How to clean your menstrual cup when you can’t find an oil and scent free soap
When it comes to cleaning your menstrual cup, most brands will recommend that you only us a soap that is both oil and scent/fragrance free. Sometimes this is easier said than done.
There are two reasons most of the menstrual cup companies recommend using an oil free, scent-free soap.
1. They recommend oil free, because any residual oil left on the cup after washing (and consequently oil buildup) MAY slowly degrade the silicone over a long period of time (although there is still a lack of evidence to strongly support this)
2. They recommend scent-free due to the potential of fragrances and perfumes causing irritation inside your vagina (since many perfumes can cling to the cup and are not easily removed)
To a degree, the oil free suggestion is more of a recommendation than a hard and fast rule. It is more important to select scent-free soaps due to the potential irritation perfumes or essential oils may cause.
When choosing a soap, opt for mild versions, or brands which are designed specifically for people who have sensitive skin. Many women use Castille Soap (like Dr Bronners) which can be purchased from most health food stores. The Liquid Neutrogena soap is also nice and mild and is oil and scent free. Soaps and washes designed for use on babies, are also generally pretty mild and may offer some scent free options. Other alternatives include Dermeze wash, Cetaphil gentle cleanser, or Dermaveen cleansing bar, all of which should be available at leading Australian pharmacies and supermarkets.
At the end of the day, providing you are rinsing your menstrual cup thoroughly after using the soap, most scent-free ones should be fine. You may also find it easier to just rinse your cup under cold running water during your cycle, and then give it a good wash with soap, rinse, and boil at the end of your cycle when you are ready to store it away.
If you wish to err on the side of caution and purchase a wash that is both safe and suitable for the menstrual cup and yourself, you may want to consider purchasing a specially formulated menstrual cup liquid cleanser such as the Lunette Liquid cleanser or Lunette cup wipes.