Don’t Let This Happen to Your Menstrual Cup
When it comes to reusable menstrual cups one of the first questions users ask is; How do I clean a menstrual cup? Because it’s worn inside, like a tampon, it’s important to make sure that it stays germ-free to avoid the potential risk for infection.
There are several ways to clean a menstrual cup. However, some ways are safer than others. More below:
There are several ways to clean a menstrual cup. Sometimes, the cup doesn’t require a total cleaning at all! If you’re out and emptying the cup in a public stall it’s typical to empty it and reinsert…assuming your hands are clean. There are also cup washes. Typically if I empty it at home I just rinse with water or wash quickly with a cup wash.
However, it’s commonly recommended to boil your new menstrual cup before using and to boil the menstrual cup between cycles. Some menstruators take boiling even farther and boil after each use. This often requires more than one menstrual cup or something to wear while the cup is being boiled, perhaps a reusable pad.
However, it can be difficult to pay attention to boiling menstrual cups when life is happening. In this instance, someone else was watching the cups and let them boil too long. There was still water in the pot…but they made contact with the base and toasted. While we all know that a boiling pot shouldn’t be left unattended on the stove…life happens.
Veronica Vance wrote “Y’all I could cry! I asked hubby to keep an eye on the pot while I rested since I’m sick and my period is due any day, and this happened. I smelled the burning silicone when he claimed he didn’t realize I was talking to him.” I messaged her so we could collaborate for this post. I have burned a teapot or two in my lifetime. I put it on the stove…one of the kids cries. It happens.
You can see the damage to the silicone in the photos I took:
(Pinterest image below)
So, now that you’re terrified to boil your cup… Here’s how to avoid toasting your menstrual cup during the boiling process. Many germs die around 140 degrees Fahrenheit and up. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and the longer something is exposed to the high temperature, typically more germs are likely to die. This is why meat is recommended to be cooked around these temperatures, to kill off harmful germs!
Boiling your menstrual cup in a whisk:
This is a commonly recommended approach. It keeps the cup off of the bottom of the pot and makes it easy to get out without touching boiling water to your hands. However, it’s not great if you have to boil more than one cup or you don’t own a whisk. It’s fairly safe because it allows the pot to stay on the stove and cool after you remove the whisk. The water can then be used for something else like watering the house plants.
Boiling your menstrual cup in a strainer
This is my favorite technique because it keeps the cups off of the bottom of the pot and lets me boil several cups at one time. In addition, I can lift the cups without touching boiling water by lifting the strainer and leave the pot on the stove to cool. Once the water is cool I can empty it or water a plant. If I don’t have time to watch the pot like a hawk…I boil the water, place the cups in and turn the stove off. The cups often start to cool with the sterilized water before I strain the water out.
The strainer has feet and is also great for allowing them to dry. I often do this before taking photos of cups for this website to make sure they’re dust-free. They really are dust magnets!
(Pictured below: UltuCup transparent, Merula Cup purple, Lunette Cup Blue & Lena Cup Pink)
Menstrual cup sterilizing container
Some menstrual cups come with a sterilizing container and others can be placed into a coffee mug or canning jar. However, this method requires that you pour boiling water over the cup with a tea kettle or pot. You can also boil the water first in a microwave and then place the cup in. I know that some companies recommend placing the cup into the microwave too…but after reading about how microwaves mutate molecules in foods, I don’t recommend actually microwaving your cup along with the water.
If you do accidentally toast your cup…you can use the coupon GREENVAG to save 10% off of your order at my affiliate with worldwide shipping and great service here. I also have a post with menstrual cup shops and coupons here.
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