When I first wrote about how the menstrual cup changed my life, my post went pretty viral and I had a lot of women contacting me about it. That post was written exactly two years ago. It’s taken a while, but here is the post that is much required and it is on how to clean a menstrual cup.
I have seen queries around it in various forums and websites and let me tell you that as excited I may be about reducing the carbon footprint or not causing a landfill with the tampons and napkins, using a menstrual cup does come with certain challenges. To each and everything, there are pro’s and cons.
Here are my ways to tell you how to clean a menstrual cup. I have faced issues with cleanliness while I was travelling and more, but there are always workable solutions that can resolve the problem. Let’s get know these nifty hacks that you ought to know about your menstrual cup. Let’s get started shall we?
How to clean a menstrual cup
Cleaning the cup at home
Since your home is a more familiar place, cleaning the cup is not a challenge. Every time you empty the cup, do wash it thoroughly with cold water first and then some warm water. You can use some cup wipes or choose organic wipes that are available online or you can use a mild soap free cleanser to wash the cup thoroughly under running water. Reinsert after washing and cleaning. I have always had two cups because I find it easier to alternate between them if needed.
Cleaning in public places
This IS a bit tricky. I have been faced with this situation and even though it can be a bother, with a few hacks in place, it is not very difficult to clean a menstrual cup. Most places may not be equipped with clean water and cleaning yourself and the cup can be scary. The first time I faced this issue was when I was in the middle of a transit at the airport. I picked up a bottle of mineral water, emptied the cup and washed the cup thoroughly with the bottle of water. I cleaned it with the cup wipes that I was carrying with me before I inserted it again.
The second time I did not have access to clean water, so I had to use the water in the public restroom. After cleaning the cup with the water available in the bathroom and wiping it with the cup wipes, I put it in a zip-lock bag and stored it to clean it when I reached home and used the spare cup that I always carry with me. I did not want to reinsert it because I was not sure of the quality of water and the last thing that I would want is some kind of an infection.
If you are unsure of getting clean water when you are outside, it is always best to carry your own bottle of water. And stock up on chemical free wet wipes to clean the cup.
Make your own cleaning solution
When I did a quick search on how to clean a menstrual cup, I came across many DIY recipes that promised you to clean the menstrual cups without any hassle. While I did not try most of them, some of them resonated with me and here is a very quick DIY recipe to keep your menstrual cup bacteria free – Mix together one teaspoon of vinegar with nine teaspoons of water. Mix thoroughly and rinse your cup out with this homemade solution. A person on the forum mentioned that she has this solution in a bottle in that bathroom during the periods so she always rinses the cup with this solution to keep it odour free as well.
Always look up the cleaning instructions mentioned in the manual before you experiment with DIY cleaners for the cup. While most menstrual cups may be compatible with this DIY solution, sometimes its always better to be safe!
If you track your periods, then sterlize it by boiling it once before you use it. Sterilizing the cup should happen at least twice a month, once before the cycle and once after the cycle. Sterilizing the cup ensures that it is bacteria free and can save you from contracting any infections. Insert the cup in boiling water and ensure that the cup stays floating at the top of the vessel the whole time. Cool and wipe with a paper towel and ensure that it is completely dry before you store it.
Storing a menstrual cup is as important as how to clean a menstrual cup. Most menstrual cups come with a tiny cloth pouch that should be used to store the cup. The cotton pouches are breathable and air the cup continuously till it is ready to be used again. Avoid storing the menstrual cups in a zip-lock or plastic pouches or airtight containers as the material of the cup can be compromised. Always keep the cup in a cool, dry place.
As I said it how to clean a menstrual cup is important, but other important factors are how to store it or sterilize it to keep all infections at bay. These awesome ways on how to clean a menstrual cup are not complicated at all. I have made the switch to a menstrual cup over 3 years ago and I can tell you one thing…it just gets better with every use! Once you get used to the cup, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it! I have forgotten the number of women I convinced to make that switch and trust me, they are all happy!
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An original post on how to clean your menstrual cup was originally written for Elephant Journal. You can also read the original post on Elephant Journal.
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