The first portable menstrual cup cleaner

The first portable menstrual cup cleaner

Pia Seidel
Zurich, on 14.01.2021
Translation: Veronica Bielawski
Cleaning your menstrual cup in public restrooms is a horrific experience for many. Can the «Emanui» cup cleaner change that?

Clean your menstrual cup on the go, without having to use a public sink? The Emanui, which weighs just 115 grams, is supposed to make that dream a reality. It uses a sophisticated cleaning system. All that’s needed is a bit of water. You add it in by unscrewing the cream-coloured top part. Then you close it again and head to the toilet cubicle. Inside the cubicle, you unscrew the lower pink part (the lid) from the main body and empty the blood from the cup into the toilet bowl. Then you insert the cup into the holder on the lid and screw everything back together. Then you squeeze, shake and rub. Kind of like a cocktail shaker. This animated film shows how it’s done:

Like this, the water inside the Emanui cleans your menstrual cup. Finally, you pour out the liquid into the toilet bowl through the orange spout at the top. Your cup is clean and good to go again.

A sustainable solution

Even though most of my friends are millennials, not many of them have dared to try a menstrual cup. And the only thing keeping them from giving the cup a go is the fear of having to empty it in a public toilet. Only once the coronavirus hit, keeping my friends mainly indoors, did some of them decide to finally try the menstrual cup. But what will happen once we start spending more time outside our homes again? Emanui could be the answer.

The cleaner was conceived by Iga Słowik and Paul Lequay in 2018 as part of a Master project in Design, and was developed over two years. «From the beginning of the early draft stages until the final product specifications and testing, we created about 20 prototypes,» Iga explains. «In the process, we tested its use in confined spaces with the help of about 65 women from different age groups.»

You can hang up the cleaner thanks to its built-in loop, so your hands are free. Image: Emanui
You can hang up the cleaner thanks to its built-in loop, so your hands are free. Image: Emanui
The device works with most silicone cups as well as different sizes. Image: Emanui
The device works with most silicone cups as well as different sizes. Image: Emanui

Through our product, people who menstruate shouldn’t have to do a handstand to avoid the health risks and shame in public toilets. «Emanui is designed to encourage the use of the menstrual cup and provide a sustainable solution,» says Iga. «The design should help eliminate barriers when it comes to cleaning your cup in a shared sink or sterilising it in a shared kitchen.»

To sterilise, the cleaner can be heated in the microwave or boiled in a pot of water. Image: Emanui
To sterilise, the cleaner can be heated in the microwave or boiled in a pot of water. Image: Emanui

By the way, Emanui contributes to an environmentally conscious use of resources. «Emanui only uses 60 millilitres of water," Paul explains. «In comparison, standard cleaning under running water for 10 seconds uses 1 to 2 litres.» In the case of sterilisation in a pot of boiling water, the two founders arrive at a similar conclusion. It requires 25 times less water on average.

The Emanui is made of a medical-grade silicone, which is also used for menstrual cups. Image: Emanui
The Emanui is made of a medical-grade silicone, which is also used for menstrual cups. Image: Emanui
A toned-down shape and colour scheme make the container look like a coffee-to-go cup. Image: Emanui
A toned-down shape and colour scheme make the container look like a coffee-to-go cup. Image: Emanui

In the future, there are plans to also make the product usable without access to water. There’s certainly still room for improvement. But this requires users to get involved and help shape the product. That’s the only way Emanui can hope to revolutionise the use of menstrual cups. Currently, the price of the cleaner is just under 65 francs. We’re still clarifying whether the cleaner will be available in our shop in the future. Until then, you can order it online via the Emanui website. Emanui delivers to Switzerland.

Your opinion on the Emanui

Would you try the portable menstrual cup cleaner?

  • Yes
    75%
  • No
    12%
  • Maybe
    11%

The competition has ended.

156 people like this article


Pia Seidel
Pia Seidel

Senior Editor, Zurich

«There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. I believe in the latter.» – Albert Einstein

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