Cleaning a menstrual cup is easy. There are four different types of cleaning that I do to my menstrual cup:
- Start of Cycle
- End of Menstruation
Start of Cycle
I always wash my menstrual cup at the start of each cycle because, I feel like dust could be on it or something. I wash it in the sink with a gentle soap and let it dry. That’s really it.
Throughout the day, I empty my cup about four times. When I worked outside the home, I would not bother emptying it at work. It was not a problem even though I have a heavier than average flow. So, I empty my cup after my coffee in the morning- because… who wants to deal with Aunt Flo first thing in the morning? Then, I’d empty my cup before leaving for work. I’d work 8 hours or so, and I’d empty it again when I got home. Lastly, I’d empty it once before bed.
There were a few occasions when I worked longer hours and I would need to empty my cup at work. When this happened, I would wash my hands and grab two paper towels. Go into the bathroom, empty it and put it back in. If I happened to get red on my hand, I’d wipe it with one of the paper towels to get it clean. Then, I would use the other to hold in my hand to open the stall for the sake of others. Then, I would wash my hands again. If I was really smart, I’d just have an herbal sanitizing wipe with me. That’s what I suggest. When I’m at home, emptying is way easier for obvious reasons, but emptying in a public restroom is not difficult if you have a plan.
Daily cleaning is pretty simple too. I just take it out in the shower and wash it with a gentle soap like I do my own body. Then, I just put it back in while still in the shower.
End of Menstruation
At the end of menstruation, I wash it with a gentle soap. Technically, that would be enough, but I like the ritual of putting it away. It’s renewing to me somehow. So, after I wash it, I then take baking soda and “scrub” it with a washrag. This gets rid of any stains. The stains aren’t a big deal. I have a silicone cup and it doesn’t harbor germs because of the nature of it. Yet still, I remove any stains. After that, I often use 1:1 parts vinegar and water to rinse it down before letting it dry and putting it away for three more weeks.
If I felt like it, I could immerse it in a cup of boiling water and let it sit there for a few minutes, but it’s not required. Plus, if you boil it every month, it will only last you about 5-6 years. If you don’t boil it, it could last twenty years. I don’t bother boiling it mostly because when I’m in the kitchen, the little ones think I must be making them something and I want my End of Menstruation routine to be quiet and reflective, because I simply love the time of the month that directly follows “that time of the month.”
What not to use:
Don’t use bleach, alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide. Those will just wreck it. Also don’t use tea tree oil. I didn’t believe that one myself, so I tried it. I rubbed it down with TTO and left it to sit there. When I came back for it, it was like the silicone was turning to jelly. So, now I need to order another cup, but it was worth it to be proved wrong.
Lastly, don’t use the dishwasher to clean your menstrual cup. That’s just gross…Dishwashers have wicked gross chemicals you wouldn’t want anywhere near your vagina.
Get your own cup from Everything Birth by following this link to the online store.