You are now comfortable enough with using your menstrual cup at your home’s bathroom. But, what if you find yourself in a public bathroom with no accessible sink or running water? How will you clean your menstrual cup in such situations?
4 methods to clean menstrual cup in public bathrooms
1. Don’t Change It
The easiest and most common answer on cleaning the menstrual cup in a public bathroom is to just avoid doing it altogether. Doing so means less mess and less bother on your part. You can try emptying the cup once during the day and once at night so you don’t need to use a public bathroom. Since changing menstrual cups doesn’t have to be as often as changing tampons, you can just try to wait it out. However, this might not always be possible because of different reasons. This leads to other tips below.
2. Use Toilet Paper
The good old toilet paper can be your best friend when cleaning your menstrual cup. Grab some toilet paper, remove and empty the cup in the toilet, wipe it with toilet paper and put it back in. You can also use the toilet paper for cleaning your hands so you wouldn’t look like you came out of a murder scene. The best thing about toilet paper is that it is always available. Just make sure that you dab your cup with it to prevent a messy situation.
3. Always Bring a Reusable Water Bottle with You
Since there is no way to tell if the public bathroom has water, it will be a wise move to always pack a reusable water bottle in your bag. After removing and emptying the cup, you can simply hold it over the toilet and pour water on it to clean it. You can rinse your hands with the water and use the toilet paper to dry your hands. This is a fantastic idea, especially when you have the habit of carrying a water bottle with you all the time.
4. Befriend Wet Paper Towel
Wash your hands first and use a wet paper towel to dry them. You can bring some wet paper towel to the public bathroom stall with you then use this for wiping both your cup and your hands afterwards. The best thing about wet paper towel is that sturdier compared to toilet paper. You might want to always carry some around since not all public restrooms offer them.
5. Go for Menstrual Cup Wipes
It is always a good idea to keep some spare wrapped menstrual cup wipes in your wallet. These won’t take up a lot of room and they also work well for cleaning your cup, hands, and your body. These wipes are especially formulated for your feminine area and menstrual cup and are perfect for camping and hiking trips. Just note that regular scented and sanitizing wipes must not be used for cleaning your menstrual cup since these might cause skin irritation.
How to sanitize menstrual cup
Every brand of menstrual cup has its specific cleaning instructions. Although the types of cleaners that you use may differ based on the brand, the suggestions below on how to sanitize menstrual cup can serve as a good guideline you can try to follow:
How to sanitize your menstrual cup during your period
During your menstrual cycle, you need to wash your cup at least two times a day and preferably every 4 to 8 hours. Once you removed your cup and empty its contents, wash the cup under warm or cold water before reinserting it.
You can also use an oil-free, water-based, or scent-free soap or any of the specially made menstrual cup wash or wipes options. These washes can help minimize risks of deterioration on the cup itself. Any brand of wash can be used with any brand of menstrual cup.
Take note that soaps containing natural oils might denature the medical silicone and slightly soften it. It can result to faster deterioration or perishing of your cup.
If you want to prevent discoloration, you can rinse your cup in cold water first and follow it with warm water. The warm water will allow the color to set in the silicone.
Make sure you clean the rim and all holes of the menstrual cup thoroughly. The silicone can be stretched to wash the areas under running water. Stubborn debris can also be removed using a toothpick or soft brush meant for the cup.
How to sanitize your menstrual cup after your period
It is often recommended to sterilize your menstrual cup both before and after your cycle. To sterilize and store your cup after your cycle, just rinse it as normal. Boil a pot of water and place the cup in it, making sure that it doesn’t sink to the bottom where this can melt once it touches the base of the saucepan.
Boil it for 2 to 10 minutes, depending on the brand, and remove and let it air dry. You can let the cup sit inside a whisk that sits in the boiling water to ensure that it doesn’t touch the pot’s base. Dry the cup under the sun but make sure it is not a spot where it can melt. This will help lessen the risks of discoloration. If the cup gets damaged or burned on the saucepan’s base while boiling, make sure you replace it.
Other steaming or boiling options that might be more convenient for cleaning your menstrual cup at the end of your cycle include microwave sterilization bags and menstrual cup sterilizers. You can use these in the microwave and can clean the cup in less than 5 minutes. You have to be extra careful when you use these items since these contain boiling water. You also need to keep them out of children’s reach when being used.
You can also dissolve a Milton sterilizing tablet in one bowl of water to sterilize your menstrual cup and sit the cup in the solution for the suggested time.
When dry, you can now store your menstrual cup in its accompanying carry pound. You should avoid storing it in a plastic bag or airtight container to allow the air to circulate around your cup and let moisture evaporate properly.