All posts by LilKaylie

Bathtub Air Drying Rack

DIY Laundry Drying Rack inspired by meandmydiy.com

Of all the things I am not… I’m not an excellent DIYer… yet! There are tons of thing I would love to make but I don’t have the skill or tools to do. I must say, although I have a lack of talent on some of this stuff, I have no problems asking for help!

I recently mentioned my own personal experience with using reusable menstrual pads. One of the things I found the most frustrating with that experience was air drying these pads before I go to wash them. I was putting them on the bottom of my bathroom tub, but the problem with this is that you have to hope that it’s actually drying out rather than just sitting in its own liquid. I saw this built-in laundry drying rack from me and my diy and I was inspired to make my own version.

My husband recommends doing a clothesline using suction cups and hanging them across with laundry pins but I was worried about the pads being too heavy when wet to keep them up. I thought that possibly they would fall down or that they would pull the makeshift clothesline down.

His alternate suggestion was to use nylon rope, which was something we already had laying around the house, and hang it from the showerhead to the far end of the curtain rod. While I could have done that, I was worried that if we had guests over randomly that it would be difficult to take the clothesline down last minute. Could you imagine giving someone a tour of your home and going Oops… I forgot that the shower curtain wasn’t closed. Or Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry I forgot that was up there… then having your guest ask what the heck that was for. Yeah, I’ll pass on that one if at all possible.

While I didn’t want to go that route myself I did think that the best idea, for me personally, is a DIY. In this case, I’ll have to get outside help, just because I don’t have the required tools.


Before you start, I recommend you check your tub to see if you have enough of a lip, like in the picture below, to actually hold this up. If you don’t then making this won’t do you much good unless you have somewhere else to put it. My guest shower/tub combo has the inner lip, but I was surprised to see at my dad’s house my brother’s old shower/tub combo has only 1/4 inch inner lip, which wouldn’t have been able to hold this up at all. The red in the picture is where the shower wall would have started.


So what am I going to do?

Well, first a trip to the hardware store is going to be necessary. I am going to get PVC pipe, but another option is to make a wood frame.

One – ¾ inch x 10 ft. of PVC pipe. Cost $1.57

Four – ¾ inch 90 degree elbow $2.40

Sales tax is $0.33 so the grand total would be $4.30.

Hubby and I talked it out and we decided that there are two different ways to do this. I started by measuring my tub from the inside corner to the outer edge and it is 28 inches.

My bathtub is 28″ from inside to the exterior lip.

With me having a 10 ft. of PVC pipe my options are to cut them each at two and a half feet (30 inches) each, making equal sides across the board, but then it would have hung over the outside lip of the tub and I wouldn’t have been able to close the shower curtain without it pushing out. The second option was to do two x 3 ft. (36 inches) sections and do two x 2 ft. (24 inches) sections and have it just short of the width of the tub. I’m going to go with the second option.

More options… really?? There are so many customization options… REALLY! You can get a mesh laundry bag that’s large enough to wrap around the top and some of the bottom. Alternatively, if your mesh bag is too small you could use any extra cloth laying around the house to sew an outer edge for the couple of inches it was lacking.

When you get the PVC Pipe frame created and your mesh bag, if necessary, cut the bag down to size then you’ll need to use a hot glue gun to glue the bag onto the frame. You need two people to do this job. We both held our own respective side and Hubby still had to use his other hand to hot glue it. It’s easier when you do one section at a time, then wait until it completely dries (we were watching TV so we did it in like thirty minute intervals) before moving onto the next strip. We did thin strips down the length and we did extra thick strips of glue at the corner to ensure it’d stick forever. We allowed it to dry for a day but it was overkill it could have been used ten minutes after we glued it together.


You are now ready to use your DIY Drying rack! You don’t have to use it for the same things that I am, obviously. You can use them to air dry a variety of different things including clothing or medical supplies. I was recently diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, people that snore tend to have it especially those who are heavy set or obese. My CPAP supplies are supposed to be washed daily, but having to dry them out is a pain, or was… Not anymore!


When we tally up the cost of my DIY Drying Rack

PVC Pipe                                                   $4.30
White Mesh Laundry Bag               $1.02
$5.32 Total Cost


Afterthoughts:

  • If you’re worried about storage or moving this creation around the house then get some fabric and sew the mesh bag onto fabric and make a circle around the PCV piping. That way you can take it apart and easily store it in a closet or cabinet.
  • If you’re not worried about storage and intend on keeping it like this forever, then take the time to hot glue the elbows onto the piping to prevent it from coming apart in the future. Dad did this part so I’m not sure what type of glue he used…
  • If you’re using this for reusable cloth pads like me, you may want to consider getting a black mesh bag. After washing your pads out in cold water, unless you get every last drop of blood out, you’ll have brown stains on the mesh. You COULD pretreat it with a pre-treatment like a Fels Naptha bar and try to rinse it out but it’s more work than I’m willing to do.

About Kayla

Age: PitaPata Dog tickers
Gender: Female
Breed: Sheepdog x Poodle = Sheepadoodle
Weight: 52 lbs

Embrace Pet Insurance
This is a non-affiliate link, but without Embrace, there was no way we could possibly have afforded to keep her with her medical issues. In the first year of ownership alone we paid about $3,000 out in medical bills because of eight ear infections and other miscellaneous illnesses. Luckily Embrace picked up a majority of it because after our $500 deductible we had copays of 20%. So as a guesstimate we paid about $1,000 not including the cost of insurance.

I’m a lucky mama to have our little furbaby. Although I wanted to adopt a dog, knowing how many are in need of loving forever homes, we were, unfortunately, unable to adopt. Animals are the one thing I’m not allergic to, on the other hand, they are the one thing my husband is allergic to; so we ended up with a designer dog. We tried looking into Labradoodles, or was Jake a Goldendoodle? The loving kisses from the puppy caused Hubby to break out in hives. As a child my husband had a sheepdog, so we knew with their hair texture he would survive my need to have a dog, and that’s where the sheepadoodle came in.

Kayla’s been home with us since September 2014, we adopted her at four months old. She was all of sixteen pounds. I’d looked into the breeder online before making the purchase, we were able to get her at a great price but it’s because most people want tiny puppies whereas we took her in at four months. Even after what I thought was careful research, we aren’t sure if Kayla was a result of backyard breeding, or if she failed the genetic lottery.

My poor baby has very severe allergies to (Trees, Grasses, Weeds, Epithelia & Fibers) Cedar, Mulberry, Bluegrass (AKA: Junegrass), Ash Mix, Hazelnut Pollen, Mesquite, Privet/Olive Mix, Black Walnut, Goldenrod, Lambsquarters, Pigweed. As well as (Molds, Mites & Insects) Grain mites, yeast, dust mites, fleas, fusarium, Pullularia pullulans, rhizopus nigricans, CATS, House Dust Mites.

The hardest of her allergies to manage are Fleas, Cats, and yeast. She had eight ear infections in the first year of ownership alone, as I mentioned before, but thank goodness for pet health insurance. By the way, if you are looking for insurance for your pet I personally recommend Embrace, which I have a link at the top of the page.

Kayla spends her days sleeping on the bed in the guest room, she’s commandeered it and decided it’s her own. If she’s not in there she’s probably chilling in my office with me, debating if she wants to get up to nudge my arm to tell me it’s time for attention.


She will happily make time to stop and smell the roses or visit with her next best friend that comes into her life. We love trips to the vet because all our friends are there and ready to pet and share a treat or two.

Of course, when it’s time to come back home, it’s time to go back to demolishing her stuffies. Thank goodness for needle and thread, without them I’d have no idea how to keep up with her demanding need to get at the creamy filling (the stuffing) in those toys.

Kayla makes friends with everyone that comes over, begging for attention. She falls in love with everyone: Benito from Weedex who cares for our lawn, the men that have come over to spray for bugs, as well as contractors. 

In the rare event they don’t dote on her as she sees fit, or the person that doesn’t like dogs, I section off enough room for her to stalk them from afar.

 

Reusable Menstrual Pads

EcoHearted Cloth Reuseable Menstral Cloths
EcoHearted Cloth Reuseable Menstral Cloths

You read the topic so I’m assuming you are comfortable with the topic of conversation. If you are not, please consider roaming over the site to find another topic that may interest you.

This is a LONG post. I wanted to let you know up front because I had lots of questions and had no idea who to turn to for answers. I am hoping that I can answer anything you have before you have a chance to ask it.


I have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOS for short. I have inconsistent periods but they are extremely heavy and painful when I have them. My cycle can go as little as 7 days but on average it is 10-14 days. I’ve gone up to 9 months without a cycle, but I wasn’t pregnant. Typically if I don’t have a cycle every other month my GYN will give me a prescription that starts it for me to avoid extreme and debilitating pain.

I heard about Toxic Shock Syndrome at age twelve and since then I’ve been too worried to wear tampons. With that being said I’ve always worn pads up until about 2 years ago. I’ve alternated between both a Diva Cup (Aff Link) which is a menstrual cup and the store bought Always pads. Once I found cloth pads I stopped using the Diva Cup entirely.


How did I find out about cloth pads?

About 8 months ago I read online about reusable pads, and I was interested right away. Now I know what you may be thinking Ewwwww! Well, ladies, the cycle is part of being a woman so I just got over the grossness of menstrual blood. We all have mishaps where blood may get onto your best lace panties and have to clean up that mess, cleaning a menstrual pad isn’t that much difference, there’s just more blood.

Where did I purchase mine?

I found myself on Etsy and I really liked a store called EcoHearted. The seller’s name is Kristi and she has a plethora of different pads available. I would like to think I’m an eco-friendly type lady and I loved the idea of spending less over my lifetime on pads, so I bought a Set of 7 x 10″ heavy absorbency pads and awaited my next cycle.

How much did it cost?

Now, of course, I had no idea what I was doing, so I was certain that a set of 10″ heavy absorbency cloths would do… well they did the job but I should have purchased the 12″. I didn’t think to measure the length of my disposable overnight pads. The pads absorbed very well, but the problem is I will leak from the front or back, so a longer pad would have been ideal.

My next two purchases were for the Set of 7 x 12″ heavy absorbency pads. So far I’ve spent about $180 in cloth pads. Now you may be shaking your head wondering what the heck I just did so let me explain…

Ok, here’s your chance, break down the math for me…

If I have heavy cycles for 14 days on average, swapping three to four pads a day, then that’s 56 pads per cycle. My local grocery store is currently selling Always Ultra Thin Overnight in 38 count for $7.50. So let’s say $7.50 per bag and divide that by 38 that makes the pads about 20 cents each multiplied by the 56 I need is $11.20. Assuming I have six cycles per year, and that they stay consistent with the info I provided before, I’m spending $67.20 per year anyway.  I would have spent the same amount in disposable cloths over the course of two and three-quarters of a year.

Because I purchased reusable pads:
1) The pads aren’t ending up in a landfill so the eco-conscious part of me is happy.
2) I can wash and reuse these for about five years (is the general consensus online) saving me about $156 unless I can squeeze more time out of them.
3) I’m helping a woman in the United States earn a living working from home with her children. (See the EcoHearted bio.)
4) I know there are no chemicals touching my body other than the laundry detergent that I use to wash these before the first use and after each cycle.
5) Dry chaffing is no longer an issue, EVER. That alone is worth it, in my opinion. When your pad is dry in some areas and it chafes against your delicate skin down there is ouch, ouch, and more ouch.
6) No more offensive odors. I found that when wearing these heavy absorbency pads I don’t smell, with my super sniffer, any blood or feminine odors trapped in the pad.

So how often should I change my pad?

This is going to vary based on your personal needs. With these 12″ heavy absorbency pads I change them twice a day. I have better coverage than before with disposable pads, and no offensive odors or leaks.

So what about traveling with them, what if I have to replace one when I’m not home?

When I leave the house I will take two separate quart size freezer Ziploc bags with me, one houses a clean 10″ and 12″ extra pad. The other for pads that needed to be replaced on the go.

Can’t I use a wet bag?

Sure, if you have one. I personally don’t have any, plus I’m not sure if the color would seep through the bag, so I just stick with what I know will work.

Wait you got 10″ pads, if you use the 12″ normally then when do you use those?

I use these for the days that I’m spotting. I have zero issues with chaffing when I use these and I find that to be a miracle in itself.

Is your family horrified by your reusable pads?

Hubby isn’t particularly fond of seeing the mess. He knows it happens but he just doesn’t want to see it. Since we have a household of two I just soak them in a bucket and put them in our spare bathroom’s tub then slide the curtain shut. Now he can stay in the dark.

When I told my parents about them, Mom thought I was insane. Dad, on the other hand, was like good for you, which made me laugh. My thought is that women in previous generations had to use similar products, why not me?

I’m thinking about doing this myself… how do you clean them?
img_5319
An old ice cream bucket with handle makes for easy transporting from sink to tub.

I prepare a bucket of cold water first. I’ll remove the dirty pad and replace it with a clean one. Once I’m finished I’ll put the dirty one in the bucket of water and squeeze out any blood I can get out of it right away. Next, I empty the bucket, leaving the pad inside, then refill with cold water again. At this point, if you have a pad that has a pattern on it, or if you worry about any staining, I’d recommend pulling it out of the water and using Fels Naptha soap on it just rubbing the soap on it gently as a pre-treatment to prevent staining. Next, I’ll move it to the tub to soak for a couple of hours. Once it’s finished soaking I will rinse it out til I can’t see any more color coming out then lay it on the bottom of my tub to dry. If you had a way to hang it up to drip dry that would be better, but I don’t have a way to do that.

Once I’ve used all my pads, with the exception of the last clean one I just put on, I’ll put them all in the washing machine on the delicate cycle with detergent only. DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER on your reusable pads. It will reduce the effectiveness of your pads. When the cycle is done I’ll put it in the dryer on delicate cycle as well. They may come out slightly damp if they do I’ll just let them finish air drying.

Wait, where can I find Fels Naptha?

In the laundry aisle of your local grocery store. My local store sold it for 99 cents.

Can the black ones you have stain?

I didn’t think so when I purchased them, but I was wrong. Yes, they can.

How do you store them when they are clean?
img_5318
My clean pads in their container.

Since I have three sets of pads I store them in a large 12.7 Quart Sterilite container. Now these may no longer be sold, I bought this like ten years ago, so buy what it is best for your needs. Before I had the third set I used a Rubbermaid container that was about the size of a medium sized shoebox.

What are the little white things in the bottom of the container?

Those are TreeHugger Cloth PadsLeaf Pad Boosters.  They are supposed to help ladies that have problems with unexpected gushes in their flow. While it is in the picture, I haven’t used them yet, which is why I didn’t discuss them. I’m a touched confused by them and although I already own them I’m not sure that I will use them after all.

Why didn’t you recommend Tree Hugger Cloth Pads?

I didn’t recommend them for a variety of reasons:
1) I prefer empowering a woman in the United States, this company is based out of Canada.
2) Because the company is based out of Canada they only ship twice a month, they drive across the border and do mass mailings on set days.
3) I prefer the shape of a typical disposable pad compared to the ones they have at Tree Hugger Cloth Pads.
4) They are significantly more expensive for the bamboo ones I prefer. EcoHearted sells a set of 7 for $63, THCP sells a set of 6 for $80. (Note: Both amounts were rounded up to the next dollar.)

Tell me the truth, would you really recommend it?

Yes, I would. If you are not afraid of handling menstrual blood. If you have the financial ability to afford the cost of the up-front investment. If you are going to stick with it, because who needs to spend $63 for a set they will only use once. If you own your own washer and dryer, I wouldn’t want to take it down to a shared machine myself but you could be braver than me.

Can you put all the links in one easy place?

EcoHearted – Facebook

Set of 7 x 10″ Bamboo Velour Heavy Absorbency Pads

Set of 7 x 12″ Bamboo Velour Heavy Absorbency Pads

Fragrance Free Products

WARNING: Fragrance-Free and Unscented are NOT the same. Don’t let the manufacturer trick you into thinking they are. Unscented products have chemicals that mask the odors, your skin might know the difference and still have an adverse reaction.


Beauty & Skin

Arm & Hammer: Ultramax Solid AntiPerspirant Deodorant, Unscented – While this says unscented in the title it actually specifies fragrance-free in the description. Hubby uses this one. (Amazon)

Avant Fragrance-free Hand Sanitizer (Amazon)

Aveeno: has several fragrance-free products. My favorite one is the Skin Relief Body Wash, it has colloidal oatmeal in it which is excellent for dry, itchy skin. Hubby and I use the Therapeutic Shave Gel. (Amazon)

Banana Boat: Protect & Hydrate Sunscreen – This is my go-to for sunscreen regardless of time of year. I apply this on my neck, decollete, and arms. (Amazon)

California BabyHas their own fragrance-free line called Super Sensitive. You don’t have to be a baby to use it, but this brand is very pricey! (Amazon)

CeraVe: Great fragrance-free options. I use the Hydrating and Foaming cleansers as well as the moisturizing cream. Higher price tags for this than Cetaphil but that was what my Dermatologist recommended while I was on Accutane. (Amazon)

Cetaphil: I’ve used these in the past but since I have so many CeraVe products right now I won’t repurchase til they are gone. Cetaphil is significantly more cost efficient! (Amazon)

Dermalogica: is another skincare line that is entirely ARTIFICIAL fragrance-free. You may find products that have smells, like precleanse, but they are all natural. My favorite product is the Daily Microfoliant. (Amazon)

Dove: Advanced Care Sensitive Antiperspirant – A great product I’ve used for I don’t know how long. (Amazon)

EltaMDUV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47 – My dermatologist recommended this because of my fragrance sensitivity and because my skin is super reactive and sensitive.

First Aid Beauty: is another skincare line that is entirely ARTIFICIAL fragrance-free. You may find products that have smells but they are all natural. (Amazon)

Gold Bond Ultimate: I loved this product when my eczema broke out all over both hands. It really helped the itch and helped heal the skin enough to repair as well. I won’t go another winter without this product. (Amazon)

Healthy HooHoo: This is excellent for maintaining your PH in your feminine area, but expect to part with $12+ per 4 oz. It’s a bit too pricey for me personally but if you battle issues with consistent yeast infections this may be the feminine cleanser for you. (Amazon)

O’Keffe’s Working Hands: My brother recommended this because it was fragrance-free and because as a nurse he’s constantly washing his hands. He was referred to this by a coworker and now this is Hubby’s Holy Grail hand lotion. He REFUSES to use anything else. (Amazon)

Paula’s Choiceproducts are entirely fragrance-free!

Simple Skincare: Another all fragrance-free skincare line. These are very affordable as they are drugstore items. I love their micellar water! (Amazon)


Heroine Gauntlets - Extra-long arm warmers | EitanyaDesigns
Heroine Gauntlets – Extra-long arm warmers | EitanyaDesigns

So this is about skin… Since I have contact dermatitis, remember I mentioned the rash I get when I come into contact with fragrance? Well, I purchased these awesome arm warmers, I got them from EitanyaDesigns on Etsy.


Household Products

all free clear — We’ve used the liquid laundry detergent and dryer sheets for over ten years. The liquid detergent is even sold in select Costco locations in bulk. Hubby prefers to use the smaller bottles because they have nicer drip slots, so we’ll pour out some of the large bottles into the smaller ones.

Better Life – I found this product by watching Shark Tank! Now this brand has fragrance-free products (they list it as unscented) but it also specifies on the nicer smelling ones it does specify the scents are all-natural. (Amazon)

Bounce – Free & Gentle Dryer Sheets (Amazon)

DownyFree & Gentle Fabric Softener. Again something we’ve used for more than ten years now.

Dr. BronnersBaby Mild Castile Soap (Amazon) You can use this as is or you can use it in my DIY Foaming Soap.

PUREayre – Another Shark Tank thing I found super interesting. This can help you deodorize your home “Without the hazards of chemical products and artificial fragrances.” They have a variety of different products for Home, Baby, Pets, Dogs, and Marine. (Amazon)

Seventh Generation – Has a huge list of different fragrance-free products including all-purpose cleaner, baby wipes, chlorine free bleach, diapers,  dish liquid, glass & surface cleaner, dishwasher gel & powder, fabric softener, laundry detergent, rinse aid, stain remover, and training pants. (Amazon)


Miscellaneous Products

Dog Shampoos & Conditioners

Earthbath – Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo Fragrance-Free
Shampoo (Amazon) and Conditioner (Amazon)

Tenda GroomHypoallergenic Dog Shampoo (1 Gal Amazon)


Wet OnesSensitive Skin (Amazon) You can get the packets for travel or you can be like me and just get a tub to take with you. It’s easy to take them in a small Ziploc bag, if for some reason they start to dry out you can easily add a touch of water to the bag or just get a spray bottle and voila it’s all fixed. Same thing if you accidentally leave the tub open, just add a bit of water to the container and it’ll hydrate itself.

System Jo – H2O Personal Lubricant (Amazon) and there is also their All-In-One Massage Glide (Amazon.) Their manufacturer website is very image intensive so it may take a minute to load, but they have great products that we love. We were actually referred to this line of products by a friend / couple who enjoy their products.

Moso Natural – This company offers air purifying bags that are rechargeable via the sun! Isn’t that neat? They have small ones you can put in shoes or I use the 200g ones I bought from (Amazon) in a set of four. I have two in our closed trash can, it does a good job but closed trash cans get smelly really fast. We also have them in our bathrooms and fridge. I love that when the product ‘expires’ after 2 years you can open it up and put it in a garden or just on your grass.


Grab Green Home – Has a full list of items that are fragrance free. I’ve never used the site before, but as I type this out I am browsing the site.


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