From sanitizing your cup or boiling it in water, to using hydrogen peroxide (eek), there are many myths out there about how to properly clean your menstrual cup.
Let’s break down the myths and truths about cleaning and care for your cup.
Clean Your Cup
Before you run to your local pharmacy to replace your cup, considering trying some of our tried and trusted methods of thoroughly washing your cup.
First thing’s first: all cup users should boil your cup before your first time using it.
Not many users know this, but you only need to boil your menstrual cup the first time once you remove the cup from the box. After the first time you insert the cup, you can clean it using a variety of methods, not always requiring boiling water! (Convenient for when you’re camping, traveling, or doing a road trip, right?)
Since the DivaCup can be worn for 12 hours, along with many other reusable period products, you may experience stains—that’s a long time for a medical-grade silicone product to be inside of you!
To battle these pesky stains we recommend the following:
- First, remove the cup and empty your flow into the toilet or sink.
- You can rinse your cup at home in the sink using hot water and fragrance-free soap (it’s also okay to use cold water!)
- If you’re not going to insert your menstrual cup again, you can dry it with a micro-fibre towel, or leave it on a safe and clean surface to air dry
- If you are inserting your cup again, it’s fine for it to have a bit of water left on it (that might make re-insertion easier!)
- Sterilizing your cup is also a great option if you have an at-home sterilizer
If you’re not at home, and want to empty, clean and re-insert your cup in a public washroom and you don’t have access to a sink or running water, you can simply
- Empty your flow in the toilet
- Wipe down with toilet paper (just make sure no TP remnants are left on the cup)
- If you have bottled water, you can pour some onto your cup over the toilet to rinse
No matter your if you have a heavy flow or a light flow, you should clean your cup regularly to avoid infections.
If you’re not re-inserting right away, store your cup safely after cleaning. We always recommend a light, breathable cotton bag, such as the organic cotton pouch included in the DivaCup packaging.
Watch our complete guide on care and cleaning your cup.
The Do Not’s
Cup cleaning basics are easy, right? But what should you avoid when cleaning your menstrual cup?
Be sure to avoid the following when you’re attempting to clean your cup:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Anti-bacterial soap
- Baking Soda
- Castille soap
- Rubbing alcohol
- Any scented soaps
The vagina is a beautiful self-cleaning mechanism. It doesn’t need those harsh chemicals which can throw off you pH, or worse, cause a painful infection.
Lastly, and very importantly, it may be a cup but it’s not that kind of cup. Your menstrual cup does not belong in the dishwasher—it is not dishwasher safe!
Caring for Your Menstrual Cup
How to Store Your Cup
If you’re not re-inserting right after a cleaning, it’s best to safely storing your cup.
We always recommend a light, breathable cotton bag, such as the bag included in the DivaCup packaging. Or, if you’ve lost yours, feel free to check out shopdiva where you can purchase a new pouch for storing your cup.
Stains suck, don’t they?
Before jumping to the bleach (see our ‘do not’ list above), consider making cleaning a regular part of your menstrual care cycle.
When to Replace Your Cup
It happens to the best of us.
Eventually, your menstrual cup—whether a DivaCup or from another brand—is going to need replacing.
Over time, the medical grade silicone used to make the DivaCup will stain and perhaps begin to deteriorate. Some companies suggest that you only need to replace your cup every ten years, but this is inaccurate. The pH of your vagina will begin to wear away at the silicone if the cup is consistently used for your period over the course of ten years. If you notice any cracks, residues, or severe staining and odours, it’s time to replace your cup.
We recommended replacing your cup every year (it’s a nice treat), or at least after several years of use.