If you’re new to menstrual cups or are reluctant to try them, we’ve got some tips and tricks that’ll take you from newbie to pro in no time. These shortcuts will put you on the inside track when it comes to making the most of this fabulous invention.
Switching from tampons to a menstrual cup will put a brand new spin on your menstrual cycle. It’s hard to overstate just how much. When you consider that menstruation is something we usually have to do deal with for an entire week out of each and every month, it’s easy to see what a big impact a change in products can make. Once you get used to wearing a menstrual cup, you’ll love how much simpler and safer it is to use than tampons. Plus you’ll be saving money every month since you don’t have to dish out money for more and more tampons. What’s more, it feels good to do something good for the environment by keeping disposable feminine hygiene products out of landfills.
As an experienced menstrual cup user — I started with the Keeper but now use the MoonCup — I’d like to pass along some of the menstrual cup hacks I’ve learned along the way. Check out these tips and tricks and you’ll be joining the ranks of menstrual cup experts before you know it.
It’s not a secret menstrual that blood is very good at causing stains. Since a menstrual cup is typically designed to last for many years, it makes sense to take a little bit of time to take care of it. If you have a light-colored menstrual cup like a Lunette or MoonCup, there are a couple of things you can do to keep your cup looking brand new.
1. Rinse it with cold water.
If you take your cup and put it straight under warm or hot water, that can encourage stains to set in. To prevent permanent stains, rinse it clean with cold water first. Then you can crank up the temperature to really get it clean. Some folks like to boil their menstrual cup once a month. That’s really a matter of personal preference, but be aware that it’s not necessary, and it will most likely cause your menstrual cup to degrade and need replacement faster than it would otherwise. If you decide to boil it, only keep it in the boiling water for about five minutes.
2. Use the magical powers of the sun.
If your cup is starting to look drab, give it a nice holiday in the sun to bring it back to its bright self. Although sitting in the sun makes our skin darker — or red, depending on your complexion — sunlight is an excellent natural bleaching agent. If you have a clear or light colored menstrual cup, putting it out in the sun will provide some sanitizing and lightening courtesy of Mother Nature.
3. Give it a good scrub.
If you really want to keep your menstrual cup looking like new, using an old toothbrush to give it a good scrub will help to keep it pristine. Most cups have little ridges that you might miss when you wash the cup in water. Scrubbing the crevices with an old toothbrush or other small scrubbing brush works wonders. Make sure to get the tiny dots under the rim. These itty-bitty holes are there to help the cup get the suction that keeps it in place. Giving them a good scrub now and then will keep them looking fine and working properly.
4. Sanitize it with vinegar.
Naturally we all want our menstrual cups sanitized and free of bacteria. A cheap and effective way to do this is to use white vinegar. White vinegar is proven to kill bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. A solution of one part vinegar to nine parts water does the trick. After you wash your cup in warm, soapy water, rinse it with the vinegar solution. Using these natural ingredients is as effective as using harsh cleansers, but because they’re gentler, your cup will last longer.
5. Let it Breathe
Your cup probably came with a pouch made of cloth. It’s cloth for a reason; menstrual cups are made from materials that need to breathe. The airflow helps to keep it dry and fresh and is simply kinder to the materials that your menstrual cup is made of. Don’t store yours in a plastic bag or another type of airtight container.
Now that you know these tips and tricks go straight to the head of the class! You’ve graduated from menstrual cup newbie status. Knowing how to take good care of your menstrual cup means it’ll last as long as it’s meant to — some brands are designed to last as many as 10 years — and it’ll stay in top condition during that time. You’ll save money, time and help the environment with one simple thing: the menstrual cup.