If you’re thinking about purchasing your first cup — or you already have — congrats! You’re well on your way to a better period that’s better for you and for the planet.
Your Menstrual Cup — How To Clean
Let's jump into all things cleaning your cup! Because to fully love your experience, knowing how to clean your menstrual cup is one of the most important things. Even with the learning curve and getting use to how your cup feels and works, you will be a PRO in no time, able to clean your cup wherever you’re at, with all the best tricks up your sleeve.
Do I Have to Clean the Cup Before Using?
Yes, cleaning the cup before first use is a must! Here’s the step-by-step process you can use the first time and between each use.
1. Wash your hands throughout the process of sanitizing to keep you and your cup germ-free. And, be sure to wash your cup with a mild cleanser (non-oil-based and fragrance-free).
2. Since the cup is medical-grade silicone, there are two simple ways to clean it to help it stay clean and last longer.
a. Wash inside and out of the cup in warm, mild soapy water.
b. Rinse in a diluted vinegar solution of one part vinegar to nine parts water.
Note: Do not use scented, oil-based, or antibacterial soaps, bleach, or other harsh chemicals to clean the silicone. It may damage the menstrual cup or irritate your body.
3. Some would recommended letting the cup sit in boiling water for 20 minutes before you first use it and between each use — but we've seen that washing it with the above method and occasionally letting it sit in a mug, covered with boiling water to sanitize, is sufficient and will help your cup retain its shape and color for many more years.
Pro Tip: Add 2-3 drops of organic tea tree oil (melaleuca) to the boiled water to help keep you and your cup smelling fresh.
4. If you’re going to use the cup right away, there’s no need to let it dry first. But if you’re storing it, let it air dry fully before storing it in the cloth bag that comes with it.
How Long Can I Wear My Cup Before Emptying It?
With proper care, you can wear the Simplicity Cup for up to 12 hours and the Easy-Empty Cup for up to 24 hours!
How To Clean Menstrual Cups While On My Cycle?
To make cleaning simple, we suggest doing it first thing in the morning or before bed, whatever is convenient for you. If you’re going to jump in the shower that day, you can easily remove, wash, and reinsert it in the shower! Otherwise, simply rinse and reinsert whenever your cup needs to be emptied.
To address the cup in the room, let’s talk the nitty gritty once you’ve removed the cup while sitting on the toilet. You may be thinking, “This is the part I’m not looking forward to.” But once you start doing it, it’ll become a routine you don’t even think about.
- Take a piece of toilet paper or one of our pads and lay it on the counter next to you. You may like to have a dark colored wet wash cloth or wipes there as well.
- Once you have pinched the bottom of the cup to release suction, gently removed, and now have the cup in hand, make sure you’ve dumped the contents completely. More on this below!
- Set the cup upside down on the protected surface while you clean up.
- Once you’re ready, move the cup to the sink, rinse, ensuring the little air holes on the sides of the cup have been cleared.
- Wash and reinsert for continued use. Or wash, air dry, and then store if your period is complete.
We do have two cups that require two different ways of removing so here is the 411 on it all!
Cleaning the Simplicity
To do so, grasp and pinch the base to release the suction and gently rock back and forth. You can dump the contents directly in the toilet before rinsing it in the sink or shower, washing it with your fragrance-free and oil-free cleanser of choice, and reinserting.
Cleaning the Easy-Empty
To empty the Easy-Empty™️ cup, you simply have to pinch the pearl bead up, let the contents flow to the toilet, and then pinch the bead back down. It’s so easy to ensure you don’t leak and you have less of a mess to deal with.
Every 12-24 hours, we recommend taking the Easy-Empty™️ Cup out and rinsing it with the mild cleanser and water, and reinserting. To remove this cup, pinch the bead up (as the bead creates a suction seal that can be difficult to break). Then do the remaining steps to successfully remove it and clean it. Be careful with the bead when you're washing to make sure you don't lose it down the drain!
How Do I Sanitize My Cup After My Cycle?
Use the same process as initially washing and sanitizing. We love adding tea tree whenever we sanitize it with boiled water because of its antiviral, anti fungal, and antibacterial properties are great for the silicone and for your vagina.
Be sure to let it fully air dry for a few hours before storing it in the breathable cotton bag. If it gets wet, it may start to grow mold, which you don’t want to deal with!
Do I Need To Have a Special Wash For My Cup?
Some cup companies provide their own washes, but you can really use any fragrance-free and oil-free (free and clear) cleaning soap and warm water to rinse your cup. The best and less expensive option is to wash it with free and clear soap and then sanitize it by letting it sit in boiled water over it with 1-2 drops of pure tea tree oil.
How Do I Prevent Stains or Discoloration on my Cup?
Generally, your cup should stay stain-free if properly washed each day and boiled between cycles. You can use a soft toothbrush to scrub your cup while washing and toothpicks work well to clear out the suction holes in the Simplicity cup rim.
However, for stubborn stains, we recommend soaking your cup in 1 cup of warm water with 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide for 1 hour. This will bubble, sanitize and remove the toughest stains get your cup looking like new!
Bear in mind that hydrogen peroxide on skin can be harsh and drying, so rinse well with pure water before handling and using your cup again.
This will help protect your pH balance while ensuring your period cup is sanitized, keeping you and it feeling fresh!
How Do I Clean My Cup In a Public Restroom?
You may be thinking - learning how to clean menstrual cups in a public space seems like the worst for potential problems. But with the right resources in your bag, you’ll be fine!
Keep a small bottle of water in your purse along with wipes so you can deal with your hands and keep things tidy. Be sure you wash your hands before going into the rest room.
Once you’ve emptied the contents in the toilet, you can either wipe it with toilet paper first or go straight to the water cleansing and then reinsert.
If you’re wanting to store it and change period care methods, you can always rinse and then use a wet/dry bag or just wrap it in toilet paper or paper towel before getting home to clean it well.
Be sure to wash it with soap and sanitize it as soon as you get home.
And there you have it! All your options for how to clean your menstrual cups whether you’re home or away! We hope you have the best period cup experience and love your new sustainable way to manage that time every month comfortably, conveniently, and safely!