8:02 pm - 08/11/2007

Washing Down There

I hear all sorts of things about how we're not supposed to wash our vaginas really, but what exactly does that mean in detail?

Is it.. do not wash INSIDE the vagina?
Is it.. do not wash where the clit is?
Etc...

Basically when I wash, I use a soft loofah thing and I always use a completely natural, gentle soap (Dr. Bronners). I wash the outside where my hairs would be if I didn't shave XD and then I swipe in between my bum cheeks and then over the outside of my vagina and then a little swish inside above the urethra and opening, but not over it.

What do you do? What is the "correct" way to wash a vagina?

--Rachel
tenna 12th-Aug-2007 12:55 am (UTC)
Personally, I just rinse the vulva fairly well with water (but not inside the vagina). I use my removable showerhead to make sure I get inbetween all the folds, but otherwise I don't do much. I personally don't use soap, because I don't find it necessary.
ends_and_means 12th-Aug-2007 01:54 am (UTC)
ditto this. i wince when people talk about washing the vagina!

i also use a loofah to scrub the mons, so that i reduce my chance of ingrown hairs.
frecklestars 12th-Aug-2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
That's a good idea. Does it work very well? Does it hurt (my hair follicles seem tender, or maybe I'm just a big wuss)?
ends_and_means 12th-Aug-2007 09:32 pm (UTC)
i still get ingrown hairs, but i think it does help. it hurts if i do it like 24 hours after shaving, but i've built up a tolerance, i guess. just do it softly at first, and in circles.
kalaam 12th-Aug-2007 04:05 am (UTC)
same here. the thought of soap down there is a little scary for me.
gemfyre 12th-Aug-2007 01:04 am (UTC)
I just use water for my whole vulvar area because soap tends to irritate me. Many use soap without any issues though.

As for inside the actual vagina - I figure, it's a mucous membrane, cleaning inside one's vagina with soap would be like scrubbing inside your nostrils, or your eyeballs with soap - it's painful and unneccessary.
crazygirl311 14th-Jul-2008 05:38 am (UTC)
yea i actually tried washing with soap once inside. NOT A GOOD IDEA. i felt like a burning sensation a lil bit. either that or i'm just totally a baby. so now i'll just like take soap on the outside and rinse. and just water everywhere else.
ebelacqua 12th-Aug-2007 01:05 am (UTC)
I've heard it's fine to wash your vulva (area surrounding but not inside the vagina) with mild soap like Dr. Bronners. One reason I bought Dr. Bronners was so I could do that, but I use the peppermint scent and if it gets anywhere near my vaginal opening it tingles like minty toothpaste does to your mouth. Weird! So usually I just clean my inner thighs and pubic hair gently with a small amount of the soap, and use plain water on the rest.
eins_zwei_drei 12th-Aug-2007 01:46 am (UTC)
I LOVE DR. BRONNERS!!! :D :D Peppermint Dr. Bronner's soap ♥ yaaaaaay... HAHAHA I wrote that before I saw that you used peppermint--how uncanny!
jenn_possible 12th-Aug-2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
I use baby soap. It's barely stronger than using water anyway.
alwaysamommy 12th-Aug-2007 01:06 am (UTC)
I don't feel right without soap, although I know we are told we really don't need it. I have not had a yeast infection in a good 5 years. I use one of those poofy sponges on the thick string and just rub from front to back, going over the outer labia and making sure to swipe between my cheeks very well. I don't concentrate too much on the vaginal area and I make sure to rinse very well.
When I take a bath instead of a shower, I always rinse off very well in the shower afterward as well.
oopsiedaisies7 12th-Aug-2007 01:18 am (UTC)
That's pretty similar to what I do (except I use Dove soap, and do my bum last...haha). I've never gotten any sort of infection down there, so I guess I'm not doing it incorrectly?

I usually avoid going in between the labia (like, around the vaginal opening) and around the clitoris with soap, but rinse it well with water. I don't think it matters incredibly as long as you don't, like, scrub really hard or use antibacterial soap or are particularly prone to certain infections.
missjecka 12th-Aug-2007 01:22 am (UTC)
I never use soap on my vagina. Not for any good reason, but I just never have; I'm a creature of habit. Sometimes I just use my hand and stand under the shower so I have a constant flow of water on me and just kind of move things around down there. If I'm particularly dirty, like after the gym, I'll take a wash cloth and just scrub gently a little, but not much.
breath3air 12th-Aug-2007 01:25 am (UTC)
oh man.
i use soap all over down there and haven't really had any problems.

I just have a habit of using soap everywhere so i never leave the 'gina out.
riot_gurl_86 12th-Aug-2007 01:28 am (UTC)
So do I! I use baby shampoo, and it works just fine.

Of course, I never go on in the Box, just the outdoor area. Plain water doesn't feel like I'm washing well enough.

*shrug* whatever works, huh?
breath3air 12th-Aug-2007 01:34 am (UTC)
haha, i agree.

baby shamp is the shit.

i know us ladies aren't supposed to take baths but i take a bath in baby bubble bath (the nighttime stuff) almost everyday too.

haha, my vagina must just love me because i put her though hell.
littlemissalien 12th-Aug-2007 03:30 am (UTC)
I've just started bathing in baby bath too, and love it! However I started because I'm lazy and figured it would just be easier to get in the bath with my baby rather than sit outside and lean over (I'm also too lazy to use the baby bath it seems) - plus I get lots of skin-to-skin time with him!

In the shower I use Dove shower gel on a shower puff, and I also use mild antibacterial soap on my laa-laa between baths/showers. I always have done, just like my Mum. I do tend to wash the whole vulva with soap and don't get any issues. I feel gross if I've not used some form of soap.
alwaysamommy 12th-Aug-2007 03:35 am (UTC)
When mine were babies, it wasn't a matter of being lazy. The fact of the matter was that if I didn't take a bath with them, I didn't get a bath! lol
indis_earfalas 12th-Aug-2007 09:29 am (UTC)
Hang on a minute! Why aren't we supposed to take baths? I have at least 4 baths a week and have done since my 10 year old was big enough to go in (hehe, no he doesn't go in with me now!).

What have I missed?
incarnated_joy 12th-Aug-2007 12:13 pm (UTC)
Yea same here o.O I don't really have access to a shower at home so my only form of washing is a bath and I've never had any problems from that. I know bubble bath can make things a bit cranky down there but not an actual bath!
marionravenwood 12th-Aug-2007 04:48 am (UTC)
Me too. I use the same soap I use for the rest of my body. I've never had a yeast infection.
sara_ramirez_1 12th-Aug-2007 08:52 am (UTC)
haha i am the same way i am getting quit groosed out hearing that others do not!!!
frolicnaked 12th-Aug-2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
Ha, I'm the opposite. ;)

I never use soap on my vulva anymore; I've had too many bad experiences with even the gentlest of cleansers (yeast infections, dry cracked skin, swelling, burning). Even though I know some other people can use soap on their vulvae without problems -- and may even prefer things that way -- whenever I read that, I still picture soap on my own vulva, and it makes me cringe. ;)
abitofanenigma 12th-Aug-2007 01:27 am (UTC)
I have no idea about the 'correct' way to wash my vagina. I typically use pure olive oil soap (all natural and very gentle), soap up the mons, and then spread that onto the mucus membrane. I never directly put soap 'down there' and you shouldn't put soap inside (the internal bit is self-cleaning). I use a finger to clean out the clitoral hood, ocassionally I put a bit of baby oil down there to keep it moisturised. That's it really.
subarashiine 12th-Aug-2007 01:41 am (UTC)
Whoo hoo! I'm doing it right! :D
eins_zwei_drei 12th-Aug-2007 01:48 am (UTC)
Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap is ace. I don't think there'sa wrong way to clean yerself unless it's effing you all up. Inside vag cleaning sounds really gross! Buuut Dr. Bronner's soap, if you wanna use soap, is theee soap to pick it's greatgreatgreat.
sparkle_lite 12th-Aug-2007 03:56 am (UTC)
I agree!! I buy the peppermint soap by the gallon, literally! It doesn't irritate my sensitive vag. Other soaps with unnatural fragrance and chemicals cause me to develop BV.

OP, it really sounds like you are doing exactly the right thing!
archangelbeth 12th-Aug-2007 02:49 am (UTC)
I use soap -- whatever's around, honestly -- cupped in my hand and with a quick scrub of the undercarriage, front and back, and then rinse it off with water from the hand-held showerhead of amusement. I don't insert soap, but I don't take great pains to keep it away from the inner bits.

But then, I am apparently very resistant to YIs or UTIs, so following this regime may not be the best idea if you are not similarly resistant.
xiu 12th-Aug-2007 04:02 am (UTC)
I do the same.
suicidekitty911 12th-Aug-2007 05:53 am (UTC)
i use whatever soap i happen to have handy. I don't put it inside, but i wash both sets of labia and up around my clit. sometimes a little will get up inside and it stings like hell for a minute, but i've never had any problems other than that. I can't stand to not use soap.
absolved 12th-Aug-2007 06:39 am (UTC)
I use summer's eve and a washcloth. I've been using this since the beginning of time (or, when my mom said that's what she did, and left the option open to me when I was pretty young)

no yeasties or discomfort here! If my vag doesn't feel clean, *I* don't feel clean
algebraic 12th-Aug-2007 07:03 am (UTC)
i just squat and scoop up water and some soap and rub around with my hand. and i scrub the mons with like a poofie and body wash.
batswing 12th-Aug-2007 08:47 am (UTC)
I can't not use soap of some kind! But I have 'simple' soap and I love the minty tingliness of the 'original source' shower gel!
I hate to smell, and honestly I've had one two many flatmates with some kind of fear of soap and water to not want to soap up regularly and thoroughly!
standard_circle 13th-Aug-2007 12:17 am (UTC)
Dr. Bronners always seemed to throw off my PH balance or something and make me itchy, no yeast just an odd itch... But I do the same thing but with dove soap. Sometimes after my period is over and I still kind of find that blood smell I'll just clean the inside out with no soap and a finger in the shower....
sheylea 4th-Apr-2009 12:12 am (UTC)
The only thing I'd say no to, is the loofah. You do not want to re-use something that you may have used on your bum, on your vagina. EVEN IF you think it's clean with soap etc. I use wash cloths so I can clean them after every use. I put soap on the wash cloth, then clean myself down there -- mostly the hair. THEN, clean the wash cloth off with the shower water, THEN add a little more soap and clean then my butt. I am all about not re-using something -- even in the kitchen I hate re-using a sponge! So I def. will NOT reuse something on my important parts of me.
sheylea 4th-Apr-2009 12:14 am (UTC)
plus I find that even the softest loofah is much more abrasive than a wash cloth.
xhaute_mullette 17th-Jun-2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
so do you use a new wash cloth each time?

i just rinse both bum and vag with water. i don't touch myself down there...lol germsss. and OCD :[

i don't want my butt to smell so i should use soap on the crack, but i don't want to stick my fingers there either.

i know. i sound immature.
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