The Complete Guide on How To Clean Your Vagina and Vulva
Removing a day’s worth of make-up, oil, dirt, and grime from your face before it’s time to hit the hay is a no-brainer.
Thanks to the advice given by ENT doctors everywhere, it’s now also pretty well-known that ears are self-cleaning and don’t need to be probed with a Q-tip.
What’s more, dermatologists are finally agreeing that washing your hair daily is unnecessary and can even disrupt the body’s natural balance of healthy oils.
Meanwhile, over in the world of dentistry, experts say it’s best to avoid rinsing your mouth after brushing in order to properly clean your teeth. And according to just about everyone’s sweet ol’ granny, the secret to washing clothes is none other than baking soda.
That’s great and all, but does anyone know the correct way to clean a vagina?
In this post, we’re diving into the female reproductive system to give you all the facts about vaginal hygiene. So if you’ve ever wondered what’s the correct way to wash your genitals, keep reading — here’s our complete guide on how to properly clean your vagina.
Female Anatomy 101: The Basics
Before we dive into the best tips and tricks to properly clean down there, we first need to chat a bit about the female reproductive system.
Why? Because if you’re like most folks, you likely use the word “vagina” to describe the whole genital area, but the truth is that it’s actually just part of the package.
You see, the vagina — or birth canal — is the tube-like structure on the inside of your body that runs from the cervix (the opening of the womb) to the vaginal opening.
It’s where the lining of the uterus is shed via menstruation, penetration occurs during sexual intercourse, and a sweet baby descends during childbirth. We know — the vagina does a lot!
On the flip side, your vulva serves to protect the vagina and refers to all of your wonderful external sex organs, including the mons pubis (pubic mound), the labia majora and minora, the clitoris, and the external openings of the urethra.
Does the Vagina Need Cleaning?
The reason why it’s so important to understand the differences between the vagina and vulva is that the vagina is an internal organ. Like other internal organs, it doesn’t require cleaning.
In fact, when it comes to hygiene, all your vagina really wants is for you to let it do its own, self-cleaning thing.
Your vulva, on the other hand, is a totally different story and definitely needs a little extra TLC between potty breaks, sweaty workouts, and undies that are often way too tight for comfort.
How Should I Safely Wash My Vulva?
Whether or not you’re of reproductive age, keeping the vulva clean the correct way can make a huge difference in proper vaginal hygiene. Your genitals are an extremely sensitive area and require the utmost care when washing.
To clean your vulva:
- Begin by using warm water and a gentle, unscented cleanser — like our fragrance-free pH Balancing Cleanser. This unbelievably gentle cleanser matches acidic vaginal pH levels, unlike traditional body washes and soaps which have a basic pH and can be harmful to good bacteria and sensitive skin.*
- You can use your clean hand or a very soft washcloth to gently wash your vulva. To do this, simply spread your outer labia and clean the folds around your clitoris.
- Once you’re done washing your vulva, move to your perineum (the area between your vagina and anus) and then your anus before washing the area between your buttocks.
- After you’ve washed your entire genital area, rinse away all the soap with plain, luke-warm water.
- Pat the area dry with a soft towel after rinsing or allow the area to dry naturally, and you’re good to go!
Note: When washing your vulva, do your very best to avoid getting anything in your vagina as this can disrupt your pH balance and the delicate balance of bacteria in the vaginal flora, which can cause vaginal dryness or even a yeast infection.
Is Vaginal Odor Okay?
Did you get a whiff of something questionable coming from your nether regions?
While some vaginal odor is perfectly fine, you may experience unpleasant smells from time to time which can be indicative of something that’s not quite right down under.
For instance, if your vaginal fragrance is fishy or rotten, you may have an infection, like bacterial vaginosis or another vaginal infection. Does it smell foul or like death? Check for a forgotten tampon. Sweet or coppery? You’re likely A-OK as these robust scents are usually no cause for concern.
That said, if your vaginal odor is accompanied by pain, itching, irritation, or a thick, chunky vaginal discharge, see your doctor as you may have an underlying issue that requires medical treatment post-haste.
How Can I Promote Good Vaginal Health?
Now that you know how to safely wash your vulva, let’s take a look at a few tips to promote good vaginal hygiene and health:
Tip#1: Don’t Douche, Ever.
It might be tempting to cover and smother your vulva in scented feminine products or douche until any trace of vaginal odor or natural secretions is long gone, but whatever you do — don’t.
Ladies, your vagina does not need to smell summery-fresh or like a bushel of roses. Not only is it completely okay for your vagina to have some kind of fragrance, but douching can disrupt the pH of your vaginal flora and strip it of the “friendly” bacteria it needs to keep infections at bay.
Tip#2: Take a Vitamin — for Your V!
The Perfect Condition Vitamin is the ultimate supplement for your vagina that you didn’t know you needed.
Our innovative formula is made with a powerful blend of clean ingredients like grapefruit, folic acid, and coconut oil to support a healthy balance of Candida yeast and bacteria. Just take one tablet with food daily to help get your V in perfect condition.*
Tip#3: Let Your Vulva Breathe
Cotton is the most breathable material you can cover your private parts with, as opposed to polyester or silk, that — let’s be honest — aren’t nearly as comfortable anyway.
And thongs can push bacteria right up into the urethra because of how snug they are, which can put you at a much greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI).
If you do happen to get a pesky UTI, though, don’t panic. Simply make an appointment to get checked out by your gyno, who can recommend treatment.
We also suggest taking UTI Don’t Think So — a powerful vaginal health supplement made with 36mg of PACs (proanthocyanidins), a cranberry fruit extract clinically proven to support good urinary tract health and help you feel comfortable, confident, and protected daily.*
Wear cotton underwear to let your vulva breathe rather than trap moisture.
A Final Word
And there you have it — our complete guide on how to clean your vagina (aka, your vulva)!
Here at Love Wellness, we know feminine care can be a little confusing. That’s why we’re on a mission to create natural solutions for natural problems that make sense. You see, we believe wellness should be not only accessible and affordable but educational, too.
Whether you’re struggling with an unhappy gut, dealing with questionable vaginal odors, trying to soothe angry skin, or simply hoping to find a little support as you journey on this thing called life, you can always count on us to have your back. With us, you’re never alone.
Shop Our Founder's Favorite Wellness Products
Support healthy brain function and mental clarity*Rated 4.9 stars68 Reviews$20.99 Subscribe & Save$29.99 One-time Purchase
A blend of probiotics and nootropics to help support brain function, cognitive health, and help maintain a healthy mood and sense of calm.* HOW IT ...View full details$20.99 Subscribe & Save$29.99 One-time PurchaseSale Sale
Healthy gut = healthy youRated 4.8 stars8,478 Reviews$58.79 Subscribe & Save$83.99 One-time Purchase
Beat bloat with this combo of fiber, digestive enzymes, and probiotics that naturally boost your gut health.* gut, bloating, gas, reflux, probiot...View full details$58.79 Subscribe & Save$83.99 One-time PurchaseSale Sale
Probiotics for all your parts*Rated 4.8 stars8,219 Reviews$60.19 Subscribe & Save$85.99 One-time Purchase
A healthy dose of probiotics for your skin, gut, vagina. HOW IT WORKS This trio supports your gut in processing preservatives in food, antibiotics...View full details$60.19 Subscribe & Save$85.99 One-time PurchaseSale Sale
Balance yeast and bacteria in a pinchRated 4.8 stars4,725 Reviews$27.99 Subscribe & Save$39.99 One-time Purchase
Balance yeast and bacteria in a pinch. A $40 value! HOW IT WORKS This confidence-boosting pair of vaginal suppositories keeps yeast and bacteria i...View full details$27.99 Subscribe & Save$39.99 One-time PurchaseSale Sale
A treat for your VRated 4.8 stars8,790 Reviews$37.09 Subscribe & Save$52.99 One-time Purchase
For vaginal & urinary tract health. HOW IT WORKS Together, this powerful duo supports your vaginal health by balancing bacteria and yeast. Go...View full details$37.09 Subscribe & Save$52.99 One-time PurchaseSale Sale
Gentle intimate hygieneRated 4.8 stars3,943 Reviews$10.49 Subscribe & Save$14.99 One-time Purchase
A fragrance-free, totally gentle cleanser for your vulva. HOW IT WORKS Our OB/GYN-approved cleanser gently cleans the vulva (the external genita...View full details$10.49 Subscribe & Save$14.99 One-time PurchaseSale Sale