Gone are the days when you would just simply toss out your tampons or sanitary pads every four to six hours a day and replace it with new ones. With a menstrual cup, you only need to empty your cup, clean and sanitize it, then use it again.
Now if you are reading this, then you are most likely an amateur or is a woman who just started and has purchased your first cup. You might be wondering as to how can you make your cup last long just as what most menstrual cup brands claim and make it clean and sanitary to protect your womanhood’s hygiene.
Well, now that you’re here there’s no need to worry! Through this article, you will know the ways or do’s and don’t in cleaning and caring for your menstrual cup so that you’ll be able to make use of its lifetime entirely.
Your First Use
So, you’ve already purchased your first cup, and it’s about time that you should use it. Thus, here’s the first thing that you should do: clean it. It is highly recommended that you wash it with water and a menstrual cup cleanser to make it entirely safe for use.
After cleaning your menstrual cup, wash your hands before doing the process of inserting the cup into your vagina to avoid any exposure to harmful bacteria due to unsanitary methods.
During Cycle Cleaning
May it be days or an almost a week-long cycle, it is essential that you would clean it every after emptying your cup. With this said, as mentioned above, wash it clean with a menstrual cup cleanser if you have one, or you could always clean it with water with the use of water-based, oil-free soap.
However, it is essential to take note that soaps contain natural oils that can de-nature your menstrual cup’s medical silicone and soften it lightly, which can lead to faster deterioration of your cup.
Here’s a helpful hint for you in washing your cup, rinse it in cold water then follow it with warm water to prevent discoloration since warm water can cause some discoloration. Also, if you’re cleaning your cup in public restroom, then simply empty out the contents and wipe it clean with menstrual cup wipes or some wet toilet paper or paper towels.
Lastly, make sure that you’ve cleaned all the holes and rim of your cup thoroughly by stretching your cup carefully to wash these areas with running water, then use a soft toothbrush if needed.
End of the Cycle Cleaning
It is highly recommended that you sterilize your menstrual cup before and after your monthly blood discharge cycle. What you need to do is to simply rinse as usual then boil it for 2-10 minutes with the use of a pot of water.
Take note that when you are boiling your menstrual cup, it is important to ensure that it does not sink to the bottom where it could melt when it comes into contact with the pot’s bottom. Thus, to prevent it from happening, use a wire whisk as a way to avoid the contact.
After boiling, allow it to air dry, or you could also try drying it out in the sun, but not the point that it could melt! Other options of boiling or steaming your menstrual cup that can be more convenient are to use some menstrual cup sterilizers or microwave sterilization bags. These devices were built to be used for cleaning the cup under 5 minutes.
Now after all of these cleaning and sterilizing, storing should be your last step wherein a carry pouch is a must-have to store your menstrual cup properly. Take note that it is not recommended that you store your cup in an airtight container or even plastic bags since it is essential that air can circulate around the cup which allows the moisture to evaporate effectively.
What NOT to Use for Cleaning
The following written below are the things that you should not clean your menstrual cup with since it may jeopardize the cup itself or your reproductive health. Here are the following included products:
- Fragranced/ scented, anti-bacterial soap
- Oil based soap
- Tea tree oil
- Rubbing alcohol
- Hand sanitizer
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Other harmful chemicals
Cleaning and caring for your cup will not only help you save money and fully use your menstrual cup’s lifespan, but it will also help you out not to have any health complications that it may bring when you do not care nor clean the cup properly. Which is why the guidelines written above should be of help to your menstrual cup cleaning and caring.