First of all I would like to say that all the information that will be presented to you in this post is from my personal experience unless said otherwise. Another disclaimer: this is not meant to push you or persuade you to switch to cloth, but just to recommend them, and present you with the needed information to make your own decision on them.
Why I turned to cotton..
I think that cloth pads are a great alternative to store bought pads for many reason, including the waste decrease and the chemical decrease for your body. The reason that I originally began exploring the use of cotton pads was because I was getting chemical burns for the pads that I was using. (Always Brand)
How I Clean Them
It is very important to soak the cloth pads the night after using them, even if you do not clean them right away. This is very important because it keeps them from becoming smelly and help to wash all the yucky out when you are ready to wash. I soak mine for 20+ minutes in warm water with a touch of laundry soap. I then clean my cloth pads in their own load of the washer on gentle. I do not put them in a laundry bag or a pillow case and I have not had any trouble yet but I recommend that you use one of them because I am bound to have trouble eventually. I dry them in the dryer as usual.
How I Keep them In My Purse
Obviously cloth pads do not come in small baggies (Earth thanks you) or in convenient little plastic packages (really She’s thankful) What I have done to carry my pads, soiled and cleaned, in a discreet manner, is very easy and you probably have the needed items at home.
You will need:
Medium sized makeup pouch (that fits in your purse)
wet and dry bag (a plastic like covered zip up pouch)
Ultimately I keep all of the clean pads in the make up pouch, and also have the wet and dry bag inside the make up pouch. The wet and dry bag does not have to be in the make up pouch but I prefer to keep it inside the make up pouch for added protection. (I babysit) When the pad is soiled it is very easy to neatly (without touching any yuck) Fold it up to be put away.
You fold the length into the wings and snap the wings around the folded up bundle to hold it together. PICTURE You can then take the bundle and place it into the wet and dry bag. When the wet and dry pouch is zipped no moisture or wetness can escape the bag. No scent is released from the pouch either.