One of the many advantages of a menstrual cup is that you can reuse it. Cleaning your menstrual cup in the right way is therefore very important. How and with what exactly do you do that? Read more below about caring for your cup before, during and after your period.
Before first use
Before using your cup for the first time, you should sterilize it. This will kill all unwanted bacteria. You do this by boiling the cup for 3 minutes in a pan of water. Make sure that the cup does not touch the bottom. Once sterilized, the cup is ready to use.
There are also special sterilizers with which you can clean your cup in the microwave can sterilize. However, be careful with this. They may affect the material of the cup.
During your period
You can use a menstrual cup up to 12 hours without emptying it. Women who have a heavy period may need to empty more often.
Always wash your hands first before removing your menstrual cup. After emptying your cup, simply rinse it under the tap with water only. It is better to use cold water first and then warm water. This reduces the chance of discoloration of the cup.
Make sure you rinse the cup, holes, ridges and the stem well. Rub the cup well with your hands or a soft brush to remove all residue.
Some women use a oil and perfume free soap, but this is not necessary. Water is sufficient. This is also better for the material of the cup and the pH value of your vagina.
Watch the handy video below Put A Cup In It. This explains exactly how to clean your cup.
Disclaimer: The girls from Put A Cup In It recommend starting with hot water and washing the cup with soap. As we said it is smart to use the cup first with cold water rinse to avoid discoloration. In addition, the use of soap is not necessarily necessary. But above all, do what you like!
How do I clean the holes?
Fill your menstrual cup with warm water and cover the top with your hand. Turn your hand around without letting go of the cup and squeeze the cup. This allows the water to run out through the holes.
If the holes are clogged, clean them with a soft (tooth) brush or pierce them with a skewer or sterilized needle.
How do I clean my menstrual cup in a public toilet?
In a public toilet you work the same as at home. But what if there is no fountain present in the toilet cubicle?
In that case you can simply wipe the cup clean with toilet paper or a moist intimate hygiene wipe. Make sure that the wipes do not contain oils, alcohol or perfume, as these can damage your cup and vagina. Clean the cup with water as soon as you get home.
You can also bring a bottle of clean drinking water so you can still rinse the cup. If this doesn't work, that's no problem at all. It is enough to put your cup once every 24 hours with water.
My menstrual cup is discolored or stained
After a while, your cup may discolour. That's very normal. If this bothers you, give your menstrual cup an extra cleaning. Some tips:
- Scrub your cup with a soft brush and a mixture of water and baking soda good clean.
- Place your cup for a few hours in the sun. Be careful that the cup does not melt from the heat.
- Sometimes it is recommended to put your cup in overnight hydrogen peroxide (2% or 3%) soak. Another possible option is a mixture of 1/2 part water and 1/2 part vinegar. However, this may affect the material of the cup. So watch out for this. If you do decide to try this method, was your cup very good in cook him out before inserting it again.
My menstrual cup smells bad
Do you notice that your menstrual cup smells bad? There could be several reasons for this;
- You haven't cleaned the cup well enough.
- You have washed your cup with aggressive cleaning products that have affected material. This creates small damage or cracks (which may not be visible to the naked eye) where bacteria can accumulate.
- You have worn the cup longer than the recommended time.
- You put the cup away when it was still moist, or in a place that does not ventilate well, such as a plastic (tupperware) container or bag. This allows anaerobic bacteria to gain the upper hand.
- You are struggling with a vaginal infection. This can cause an unpleasant odor that is often a bit musty or fishy. If you suspect a vaginal infection, always see your doctor, even if you have no other symptoms.
How do you get rid of the strange smell?
To get rid of the unpleasant smell, it is necessary to clean your cup a deep cleaning to give. We recommend that you follow the above tips ("My menstrual cup is discolored or has stains"). In addition, make sure you have your cup from now on empties on time in cleans thoroughly (without the use of aggressive cleaning products).
Does your cup still smell after this thorough cleaning? Then the smell is probably impossible to remove.
After every menstrual period
It is necessary to change your menstrual cup after every menstrual period to re-sterilize. Then store your cup in a cotton bag. Do not use non-breathable bags or containers. Your cup is then ready to use for your next period.