Menstrual cups are a HUGE blessing when it comes to reusable products. They can be used for an entire cycle simply by emptying it and cleaning periodically (no more than 12 hours between emptying, recommended every 8 hours). A thorough cleaning once your cycle ends and proper storage help keep these babies in good condition for a couple years!
Which brings a very important question to mind - how can you tell when it's time to replace old faithful? Well, I'm afraid this answer isn't as cut-and-dry as other FAQs we've done, but we have a few helpful tips to give you a better understanding of when it's time to retire your cup companion.
Let's Look At The Overall Condition Of Your Cup First...
The way your cup looks is a BIG indicator on whether it's time to replace it. Take a good look at your cup, then answer the following:
That last question is very important. If upon close inspection you're nervous about using your cup because the condition is questionable, use your best judgement on whether it's time to give your cup the boot.
If there is any change in the material of your SckoonCup (for example if it splits or becomes sticky), or there is any change in the shape of your SckoonCup, then it will need replacing.
When inspecting, make sure you look at both the inside and outside of the cup - thoroughly check the grip rings as well. It's important to note that while the stem of your cup can be removed, we want to make sure there's no holes, tears, or cracks left behind (for example, if the stem ripped off from rough use, that could impact the material of the base of the cup).
We want to also thoroughly check the suction holes. These should be clear of debris and still in good, round shape. If there's tears here or extra holes added, this could impact the functionality of your cup. Keeping the suction holes clean is very important as they create the seal that secures your cup in place. If the holes need extra cleaning, we suggest that you fill the cup with warm water, use the palm of your hand to seal it, and gently squeeze the cup so water goes through the holes. You can use a soft toothbrush but avoid using a metal pin or anything with a very sharp tip.
Some Visible Signs Of Use Are OK, However Some Are Not...
With extended use, your cup may acquire stains or slight discoloration over time. These should not affect the usefulness of your cup.
To remove natural staining, soak your SckoonCup in diluted sterilizing fluid (used for sterilizing baby equipment and available at pharmacies), follow the manufacturer’s dilution guidelines, and soak for the minimum recommended time, then rinse thoroughly with clean water.
However, some signs of use you should be more wary of. For example, if your cup has not been properly cleaned between each use, residue could be left behind. Always thoroughly check your cup before using and make sure to clean it properly to reduce the risk of debris, cleaner, etc. being left behind.
In addition, if the material is looking discolored (and not stained), thinner, or misshaped (such as melted), the cup should not be used and should be replaced.
How Can I Prolong The Life Of My Cup...?
First and foremost, be careful with your menstrual cup. Rough handling (such as yanking it out by the stem) may shorten the lifespan of your cup. When cleaning, be careful with any tools you may use - steer clear of any sharp tools for cleaning. Keep a close eye on your cup when sterilizing it, and do not let your cup touch the sides or bottom of a hot pan (or touch any hot surface really). And lastly, be sure to keep your cup in it's organic cloth bag when not in use!
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