high-quality dry wicking sports fabric that wicks away moisture from your skin, to ensure that you always feel comfortable and dry all day long.
4Q How do I know my Palesa Pads won’t leak?
We use a specially designed TPU waterproof fabric – which is the same fabric used for reusable nappies – to ensure that our pads can capably hold your flow and never leak.
5Q If I have a very heavy flow, will my Palesa Pads cope with this?
We have carefully developed Palesa Pads to ensure absolute reliability, whether you have a light flow or a heavy flow. Aside from the dry-wicking top layer and the waterproof bottom layer, each Palesa Pad, has multiple ultra-absorbent layers that will soak up your blood as you menstruate, ensuring that you have complete protection from any leakage.
There are three pads in the Palesa Pads range which we recommend you use for a heavy period flow.
The MAXI pad is designed for a heavy flow.
The MEGA pad is designed for a very heavy flow.
The MAMA pad is designed for an extremely heavy flow and for maternal use.
6Q How do you store a used/blood-soaked Palesa Pad discreetly if you are at school, work or out for the whole day?
Cloth pads are absorbent so they absorb the blood and dry, similar to the way a nosebleed would dry on a shirt. The blood doesn’t remain in a liquid-state.
• Palesa Pads have a full waterproof cover which prevents any leakage while wearing the pad or when it packed away for washing at home.
• Palesa Pads fold up neatly into a little envelope shape and it is almost impossible to tell a soiled pad from a clean pad from the outside. A soiled pad feels a bit harder as the blood dries in shape with the pad.
• There is no smell when using cloth pads as one would find with disposable pads, not even when packed away into one’s school bag. In fact, menstrual blood does not smell any different to regular blood. Anyone who has ever messed on their pyjamas or linen can attest to the fact that there is no smell, yet a disposable pad with just a drop or two of blood emits a strong smell. The smell associated with menstruation is in fact because of the chemical reaction between the blood and the chlorine, bleach, dioxins etc. that are found in disposable pads. These are also often the reasons for users of these products developing rashes and skin irritations.
• Disposable sanitary pads have many disadvantages such as the vast array of chemicals found in the pads that are harmful to women’s health. Here are some articles detailing these chemicals and their side effects:

• Article 1
https://www.womensvoices.org/menstrual-care-products/detox-the-box/always-pads-testing-results/

• Article 2
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019333859

• Article 3
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0890623818302259?via%3Dihub

• Article 4
https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/study-elevated-levels-toxic-chemicals-found-menstrual-pads-and-disposable

• Article 5
https://www.madesafe.org/period-products-whats-in-them/

Disposable pads need to be disposed of discreetly while at school due the smell factor. Most schools, especially those in rural areas, do not have appropriate sani-bins and bags, nor a service to collect and dispose of the soiled pads. These are added to the general community rubbish dump to be burned later or are dumped into pit toilets at school or at home.
As disposable pads contain high levels of plastic, they are estimated to take around 500 years to decompose and will cause the pit toilet to become blocked and unusable. With a woman using nearly 10000 pads in her lifetime, it’s easy to imagine the environmental nightmare disposable pads cause, especially in areas where there is no municipal refuse collection service.
7Q What if a girl needs to keep her soaked menstrual pad in her schoolbag until the end of the school day in very hot temperatures?
Heat is not an issue as the blood on the Palesa Pad dries. The only thing that can cause an issue is if the pad is placed in a sealed plastic bag. The plastic bag creates a humid environment allowing bacteria to grow if the pad is not washed the same day. That is why it is important that a breathable bag or nothing at all is used to hold the soiled pad until home time.
8Q What if a girl needs to keep a lunch pack in the same school bag as her soiled pad.
A soiled pad is clipped closed, with the soiled area inside the pad. It does not leak blood as one might imagine. The blood dries within the confines of the waterproof covering. Most girls will have their lunch packed in some sort of separate plastic lunchbox or bag to prevent sand from reaching their food as rural areas tend to be quite dusty. Most bags also have more than one pocket or a simple divider in the bag, which can be used to separate the pad from other items if needed.
9Q Many schoolgirls commute to school with either busses or taxis. Is this not an issue?
We have helped over 110000 schoolgirls, almost all of whom walk to school or use public transport. They have mentioned how pleased they are with the increased absorption that Palesa Pads offers versus disposable pads. Palesa Pads can be worn for longer than disposable pads as there are no chemicals to cause irritation. Panties for example, are worn for 12 to 18 hours a day before changing them, this is the benefit of fabric versus plastic.
10Q The smelling of blood in public could lead to bullying and being stigmatized. Is this not a concern?
As mentioned before, the smell comes from the chemicals in disposable pad. One of key benefits of cloth pads is that there is no smell.
Palesa Pads takes the stigma of periods very seriously and that is why we have excellent quality product that provides protection and dignity to the user.
Our activation events further echo our commitment to ending the stigma around menstruation and to teach girls to feel comfortable with their bodies.
We have found that the young girls are thrilled to find that they no longer experience a smell during menstruation once they have moved to Palesa Pads.
11Q Is it acceptable for the girls to wash their menstrual pads at school?
We certainly do not recommend washing the pads at school and this is certainly not necessary. While some brands recommend adding some water straight away to ease the washing process, Palesa Pads are made of a stain resistant fabric and can be washed hours later with ease.
12Q Where will the schoolgirls wash the pads?
The pads would be washed at home after school. The Palesa Pads kit includes a 5L bucket to wash the pads in plus some washing powder, laundry soap and white spirit vinegar for rinsing. We also provide a drying clip so that the pads can dry quickly and hygienically.
13Q When wearing the pad, does it move around since it does not have a sticky strip like disposable pads?
Palesa Pads have ‘wings’ which fold around your panties, and a press stud clip, that is clipped closed to secure the pad to your panties. This ensures that the pad is kept firmly in place throughout the time you are wearing it.
14Q How will I know when I need to change my Palesa Pad?
You will know your pad is full when you see the blood creeping to the side of the pad. When this happens, unclip the pad and close it into an envelope shape. Then snap it closed with the snaps on the pad. You can store it discreetly in your bag and take it home to wash. Remember to put on a fresh Palesa Pad and you’re good to go!
15Q Are Palesa Pads difficult to clean?
• A: Palesa Pads are extremely easy to clean.
• For handwashing:
• Soak the pad with the soiled side down, in cold, soapy water for up to an hour. If you don’t have running water close by, then soak the pads in a bucket, using any water left over after you finish cooking or rinsing.
• Remove the pads and throw the dirty water in the toilet.
• The fabric that Palesa Pads is made from does not stain, but if you see any marks on your pads when cleaning them, use a simple soap bar (like Sunlight soap) to gently rub the material and easily remove the stains.
• Soak the pads again in clean, cold water with two teaspoons of white spirit vinegar, for at least half an hour.
• Rinse and wring the pads until the water runs clear.
• Hang the pads up to dry near to an open window, out of direct sunlight, where they have a bit of warm air, to help them dry.
16Q To machine wash your pads:
• Soak the pad with the soiled side down, in cold, soapy water for up to an hour, or, if the washing machine has a pre-soak option, we recommend using this.
• Wash your pads separately from other laundry items.
• Use washing powder as normal but use spirit vinegar instead of fabric softener.
• Wash in a cold-water cycle.
• If there are any marks after washing, soak the pads again or rub them gently with laundry soap bar.
• Hang the pads up to dry near to an open window, out of direct sunlight, where they have a bit of warm air, to help them dry.
17Q Surely significant amounts of water will be required to wash these pads properly? In areas where there is a shortage of water, the pads won’t be washed properly. Would this not lead to infections?
The water usage is not significant at all. We performed an experiment a while ago using only bottles of water to wash the pads, no running water, and the result was that we used less than the 20L allocated to wash all the pads hygienically for a full 5-day cycle. This is less water than is used for a daily bath. Palesa Pads supplies a bucket and cleaning products with the pads so there is no need for pads to be rinsed under running water.
In areas with severe water shortages, girls can wash their pads in their bath or rinsing water as they do with their panties and socks, whish is part of their daily routine.
18Q What kind of soap do I use to clean my Palesa Pads?
You can use any soap powder to wash your pads or a simple green soap bar (like Sunlight Soap) to gently rub your pad and easily remove any stains.
19Q Can I wash my Palesa Pads in a washing machine?
It is absolutely fine to wash your Palesa Pads in a washing machine, however, you should wash them separately from your other laundry, on a cold wash and full cycle, and not a quick wash as such. If the washing machine has a pre-soak option, we recommend using this. White spirit vinegar should be placed in the fabric softener compartment of the machine. Any marks that remain after washing can be removed by rubbing them gently with a laundry soap bar.
20Q What do I do if my Palesa Pads stain?
If your pads have any stains on them after you’ve washed them, simply repeat the washing process. Soak them for an hour in cold soapy water, rub them with laundry soap and remove the marks. All marks do eventually come off without the use of bleach or other chemicals.
21Q Are Palesa Pads hygienic?
Palesa Pads are extremely hygienic, but it is important to keep them clean. A person wears a pair of panties and washes them multiple times before replacing them. The concept of cloth pads is the same. Dirty panties can lead to infections and so can dirty pads. It's important to remove all marks from pads and panties to keep them hygienically clean. Pads and panties should never be worn twice in a row without washing and should never be shared with anyone, not even a close family member.
We have found that the young girls are thrilled to find that they no longer experience a smell during menstruation once they have moved to Palesa Pads.
22Q Is it possible for poor and unhygienic handling of the pads or the pads not being washed properly to lead to an outbreak of diseases or vaginal infecting bacteria, yeasts or viruses?
This is highly unlikely as cloth pads are much more hygienic than disposable pads due to the lack of chemicals. A person should think of cloth pads in a similar way to panties. As long as they are washed properly after each use and not worn twice in a row without washing there should be no reason for any infection, unless of course a person contracts a sexually transmitted infection in which case medical treatment is required.
Over the past 5 years we have sold nearly 700000 cloth pads many to ladies directly for their own use, not only for sponsorship. The feedback has been amazing and quite the opposite of what may be expected. Many of our customers have said that since moving to Palesa Pads, they finally have a comfortable period with no infections (as with disposable pads) and significantly reduced period pain. In fact, we have not received a single report of anyone having a negative reaction to our pads. Regardless of the low risk, we still feel it is important to educate girls properly on how to use and wash the pads, and most importantly not to share them with anyone. We remind them that we don’t share our panties, therefore we don’t share our pads either.
Our training is comprehensive and covers everything a user needs to know about the product. This is done in person at an activation event but is also included in the instructional brochure of every pack.
Should this be of a concern to a sponsor, please remember that in the unlikely event of any adverse reactions, the claim would be against the manufacturer and not the sponsor. For example, many people have had a negative reaction to certain disposable pads in the past and in these instances, the manufacturer would have to answer to the claim. It would have nothing to do with the sponsor involved.
23Q Can I share my Palesa Pads with other family members or friends?
You should never share your Palesa Pads with other people. Just as with panties, sharing intimate items with others, could lead to potential infections. We highly discourage this and talk about it in our training material and at our events. We remind girls that we don’t share panties and that cloth pads should not be shared either for the same reason.
24Q Most cultures and religions forbid the unnecessary handling of menstrual blood.
Certain cultures and religions forbid the handling of food and religious articles during menstruation. It would be impossible to forbid the handling of menstrual blood. Who would wash the sheets if a girl started her period in the middle of the night and messed on herself?
25Q What happens when there are allegations of some children stealing the blood of others for witchcraft?
This is more likely with disposable pads that are thrown in community rubbish dumps where they can be accessed.
In some places, disadvantaged youth actually retrieve soiled disposable pads from the dump, boil them and drink the liquid to get high. https://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/zimbabwean-youth-get-high-on-sanitary-pads-nappies-dfd66554-7d11-4398-b3f3-0119aad98721
26Q How do I dry my Palesa Pad?
Palesa Pads are made of a unique sports fabric that dries quickly with a little bit of air. It is better to keep them out of the direct sunlight however if you are in a hurry, it’s fine to let them lie in the direct sun for up to an hour. If you leave your pads in the sun for too long, the waterproof layer will get damaged and your pads might leak.
27Q How long do Palesa Pads last?
Palesa Pads have been tried and tested over many years and can last for up to 5 years, if cared for correctly.
28Q Why does a Palesa Pad last for only 5 years?
As with all clothing the fibres will start to wear down but you can keep using the pad provided there are no tears in the fabric.
29Q Where can I purchase Palesa Pads?
Palesa Pads are available at Ackermans stores countrywide and at the Euro Super Spar in Three Rivers.
• You can also purchase Palesa Pads via our online shop: www.palesapads.com/shop