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How to Tell You Can't Use Your Reusable Pad Anymore

Cartoon woman doing research on her laptop

After years of dedicated service, it could be time to say goodbye to your hannahpad. Yup, your beloved hannahpads—the same reusable menstrual pads that have stayed reliable even through the heaviest flows, helped you save a fortune, and given you plenty of health benefits by keeping toxic disposable menstrual products away.

If you think about all the benefits you got, it really is a reason to smile. You’ve just made a really good investment and have changed your lifestyle for the better. So even though it may be time to dispose of your hannahpad (which by the way, will only take 3-5 years to fully degrade), there’s plenty of reasons to celebrate.

But hold up. If you’re reading this article, chances are, you are at a crossroads. Is it really time to say goodbye to your hannahpads? How can you tell? Well, good news! We will clarify everything in this article.

Let’s get started!

 Cropped photo of a woman sitting beside various sizes of hannahpads

What Factors Affect the Longevity of My Hannahpads?

There are various internal and external factors that contribute to the longevity of your hannahpad.

By internal factors, we mean the vital materials that make up the hannahpad. These give the hannahpads their strength and functionality. These are also the materials that may get damaged somewhere along the way and when that happens, there’s a high likelihood that you will need replacement menstrual reusable pads.

Meanwhile, external factors encompass anything from the outside that contributes to the wear and tear of the hannahpad such as frequency of use and proper/improper care.

1. The Materials in Hannahpads

We have two main materials to consider here: organic cotton padding and the TPU coating. Both of these work together so well to prevent leaks. Cotton is super absorbent and the water-resistant TPU coating keeps menstrual blood from crossing over even if the cotton pads are soaked. Damage, whether through wear and tear or through blunt physical force to these components, could mean the end for your hannahpad’s usability. But just how strong are these materials, anyway?

100% Organic Cotton

Let’s first look at cotton. In the fabric world, cotton is a known favourite for various appealing reasons. The softness and breathability of this cloth may lead you to think that it is weak, but far from it, cotton has moderate to above-average tensile strength. What makes it even more unique is that this tensile strength increases when the fabric is wet. So no need to worry about machine-washing!

The lifespan of cotton is definitely long. If you dig through your closet, you’re bound to find a 100% cotton shirt that has lasted 5, 10, 15 or more years. Though cotton can remain intact for a very long time, this doesn’t mean that it won’t go through changes as it ages. We’ll talk more about this in a later section.

TPU Coating

Now let’s talk about the TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethanes) coating. Hannahpads have this coating instead of the PUL layer that most other reusable menstrual pad brands use. This high-quality coating is known for its elasticity and its ability to resist oil, solvents, and abrasions—making it the perfect reinforcement against leaks and a protective layer to hannahpads that are folded. TPU’s can withstand 300 washes or more, which, for menstrual pads, typically translates to 3-4 years of usage.

2. How Often The Hannahpads Are Used

Whether it’s because you have fewer hannahpads that are in rotation or because of a shorter time between periods, your hannahpads could be undergoing more wear and tear than usual. Of course, there is nothing wrong with wear and tear or frequent usage as hannahpads are built to be used.

But typically, each pad can be used approximately 75 times or more. So you can imagine how fewer hannahpads, more frequent periods—or both—can definitely contribute to faster wear and tear of these reusable menstrual pads. So if you’re using hannahpads at a more frequent rate, it can be a clue that they will tend to reach the end of their usefulness sooner.

By the way, if you want to know how many hannahpads you should have, check out this guide of ours, aptly called: How Many Hannahpads Do I Need?

3. How The Hannahpads Were Cared For

Just like any fabric-based product, your hannahpad has its own set of care instructions. Following these care instructions will definitely contribute to the longevity of your hannahpads. There are certain harmful practices to avoid such as:

  • Tumble drying the pads Dry cleaning the pads
  • Ironing the pads Boiling the pads
  • Using bleach or hydrogen peroxide on the pads

If you have not been able to avoid practices like these above, it may damage your hannahpad before it has gone through it’s intended lifespan. To view the detailed care instructions, check out our guide on Care Instructions.


 Cropped photo of a woman holding a hannahpad along with a bar of laundry soap

How Long Can Hannahpads Last When Cared For Properly?

Each hannahpad can be used 75 times or more. Typically, this translates to about 3-4 years of usage. Some users claim that hannahpads can be used for even longer. For example, the hannahpad user in our article, REVEAL: What 3-4-Year-Old Cloth Pads Actually Look Like, claims that 4-year old hannahpads look as fresh as the day they were bought.

It’s amazing how much proper care can contribute to the lifespan of these pads!

What Signs Will Tell Me I Need to Dispose of My Old Hannahpads?

We mentioned earlier that the two integral parts of the hannahpad are the TPU coating and the layers of 100% organic cotton. So when looking for signs that your hannahpad is no longer usable, we look closely at these two components. It’s ideal that around the 2 or 3-year mark, you assess these layers carefully.

For the TPU coating, the tell-tale sign is when it cracks - as this will impede the hannahpad’s prevention of leaks. As for the cotton layers, these might have physical changes over the years that can spell that the hannahpad is nearing its end. Look for significant changes to the texture and shape of the cotton layers. From there, you can decide if it’s time for a replacement.

But decisions of replacement can be subjective too. Some users decide to replace hannahpads if it acquires staining that cannot be removed—but this goes back to proper care for the pads and can be easily avoided.

Do I Just Throw Old Hannahpads Away?

Hannahpads fully degrade after 3-5 years (TPU coating included.) Therefore, there isn’t any harm in throwing them away. Check out this comprehensive guide on how to properly dispose of your hannahpads in a way that is most beneficial to the environment.

How Do I Restock?

Is it really time to throw away your hannahpads? Well if so, we at The Brand Hannah, would like to congratulate you for years of savings, health benefits, and help to mother earth. Thank you for helping us make the world a better place, one hannahpad at a time.

Do you need hannahpad replacements? Check out what reusable cloth pads are available right now in our store. Upgraded product designs and cool new patterns await you!


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