I wrote another article explaining how to clean your menstrual cup explaining all the different way to clean and care for it but there was so much to say about what NOT to do with your menstrual cups. Things I have heard and seen people do that are just big no no’s. I felt it deserved its own post. Here it goes:
NO aggressive soaps
Better to avoid washing your menstrual cup with soap, even intimate, that they have: no neutral pH, fragrances, natural or synthetic oils, foaming agents, antibacterial agents. The soaps is labeled ‘for external use “because they can not be used for cleaning inside the vagina (or mucous membranes in general), and if not well rinsed may cause irritation. If you feel the need to use soap to clean the menstrual cup, make sure it is compatible with, and rinse thoroughly.
Soaps or other special substances such as oils, as well as irritate can ruin the special filming that protect the silicone and may set odors or yellowish color.
You can use soaps indicated for cleansing of sex toys and balls for pelvic floor (for personal items that are not among other things subject to boiling). I recommend the Me Luna soap
NO Alcohol wipes
If you are on the go or don’t have access to water you can use Alcohol based wipes but we recommend the use of these products only when prove strictly necessary. Although there are Wipes specially made for cleaning of menstrual cups, they may be irritating for sensitive women. Do not use wipes that are not specifically indicated for the cleaning of the cup to not disrupt your vaginal Ph balance.
A prolonged use of alcohol based wipes may be responsible for the premature deterioration of the cup in the long run on top of creating unnecessary waste. Having said that it’s better than nothing if you are traveling or really in need to sanitize your cup.
NO Essential Oils
Avoids the use of essential oils: ruin ruin silicon as much as latex condoms. Do not use them even diluted, because the micelles remain in suspension even if you think you have them dissolved well. Being difficult to rinse, they can also give problems of irritation of the mucous membrane.
Sounds like a no brainer but this is a question I get asked a lot. Can I put my menstrual cup in the dishwasher? What works for your silicone mold cakes is one thing, it doesn’t make it ok for a menstrual cup that you use inside your vagina. So NO you cannot. The detergents used for dishwasher are absolutely not compatible with the delicate vaginal flora. Just don’t do it.
Do not use bleach! Its use is completely unnecessary in this case and is not recommended for objects that come into contact with mucous membranes. Bleach is an irritant, marked for this reason the symbol “X” on the package. It is also irritating when it is used diluted in water and is highly discouraged contact with skin and mucous membranes. Also, it has an oily matrix and the percentage of chlorine.
No silicone based products
Remember to never use silicone based product as they can damage the cup. If you want to use lubricant use the water based ones; no silicone or oil base (except the Me Luna that is made out of TPE). Just clean it as recommended and keep it away from extreme temperature and in its provided pouch
Do not store your cup in a air-tight container
Do not store it in a air tight container or plastic bag (ziploc, tupperware etc.) as this can cause mold. A cup must have air flow when being stored away for the rest of the month. The best thing to store a menstrual cup in, is clean, dry cloth pouch (which are provided), and away from extreme heat, cold, or sunlight. After your period is over and you have cleaned your cup, store it in the cloth pouch.
Keep your menstrual cup out of reach…
It may sounds silly but a menstrual cup is small and easily lost. Keep it out of reach from children. I remember that one time I was at booth on a little market selling cups, I got distracted with a customer and when I looked back on the table, all my cup samples were gone. It’s only 20 min later while walking around the market, I saw three small Japanese kids in the playground making sand castles with the cups. We had was quite a laugh with the parents who were mortified. I just wish I had my phone on me to take a pic.
Also, keep it away from your pets, the amount of time I heard: “Ho no, I am gonna buy another cup, my dog found it and chewed it up!” Yep, it kind of looks like a toy to them.