Cheap Tampons

I have often been outraged at the amount of money required to manage my menses every month! So I have been using rolled up baby socks for over a year and have not had any leakage, no infections, average amount of mess (like when applicatorless tampons are used) and have been very happy with the result. I am a college student and when I need to change one during the day and I am away from home I just put it in a leakproof plastic baggie, take home and wash. I soak them in 2 tablespoons of bleach to 1 pint water and wash when my cycle is over. I wash in hot water, regular detergent and bleach. I do not have a dryer so I line dry everything. To prevent embarassment I soak the socks in a non see thru bucket with a lid in the bathroom. To begin with I bought 6 dozen socks for newborns and have not worn out one yet. And I bought them used. Hope this saves someone money.

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  1. Interesting idea! I have been using the Instead cup for years and it has saved me a ton of money. I bought a box of 12 for $12 over 2 years ago and only just now need to buy a new box. I just wash them and bleach them instead of throwing them out like they recommend.

  2. Really? Your kidding, right? There are a few inventions, like the pill and tampons, that I’ll be willing to spend money on even if its the last dime I have. Seriously, I can’t imagine being at a lunch meeting with a business prospect and my purse accidentally spills, showing my used bloody baby sock. Horror! Maybe you could cut expenses elsewhere and save up for tampons?

  3. Michelle, she may not need to ‘cut expenses and save’ for tampons. Maybe she simply doesn’t spend the money because she doesn’t want to and it works for her. Besides, tampons, pads and disposable diapers are the second most disposed of items after cigarette butts. Cloth diapers are a reasonable, safe, economically and environmentally better alternative to disposable – why not do the same with menstrual products?
    I think it’s a valid idea and it’s great to share ideas like that.
    I personally don’t use tampons (or replacements) as I find they exacerbate my cramps; as a sufferer of endometriosis, this is important to me. I do, however, make my own pads and see this as comparable.

  4. I don’t think I’d be recommending to anyone to put anything bleached up there. Including any tampon with bleached cotton.

  5. I bought a diva cup a year ago for 35 dollars and love it! Just tip into toilet and wash with soap and boil at end of cycle it is more comfortable than any tampon I’ve ever used and no bleach required and no mess!

  6. I no longer have “periods” but out of curiosity looked up instead cup and diva cup online. Wish these would have been available to me, as they sound like a great alternative!

  7. A lot of women are doing this nowadays. It would not be for me, personally, but if it works for some, why not?

  8. I realize my idea is not for everyone. One could use vinegar instead of bleach, boil the socks and as for storage, put the plastic baggie in a, fx, makeup bag that you keep zipped, an interior compartment in your purse or perhaps spend more money and buy disposables to use outside of the home. As for the question of how I spend my money and the suggestion of rethinking my priorities, thank you for your suggestion but I would rather eat healthy food, buy used textbooks, buy school supplies at a dollar store and clothes at the Red Cross and still use my idea than eat cheap unheathy foods and buy tampons I will use once and flush. I am also a big believer in cloth diapers, cloth menstrual pads and using washclothes on a baby instead of baby wipes. I am the oldest of 9 children and none of my siblings suffered from problems from cloth diapers that were line dried, rubber pants and boiled washclothes on their bums. Some of my siblings were adopted and others were foster kids. Even the social workers thought it was great!

  9. Where do you find a diva cup? I’ve never heard of one.

  10. Research “the family cloth.” That’s where I’m headed next. Now, if I can just be open minded enough to replace Kleenex with cloth hankies! I’m having trouble with that idea even though I certainly have washed and hung to dry a boat load of cloth diapers. Thank you for bringing up this discussion, Christine. I want to support sound economic decisions which are good for the environment, as well.

  11. I also have a diva cup. Its a wonderful option. I can’t use pads because they give me a rash and tampons dry me out so its uncomfortable, the cup has been a god-send. There are several different types out there and they are well worth the money.

  12. To those who did not know the cotton used for most major brands of tampons and pads is also bleached.

  13. Susan Wilson says:


    • A diva cup (or moon cup, menstrual cup etc) is a type of cup that you can wear during your period. Rather than absorbing (like pads and tampons), they collect everything. They are reusable and last around 10 years.

  14. This maybe a very dumb question, but how would you put it in without an applicator? It just seems that it would be very uncomfortable to insert.

  15. My question isn’t getting it in, it’s getting it out. Do you use a string or something? I can’t use regular tampons I get severe migraines, but was thinking of this alternative as I have a 4 month old witha lot of socks that she is about to outgrow soon.

  16. I LOVE my Diva cup!!! I love it so much, I’ll say it again. I LOVE my Diva cup!!! I bought mine from

  17. I sell The Mooncups in South Africa and I haven’t worn anything else for nearly 8 years!

    Try it. You’ll save a fortune!

  18. Rose Ales says:

    I think your idea sounds AWESOME. This post doesn’t gross me out in the least. I’m totally gonna try this. I’ll probably get my baby socks from ebay…and I’ll definitely be using vinegar instead of bleach…but seriously, I absolutely love this idea. Can’t wait to try it, thanks for the post!

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