How to clean a menstrual cup

Reusable period products: definitely more sustainable… but are they hygienic? Are menstrual cups sanitary? How do you clean a menstrual cup?

All these are perfectly valid questions. The good news is that period cups are easy to clean and are extremely hygienic!

In this blog, you will learn everything there is to know about how to best clean a menstrual cup.

what is the best method to clean a menstrual cup?

If you’re pressed for time, here’s the short answer. There are just two rules to know about how to clean a reusable menstrual cup. 

Rule #1: Boil between periods

The first time you use your menstrual cup and then between every menstrual period, you need to clean your menstrual cup with boiling water.

Soak your cup in a pot of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. This will ensure that it is 100% sterilised. Leave to dry and the store in the Asan pouch, all ready to use for your next period.

Rule #2: During periods, wash with clean water

Cleaning a menstrual cup during periods is simple: just rinse thoroughly with clean water every time you remove and empty it.

You don’t need to boil your cup or use hot water during your period. If you’re wondering “Can I clean my menstrual cup with just water”, the answer is yes: rinsing well with clean running water is adequate.

Now that you know these two rules, you know the basics of how to clean a menstrual cup! 

If you have further questions or want to learn more about the different ways to clean a menstrual cup, then read on.

can i use soap? what is the best soap to clean a menstrual cup?

When we launched Asan, we advised users to clean their menstrual cup without soap.

This is because most commercial soaps contain harmful chemicals that can damage the Asan’s cup’s silicone and also be harmful to your body (especially if there is residue of the soap on your cup when you insert it).

However, we quickly found out that our users were experimenting with all kinds of cleaning products for sterilizing menstrual cups!

Below are just some of the questions that flooded our inbox-

  • Can I use alcohol to clean a menstrual cup?
  • Can I use antiseptic to clean a menstrual cup?
  • Can I clean menstrual cups with bleach?
  • Can apple cider vinegar be used to clean a menstrual cup?
  • Can I use baby soap on a menstrual cup?
  • Can I use baby wipes to clean my menstrual cup?

The answer to all these questions… is absolutely not! All the products above contain chemicals that we would not advise using to clean a menstrual cup. We also certainly do not want these products to go anywhere near our vaginas, as they contain irritants and can upset the natural pH of your vaginal canal.

As our users clearly did want a soap to clean their period cups, we worked with scientists to develop our natural Asan OneDrop Cleanser, which is the best wash for menstrual cups.

Made from natural ingredients, the Asan Cleanser is a perfume-free menstrual cup wash that is designed to be compatible on the cup’s silicone and also gentle on your body.

Simply drop one or two drops of our cleanser into your menstrual cup, add some clean water and spread around. Rinse thoroughly and you’re good to go – our menstrual cup wash kills 99% of bacteria.

how to clean air holes in a menstrual cup?

This is a great question. The Asan menstrual cup has four air holes at the very top of the cup, which enable the cup’s suction mechanism that keeps it in place.

A simple trick to clean the air holes is to fill your period cup to the brim with water, press it against your palm, and squeeze. Water will squirt out through the air holes, thereby cleaning them!

You can also use a toothpick or a brush to clean menstrual cup air holes – just make sure you are gentle and don’t scrub too hard.

how do you clean a menstrual cup in a public restroom?

This is a question we hear a lot. How do you clean a menstrual cup at work or when you’re out and about?

For those of us with light flow, the good news is that you can wear your period cup for 12 hours (it should hold up to three times more than a regular pad) – so ideally, change it in the morning and at night, and you won’t need to deal with it in public restrooms.

For those of us with heavy flow, we totally accept that this can be a tricky one! If the cubicle has a water supply, then simply empty your cup, wash as normal, and reinsert.

If the cubicle doesn’t have a water supply, then we advise carrying a small bottle of water with you into the cubicle. Use this to rinse out your cup.

Some users also like to carry a back-up Asan cup for moments like this. When you remove your cup, empty it and wrap it in tissue. You can then clean your menstrual cup at home.

tips for cleaning a menstrual cup while travelling?

Menstrual cups are GREAT for travelling — you don’t need to stock up on loads of sanitary products and worry about where and how to dispose of them.

There’s no need to worry about keeping your period cup clean while travelling. If you need to clean your menstrual cup without boiling during your travels, you can always rely on the Asan OneDrop cleanser – just soak your cup in a solution of water plus a few drops of the cleanser. This will ensure it’s sparkly clean!

Even better, the Asan cleanser is just 60ml, so it’s allowed in hand-baggage and super portable to carry around! It’s the perfect travel companion.

how do i clean a menstrual cup that has discoloured?

The great news is that the Asan menstrual cup is designed not to discolour over time. The red colour (which, after all, is the colour of periods!) ensures that the cup will be looking brand new after several years of use.

However, over time, some menstrual cups can discolour – especially transparent ones.

This can make them look a bit icky and while they are totally safe to use, we understand that you might want to try and clean the discolouration.

The best way to clean a menstrual cup that has discoloured is to cover a brush with Asan OneDrop cleanser and gently scrub the discoloured area. Then boil your cup for 20 minutes. 

While it is difficult to remove all discolouration, you should see some improvement. And remember, discoloured menstrual cups are still safe to use!

which is the easiest menstrual cup to clean?

Most silicone menstrual cups have a straightforward design and are easy to clean. Avoid menstrual cups with overly complicated designs – the more awkward grooves, the more spaces there are to collect bacteria.

The Asan menstrual cup is made from super smooth silicone and doesn’t have any hidden grooves. It’s super simple to keep clean and also does not tend to discolour with use!

how do i deep clean a menstrual cup?

We understand you might want to “deep clean” your cup once in a while – after all, it lasts for 10 years! 

However, please don’t deep clean it every single cycle as the more you boil your cup, the thinner and softer the silicone will become. Boiling for 5 minutes is more than adequate.

To deep clean your cup, soak it in a solution of Asan OneDrop Cleanser and water for 10 minutes.

Clean the air holes using a gentle brush or toothpick. Finally, boil the cup for 10 to 20 minutes. That will make it truly, squeaky clean!

frequently asked questions 

Hopefully by reading this blog, you are now an expert on the best ways to clean a menstrual cup.

Below are some more frequently asked questions with quick one-line answers.

How to clean a menstrual cup before first use?

Before your first use, soak your menstrual cup in a pan of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes.

What about cleaning a menstrual cup after my period?

After your period, you can either boil your cup again or sanitise it thoroughly using the Asan OneDrop cleanser and clean water. Dry it completely and store until the following period.

Do you have to wash a menstrual cup every time you use it?

Every time you empty your menstrual cup, make sure you wash it before reinserting. We don’t advise inserting a cup that has not been washed.

Can I clean a menstrual cup with baking soda?

We do not advise the use of baking soda to clean a menstrual cup, please rely on the Asan OneDrop Cleanser as the safest soap for your menstrual cup. 

Can you clean a menstrual cup in the microwave?

Please don’t put your menstrual cup in the microwave, this may damage it. You can boil water in the microwave and then soak your cup in the recently boiled water.

Cleaning menstrual cup after yeast infection?

If you’ve have had a yeast or other vaginal infection, please boil your cup for at least 20 minutes to completely sterilize it.

How often do i need to clean my menstrual cup?

Wash your menstrual cup every single time you remove and empty it. Boil it or use the Asan OneDrop cleanser between periods.

We hope this exhaustive list of FAQs has answered all your questions! If you still have any doubts or queries about cleaning your menstrual cup, we’re here to help.

Contact our team with your query and we’ll respond as soon as possible. You can also connect with us on Instagram where we regularly share tips on how to maintain and use your Asan menstrual cup.