Switching to a reusable menstrual cup means you will need to know how to clean and sterilise it. Menstrual cups and discs are all made from medical grade materials, either silicone or TPE, which means they’re less likely to harbour bacteria. As such, they are extremely sanitary and easy to clean once you know how!
Firstly, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to look after your period cup. Most good brands will come with a user manual that explains exactly how to sterilise it before use, insert it, remove it, and clean it between and after use. Follow these exactly and you won’t go wrong.
Not sure where to start? View our Menstrual Cup Starter Kit
Top tips for cleaning your menstrual cups:
• Sterilise it before using it for the first time by washing in warm water with a mild, unscented, water-based soap, rinsing it and boiling it in a pot in a good amount of water (so it doesn’t burn) for 20 minutes. Make sure your pot has enough water, so the menstrual cup can float around.
• Clean it before your cycle, every time after you empty it, and after your cycle using warm water and mild soap
• Always wash your hands well before touching your menstrual cup
• Rinse in cold water before cleaning so it doesn’t become discoloured or start smelling
• After rinsing in cold water, wash with hot water and a mild, perfume-free, oil-free soap or a dedicated menstrual cup cleansing wash
• You can gently stretch your menstrual cup’s holes under warm running water to remove any debris that may be inside them. Or simply fill the cup to the top with water, place your hand over the top, flip the cup and squeeze. This pushes any debris out of the holes.
• Sterilise your cup after you have finished your period by boiling it in a large pot of water for 5 to 10 minutes.
• Don’t use a menstrual cup for more than 12 hours at a time – it needs to be emptied and washed at least twice a day - at least every 12 hours, but ideally every 4 to 8 hours.
What can I clean my menstrual cup with?
Use gentle soaps that are free of dyes, fragrances, and oils. If you don’t want to check all the ingredients and prefer to know the soap is safe just buy menstrual cup safe cleaners designed to be gentle on skin and safe for silicone.