15 Really Unexpected Uses For Tampons & Sanitary Towels

15 Really Unexpected Uses For Tampons & Sanitary Towels

I didn't expect to be researching uses for tampons and sanitary towels today, but as a dedicated Expert Home Tips writer, you can be sure you'll get your money's worth. In case you were wondering what else you can do with female products, check out the list below.

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1. Aromatherapy inhaler

Aromatherapy inhaler
What a lovely present!

Check out this creative use for a plastic tampon applicator - an aromatherapy inhaler! It would make a fun (and certainly memorable) gift for a friend. Follow the instructions at ourpeacefulplanet.com and make your own.

2. Stop nosebleeds with a tampon

You may have seen this nifty trick on television or in a film. Suffering from a nosebleed? Soak up blood from your nose quickly using a tampon. The incredibly absorbent cotton makes it perfect for stopping nose bleeds.

3. Mop up sweat

Here's an interesting tip. Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg wears a woman's sanitary towel inside his crash helmet which ensures that his eyes aren't affected when he starts to perspire. If you need to deal with unwanted sweat when wearing a helmet then reach for a sanitary towel.

4. Make an ornament for Christmas

Blimey, this is a crafty unexpected way to use a tampon. Make an Angel Christmas ornament to hang on your tree by following the directions at favecrafts.com. This is certainly a unique decoration for your tree and a great talking point at Christmas parties!

5. As a bandage

If you've cut yourself and there are no bandages to hand, then grab a sanitary towel and pull it apart. They're the perfect thing you need to help to absorb blood quickly.

6. Clean up spillages

Pull the string and use your tampon to clean up a spillage. This is perfect if you've spilt something in the car and you've forgotten to pack some tissues.

7. Start a fire

Fire starter
What a great fire starter!

Enjoy this survival tip! Pull apart a tampon an use it as fire tinder. Now if you're lost in the woods in desperate need of warmth, you'll know what to do.

8. As toe separators

Use multiple tampons as toe separators while you paint your toenails in a lovely colour. Now all you have to do is stay patient and wait for them to dry.

9. Make a survival straw

If you're lost in the woods (again),you can use the tampon as a survival straw. Take apart the applicator and remove the cotton, stuffing it into the larger section. With this, you can drink from puddles without sucking up any sediment.

10. Slippers

Here's an interesting idea... make your very own sanitary towel slippers. This is a very creative way to use them, so why not give it a try?

11. Drafty caravan

Shelly Bailey suggested this tip in a magazine - if you're staying in a caravan and feeling the cold, place your sanitary towels around draft windows, doors and unnecessary vents to keep it draft free and dry.

12. Make heel pads out of sanitary towels

Off on a big night out? Later, when your feet are in pain, whip out some sanitary towels and place them in your shoes. Comfort! They'll even soak up any sweat from all that dancing.

13. Remove nail polish

Nail polish
Don't panic, we can get it off!

Run out of cotton pads? Pull apart a tampon and use it with nail polish remover to... remove nail polish!

14. Detect sewage pollution

This is an interesting use for tampons - a team at the University of Sheffield found that tampons can help to identify sewage pollution in our rivers. Visit sheffield.ac.uk for more information on this.

15. Curl your hair

Who knew!

Who knew? You can curl your hair with tampons, or curl your hair with sanitary towels! Check out these intriguing videos from GlitterForever17 to find out how to do it.

Who knew there were so many uses? We'd love to know what you think of them!

Colleen B


Lifelong biscuit addict. Obsessed with recipes, cooking & eating. Slightly lazier than the average bear, so likes writing about life hacks & discovering the quickest / easiest way to do things.

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  1. Author Melanie Pickering on August 12, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I get some of the emergency medical uses etc but as for the others, who can afford to waste expensive feminine products on making decorations/slippers etc? (and frankly, who would want to?)

    1. Author Colleen B on August 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Hi Melanie, just to let you know we don't mean to offend anyone with the post - just a bit of lighthearted fun from us! :)

    2. Author J on October 18, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      I happened upon this article because I purchased Cora pads and tampons which aren’t reliable as sanitary napkins and they won’t take them back. I have to do something with them so ...

  2. Author June Tagg on August 12, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    I think it is a silly idea 1/They are not cheap 2/ It is bad enough having to have to have to use them monthly, never mind make things of them 3/ People would see and know what they are. To use them for a medical reason is acceptable but not for slippers, Christmas tree decorations ect, ect.

    1. Author Colleen B on August 16, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Hi June, the post was not to offend anyone and we hope people can take it with a pinch of salt. :)

  3. Author Jen on August 12, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    The best thing we girls can do with disposable tampons and pads are give them a complete body swerve! I would encourage anyone to look into reusable pads - no plastics, super-absorbent chemicals, pesticides, perfumes, or bleach (they don't start life white!) to mess up your cycle, skin and your system. Perhaps Nico Rosberg can get a nice cloth pad for his bonce - he can get one with racing car print on. Goodness knows they come in every other pattern!

    1. Author Colleen B on August 31, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Good point Jen and thank you for your comment!

  4. Author Katie Fairclough on August 12, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Can't remember where the original wick went but I exchanged it for a tampon I found . Used in a old air freshner bottle the one with a plastic top (cone shaped) that has vents in wavy lines and you adjust by turning screw thread wise if yo understand me. These days I fill the bottom bottle section with dilute Zoflora. Doesn't make much of a difference its just a thought that it might LOL.

    1. Author Colleen B on August 31, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks for your interesting use Katie!

  5. Author Denise Lester on August 12, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    I don't think I will be using these tips

    1. Author Denise Lester on August 12, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      Regarding the tampons I meant it does not appeal to me

    2. Author Colleen B on August 31, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      They're certainly not for everyone Denise! :)

  6. Author Magdg on August 13, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Fantastic ideas

    1. Author Colleen B on August 16, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Thanks Magdg!

  7. Author Rachel on August 25, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Made me laugh , thanks ! My cat emptied my handbag the other day , found her playing with a tampax ! So you can add cat toy to the list !

    1. Author Colleen B on August 25, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Ha ha - great tip Rachel, thanks very much! :)

    2. Author karenc on August 25, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      mine do this too - can be embarrassing if you have company!!!!

  8. Author Claire on August 27, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I'm not offended, just a bit of light hearted fun. I find these hilarious!! But I have to say thag some people really do have far too much time on their hands. My Brother when he was younger found my tampons and used them as bombs for his toys. I also recall my Mom saying I used her towels as knee pads hahaha xx

    1. Author Colleen B on August 31, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      Ha - as toys and knee pads - now there are some interesting uses! Thanks for your comment Claire.

  9. Author Ruben on October 14, 2018 at 2:27 am

    I once painted my mailbox with tampons. Thanks for the suggestions! The Christmas ornament one is really funny

    1. Author Joanne A on October 15, 2018 at 10:34 am

      That sounds really interesting, Ruben!

  10. Author AK on November 10, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I use tampons to clean the cracks and vents on the dashboard of my vehicles. I leave a stash in the center compartment. My husband took my car to the GM dealership and the Service Writer found my stash. He asked my husband what was up and he said they were for cleaning out the crevices in the steering wheel, and dashboard.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 12, 2018 at 9:52 am

      Hi AK! What a great story. If it works then why change it? haha!

  11. Author Elena on February 2, 2019 at 4:35 am

    I am nearly 60, don’t need them anymore and have a boxful. Can’t donate them to Goodwill and don’t know anyone to pass them onto. So these other uses are good to know. Didn’t want to just throw unused into the trash. Thanks.

    1. Author Joanne A on February 4, 2019 at 9:15 am

      You're welcome, Elena! You might also have some luck donating to a local homeless shelter. They're always in need of sanitary products and some will accept open boxes as long as the contents are sealed.

    2. Author Velma on April 15, 2020 at 7:20 pm

      I think these are great ideas! I am 62 and found a box of tampons and misc. pads after I moved where I am now. (It's been 4 years) I hung on to them at first for when my daughter in law and granddaughter came to visit. But now they are 10 years old and don't feel right donating to the only women's shelter we have here. I like both the practical and decorative ideas. (And I do live right next to the woods, haha :)

    3. Author Joanne A on April 20, 2020 at 4:58 pm

      Glad to hear it, Velma!

  12. Author Anita Gautam on June 21, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Amazing really

    1. Author Joanne A on July 1, 2019 at 10:45 am

      Thanks for the feedback, Anita!

  13. Author Cass on July 19, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    I know a few people who would find great humor in receiving a tampon ornament with sanitary pad slippers! Love it- people need to laugh more...not everything needs to be practice!

    1. Author Joanne A on July 22, 2019 at 11:42 am

      Exactly, Cass - it's all in good humour!

  14. Author Lucy Ambrose on June 30, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    After my hysterectomy, I had a carrier bag full of products, and took them into work, left them in the ladies with a note asking them to help themselves. I received many smiles and thank yous. They are way too expensive to be used any other way than their intended purpose.

    1. Author Joanne A on July 1, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      That's so kind of you! What a great idea.

  15. Author Andrea David on August 5, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    I dont think people buy tampons for other uses than it intended, but like me have left over and want to know what can they do with it. I was given applicator ones I hate them and they cant be used without it so I was looking for ideas, thanks.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 19, 2023 at 4:34 pm

      We're glad we can help!

  16. Author Carli on August 28, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Years ago my mum friend noticed her sanitary towels going missing. Having no daughters, one day she tentatively asked her teenage son if he knew what had happened. He had been customising clothes and was using them as shoulder pads! Now he’s an artist in New York.

    1. Author Joanne A on October 13, 2022 at 2:23 pm

      Wow, what a story!


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