How to Dispose of Sanitary Pads at Home

If you are wondering how to dispose of your used sanitary pads, you are not alone. It is normal to have questions when you first start using menstrual products. The main goal of sanitary pad disposal is to get rid of them in a clean and discreet way. Sanitary pads can safely be disposed of at home in a few, quick steps.

A stack of sanitary pads. (Image: Laboko/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Fold your used sanitary pad in half to cover the menstrual blood, leaving only the adhesive side of the pad exposed.

Step 2

Wrap a few layers of toilet paper around the sanitary pad, which keeps the pad folded closed. If you prefer, you can place the wrapped sanitary pad inside a small plastic or paper bag, or inside the wrapper that belongs to your next sanitary pad.

Step 3

Discard the wrapped sanitary pad in a trash can that is out of reach of pets. Sometimes pets dig in the trash and pull out used sanitary pads, which can be embarrassing. Trash cans located inside cabinets, like under the bathroom sink, or ones with lids, are usually secure enough to keep pets out. If you have pets and do not have a secure trash can, discard the used sanitary pad in an outside trash bin.

Step 4

Wash your hands with soap and warm water.

Step 5

Empty indoor household trash cans that contain used sanitary pads every two days to prevent odor. Bacteria that grows on old sanitary pads can cause an unpleasant odor to develop after a few days.


Never try to flush sanitary pads in the toilet. Sanitary pads can clog plumbing and cause the toilet to overflow.

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