You already know that Pinterest is full of amazing life hacks and shortcuts to make our lives easier. Most of these little tricks involve beauty products, clothes, or food – and then there are the ones that involve menstrual products. I know it sounds weird to use tampons and pads in a way that doesn’t involve your vagina, but listen up: there are actually so many amazing ways you can use a menstrual pad that you’ve never thought of before. When you think about it, it makes sense – pads are just sterile cotton that are super absorbent. If there isn’t currently menstrual blood on it, the pads in your bathroom cabinet are fair game for a whole different kind of use.
Don’t worry about people judging you for being ~alternative~ with your menstrual pads. In fact, most of these uses are totally invisible unless you actively go out of your way to show someone what’s really going on. Most of us carry pads and tampons around even when we don’t have our periods, so when you’re in a bind and you don’t have one thing you need, chances are you can use a pad as a replacement product in a pinch. So easy, right? But what should you use them for? As it turns out, these hacks aren’t just for female-only issues, they can be used by anyone. So yeah, we might associate pads with “lady problems” but their uses aren’t restricted by gender. Want to see for yourself? These are 14 genius alternative ways to use a menstrual pad.
1) Soak one in water and stick it in the freezer for a perfect DIY ice pack.
Make sure you place it in a freezer bag before you accidentally cement a pad to the inside of your freezer. They’re the perfect ice pack because they’re so flexible. The tutorial comes from someone dealing with light bladder leakage, but honestly, who doesn’t need an ice pack every now and then? So good!
2) If you have sweaty feet, menstrual pads are going to save your shoes and your feet.
There are two ways to do this. One: wear a pad inside your shoe to absorb your sweat by slicking on some deodorant to the soles of your feet and sticking a pad to the insides of your shoes. Or, two, use them as a deodorizer – drop a pad in your shoe when you take it off. The pad will absorb your sweat and if it’s scented, will probably leave behind a fresh smell instead of foot-stink.
3) You can also slip them in your heels to make the shoes more comfortable.
All heels could benefit from some more cushioning. This hot tip, though, comes from The Today Show’s Hoda Kotep. She puts a pantyliner inside her heels for added support and cushioning. According to Pinterest, it’s a very popular way to stay in your heels longer. Who knew?
4) They’re good oil and sweat blotters for your face.
I heard about race car drivers using them inside their helmets to mop up sweat. While I don’t think most of us recreationally pretend we’re in Vin Diesel movies, we all definitely sweat. If you run out of blotters, just reach in your purse for a pad, they work just as good, if not better.
5) You can use it to grow sprouts in your kitchen.
Beans, alfalfa, whatever. You can DIY a terrarium of edible plants in a mason jar in your own kitchen for fresh ingredients whenever you want. To be honest, it also just looks cool, so for whatever you need, know that menstrual pads are low key great at germinating small plants.
6) You can use them to clean basically everything.
They’re more or less indestructible and super absorbent. Spray on whatever cleaning solution you need and get scrubbing. They’re disposable, so you don’t have to worry about washing them for reuse like cloths or sponges and they can get into super tight spots.
7) Then there’s always the tried and true armpit sweat absorber hack.
If you’re new to this alternative use for pads, let me clue you in. Take a pantyliner (aka super thin pad, you don’t want to use a maxi for this situation) and stick it on the armpit area of your clothes to absorb your pit sweat throughout the day. Cotton tops will dry, but if you’re wearing something like silk or a light colored top that you know the sweat will show and stick around for a while, pantyliners are definitely the way to go.
8) Cut up a pad and use it to stop your underwire from poking you in the boob.
Yeeeeees. We’ve all been surprise poked and chaffed when we least expected or ever wanted to. Bras are super expensive, so tossing an old one and grabbing a replacement is often easier said than done. In the meantime, use this hack to really stretch your bra for all it’s worth. Also, if you’re out and you can’t fix your underwire situation immediately, this tip will save your life… and by that, I mean just make you hate your bra less until you can get home and take it off.
9) Pads are also great boob-sweat absorbers.
We all hate boob sweat. If they work for your underarms, they sure as hell should work in your bra. Also, you don’t have to worry about them slipping out of your sleeve. It’s all self contained and will still keep you sweat free.
10) You should definitely save some of those cut pieces and use them for under eye gel masks.
The DIY eye-mask serums we all see on the internet are great, but how do you put them on your face? That’s where pads come in. If you already sliced one up for your underwire situation, but still have some leftover – don’t toss them out! Instead, soak them in your DIY eye serum of choice and use them as gel masks.
11) Use them as makeup sponges when you run out.
When you think about it, all pads really are is sanitary cotton. So, when you run out of makeup sponges, use a pad. They’re larger than sponges, so instead of using three wedges, you can just use one pad and be done with it. Problem solved!
12) If you love spinning or ride your bike a lot, stick some on your bike seat for extra padding.
The worst thing about any spin class is how sore it makes your vagina and pubic bone. If you just need some extra padding, according to this bike forum, you should just stick a maxi pad on to the seat for some added support and cushioning.
13) Wrap it around your hand for a perfect disposable tanning mitt.
If you’re into self tanning and you aren’t in to washing your tanning mitt afterwards, pads are the disposable go-to you’ve been looking for. They’ll blend in your tanner evenly and still leave you with a perfect finish.
14) When gauze just won’t cut it, you can wrap a wound in a menstrual pad.
Clean the area first, then wrap a pad around it and secure with tape. First Aid kits aren’t always readily available and sometimes you get into a situation where you have a deep cut or a big burn and need some kind of bandage. Thankfully, pads are sterile and are perfectly fine (okay, they’re amazing) for dressing a wound.
Have you tried any of these pad hacks? Which ones are you going to try? Do you have some of your own that we’re missing? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.