What is a menstrual cup?
A menstrual cup is a sustainable period product made of medical-grade silicone that can be inserted into the vagina like a tampon. It collects the period blood before it gets a chance to exit the body and if inserted correctly, it shouldn’t feel like you’re wearing anything!
The cup is sustainable because it can be taken out after up to 12 hours, cleaned and reinserted again. The process can be repeated till your period is over, after which it can be safely stored away till the next time you bleed.
If you are looking to switch from pads or tampons to a menstrual cup or considering changing brands, try the Carmesi Menstrual Cup. It is made with 100% biodegradable silicone and is probably the softest and most comfortable cup you will ever try!
How to Clean Menstrual Cup ?
The best product to use for cleaning a menstrual cup is a menstrual cup wash. They are designed to maintain the delicate pH of your vagina while being completely safe for the silicone used in the cup.
Try the Carmesi Menstrual Cup Wash to give your menstrual cup a thorough cleaning. It is made with a unique anti-microbial formula and is completely soap-free.
Further, you can also use an intimate wash to clean your cup since that’s free from artificial fragrances, oil and soap. Try the Carmesi Intimate Cleanser if you do not want to use a solution dedicated to menstrual cup cleaning.
And, what should you avoid?
There are some cleaning products that you should never use on a menstrual cup since they contain irritants that can harm your vagina. Make sure that you avoid the following at all costs:
- Any soap that is antibacterial or contains oil and artificial fragrances
- Harsh detergents and dishwashing liquids
- Hydrogen peroxide solutions
- Rubbing alcohol
- Natural products like baking soda or vinegar
The stages of cleaning
Your cup needs to be cleaned in different ways depending on the stage of your period and your location:
First use on each cycle
- Before you do anything, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly.
- Boil a cup of water and put your cup in the boiling water, letting it sit for no more than 10 minutes.
- Additionally, you can use a mechanical menstrual cup boiler or buy a silicone container to boil your cup inside a microwave oven.
- Once your cup is sterilized with boiling water, it’s ready to be used. Do this every time you start your period and are about to insert the cup on your first day.
Between your periods
The cup need not be boiled each time you take it out between your periods. But, the cleaning will vary depending on your location and product availability:
- Always wash your hands before taking the cup out from inside your vagina.
- After emptying the contents, clean it under running water with your Carmesi Menstrual Cup Wash. If you don’t have one, you can use your Carmesi Intimate Cleanser.
- Plain water is not enough to disinfect it thoroughly or prevent odour and staining.
- If you are inside a public urinal, it can be difficult to access your cup cleanser. In this case, first, make sure you wash your hands before entering the cubicle.
- Once inside, take the cup out and empty it as usual into the toilet.
- Then, take a piece of toilet paper and rub the cup clean. Or, if you have access to water, wash it with running water.
- Then, reinsert it back and make sure you clean the cup as soon as you get a chance later.
- If you are out in Nature and need to empty your cup, carry a bottle of water with you.
- After emptying the contents in the soil, wash it with the water from the bottle and rub it with tissue paper.
- Reinsert it and make sure to clean the cup with your Carmesi Menstrual Cup Wash once you get back to your boarding situation.
After your period is over
- Once your period is over, you need to sterilize the cup again by boiling it.
- After taking the cup out and emptying the contents, boil it like before in a pot for up to 10 minutes or use a silicone cup container to boil it in a microwave oven for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Store it away safely once you’re done for your next period.
How to store menstrual cup?
The Carmesi Menstrual Cup and most other cups in the market come with a pouch to store them when not in use. Use the pouch or any other breathable cloth pouch and keep it in a cool, dry place like your drawer till the next use.
What should you do in the following situations?
While it’s fairly easy to keep your cup clean and safe, some situations may arise that can leave you confused:
- Discolorations and stains - It is normal to notice a mild discoloration in your cup with use over time. If it bothers you, try cleaning it with a soft toothbrush and your cup cleanser. If the staining or discoloration is on an extreme level, it might be time to switch to a new cup.
- Foul odor - It is natural to notice some vaginal smells on the cup, but if it starts to smell too sour, you might be wearing it for too long. Try changing it every 4 to 8 hours and never leaving it on for more than 12 hours. Once you take it out, use cold water to wash it because warm water can lock in the smell further. Also, make sure to sterilize it after each period to prevent the odor from setting in over time.
- White film post boiling the cup - Sometimes, you may notice a thin white film setting on the cup after you boil it. This is completely normal and comes from the hard water in certain regions. You can simply rinse this residue off with water before inserting the cup.
It falls into the toilet - If it falls into a toilet that does not contain poop or pee, you should sterilize it before reinserting it if you want to keep using the same. In case it falls on faeces or urine, it’s time to get a new cup. Whatever you do, don’t flush it down the toilet as this can clog your commode.
Why is cleaning a cup so important?
If you do not clean your menstrual cup properly, you will risk having it contaminated with bacteria, or have it stained or eroded. In such a case, you may experience irritation down there, and in some cases get an infection.
Also, if you don’t clean and maintain your cup, you will need to replace it more often. This is why it is best to sterilize and clean your cup properly during and after each period.