If you know how to clean a menstrual cup (properly), you’ll be able to re-use it for many years.
Menstrual cups are made from non-porous medical grade silicone thermoplastic. They are ideal for a smother period. However, proper maintenance is a must.
- How to Clean a Menstrual Cup Naturally and before Use
- How to Clean a Menstrual Cup during Periods
- How to Clean a Menstrual Cup after Period
- How to Clean a Menstrual Cup Smell
- How to Clean a Menstrual Cup in a Public Bathroom
- How to Clean a Menstrual Cup after Yeast Infection
- How to Clean Menstrual Cup Dark Stains
- How To Clean a Menstrual Cup While Camping or Backpacking
- How to Clean a Menstrual Cup in Dorms
- How to Clean Menstrual Cup Holes
- How to Clean a Menstrual Cup on a Plane
Each menstrual cup manufacturer will give you instructions on how to clean their menstrual cup, which may not go well with the type of cleaners that you are using.
A menstrual cup can be worn safely up to twelve hours unless you are experiencing a heavy flow or you need to change the cup more frequently.
If you experience heavy flows, you may decide to rinse the cup with water in between the daily washes.
This article will take you through the process of cleaning the menstrual cup during periods, after periods, removing the bad smell, cleaning in a public bathroom, sanitizing your cup, and removing the dark stains.
How to Clean a Menstrual Cup Naturally and before Use
Insert the menstrual cup in boiling water (beforehand, of course, wash your hands with a mild, non-oiled based soap).
Wait for about 5-10 minutes and make sure the cup does not touch the edges or bottom of the boiling pan to avoid melting. Pick it using a pair of tongs and let your menstrual cup cool ready for use.
How to Clean a Menstrual Cup during Periods
Ideally, you should clean your menstrual cup after every 4-8 hours. After emptying the contents, wash the cup with cold or warm water and then re-insert.
The recommendation of soap should be scent-free or one that is specifically for cleaning the cup.
Wash first with cold water and then rinse in warm water to prevent the formation of menstrual cup dark stains.
How to Clean a Menstrual Cup after Period
You need to sterilize the menstrual cup before and after each menstrual cycle.
To sterilize the cup, boil hot water and immerse the cup in the water making sure it does not sink to the bottom because the heat source from the pan can cause it to melt.
After two minutes (or according to the manufacturer’s warning) remove it and allow it to dry. Putting the cup to dry in the sun can also help eliminate menstrual cup discoloration.
How to Clean a Menstrual Cup Smell
The bad odor could be as a result of using wrong cleaning agents or methods. Sometimes stains due to wear and tear or cumulative stains accompany the bad smell.
You can try different methods such as using a feminine wash gel, lemon juice or rubbing alcohol to get rid of the smell.
How to Clean a Menstrual Cup in a Public Bathroom
Now, this won’t be as pretty and comfortable as it would be at your home but bear with me.
If you know you’ll have to visit the public bathroom eventually throughout the day, then pack a bigger purse with wet baby wipes (2in1, you’ll see why later), a small bottle of water and some dry tissues.
Here’s how I’ve come up with the easiest method.
- Before doing anything, get those baby wipes out and ready to grab more! Make sure you can easily take them out, not touching anything else!
- Clean your fingers (you’re about to put them in your vagina, after all!)
- Remove the cup, mindfully, not to spill everywhere. Once removed, pour the contents in the toilet.
- Wipe the cup clean using the baby wipes (told you -> 2in1)
- Wipe hands and your private part with baby wipes, so you can insert the cup not having blood anywhere.
Voila! The cleanest method I’ve come up with.
Now, you may be asking me – why the small water bottle? That’s for extra cleanliness since more often than not each separate public bathroom stall doesn’t have a sink in it.
Also, the dry tissues are good for occasions where you really need to change the cup but there isn’t any toilet paper in the stall. You’re not going to crawl out of the stall (once you’ve already removed the cup) to get some paper towels.
Why? Because you’re not crazy and you came prepared – you have water and dry tissues/paper towels with you! Good job! Pat yourself on the back!
But wet baby wipes should have you covered until you get out of the stall and can get a sink to wash your hands properly.
Yes, definitely invest in baby wipes if you know you will be changing cups regularly.
How to Clean a Menstrual Cup after Yeast Infection
Sanitizing your menstrual cup using menstrual cup sterilizers or microwave sterilization bags may prove to be convenient.
Using this method will only take less than five minutes. Using a sterilizing tablet in a bowl of water and inserting the cup inside works as a form of sterilization.
You can insert the menstrual cup in a steam bag (usually used by breastfeeding moms to sanitize breast pumps) and insert the sterilizing tablets to start the process.
Sterilization of the menstrual cup should be an every month activity if you are keen on how you take care of your cup. However, if you had a yeast infection, go ahead and sterilize before the next use.
How to Clean Menstrual Cup Dark Stains
Stains are a common feature on the menstrual cup. However, there is no need to rush replacing the cup because with time this is bound to happen.
The best way to deal with such stains is to immerse the menstrual cup in a hydrogen peroxide solution and let it soak overnight. Remember that this kind of soaking is recommended a few times.
How To Clean a Menstrual Cup While Camping or Backpacking
Similar to the way I mentioned it earlier under “How to Celan a Menstrual Cup in a Public Bathroom”.
A good idea would also probably be to put all the necessary things in one toiletry bag, for convenience.
Find the nearest bathroom. Wash your hands. Or wipe them with a baby wipe. Remove the cup, clean it with the baby wipes, re-insert the cup.
Although, if you’re really in the woods and there is no sign of a bathroom – also have some small plastic bags (non-see-through would be best) or a ziplock bag.
You’ll have to do the process in the woods while squatting. The plastic bag is for you to put the baby wipes in so that you don’t leave your waste in the woods. Don’t do that!
Rather, do the same process as you would in a bathroom, just put the wipes in the bag to make it easier (and cleaner) for you to carry it to the nearest trash can.
How to Clean a Menstrual Cup in Dorms
You’re probably wondering about the disinfection process, you’re probably not going to want to go get a pot, fill it with water and then boil your cup to sanitize it… all while your fellow dormmates stare at you while you use the same pot that Daniele just used to boil her pasta in!
So, the question is: how to clean a menstrual cup without boiling?
Although, boiling the menstrual is one of the most popular ways of sterilizing it; other methods include rinsing the menstrual cup in vinegar (you need to consult the manufacturer or manual before taking this action).
You can soak it for about two minutes any longer may affect the menstrual cup.
Also rubbing alcohol works great.
I used to semi-boil it. Boil water in a pot or kettle. Pour it into a cup or mug. Put the cup inside the mug. Leave it there for 10-15 minutes.
Done! (this is convenient, as you can do it in your room, rather than in a shared kitchen)
How to Clean Menstrual Cup Holes
You can also clean the menstrual cup holes and the rim of the cup using a soft toothbrush and running water or a toothpick to remove stubborn stains.
The suction holes help release the pressure when you need to remove it for cleaning. Leaving the holes to be blocked may lead to difficulty removing the cup out.
All you need is water filled in the menstrual cup, cover the open part of the cup with your hand, and then squeeze the cup for water to pass through suction holes.
How to Clean a Menstrual Cup on a Plane
When traveling over a long distance, carry wet baby wipes and a bottle of water. I’ve heard to not use the water in the bathrooms of a plane, it’s not drinkable so why would you want to use it for your vagina?
You can get into the restroom and use a piece of wet baby wipes to clean out the menstrual cup after emptying its contents.
Once done with the wet wipe, rinse it with bottled water (this may also help with lubrication when re-inserting since the air of airplanes is super dry) and just re-insert it.
And don’t worry about sterilization at this point because you only need to do it between cycles. Don’t forget to wash your hands afterward.
Things to Keep in Mind When Cleaning Menstrual Cup and Their Carry Bags/Pouches
Carry bags/pouches can be cleaned like any other material that needs machine-wash.
Depending on the brand of your cup, avoid using the following household products when cleaning your menstrual cup:
- Hand sanitizers
- Bleaching products
- Harsh soaps and chemicals
- Tea-tree oils
- Oil based soaps
Do I Sterilize a Menstrual Cup After Emptying It?
No. washing the menstrual cup with intimate hygiene soap and warm water will suffice until your period is over. However, the recommended timeline for sterilization is one week of continued use.
Can I Buy a Sterilization Cup for my Menstrual Cup, Mine Does Not Have One?
You can purchase a sterilization cup from different brands that are available in the market.
Please make sure that the cup you are buying is compatible with the menstruation cup. If your brand does not come with a cup as an accessory, then buy from another vendor but make sure you get the right cup type.
Are Menstrual Cups Dishwashers Safe?
No, they are not dishwasher safe.
Even those that can get through a dishwasher may hold on to some stains left behind by other utensils. However, you can verify this information from the menstrual cups manual.
How Should I Store Menstrual Cups Between Uses?
Most menstrual cups are sold with pouches or a container that can keep it safely and away from the public eye. The container should be kept inside the pouch to preserve its lifespan and keep it at room temperature.
What is the Recommendation to use When Storing the Menstrual Cup to Increase its Lifespan?
After sterilization store the menstrual cup in a cool and dry place and avoid exposing it to harsh soaps, cleaners, and direct sun rays.
If you knew that a typical menstrual cup should last for five years, then you will learn how to clean a menstrual cup.
Clean your cup occasionally with the above-mentioned methods and there will be no reason for you not getting the five years from your cup.
I recommend that you regularly inspect the cup and look out for things like moisture formation, this is typical of materials made from silicone.
Do you have any tips for removing stains? Let us know in the comments below.