Fun with Feminine Hygiene! GladRags


The monthly crimson tide has finally ebbed. A few days later, it’s time to empty the waste basket. The bathroom waste basket. Now, I am not ashamed of being a woman or my body or whatever, but let’s face it: garbage is disgusting. And if you happen to encounter your used tampons and/or maxi pads in the garbage it’s just not…. how shall I say… aesthetically pleasing.

My first, fleeting thought is: “Ewww.” They second, more lasting thought is, “At least I’m doing my part to add to the county landfill!” It gets depressing. And so like many women, I decided to try to find a way to use non-disposable “feminine hygiene” methods.

And like a handful of women, I was pretty lazy about it. Note my wording. I “decided to
try.” I didn’t actually try, yet. But I thought about it, and felt appropriately guilty, right? But disposables are easier. And the easiest way to stop feeling guilty is to simply get someone else to take out the trash. (Why not pull a Tom Sawyer and try to make it look fun, and recruit people that way?)

You figure — hey, not only do I recycle. That’s a given. I also compost. I bring my own bags to the grocery store, I drive a Prius. I do use aerosol hair spray, but that’s only because the pump kind sucks so very much. Don’t those things help cancel out some monthly trash?

And that brings me to Good Earth Natural Foods, of Fairfax, California. (
Good Earth

On my way to the checkout counter at Good Earth, I happened by the “Feminine Hygiene” section of the store. That might not be what they called it. Perhaps they referred to as “Personal Care.” Or, more likely, “Goddess Needs.”

This means my purchase of GladRags was essentially an impulse buy.

Well-played, Good Earth.

I also bought the Diva Cup. I was especially looking forward to giving that product a test drive. Well, not looking forward to it, exactly. But I was definitely looking forward to not having to use tampons anymore, and I was hoping I had found a solution with the Diva Cup. I shall discuss that product, however, in a different post.

The GladRag. At first I had a bit of sticker shock at the price. The little box, which was essentially one maxi pad, was $15. It seemed steep, until I realized that I could easily spend $15 on a few boxes of disposable maxi pads, and hopefully this thing would last me a lot longer: with the added perk, of course, of not becoming landfill fodder anytime soon.


1) One GladRag will hopefully replace hundreds of disposable maxi pads.
2) Made of soft, comfortable organic cotton.
3) Fastens securely to underwear.
4) Comes with extra inserts to accommodate a heavy period.
5) You get to channel your inner hippie. You’re one with the earth, or whatever.

Neutral (aka stuff that seems negative but then you realize it isn’t):

1) Price: around $15, as of November 2013. Theoretically will save money because of reusability.
2) You are supposed to wash it first. Duh, right? But usually I buy maxi pads with the intention of wearing one as soon as I get home. So unless you have a second set which is pre-washed, you’ll need to wait.
3) Slight staining may still exist, even after washing. Again, duh. Blood is a stain, right?

Note: I decided to go ahead and wear my second set without washing it. This was not a problem. Importantly, the reason I chose not to wait was because I needed to wash the first set. And I liked the GladRags so much, I was unwilling to go back to disposables while I waited!


1) Slightly bulky
2) A bit inconvenient when you’re “on the go,” and would need to have been carrying a whole other pad with you. However, many of us have big ass purses that would accomodate such a thing.

Overall Grade: A

Below: This is the insert. One standard package comes with two of these.

Below: Put the insert inside the cover, which snaps around your underwear. I’m bad at this sort of thing, but even I figured it out how to do this pretty quickly.

Below: This is what it will look like when it’s good to go, right before you snap it into your underwear.

Although at first I thought, based on the name “GladRags,” that this was some sort of ill-advised retro product, along with lines of the “Kotex Classic” Saturday Night Live skit, I was wrong.

I like it so much, I would buy it as a Christmas present for all of my girlfriends, if that wouldn’t be a sort of creepy thing to do.