How to properly clean each part of your body differs depending on its location and function. You know, brushing your teeth and washing your hands are completely different. However, the proper way to wash your genitals is not as well known as brushing your teeth or washing your hands. This is why so many people clean the most delicate part of their bodies in the wrong way. Some people wash where they don't need to, that is, inside the vagina. Some of them even use inappropriate substances, such as yogurt or vinegar. Learn how to clean your genitals properly and how to see through the misinformation.
Washing your vulva
1. To prepare: Set the standards
- Where to clean
Clean the outer parts of your genitals ‘outside the body.’ It's better not to wash your vagina within the inner labia. A healthy vagina cleans itself. Unnecessary washing disrupts the natural balance of the vagina and harms beneficial bacteria, which can lead to infection.
- How often to clean
Although it varies from person to person, it is generally recommended to clean your vulva ‘once a day’. The accumulation of sweat and moisture around the vulva during the day increases the chances of growing bad bacteria. You can find the best cycle for you according to your environment and behavioral patterns. It is not good to wash your vulva too frequently, but it is recommended to clean it at least once a day during menstruation.
- What cleaning products to use
Use warm water and a mild cleanser. Soap and feminine wash would both be fine to use, but avoid harsh, scented products or one with a rough surface. When choosing a cleanser, just read the product information carefully to find out its intended use and how to use it. You don’t need to use a ‘special’ product for a healthy vagina.
2. To carry out: Wash safely
- Start with the clitoris and finish with the anus
Wet the entire vulva with warm water and lathered cleanser. Spread the outer lips and gently cleanse around the folds surrounding the inner labia and the clitoris. Use your hands or a soft cloth. Be careful not to let soapy water get inside the area between the inner labia. Then go down along your bikini line to clean the vulva and vaginal opening. The next step is to clean the perineum, which is the area between the vagina and the anus. Wash the anus at the last step. This prevents gut bacteria from the anus from spreading to the vagina.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry off
After a thorough cleaning, rinse your vulva with warm, clean water. Adjust the water pressure so as not to irritate the skin. After rinsing, pat dry with a dry towel. Avoid rubbing the vulva as it can cause irritation.
3. Tips to keep it clean
- Wear cotton underwear
Synthetic fiber materials like nylon and polyester retain moisture and heat around the vulva, which is an ideal environment for bad bacteria to thrive. To keep your vagina clean, it is recommended to wear breathable cotton underwear. Keep away from thongs and tight pants to prevent irritation.
- Wipe from front to back
After using the toilet, gently wipe from front to back. Wiping from back to front can spread the bacteria from the anus to the vagina or the urinary tract, which might lead to infection.
- Refrain from using ‘feminine hygiene products’
A variety of so-called ‘feminine hygiene products’ are readily available in the market, including intimate washes for douching, feminine wipes, and spray deodorants. However, experts warn that using these products could rather harm your vaginal health. If you want to use these products, be sure to ask your doctor before trying.
🧼 Prepare warm water and a mild cleanser without any fragrances or unnecessary chemicals
🚿 Lather up and gently clean, starting from the folds on both sides of the clitoris;
🚿 Clean around the vulva and vaginal opening along your bikini line;
🚿 Go down to the perineum, the area between the vulva and the anus; and
🚿 Finally, clean the anus
💦 Then rinse with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel
🚫 Don’t use a feminine wipe or perform vaginal douching unless you have any particular diseases
🚫 Don’t wash your vagina as it is a self-cleaning organ