How to clean and store menstrual cup between cycles.
Menstrual cups are a reusable alternative to disposable menstrual products. They are made with medical-grade silicone making them one of the best menstrual products for your period. To keep your menstrual cup looking and performing like new you will have to clean it after each use and store it properly between cycles. Like anything else that you value for it to work properly you must take care of it, the same is true for menstrual cups.
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We share how to clean and store your menstrual cup between cycles. Don’t worry about how to clean your menstrual cup, because it is simple. This guide provides tips for you to create your wash routine. Once you find a routine that works for you, stick to it. If it ain’t broke…
How Often Should Menstrual Cup be Cleaned?
The good news is menstrual cups can be worn for 10 – 12 hours, so you shouldn’t need to clean your menstrual cup more than twice a day. If you have heavier flow you will likely have to empty your cup more often and clean it more.
How to clean your menstrual cup
The very first step when cleaning your menstrual cup is washing your hands. It is very important to have good personal hygiene, given the (super) gems that are in the world. I always recommend washing your hands at least twice before handling your menstrual cup. You never know what you may have missed, so wash your hands!! Be sure to use a mild, unscented, and oil-free soap.
Washing Menstrual Cup
Cleaning your menstrual cup is very easy, much like washing dishes. The most important thing is making sure you clean it thoroughly and the suction holes are completely clean. The easiest way to truly clean your menstrual cup is while you are in the shower. You can get everything clean, but if you do not have time a sink will do.
- Pour contents of the menstrual cup in the toilet
- Rinse cup with hot water
- Add soap and water to the cup and place hand over top and flip back and forth to get soapy water around the cup
- After the cup has been rinsed and any remaining debris removed dry cup with toilet paper
Boil Menstrual Cup in Water
After your period, the best way to clean your menstrual cup is with boiling water. There is no need for additional ingredients as the water will sterilize the menstrual cup without additional chemicals. Be careful not to boil your cup too long as it may result in the cup deteriorating or material thinning earlier than expected. You should only need to place it in the water for two minutes.
If you plan on boiling your menstrual cup to sterilize it be sure not to do it too often. There is no need to boil it after each use, only at the end of your cycle before storing it for the next month.
Menstrual Cup Wash
You should only use the manufacturer recommended menstrual cup wash to clean your menstrual cup. When cleaning a menstrual cup it is important to thoroughly wash it with warm water.
Sanitize Menstrual Cup in Microwave
If you do not like the idea of boiling your menstrual cup there is an alternative. This does not mean throw your menstrual cup in the microwave. If you do that it is likely you will ruin your menstrual cup and be very upset. There are sterilization bags that can be reused up to 20 times per bag.
Menstrual Cup Holder
If you are hesitating about boiling your menstrual cup there are menstrual cup holders that can be used to sterilize your cup. They are quick, easy, and safe to use. Here are the easy instructions on how to clean your menstrual cup with a silicone holder.
- Place the menstrual cup inside
- Fill the silicone holder with water below the indicated line
- Place lid on the holder and place inside the microwave for 2 – 3 minutes
- After the menstrual cup is clean remove the menstrual cup and discard the water (be careful not to burn yourself)
- Clean, dry, and collapse silicone menstrual cup holder
Pro Tip: I do not recommend storing your menstrual cup on the silicone holder. It is recommended to store your menstrual cup in a storage bag with breathable material.
Menstrual Cup Cleaner
If you do not want to boil your menstrual cup there is a menstrual cup cleaner that will clean and sterilize your cup for you. This takes all of the work out of cleaning your cup every month after your cycle is over. Just clean your cup with mild, fragrance-free soap and place it in the cleaner for sterilization. These products use water to create steam that gets rid of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and mold.
Pro Tip: If you plan to purchase a menstrual cup cleaner be sure to check the compatibility with your cup size. Not all cleaners are universal and may not fit the larger cup sizes.
After some time your menstrual cup may start to show signs of wear and have stains. Although stains are normal if you would like to remove the stains from your menstrual cup soaking it with a cleaning tablet will remove the stains. It is not recommended that you use them often, but a few times a year is reasonable. Staining is normal after prolonged use, this does not mean that your period cup needs to be replaced.
How to clean menstrual cup in a public restroom
I can’t be the only one that feels a little awkward at that time of the month. It can be awkward when you need to clean your menstrual cup while you are in a public restroom. Here are a few ways to clean your cup discreetly while you are in a public restroom.
Menstrual Cup Travel Wipes
Menstrual cup travel wipes make it quick and easy to clean your menstrual cup on the go. The biodegradable wipes are made from cotton and are designed to be used when you do not have access to water. You do not have to worry about using a public sink to clean your cup because of the wipes. As long as your hands are clean you can insert the cup after using the wipes. Please be advised these wipes are not flushable and should be thrown in the trash after use.
If you do not want to purchase the travel wipes you can use toilet paper to wipe your cup before inserting it. Just be sure to wipe the cup thoroughly before putting it back inside of your vagina.
things to avoid when cleaning your menstrual cup
When cleaning your menstrual cup you must use the proper cleaners. Although it is convenient it is strongly recommended that menstrual cups are not put in the dishwasher. The chemical residue from the dishwasher cleaner will remain on the surface on your menstrual cup. You cannot use standard household cleaning supplies to wash something as sensitive and delicate as a menstrual cup. I see this all the time when I started researching menstrual cups. A lot of bloggers recommend using harsh chemicals, but DO NOT use any of the things listed below to clean your menstrual cup.
- witch hazel
- rubbing alcohol
- scented soaps
- dish detergent
- baby wipes
- hand sanitizer
- essential oils ( including tea-tree, lavender, coconut, etc.)
Think of it like this, would you want any of those things inside of you? I am sure the answer is no, so please do not put them on your menstrual cup. They are not designed to withstand harm products and can cause an issue within your body. Using unknown chemicals can cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
How to store menstrual cup between cycles
After properly cleaning your cup it is time to store it for your next cycle. You must wait until it is completely dry before storing it. If not, mold or bacteria may be created from the moisture.
The easiest way to store your menstrual cup is in a storage bag, at the end of your menstrual cycle. Most menstrual cups come with a storage bag, but if not you should buy silk, cotton or leather bag for storage between cycles. It is important to keep your stored menstrual cup away from scented items such as perfume, cologne, or strong soaps.
Long-Lasting with Proper Care
Menstrual cups are designed to last for at least 5 years with proper cleaning and care. It is a lot easier to keep up with one or two menstrual cups than trying to buy your favorite brand of tampons or pads. If you take care of your menstrual cup it will take care of you.