How To Clean Menstrual Sponges

Cleaning Menstrual Sponges Naturally

Natural sea sponges are the most natural, eco-friendly, and comfortable way to manage your period. Like all other reusable products, they take a bit of effort to clean, but clean menstrual sponges are essential for your intimate hygiene.

When you switch from disposable, toxin-filled tampons, to 100% natural sea sponge tampons, you’ll have made a change in your life that protects the planet and connects your cycle to the greater universe around you. A total win. Ready to learn exactly how to clean your sponge before, during, and after your period? Let’s go!  

You will clean your sponge at three main stages: 

1. Straight out of the package, before the first use
2. Between cycles, when you store it until next month. 
3. Between uses, when you remove it from your vagina because it is saturated with menstrual blood. 

We are going to give you specific instructions on how to clean your sea sponge to keep sanitary and in great condition.  

1. Cleaning Before First Use

Why? The menstrual sponge you are holding in your hand was in the ocean just a little while ago. So it’s normal if your sponge is holding on to sand, small rocks, or bacteria from its natural habitat This is part of the beauty of a product that is only minimally processed. Enjoy connecting to the virgin nature of it! But it also means you need to give it a good clean before you can use it inside your body. Clean, remove sea debris and sterilize your sponge before using it for the first time. How? 

Step One: Open your sea sponge package and take out your new sponges. Are you a bit taken aback by how hard and rough they feel? Don’t worry that’s about to change! 

Step Two: Turn on your skin and run your sponge under warm water. As your sponge gets wet, it will transform into a super soft, pillowy sponge. Super cool! 

Step Three: Put a dab of hand soap on your sponge and continue running it under warm water while agitating between your fingers. This will clean the sponge of surface residue. 

Step Four: As you are washing your sponge, feel and inspect your sponge for any significant pieces of hard debris embedded in the sponge. Most quality sponges do not have significant debris, but sometimes you’ll come across an odd sponge that does. 

Step Five: Found something that needs to be removed?  Use a tweezer to reach into the sponge fibers and pick out the debris. Your sponge will be super soft, so tweezing something out should be easy. Keep agitating and tweezing out any debris until your sponge feels completely and totally soft and smooth. 

Step Six: Now drop your sponge into a pot of boiling water. Let your sponge sit in the boiling water for two minutes – but not longer.  The sterilizing effect of the boiling water kills bacteria that might be inside your sponge. 

Step Seven: Remove the sponge from the water but be careful, the sponge is now very hot! Let it cool before either inserting for use or drying and storing until the start of your cycle. Do not keep your sponge in boiling water for too long or else your sponge will become brittle.  

2. Clean Your Sponges Between Uses

Why? Your sponge just absorbed up to six hours of menstrual flow. You now have to wash all blood out of the sponge so it can be reinserted and continue to absorb your flow. How? 

Step One: Remove your sponge from your vagina. 

Step Two: Rinse your sponge with gentle hand soap under warm water. Squeeze and agitate your sponge to make sure all clots are removed. 

Step Three: Twist your sponge to remove any remaining water. Step Four: Pop your sponge back into your vagina. Voila! You are now good to go for another four to six hours.  

3. Cleaning Between Cycles

Why? If you take care of your sponge, it can often last between six and twelve cycles. But you have to give it a bit of TLC between cycles to keep it in tip-top shape. Clean your sponge well using the instructions below before you stash it in your bathroom cabinet until the next month’s use. How? 

Step One: Fill a bowl with a 10:1 water-vinegar mixture. Add a few drops of your favorite bacteria killing essential oil (tea tree oil is a good one) to the water-vinegar mixture. 

Step Two: (optional)  This solution will help your sponge maintain durability and density and keep super absorbent. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda in one cup of water.  Let your sponge soak for 1/2 hour. Remove and rinse well. 

Step Three: (optional) Is your sponge looking a bit stained? It’s normal! A sponge that was used to soak of period blood might get a bit discolored.  Soak your sponge 3:1 water hydrogen peroxide solution.  Remove and rinse well. Step Four: Air/ dry your sponge in a mesh bag away from surfaces to make sure it is completely dry before you put it away.  

Tips & Tricks To Clean Menstrual Sponges

*Do not clean your sponge with harsh soaps or chemicals that could harm the delicate fibers of your sponge. 

*Do not boil your sponge too often or for too long. Doing so will cause your sponge to become hard or wear out quicker. 

*Make sure to dry your sponge completely between uses to extend the life of your sponge. 

*Mediterranean sponges tend to last longer than Caribbean sponges.

*A well-used sponge could start to become a bit ragged. Make your sponge last longer by using a nail scissor to trim off loose sponge pieces. 

If you believe that menstrual sponges are the right choice for you and you’ve investigated the health aspects, benefits and risks, we recommend the Natural Intimacy brand of IntimateCare sea sponges.

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