5 Step Guide to Cleaning Your Menstrual Cup in a Public Restroom
Period… comes every month, finds us in different situations and in even more different places. We can not always choose the ideal conditions when it comes to the arrival of a period, but we can prepare and educate ourselves to pass the period without any trouble. One of these things is to always have menstrual products with you. Or to plan ahead what to do in case you need to change or clean your menstrual product somewhere far away from your home. And no, we are not talking about your parents or friends house, we are talking about public places.
The application of each menstrual cup is the same. They are extremely practical because you can always have them with you, cups and discs are easy to clean and put back on. But it is only important to always have clean water, a little bit of soap, and clean hands (before and after inserting a cup).
How to clean menstrual cup in public bathrooms?
‘Remove, Rinse, Reinsert’ is the mantra of using your cup relies heavily on the middle part and without (private) access to a sink, one would think public bathrooms present a huge problem for menstrual cup users. Not so!
Unlike tampons, menstrual cups like Lily Cup or Ziggy 2 can collect menstrual blood up to 8 hours – so it’s a lot less likely that you’ll need to change your cup while you’re out and about. Most women pop their cup in the morning and remove it when at home in the evening, with public bathroom changes being a super rare occurrence. For those with very heavy flows that require more regular changes, doing so in a public bathroom is easy and simply requires a little forward planning. But it is not impossible of course, even if you do not have warm or any water, soap, clean toilet paper, paper towel or wet paper towel/wipes.
It is easy, do not worry. Just follow our 5 step plan it is full of helpful tips.
One: Wash Your Hands!
If you are at home or outside, the first rule of cleaning the menstrual cup is always the same – your hands must be clean! So before and after handling your menstrual cup, always wash your hands! You need water and a mild soap or some spray for the disinfection (it is everywhere in this pandemic time). If you can, do this before popping into the bathroom cubicle, grabbing some toilet paper on your way so that you can open and close the door without transferring any bacteria onto your hands.
Two: Find Your Position
Of course, you do not want someone to stare at you, so go somewhere where you can be alone with yourself. Sometimes you can find private bathrooms in public places, such as those for the family or mothers with kids. No one will mind if you use it briefly and clean up everything behind you. Unfortunately, coffee shops usually have just one bathroom. If you feel insecure – go inside and wait until you are alone, or be completely honest and tell the person that is inside that you need to clean your cup and start doing it without any discomfort.
Breath, concentrate and find a comfortable position. Use your fingers to remove the cup by gently pulling it out. And yes, have paper towels or toilet paper close, you need to put your silicone cup in it. You can use toilet paper towels as pads while you wash your cup.
Three: Dispose And Rinse
When the cup is out, continue with the cleaning process. Find a sink and wash your cup gently after which you can spray it with cleaning spray. Intimina’s menstrual cup cleaning spray is ideal for these kinds of situations, it is small and you can put it in your purse.
If you do not have a sink and clean running water, this is where the forward planning comes in! If you do not have warm water or boiling water, bring a small bottle of water with you into the cubicle, remove your cup and dispose of its contents, then rinse it with your water bottle over the toilet. You may not get your cup completely clean but this will help to dispel any stubborn clots and many women find it easier to insert if the cup is a little wet also.
Four: Wipe And Clean
Use some toilet paper or wet wipes (again with the forward planning!) to properly clean off the rest of your cup. If you don’t have a water bottle or wet wipes to hand, you can also grab some hand towels or toilet paper, carefully wetting it under the sink before you enter your cubicle.
Remember, the entire cup is going straight back inside to collect more blood so getting it completely squeaky clean isn’t really necessary.
Five: Insert The Cup And You Are Done!
When the cup is completely clean you can insert a menstrual cup inside your vagina. Take your time, adjust it, find a good position and do it properly (use your pelvic floor muscles for help). Put back your clothes and finally, remove any excess blood off your fingers and head straight for the sink for one last wash. You’re done!
What if I Accidentally Drop Cup on a Public Bathroom Floor?
If this happens repeat the entire process from the beginning to make your cup clean. A public toilet as opposed to a private bathroom is a place visited by many people so don’t skip part of the cleaning process as you could get some unwanted bacteria or fungi. It would be ideal to have more than one cup (an extra cup) with you if something like this happens, but if you do not have just be sure that you clean your menstrual cup like written above (sink, soap and cleaning spray will do the rest).
Is that all?
Yes, when it comes to cleaning your cup in public restrooms. But as soon as you get home clean the cup properly and boil it as instructed in the instructions for use. For better understanding follow this link.
With so many reasons to switch to a period cup, from reducing huge amounts of waste to saving you money, it would be a shame to deny yourself a menstrual cup just because of a public bathroom, right?
Many are quick to make a mountain out of a molehill, but really, removing your menstrual cup in a public bathroom isn’t much different than doing so at home. With single-occupancy bathrooms pretty common, it might even be no different at all!
A collective group of “lady experts” at Intimina who love sharing our personal experiences, even when they are a little too personal. We believe it’s time to start breaking down the taboos around menstruation, motherhood, and menopause, and start owning our female health.