Basic Cleaning And Care Info

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Basic Cleaning And Care Info

Post  Admin on Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:32 am

First-- if you have any additional ideas or information about cup cleaning and care, please feel free to post about them, or discuss the posts of others. All opinions and ideas are welcome, as long as they are polite Smile . This is just some basic info I have managed to gather:




Cleaning And Care Of A Menstrual Cup

Every menstrual cup company has their own set of recommendations and no-no’s for cleaning and care of your cup. And a lot of women have different opinions on the matter too. However, there are some cleaning methods that are universally agreed to be safe by pretty much everyone, so I’m going to put them here.

Storage:

Never store your menstrual cup in a plastic bag, or a sealed air-tight container. This will cause mold. The safest thing to store you menstrual cup in, is a clean cloth sack. This will allow airflow, while keeping your cup safe and clean all month. Most menstrual cups come with their own cloth drawstring pouch to store them in.

Cleaning:

There are 2 basic cleaning rituals for a menstrual cup:

1– Daily cleaning (you do this whenever you empty your cup).
2– Sterilizing ( you do this once a month, either right before you use your cup, or at the end of your period, before you store your cup away).




Daily Cleaning:

For this, some women choose to rinse only with plain water each time they empty their cup. This is a good suggestion if you are in a public restroom, because you can simply bring some bottled water with you in your purse, to rinse your cup privately in the stall. Others feel better if they use some kind of soap for a good cleaning. If you chose to use a soap, make sure it is mild and perfume free. Or even ph balanced, if you like. Basically, any of the following will work, and if you only use it for washing your cup, one bottle or bar can last for a year, or even longer:

* A store-bought bar of soap that is mild and fragrance free / unscented.

* A store-bought (unscented) feminine wash that was meant to be safe for use on the genitals.

* A wash made by a menstrual cup manufacturer.

* A wash made for cleaning sex toys.

Many companies do not recommend using a regular or scented soap, because the perfume can cling to the cup and irritate you inside. Also, the residue from regular soap is difficult to wash away, and can also irritate you.

Sterilizing:

Most women do this once a month, as suggested by many menstrual cup companies. Some will do it on the day their period starts, right before they put their cup in. Others feel that its less hassle to sterilize their cup as soon as their period is over, so it will be instantly ready to use when their next cycle begins. For this, you can do one of the following:

* Boil your menstrual cup for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer, using a clean pot filled with water so the cup will float, and make sure the water is boiling before you put the cup in.

* You can also use Lunette disinfecting wipes if you are in a public restroom, or if you do not have access to clean, potable water. Make sure you allow the cup to dry completely after using Lunette disinfecting wipes (it should only take a minute), the sterilizing solution will evaporate away completely-- no water is needed.

* Some brands (like Keeper) do not recommend boiling their product. In their case, if you wish, you may briefly rinse your cup in a gentle water/vinegar solution (90% water, 10% vinegar). Allow to dry. DO NOT soak your cup in this solution for prolonged periods of time.

NOTE: Some companies also allow the use of rubbing alcohol. You simply wet a cotton ball with the alcohol, and rub it all over the inside and outside of the cup. Then allow it to dry completely, before using. Please ask the manufacturer of your cup if rubbing alcohol is acceptable, as not all cups are made from the same material.

DO NOT soak your cup in a container of alcohol. Not even diluted. Full strength, soaking wastes a lot of alcohol, and can damage the cup. Diluted, it will take too long, and may not sterilize completely.

The cotton ball method is the fastest, easiest, cheapest, most convenient and effective way.

For more information on other cleaning methods, here is the link to a post I did in the LiveJournal community, where I wrote a letter to a medical silicone expert (who is not involved in menstrual cup manufacturing), asking which cleaning/sterilizing products are safe for silicone, and which ones are not:

http://community.livejournal.com/menstrual_cups/1649971.html

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