Is douching bad? Is there any safer way to cleanse?

It is bad. We are being told since years douching would remove the good bacteria from the mucosa and add to the risk of getting yeast infection.
Usually not needed. Douching can be used to treat some gynecologic problems usually, however, it is not necessary and can be irritating and counterproductive. An alternative is to moisten a finger with soap and water and insert vaginally while showering.
Yes and no safe way. With rare exceptions, douching is a bad idea. The process tends to kill more of the good bacteria and less of the bad bacteria which tends to make you worse. A healthy vagina is moist with little to no discharge and no unpleasant odor. If you even think you need to douche, you need to visit your doctor.