According to a study published inThe Lancet Public Health,70% of women who have used menstrual cups say that they would continue using them. This is because the cups are inexpensive and reusable, and are also environmentally safer than tampons and pads.
Menstrual cups can be used up to 12 hours unless you have a heavy flow. Once you remove your menstrual cup, clean it before using it again. Here are a few tips for cleaning your menstrual cup.
What to use to clean a menstrual cup
We recommend a simple soap that is pH-balanced and warm water. Try choosing a mild fragrance-free soap. If you don't have this handy, use clean drinking water. Avoid using these to clean your cup;
- oil-based soap
- baking soda
- hydrogen peroxide
- rubbing alcohol
- fragranced soap
- dishwashing soap
Using these products may lead to an itchy vagina. While most forums recommend soaking menstrual cups in vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to destain cups, it is not recommended as these chemicals wear out the cup and cause silicone deterioration.
How to clean a menstrual cup at home
Make sure to clean your hands with soap and water or sanitizer to avoid any kind of infection.
- Sit on the toilet, remove your menstrual cup, dump all the blood into the toilet.
- In a sink, clean the cup using safe-to-drink cold water. This is to prevent staining on the cup.
- After this, use warm water and a cup cleanser or a pH-balanced fragrance-free soap to clean the cup.
- Fill the cup with soapy water, rub it, flip and squeeze to clean out holes. You can also clean it using a bristle free brush to remove build up in holes. Leave it to air-dry.
- To sanitize your menstrual cup, boil your cup in clean water for up to 3-5 minutes. To stop it from reaching the bottom of the cooking pot and burning, place your cup in a whisk and put it in the water to boil. You don’t have to dry your cup using a cloth or tissue paper. Just let it air dry. You could also use a menstrual cup steamer if you have one.
N.B: When you buy a menstrual cup, always remember to sanitize it before using it.
How to clean a menstrual cup in public
When in public, make sure you always carry clean safe to drink water and paper tissues or cup wipes. Before entering the stall, make sure your hands are clean.
- Once you enter a stall, remove your cup and dump all the blood in the toilet.
Clean your cup as well as your hands using the safe to drink water. If you have a cleanser, use it to wash the cup, rinse then reinsert.Do not use baby wipes.
- If you don’t have either of the above, you can wipe the cup using toilet paper or cup wipes.