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Menstrual cups are a mess-free, hygienic, and comfortable way to have your period.
But there are a few crucial aspects to keeping your menstrual cup 100% clean and safe to avoid any uncomfortable infections or problems.
One significant factor is how to clean your menstrual cup and what are the best practices.
No matter which brand you choose, the basic guidelines are the same.
In this article, you’ll learn all about that.
Let’s jump right in!
How To Boil A Menstrual Cup?
There are two ways to do it – on the stove in a saucepan or a microwave in a sterilizing silicone cup.
Method 1: In A Saucepan
Step 1: Wash your hands and the cup with soap before entering the pot. Use fragrance-free, natural soap and give it a good rinse. I use a local soap brand, but some good options include this tea tree soap or this shea butter soap.
Step 2: Put enough water in a medium pot (saucepan). Heat the water on the stove.
Step 3: Once the water starts to boil, add the cup for 3-4 minutes. I usually put an alarm on my phone. The cup should float on the top of the pot. If it sticks to the bottom, it will burn.
Step 4: After that, remove most of the water, and fill the pot with cold water. Repeat this 2-3 times, so you can take the cup (with clean hands!) without burning yourself.
Step 5 (Optional): I like to rinse the cup once again with a bit of soap, but it is my personal preference. The boiling sterilized the cup, so you can also skip this step.
Step 6: If it is the beginning of your period, insert the cup. If it’s the end of your period, dry the menstrual cup gently with a cotton towel. Store the menstrual cup in a small breathable cotton bag after drying.
Method 2: In a Sterilizing Silicone Cup
Some brands sell sanitizing cups filled with water and then placed in the microwave with the menstrual cup inside.
Step 2: Wash the menstrual cup with water and fragrance-free soap.
Step 3: After washing it, add water until 2/3 full to the sterilizing silicone cup and place the menstrual cup inside. The menstrual cup may float but does not have to be completely submerged.
Step 4: Add the lid, and put it in a boiling pot or microwave for 3-4 minutes.
Whichever method you choose, both processes remove all the bacteria to prevent bacterial growth before the next use.
Tips For Everyday Cleaning Of The Cup:
During your period, you will have to change the cup every 12 hours (if your period is heavy – more often).
When you take the cup out to empty it, you will do a basic wash. Some important notes here include:
- Always take out the cup with clean hands.
- Empty the blood in the toilet and wash the cup thoroughly with water and fragrance-free soap. Using colder water prevents staining the cup; warm water can lock in smells.
- Clean the suction holes of your cup (like I’m showing in the image below). You can do that by filling the cup with water, then turning the cup upside down in your palm. Then, squeeze the top so the water goes through the tiny holes and removes any debris that may have stuck during your period.
- Insert the clean cup back.
Cleaning Your Cup In A Public Bathroom Or While Travelling:
If you have to clean your cup outside, it may be a bit harder, but it is still possible.
Some bathrooms will have a sink privately, making the process much easier, but if you don’t have this option, carry a water bottle.
First, remember to wash your hands. Then, enter the toilet and remove the cup. Empty it, then add a bit of the gel. While holding your cup over the toilet, pour water to rinse it.
Wash off the gel from the cup, clean it with toilet paper or menstrual cup wipes, and reinsert it.
Once you remove the cup, you can drop it in the Carry cup. Then, add the lid and shake it gently. Take the cup and wipe it with menstrual cup wipes or toilet paper.
Finally, reinsert your clean menstrual cup and dump the water from the Carry Cup into the toilet.
How long does it take to boil a menstrual cup?
Boil your menstrual cup for 3 to 4 minutes. Boiling your cup too often and for too long may lead to silicone softening or thinning over time. Boiling it for a shorter time may allow bacteria to stay on the cup’s surface.
How often should I boil my menstrual cup?
You should boil your menstrual cup twice – once when your period starts and once when your period ends. Doing that ensures the cup is clean and sterilized before you use it until the next period.
Is it necessary to boil a menstrual cup?
Yes. While placing your menstrual cup in a kitchen pot may seem strange, boiling it will ensure it is sterilized, clean, and safe.
When you put a foreign object in your body means, there is a chance you could be exposing yourself to bacteria.
That’s why it is crucial the cup is clean to avoid any unnecessary infections from menstrual cups.
Does boiling damage the menstrual cup?
Boiling your menstrual cup for a couple of minutes sanitizes it and makes it safe. However, if you boil the cup for more than 10 minutes, it will make the silicone thin and soften over time and may reduce the lifespan of the cup.
How do you sterilize a menstrual cup without boiling it?
While not as effective as boiling, you can sanitize the cup with menstrual cup wipes if you don’t have any other option. You should boil your cup for proper sanitation and storage the first chance you get.
What is the difference between cleaning and sterilizing?
You must keep up with your daily cleaning and monthly sterilization to avoid irritation or infections.
Day-to-day cleaning of the cup means you wash it every time you take it out to empty it. You must use fragrance-free soap and rinse the cup well before reinserting it. It is done to remove surface bacteria, odor, and buildup.
Sterilizing is done only before your period starts and when it ends (two times for each period). Sterilizing the cup completely removes bacteria and prepares it for the next time you will use it.
Taking good care of your menstrual cup will ensure mess-free, comfortable periods and diminish the chance of uncomfortable infections.
You must always be careful, handle your cup with clean hands, and practice all the hygienic tips from this article.
If you do that, you will be good.
Do you have any other questions regarding menstrual cups?
I have a Sustainable period category where I answer commonly asked questions, like –
- How To Remove Menstrual Cup Without Mess
- Why I Can Feel My Menstrual Cup: Causes & Prevention
- How Do I Know If My Menstrual Cup Is In Right
- Best Menstrual Cup For Heavy Flow
- 6 Best Menstrual Cup For Beginners
If you have any additional questions, please let me know in the comments below!