First thing’s first: don’t stress out! Leaks happen, especially as you’re getting to know your body and ~flow~. Ask anyone with a period and they’ll tell you a story about how they stained a pair of jeans, their brand new sheets, or someone else’s couch. Believe it or not, even adults leak from time to time, so don’t feel bad *at all* if you don’t have it all figured out yet.
How to Treat or Hide a Stain
A period stain is *nothing* to be ashamed of, but if it makes you feel uncomfortable there are simple tricks to treat it or hide it. And don’t be afraid to ask a trusted adult—the school nurse, your grandma, your friend’s mom—for a hand if you need it. They’ve *definitely* been there, and they’ll be happy to help you out however they can.
If you’re at home or a friend’s house and you notice a leak on your clothes, rinse the stain in cold water, treat it with stain remover according to the packaging’s directions (sometimes rubbing the stain can help!), then throw the clothes in the wash like you would normally. Grab other clothes—may I recommend your coziest sweatpants?—and chill out while the washing machine does it’s thing. You can always ask an adult if you need help finding cleaning supplies or working the washing machine.
And what about if you stain your bed sheets? No problemo. When you realize what has happened, just strip your bed, and follow the same instructions: rinse, treat, and toss in the washing machine. Watch this video with our friend, Arielle, where she talks about her nighttime period experiences and how she cleans up after a leak or two. (And she has all-white sheets so she knows what she’s talking about!)
If you don’t have stain remover, don’t worry—there are actually a lot of natural or household items that can help get rid of period stains, too. You can mix a paste of either aspirin or baking soda and water, and leave it on the stain as a treatment for a half-hour or more before washing it like you would normally. Salt—or if you wear contacts, your saline solution—can be rubbed on stains with a little bit of water to loosen stains. If you’re trying to get a stain out of lighter-colored clothes, lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide can do the same thing. And if you’re really in a tough spot, your spit—yep, your saliva—can be a great on-the-go treatment. A little gross, but it works!
What Happens If I Leak?
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If you’re at school, practice, or somewhere else public, there are a few things you can try for a quick fix: tie a sweater around your waist, ask a friend for extra clothes, or call your mom or an adult you trust to bring you something else to wear. School nurses will often have extra clothes in their office for this exact situation, so don’t be afraid to ask them if you need it.
Preventing Future Leaks & Stains
The best way to help prevent period stains is to use products that give you the protection you need (hi, have you met THINX (BTWN)? 😉) and to change them regularly. It’s also a good idea to keep an extra pair of pants and undies, and whatever other products you might use, in your locker or gym bag (that’s what we do!), just in case this happens.