With the growing use of menstrual cups as an efficient period product, concerns also waive high regarding its maintenance and proper care. If you are using a menstrual cup, then you should also know how to clean, sterilize, or disinfect a menstrual cup.
Menstrual cups are not subject to single use disposition. That means, you can actually use it more than once. If you are resorting to a good brand, then you can easily use their menstrual cups for more than 3 years and up to 5 years.
If any period product is being used for so long, you can definitely understand the care that is required to maintain its good health. Moreover, menstrual cups come in contact with the most intimate and sensitive part of your body, therefore you definitely need to be extra cautious when it comes to cleaning your menstrual cups.
How to clean a menstrual cup?
Now, there is something that you need to understand here. A menstrual cup can cleaned in two ways.
Either you can simply rinse it with water or deep clean it using any sanitizing product. A menstrual cup can accommodate your period fluid up to 12 hours. After every 12 hours, you need to empty the cup and clean it. When you are on your periods, usually it is necessary that you deep clean the menstrual cup every time you empty it.
You can also rinse it with plain lukewarm water but for the purpose of stringent safety you can use oil free and water-based cleansers. Menstrual cup cleansers are mild but specially formulated for cleaning cups.
There is another point to remember here. Placing a menstrual cup under running tap water does not clean the grooves and cervices at the rim and air holes.
So, make sure you use a soft clean brush to reach those areas. If you miss out cleaning these areas, they might harbor potent infectious pathogens. To avoid UTI and vaginal infections, make sure you take proper care of your menstrual cup.
Perform these steps to clean your menstrual cup:
- Empty the cup and flush out all the contents.
- Hold the cup under running tap water to give a primary wash.
- Take one drop of menstrual cup cleanser or soap in the cup and some water. Mix it well.
- Wait for a few seconds for the cup to properly get soaked in the cleaning solution.
- Scrub the cup gently with a brush for deep cleaning.
- Pour out the mixture and clean again with lukewarm water.
- Dry the cup and reinsert it again.
During the days of heavy flow, you might need to empty the cup more than twice a day. In such cases, you might clean the cup with plain lukewarm water for the intermittent times. But deep cleaning twice is mandatory.
I recommend you these 3 best products for cleaning your menstrual cups:
How to sterilize a menstrual cup?
Apart from cleaning the menstrual cup during your periods, there is a special need to sterilize your cups when your periods are over and you are going to store the cup for the next period session.
Sterilization is the best way to prevent the onset of any bacterial infection in the menstrual cups during this intermittent phase.
Sterilization of menstrual cups mainly adheres to the unequivocal method of boiling the menstrual cup. Boiling will rule out the possibility of existence of any germ in the menstrual cup.
You can follow these simple steps to properly sterilize your menstrual cups:
- Soak the menstrual cup in hydrogen peroxide after you have rinsed it clean with water after use. You can soak it for a maximum of 2 hours and minimum of 1 hour. If you want, you can also substitute hydrogen peroxide with alcohol or lemon juice.
- Pick it up from the soaking fluid and directly put in a boiling water bath.
- Boil the cup for not less than 20 minutes. Turn off the stove after 20 minutes and let it cool.
- Pick up the cup and dry it properly so that no moisture is left behind.
That’s it. Your menstrual cup is completely sterilized and also free of any probable odor. You can now store it safely to use for your next periods.
How to remove stains from the menstrual cups?
When you wash your cups for the first time after emptying them, make sure to rinse it with cold tap water. If you follow this simple trick, then your menstrual cup will never get stained.
If you use hot water for rinsing, then the cup might hold on to the stain.
Even after that, if you have a stained cup, just soak it in hydrogen peroxide solution, vinegar, or lemon juice for a few hours. Make sure you use a glass container for soaking.
After that sterilize the cup in the above discussed process and your cup will become stain free.
How to sterilize a menstrual cup without boiling?
If you want to sterilize a menstrual cup yet you do not want to boil it, then you can use a few alternatives to it.
Use a proper menstrual cup cleanser. There are many cup cleansers available in the market which come in concentrated formula and can be used to deep clean your cups.
We have even reviewed the best soaps, wipes, and cleaners for menstrual cups. Pick the one that best suits you.
You just need to use two to three drops of the cleanser along with water and wash it properly. You can use a toothbrush to clean the crevices and air holes.
Instead of using a menstrual cup cleanser, you can also go with menstrual cup soaps which provide the similar kind of sterilization.
Using the sulfate and paraben free soap will ensure the longer shelf life of your menstrual cups and also won’t affect your intimate area health.
Soaps are also great to eliminate any unwanted odor. Do not ever mistake to use a normal soap to clean your menstrual cups. Always use a proper menstrual cup soap as this come with distinguished formulations to serve the purpose.
Well, you might want to go with all-natural procedures to sterilize the menstrual cup. In that case, you can either use vinegar or alcohol to sterilize the menstrual cups.
If you use vinegar, then always mix it with equal proportions of water to avoid any corrosive effect of vinegar on the cup that might hamper the cup.
How to clean a menstrual cup after yeast infection?
Now, if you don’t know what a yeast infection is, then grab information quickly about it. In every female body, a particular microbe is present in the normal conditions. The microbe is Candida albicans.
The overgrowth of this microbe is called Candiadis and it is a pathological infection termed as Candiadis. If you catch hold of the infection, you shall have an itching and burning sensation during your periods accompanied by thick gross discharge.
Swelling and infection of the vaginal mucosa are also among the common symptoms. For keeping this under control, immediate health check up by a physician is necessary.
Candiadis is mostly a result of using too much of artificial things around your vagina.
For example, wearing tight panty liners that are unbreathable or using pads that have aplastic top layer. The improper aeration of the vaginal area provides suitable growing conditions for the yeast.
Yeast infection might occur during periods also. The condition worsens during that time. Stringent hygienic practices and medications are inevitable to cure Candiadis.
Menstrual cups are probably the best period product to use when you are affected by yeast infection. This is because the lower end of the menstrual cups that is the stem is hollow.
It allows the passage of air in vicinity to your vagina. Since yeasts are anaerobes, they cannot grow or proliferate in this environment thus reducing the extent of infection.
Do not forget to sterilize the cup after yeast infection – boil it
Once you are a victim of the infection, do not forget to sterilize the menstrual cups with greater care after periods are over. Boiling the menstrual cup is a must in this case.
You can resort to other remedies like using vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or alcohol to sanitize the cups. But, whatever you use, make sure you boil the cup for at least 20 minutes after use and dry in strong rays of sun.
During the periods, whenever you empty the cup, make sure to deep clean the cup with either a cup cleanser or soap.
Also, look out to properly clean the inaccessible areas like the rim and stem of the cup.
How to disinfect a menstrual cup?
The true meaning of disinfection is to make the menstrual cup free of all infectious agents. This is extremely important because the intimate parts are too susceptible to frequent infections.
The moist area close to vagina gives rise to deadly infections that can actually make the condition worse.
So, every time you use a menstrual cup, make sure you disinfect it.
Clean your cups at least twice a day preferably with menstrual cup soaps or menstrual cup cleansers.
You can also use wipes to clean while you are travelling. If you are emptying cup more than twice a day, stick to the cleaning regime whenever you empty the cup.
Sterilize the cup with vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, or rubbing alcohol after every period session.
Boiling, boiling and boiling will kill every microbial organism residing in your menstrual cup and will practically disinfect it in the best possible way.
Whenever your periods are over, make sure you boil your cup for 20 minutes in boiling water and dry properly in sun rays before storing it.
Last but not the least, sanitize your hands every time before you start cleaning the cup to avoid any unwanted contamination.
How to sterilize Diva Cups?
Use a clean toothbrush to reach out to areas like stem, rim, or air holes. Boil the cup in water after every session of periods.
Do not forget to dry your cup completely in the sun rays. For removing odors and stains, you can definitely soak the cup in alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or vinegar.
For better results I suggest you to use the Diva Cup Cleanser. Here it is –
Hope this article was of great use to you. Happy periods!