Navigating the world of menstrual cups can be a bit daunting, especially when you’re faced with the task of cleaning one in public.
You might be wondering how to go about it without making a scene or compromising hygiene.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
With a good portion of humor and some practical tips, you’ll be a menstrual cup cleaning pro in no time.
The key to cleaning your menstrual cup in public is all about preparation and being discreet.
While it might seem tricky at first, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure you confidently and effectively maintain your menstrual cup when you’re out and about.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the best way to clean your menstrual cup in public spaces, so you can remain worry-free during your period.
Definitely don’t let the thought of public cup cleaning hold you back from the numerous advantages that come with using a menstrual cup.
You’ll soon see that with a few clever tricks and a casual approach, it’s easy to integrate this eco-friendly and budget-friendly option into your life, even when you’re on the go.
Cleaning with Public Facilities
In a Public Restroom
When you need to clean your menstrual cup in a public restroom, start by washing your hands with soap and water.
If the restroom has a private sink, you can rinse your cup with water after emptying its contents in the toilet.
However, if it’s a shared sink area, try wrapping the cup in toilet paper and carrying it discreetly to the sink for cleaning.
Remember to use mild soap and warm water for the best results.
If you are in a toilet cubicle without a sink, you can also use hypoallergenic feminine wipes to clean your cup.
Opt for an accessible stall if available, as they usually provide more room for maneuvering.
Using a Water Bottle
Cleaning your menstrual cup with a small bottle of water can be a convenient alternative, especially when you don’t have access to a sink.
Fill it with clean water, either warm or cold, depending on your preference.
After emptying the cup in the toilet, carefully pour water over it from the bottle to rinse it, and wipe it with a clean tissue or toilet paper.
It’s a simple and discreet way to maintain its hygiene.
Other Public Places
In places like coffee shops or other public locations, private restrooms will provide more comfort for cleaning your menstrual cup.
Utilize the sink within the restroom to clean it with mild soap and water, just as you would at home.
When visiting public places where a private restroom isn’t available, keep a water bottle or feminine wipes with you as a backup plan.
Remember, maintaining the cleanliness of your menstrual cup is crucial for your health.
Don’t hesitate to use any of these methods when necessary, and always wash your hands before and after handling your cup.
Cleaning Methods and Best Practices
Using Mild or Antibacterial Soap
Opt for a mild or antibacterial soap when cleaning your menstrual cup in public.
Ensure the soap is fragrance-free and gentle on your skin to avoid irritation.
Thoroughly wash your hands before handling the cup.
Rinse the cup well with clean water to ensure no soap residue remains that could disrupt your vaginal pH balance.
Wet Wipes and Menstrual Cup Wipes
When soap and water are not readily available, you can use wet wipes or menstrual cup wipes to clean your cup.
Choose wipes specifically designed for menstrual cup care, as these often contain antibacterial properties.
Gently wipe the cup and its openings until any residue is gone.
Alternatively, clean toilet paper or clean tissue can be used to wipe the cup until it’s mostly clean.
The Boiling Method
For a thorough cleaning, the boiling method can be used. However, this may not be practical in a public setting.
If you’re able to access a kitchen area with a small pot, you can use this option.
Fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil.
Then, immerse your menstrual cup in the boiling water, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot, as this could cause damage.
Boil the cup for 5-7 minutes, then carefully remove it and let it cool before using it again.
Hydrogen Peroxide for Deep Cleaning
If your menstrual cup needs a deeper clean, a solution of hydrogen peroxide can be used.
This is particularly helpful if you notice any lingering odors or staining.
Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water in a clean container.
Soak your cup in the solution for a few hours or overnight, then rinse it thoroughly with water before reinserting.
Keep in mind that this cleaning method should only be used occasionally, as frequent use of hydrogen peroxide may degrade your menstrual cup over time.
Why Cleanse Your Menstrual Cup
Understanding The Risks
Cleaning your menstrual cup is crucial to preventing health risks associated with poor hygiene.
Neglecting to clean your cup properly can increase the risk of infections, such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
In extreme cases, toxic shock syndrome may also occur, although this is rare.
To avoid these risks, it’s essential to maintain a clean menstrual cup, especially in public spaces.
Importance of Hygiene Practices
When you’re using a reusable menstrual cup, it’s essential to practice proper hygiene.
A menstrual cup made from medical-grade silicone can last for years of use, but good hygiene is imperative for its longevity and your overall health.
Always start with clean hands when handling your menstrual cup, as this can minimize the risk of introducing bacteria to your cup and your body.
Benefits of Regular Cleaning
Cleaning your menstrual cup not only ensures its longevity but also keeps it odor-free.
Regular cleaning helps prevent any unpleasant menstrual cup smells, which can become more potent over time if not addressed.
Good news: with proper hygiene practices, using a reusable menstrual cup is safe and effective, whether you have a heavy or light flow.
Frequency of Cleaning
The frequency you clean your menstrual cup will depend on your preferences and how often you need to empty it.
When you have a full menstrual cup during your period, it’s best to rinse or clean it before reinserting it into your body.
At the end of your period, sanitize your menstrual cup thoroughly before storing it away for the next cycle.
By following these guidelines, you can safely and comfortably use your menstrual cup while maintaining proper hygiene, even in public areas.
Dealing with a Heavy Flow
If you have a heavier flow, emptying your cup more frequently is important to avoid any leaks or overflows.
You might also consider using a larger capacity cup, such as a mahina cup, for extra reassurance.
For First-Time Users
For first-time menstrual cup users, especially lifelong tampon users, it’s normal to feel a bit nervous.
Don’t worry – just make sure you read the instructions carefully and give yourself some time to adjust.
You might want to use a backup menstrual product, like a pad, during your first cycle, just in case.
When to Consider an Extra Cup
It’s a good idea to have an extra cup handy to swap while you’re out, so you can easily clean and prepare it for the next use.
This prevents you from feeling rushed and ensures your cup is properly sanitized before reinsertion.
Overcoming Lack of Privacy
Dealing with your menstrual cup in public can seem like a private matter, but don’t let the fear of lack of privacy hold you back.
In fact, most people won’t even realize you’re using a menstrual cup.
Just discreetly empty the contents of your cup into the toilet, then wipe the cup with a tissue or a clean cloth before reinserting.
Road Trip & Travel Tips
When on a road trip or while traveling, always have a planned worst-case scenario – for example, carrying wet wipes and a small container for water to clean your cup if you can’t access a sink.
Remember to pack your menstrual cup wash (the Pixie Cup wash is highly recommended) and other reusable period products in your travel bag.
Investing in a menstrual cup may involve some additional costs, such as purchasing a specialized wash with a vaginal pH balance and natural ingredients.
However, these costs tend to be minimal compared to the long-term savings from the switch to reusable period products.
Ensuring Longevity and Flexibility
To maximize the lifetime and flexibility of your cup, make sure you always follow the cleaning and storage instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Taking proper care of your cup ensures that it remains flexible and comfortable to use for a long time, making the experience even more rewarding for menstrual cup users.
In summary, when you need to clean your menstrual cup in a public restroom, it’s essential to consider a few simple steps.
Firstly, wash your hands thoroughly using water and a mild soap, or use hand sanitizer if you can’t access a sink.
After removing your menstrual cup, take care to empty the menstrual blood into the toilet.
If you’re unable to wash your cup with soap and water, it could be a good idea to use tissues or toilet paper to wipe the cup clean.
As an alternative, you can also carry a small bottle of water to rinse your cup.
When your cup is clean, the next step is to re-insert it. Before doing so, make sure your hands are clean once more, and you’re comfortable with the process.
If you have any issues, just take a breath and relax.
Finally, don’t worry about any possible stains on your hands, as soaps or hand sanitizers can help remove them.
Remember, practice makes perfect, and over time, handling your bloody menstrual cup in public will become much easier!
With these tips in mind, you can confidently navigate the world of menstrual cup maintenance while out and about.
Keep calm, stay clean, and embrace the eco-friendly, budget-friendly benefits of your menstrual cup wherever you go.