How to clean a menstrual cup

Join us as we explore the ways to clean your menstrual cup properly.

Cleaning your cup regularly and in between each use ensures that you’re getting rid of bacteria, stains, potential odor, and other things that could end up being harmful to your body.

It’s important to ensure that your period cup, your hands, and your fingers are all clean before the insertion process. Dirt and bacteria introduced by your hands could disrupt your vaginal pH balance and cause an infection – and no one wants that!

You should also clean your menstrual cup between each use, not just between cycles. The good news about cup cleaning between uses is that it’s not a terribly involved process—in fact, it’s pretty simple.

Keep reading to learn how to properly clean your cup in any circumstance—from the comfort of your home, to a public bathroom, to the top of a mountain.

Cleaning your cup is crucial—no matter where you are. At JUNE, we know that no two days ever look exactly the same, that’s why it’s so important to know how to clean your cup wherever you are, no matter the circumstance.

How to Clean Your June Cup: For the First Time Ever

The June Cup is made out of 100% medical-grade silicone, is BPA and latex-free, and has been tested for cytotoxicity, skin irritation, and skin sensitization—that means it’s totally safe to put in your body. That being said, we always recommend sterilizing your cup before your initial use and in-between cycles.

Here’s a little step-by-step guide to get you going:

  • Grab your Compact Sanitizer —expand the sanitizer and place it on a flat surface.
  • Place your June Cup inside the Sanitizer.
  • Bring still water to boil and then pour it on top of the cup. Let it soak for 5 minutes.
  • Empty out the contents of the sanitizer onto a clean, dry towel.
  • Let the June Cup air dry—then use or store it until your next cycle.

How to Clean Your June Cup: In Public

  • With clean hands, remove your cup and empty the contents in the toilet.
  • Either rinse your cup in the sink, like you would at home, or bring a water bottle into the stall with you to properly rinse your cup. Here’s a cup pro-tip: single-stall bathrooms are a great way to get the privacy you might desire for cleaning your cup.
  • Bring along June Cup wipes for an extra-squeaky clean. We specifically created biodegradable cup wipes for situations where you need to change your cup in public or you can’t make it to a sink!
  • Don’t forget to give your cup a good wash once you get home.

How to Clean Your June Cup: At Home

Cleaning your June Cup at home is super easy because you’ve got all the options. Here are a few ways you can clean your cup properly at home after you’ve washed your hands and removed your cup:

  • Clean your menstrual cup by dumping out the contents in the toilet or the sink, then rinse the cup with warm water and use specially formulated June Cup Wash , or a mild, unscented soap.
  • Sterilizing your period cup between daily use isn’t necessary, but if you’d prefer to do so, go for it—just remember to ensure the cup is cool and dry and that you’ve washed your hands before you re-insert your cup.

How to Clean your June Menstrual Cup: Outdoors

Not even the great (and dirty) outdoors can keep you from cleaning your cup. Remember, how you dispose of your cup’s contents will depend on the rules and regulations of the area. Here are a few how-to suggestions for cleaning your cup in the wild:

  • Clean your hands, remove your cup, and pour out the contents into a cathole (a small hole in the ground) or into a pack-it-out bag—what you do in this scenario will depend on where in nature you are. Check out this Leave No Trace Guide that provides you with all kinds of need-to-know information about how to handle your period in the wild.
  • Use clean water from a water bottle to rinse off your cup before next use.
  • We suggest bringing June Cup Wipes with you for these scenarios—they can be lifesavers. Just make sure to pack them out!

Looking for a little more cup cleaning insight? We’ve got you covered. Here are a few must-know tips and tricks for cleaning out your cup in any situation.

  • Cup cleaning wipes are a lifesaver. For those times when you’re cramped in a public bathroom, want some privacy, are in a rush, or don’t have access to a ton of clean water at the moment, a pH-balanced wipe (that is safe for your vagina) can come in clutch. Don’t use just any wipe, though—make sure it won’t leave behind fibers you don’t want in your body, and is safe to come in contact with your genitals. We recommend opting for a wipe designed specifically for cleaning menstrual cups.
  • Invest in a great menstrual cup wash . Typically, if a menstrual cup wash is designed right, it will help you keep your cup clean, ensure your body is healthy, and can even extend the life of your cup. Though most cleansers are gentle on your cup and on your skin, it’s crucial to thoroughly rinse any wash off your cup before using it—just so you don’t introduce any residue into your body. Look for a wash with a pH-balanced formula that’s toxin and paraben-free.
  • The perfect sanitizing container can make between-cycle cleanings so much easier. We always recommend sterilizing your cup before your initial use and in between cycles, if possible. Investing in a cleverly designed vessel that holds your cup is a must for easy, deep cleaning.
  • We recommend avoiding antibacterial soap for cleaning your cup—while it definitely works great for cleaning your hands, it can unintentionally strip your vagina of its healthy bacteria and could potentially trigger a yeast infection.
  • On that note, we also recommend avoiding other cleansers to clean your cup, like vinegar, tea tree oil, scented soap, peppermint soap, oil-based soap, castile soap, hand sanitizer, dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, or any other harsh chemicals.
  • Try not to stress the process. At the end of the day, it’s totally possible you’ll happen upon a situation where cleaning your cup might not feel totally comfortable. Whether you’re hiking in the woods or cramped into a very public bathroom, the reality is that your cup being clean is a priority. Having a cycle is nothing to be ashamed of—and wanting to take care of your body during your cycle isn’t either. Clean that cup with pride!
  • Having a cup cleaning kit on hand can make your cleaning duties so much easier.

Have other cleaning questions for the JUNE crew? We’ve got your back. No matter what you’re wondering about—our products, the benefits of menstrual cups, sizing, and more—we’re here to help. Reach out to the team at [email protected] to get in touch with the JUNE crew.

In the meantime, don’t forget to keep up with our regularly updated blog for all kinds of menstrual tips, insights, and advice.

There’s been a lot of buzz lately around economically friendly healthcare products, and feminine hygiene is no exception. Those of us that are both budget and environmentally conscious have moved towards utilizing menstrual cups as a friendlier, less expensive, all-natural alternative to tampons and pads.

Menstrual cups are an environmentally friendly way to deal with your period. You insert the cup, which is typically made from silicone, and remove it periodically to rinse and clean as necessary. Since the cup sits snuggly in your vagina, it is important to keep it clean in order to avoid infection and bacterial or yeast growth.

Whether you’re new to using menstrual cups or a seasoned pro, we hope this guide will provide you with beneficial information on how you can safely use your cups each and every month without issue.

So, what are some of the best ways to clean your cup? Read on to learn more…

First, Why Clean Your Cup?

Menstrual cups, overall, are quite safe. However, it is important to use simple sanitary practices when using your cups. Failure to keep your cups clean and sanitized is a recipe for disaster. Blood, cells and tissue shedding is a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast and other creepy crawlies…and no one wants that.

In short, if your cup isn’t cleaned appropriately, it is vulnerable to bacterial growth. Bacteria can lead to infections. And if left untreated, these infections can be pose a serious health risk.

In addition to keeping your cups clean and sanitized, we highly recommend thoroughly washing your hands before touching your cups. This simple, yet often overlooked aspect of sanitation, can prevent transmission of bacteria from your hands to your cups.

How to Sanitize Your Cup

We’ve now established that before you use your menstrual cup, you need to sanitize it. But how? Some people who use cups sanitize them between periods as well as immediately prior to insertion.

Regardless of when you opt to clean them, you can sanitize your cup by simply placing it in boiling water. Be sure to bring the water to a bubbling or rolling boil and submerge the cup carefully (we suggest using tongs) for a period of between 3-5 minutes.

We know you’ve got better things to do, but don’t wander off while sanitizing your cup; if the pot dries out, your cup will burn, and you will need to get a new one. And if you overheat the cup it may melt or become disfigured.

Another option is to sanitize your cup in the microwave. Not every cup is microwaveable safe – GOOD NEWS DaisyCup is safe to sanitize in your microwave. Fill a microwave-safe container with water and place your cup inside. Microwave the container with your cup for three to five minutes. Do not use a cover so steam can escape as needed, and let the water cool before removing the cup.

How to clean a menstrual cup

How to Clean Your Cup

Cleaning differs from sanitizing in that sanitizing is meant specifically to kill off dangerous bacteria whereas cleaning is meant to remove debris.

There are several options for cleaning your cup during your period. You can purchase special wipes or cleansers for cleaning your cup. This isn’t necessary, though. Mild soap that is perfume-free, oil-free, and optionally anti-bacterial will do the job. Make sure to rinse the cup completely before you reinsert it to ensure you’ve removed all the soap.

Many cups have tiny air holes near the rim. Do not try to clean these with a pin or other sharp object, which can harm the cup. Instead, hold the holes under running water to rinse them. If you must use something to clean them, try a soft-bristled toothbrush.

If you are in a public restroom and cleaning your cup isn’t practical, you have a couple of options. One is to bring a bottle of water with you into the stall, then rinse the cup over the toilet and pat it dry with toilet paper. The other is to simply wipe out the cup with toilet paper and then clean it at the next opportunity. Either option is fine.

How to Dry and Store Your Menstrual Cup

After you sanitize your cup or clean it at the end of your period, let it air dry. Some people like to put their cups someplace sunny, like a windowsill, to dry.

To store your cup, place it in a breathable pouch like the one included with your DaisyCup.

Do not put the cup in a plastic container, as that can keep it from getting the airflow it needs to dry completely. If your cup doesn’t dry completely, bacteria and mold can begin to grow.

When in doubt, boil your cup to ensure it is 100% sanitized.

Why it’s so important to clean & disinfect your menstrual cup

Keeping your menstrual cup clean is essential to both your vaginal health and the longevity of your cup. No matter which brand you choose, the basic guidelines are pretty much the same: You should clean your cup at least every 12 hours during your period (whenever you empty and reinsert it), and you should sterilize it at the end of each period (at least once per month).

Why? It’s for pretty much the same reasons we wash our underwear, sex toys, or anything else that goes in our around the vulva and vagina. With an unclean or improperly cleaned menstrual cup, bacteria may cause local infections (i.e. bacterial vaginosis) or travel up the vagina and enter the cervix or uterine cavity. 1

Untreated bacterial infections can have serious long-term complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – an infection that impacts the uterus and fallopian tubes and can lead to hospitalization for antibiotic therapy and, even, infertility. 2 If you manage to avoid infection, leftover bacteria on your menstrual cup has another side effect: odor and, often, excessive vaginal discharge. Not the pleasant kind, either.

In addition, remember that menstrual cups are not risk-free when it comes to Toxic Shock Syndrome. TSS is a rare but severe disease that occurs when Staphylococcus aureus bacteria colonize the vaginal canal and release dangerous toxins. It’s most commonly associated with tampon use, but a handful of cases have been reported in menstrual cup users. 3 4

To minimize your risk for TSS, don’t leave your menstrual cup in for longer than recommended by the manufacturer, empty it when it gets full, and thoroughly clean and/or sterilize your cup in between uses. 3 If you use Flex Cup™, make sure to remove, empty, and clean it at least every 12 hours.

Some users may prefer to keep two cups on hand, cleaning and boiling each one after removal and alternating between the two so that they always have a sterilized back-up on hand. Choosing to do so, of course, comes down to your own personal preference and comfort level.

In order to help your cup live its best, odor-free life for as long as possible, here are our cleaning and sterilizing pro tips from the Flexperts:

How to clean your menstrual cup during your period

One of the great benefits of using a menstrual cup is its longevity. It’s reusable – and therefore better for the planet, your wallet, and your conscience. But there’s a catch: If you don’t clean and properly maintain your cup, its materials will break down more quickly, it’ll start to smell, it’ll be more likely to leak, and you’ll probably end up tossing it in the trash and buying a new one. Kind of defeats the purpose, right?!

We’re here to put an end to that cycle and ensure your menstrual cup thrives for the duration of its 5+ year lifespan. So, for starters, here’s how to clean your cup during your period, in between changes:

Note: The instructions below apply to most silicone menstrual cup brands. However, always refer to the cup manufacturer’s instructions for more detail.

At home with Flex Foaming Cup Wash

NEW Flex Foaming Cup Wash was specially designed to keep your menstrual cup clean without harming its medical-grade silicone. This means your cup will last a long time and you can rest assured that no bacteria or buildup will interfere with your vaginal microbiome. Cheers to healthy, happy vaginas!

How to clean a menstrual cup

When introducing a new user to the DivaCup, the first question we get asked is: How do you clean that thing? Cleaning a menstrual cup may seem like a daunting task, but by following a few easy steps, you will have your DivaCup cleaned in no time.

Most people have everything they already need to ensure proper care and cleaning of their menstrual cup. And with proper care, your DivaCup can last for several years!

To help you get started, we’ve created a simple menstrual cup cleaning toolkit! Below is everything you need to clean your menstrual cup.

Your Menstrual Cup Cleaning Toolkit

Water

First things first, always wash your hands before inserting or removing your DivaCup. Be sure to get under your fingernails, especially if you have acrylic, manicured nails. It is important to wash your DivaCup 2-3 times a day with warm water and the DivaWash, or a mild, unscented, oil-free soap. No matter where you are (home or travelling) remember to only use potable (safe to drink) water when cleaning your menstrual cup. Check out our traveling blog post and public restroom cleaning tips blog post for tips on care while on-the-go!

Soap (DivaWash)

We recommend using the DivaWash to clean your menstrual cup. DivaWash is a 100% natural, plant-based cleanser designed to protect the material of the DivaCup and the pH balance of your body. Its concentrated formula means one drop is all you need.

If you don’t have access to the DivaWash, we recommend you use a mild, unscented, oil-free soap. Although eco-friendly, several home cleaning products like vinegar, castile soap and baking soda are not recommended for cleaning your menstrual cup. We get it, castile soap and baking soda are amazing cleaning agents – for your home, but not for your menstrual cup.

Harsher cleaning agents like oil and fragrance-based soaps, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and bleach are a NO! These can compromise the silicone and should be kept far (FAR) away from the sensitive area of the vagina. Replace your cup if you’ve used these harsh cleaning agents to clean your menstrual cup. Also, we need to say it, don’t put it in the dishwasher. Yes, it is a cup, but it’s not that kind of cup.

How to clean a menstrual cup

Metal Cooking Pot

Before first use, boil your DivaCup for 5-10 minutes in an open pot of boiling water. You can purchase a small pot designated for DivaCup boiling only. Some users also boil their DivaCup in between cycles, but this is not a necessary cleaning step. Cleaning between cycles may help

with discoloration (staining). Note: a discolored cup doesn’t impair its functionality. Our flows are all unique, which will result in varying degrees of menstrual cup discoloration. Do not add anything to the water while boiling, baking soda, vinegar, essential oils etc. as these may compromise the integrity of the silicone.

Whisk

Buying a silicone whisk, specifically for your DivaCup, is a great way to help with boiling your cup. Simply place the cup in the whisk, submerge in the pot of boiling water and wait 5-10 minutes to remove. Note: the whisk is not a required tool but will help prevent burning of the cup. Sometimes, life gets busy or we got lost in Instagram scrolling. It happens. If you do burn your cup, we recommend replacing it with a new one.

Toothbrush

Cleaning the rim of your cup and the four air holes is key to ensuring a proper seal when you insert your cup. There are a few ways you can clean the four holes. One way is to fill the cup with water and put your palm over the cup opening. Flip the cup over and squeeze the sides. This will help squeeze water through the four holes. It’s best to do this in the shower, as water will spray everything around you. Another way to clean the four holes is to gently squish back the area around each hole and gently brush the area with an unused DivaCup designated toothbrush.

How to clean a menstrual cup

After your cycle:

After your period, give your cup a thorough clean with water and DivaWash – boil as an addition cleaning step if you’d like. Once dry, place your DivaCup it is carrying pouch (this comes with our cup at the time of purchase) and keep in a cool, dry place, away from your pets – many of our canine and feline friends have mistaken the DivaCup for a chew toy.

There you have it. Everything you need to properly clean your menstrual cup is easily accessible and easy to use. For additional tips, visit our Care and Cleaning page.

Everything you need to know about cleaning, sterilising and caring for a menstrual cup.

Updated 23 September 2021

By Cleanipedia Team

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How to clean a menstrual cup

A menstrual cup is a great way to be that little bit kinder to the planet. A convenient, safe and eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads, if you know how to clean a menstrual cup properly, it should last you for years, so you’ll save a fair bit of cash as well as waste.

Cleaning a Mooncup or other silicone cup can seem a bit strange if you’re used to chucking tampons in the bin, but it only takes a few minutes when you know how.

How to clean a menstrual cup

First, wash your hands.

Remove the cup and empty the blood into the toilet.

Next, wash the cup with warm water and (if possible) a small squirt of mild, unscented soap. You can use your fingers to wash the cup, or an old toothbrush. Pay particular attention to the rim as this can trap blood and bacteria.

There are tiny holes in your cup, around the rim. These can get clogged, so fill the cup with water, then cover it using the palm of your hand and squeeze the water out through the holes. If this doesn’t work, you might need to use an old toothbrush.

Repeat the step above but without the soap; just use plain water. Make sure you rinse the cup really well, to remove all traces of soap.

Your cup is now ready for you to refit it.

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If you’re going out, you might not want to wash your cup at the sink in a public toilet. You could take a bottle of water to clean your cup in the cubicle instead. Always use water that’s safe to drink, so that you know it doesn’t have any bacteria in it that could get on your cup. Mooncup also says that it’s fine to just wipe the cup with loo roll if you can’t rinse it with water.

How to sterilise a menstrual cup

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

You’ll need to sterilise your menstrual cup before using it for the first time, and after each period. Doing so will make sure there’s no bacteria, so it’ll be safe and hygienic to use.

There are two different methods of sterilising your cup. Both are easy as pie. Before you start, clean your menstrual by following the steps above.

Sterilising a menstrual cup with boiling water

Drop your menstrual cup into a pan of boiling water and leave it to boil for 5–10 minutes. DivaCup recommends using a stainless steel saucepan (and only using it to sterilise your cup if you can).

Remove the cup with tongs or a slotted spoon.

Leave it to air dry, or dry it with a towel, before putting it away.

Sterilising a menstrual cup with tablets

You can also use sterilising tablets (the ones usually used for sterilising baby bottles) to quickly and effectively clean your menstrual cup.

Check the packet and drop a tablet into the recommended amount of cold water.

Leave the menstrual cup to soak for the time stated on the sterilising tablet box (usually around 10 minutes).

Rinse the cup thoroughly.

Either leave the cup to air dry, or dry it with a towel, before putting it away.

How to clean a menstrual cup that’s become stained

Proper menstrual cup cleaning and sterilising will make sure your cup is hygienic and safe to use. However, it might still become a bit discoloured over time. Stains don’t affect how well a cup works, so there’s no need to replace it.

If the staining bothers you though, clean your menstrual cup with bicarbonate of soda, using a damp cloth or an old toothbrush. That should help to lighten any staining.

Or try soaking it in a sterilising solution, if you usually boil it.

Cleaning menstrual cups: what not to do

If you want your menstrual cup to last and be safe to use, you need to treat it with care. So there are a few things to avoid when cleaning menstrual cups:

Don’t use vinegar, Vaseline or bleach, as they could damage the silicone cup. You should also avoid hand sanitiser, anti-bac soap, dishwashing liquid and any other products which may cause you irritation or damage the cup.

If you’re using an old toothbrush or a cloth to clean your menstrual cup, make sure it doesn’t have traces of anything else on it. (i.e. don’t use a toothbrush to scrub your sink with bleach and then use it to clean your menstrual cup!)

Don’t boil your cup for longer than 10 minutes or you could damage the silicone.

Don’t clean your menstrual cup in a dishwasher. It could damage the cup and spread bacteria.

Don’t put your menstrual cup away until it’s completely dry.

How often should you sterilise a menstrual cup?

You’ll need to sterilise your cup before the first time you use it, and again when you pack it away after each period.

How should you clean a Mooncup?

A Mooncup is simply a brand of menstrual cup. Like others, it is made from soft, medical-grade silicone. If you’re looking for an easy and effective Mooncup cleaning routine, any of the methods we’ve outlined above will work on Mooncups too.

How do you get the smell out of a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup shouldn’t smell if you clean and sterilise it regularly. According to Mooncup, the main reasons that a menstrual cup might smell are:

You’ve boiled it in a pan that wasn’t completely clean.

You’ve left it too long before emptying it.

You’ve got a vaginal infection.

If your cup does smell, soak it in a sterilising solution before using it again.

Can I use feminine wash to clean my menstrual cup?

Feminine wash is usually very mild, so should be fine to clean a menstrual cup with. However, it won’t sterilise the cup, so you’ll still need to soak it in boiling water or sterilising solution every month.

How often should I empty my menstrual cup?

Menstrual cups hold more blood than a tampon or sanitary towel, so you might not have to empty it as often as you’d change a tampon. However, you should aim to empty it every four to eight hours.

Help! My cup leaked!

Menstrual cups don’t leak very often, but it does happen occasionally. You might find this article on removing blood stains handy. If your cup often leaks, do have a look on the brand’s website to make sure you’re using the cup correctly.

Where should I keep my menstrual cup?

To prevent mould or damage to your cup, always store it in a cotton bag or other breathable container that will allow for air flow. Keep it well away from lotions, perfumes and other liquids that could damage the cup (or cause you irritation) if they leak.

What else can I do to reduce waste?

Now you’ve mastered cleaning a menstrual cup, why not check out these tips for making your whole bathroom routine more eco-friendly? You might also enjoy our guide to zero waste living.

If you’re reading this, you most likely just purchased your first menstrual cup, or you’re at least thinking about it, right? One of your main concerns might be, “how do I clean my cup? Is it safe to use it over and over again?” Don’t worry, menstrual cups can be a little confusing and there’s definitely a learning curve, but you’ll be a PRO in no time!

With proper care and a quick clean, your Lunette cup can be used over and over again – for several years!

First Use

First things first, wash your hands and clean the Lunette cup by washing it with water and a mild liquid soap free of coloring agents and perfumes. We recommend using our Feelbetter Cup Cleanser that smells like eucalyptus and is chemical free, making it completely safe for your vagina and pH levels.

After you’ve washed both your hands and cup, boil it (yes, like in a pot) in water for 20 minutes before first usage. Make sure that there is enough water so that the cup does not burn on the bottom and it can float!

Pro tip: place the cup in a wire whisk to prevent contact with the bottom of the pan during boiling.

For day-to-day Cleaning

As we mentioned above, we highly recommend using our Feelbetter Cup Cleanser that is designed for washing a silicone cup. However, if you don’t have access to our cleanser, make sure to use liquid soaps that are fragrance-free, oil-free, and have a mild to acidic pH level (between 3,5 and 5,5). Just be sure it doesn’t contain any oils – they can stick to the cup and create a film that could irritate the body. Also, do NOT use dish wash or detergent – and most definitely do not put your cup in the dishwasher!

We advise boiling your cup for 20 minutes between each menstrual cycle to keep it fresh and clean, but if you forgot or didn’t have time to boil it, you can sanitize the cup with our handy Cup Wipes, or wipe it down with rubbing alcohol. Once you get home, make sure to boil that cup for 20 minutes!

How to get rid of lingering odor

Yes, your cup might start to smell if you don’t take proper care of it. How do you prevent your cup from smelling? First off, know that just because it smells doesn’t mean it’s dirty! We ALL have different bodies, which also means different body odors ;). We can’t emphasize this enough – boil your cup for 20 minutes every time BEFORE and AFTER every cycle, rather than 10 minutes.

You can also use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol and soak it for one hour, For a more natural route, soak your cup in lemon juice for the same amount of time, and always remember to boil your cup for 20 minutes after you soak it in any of the methods mentioned above to remove any residue!

The best way to get rid of stains

When you rinse your cup, remember to always use cold water to avoid staining it! If your cup is already stained, let it sit under the sun for a couple hours, or soak it in spirit vinegar or lemon juice and boil it for. you guessed it, 20 MINUTES!

Cleaning the air-holes

Fill the cup with water, place your palm on it, turn upside down and squeeze! When the water squirts out through the air-holes, they should be instantly cleaned! You can also use a blunt toothpick soaked in rubbing alcohol, or a toothbrush dedicated to this purpose. Do not use sharp items such as needles or pins on your cup, they will do more damage than good!

The most important tip

Always wash your hands and make sure your finger nails are clean and always boil your cup for 20 minutes before and after every cycle! If nothing else, remember that!

Whether you already use one or are thinking about making the switch, it’s important to learn how to properly clean your menstrual cup. Knowing how to sanitize your menstrual cup during and between your periods is crucial for both your vaginal health and your cup’s longevity (with proper care, LOLA’s menstrual cup can last up to 10 years!).

Luckily, keeping your cup clean and fresh over the years is pretty easy and straightforward. Let’s dive into the details of cleaning your menstrual cup.

How to sterilize your menstrual cup

You might be wondering, “Do you have to boil your menstrual cup?” We recommend it! It’s an easy way to ensure you’re using a clean, sterile product in your vagina.

When you first get your cup, you’ll want to sterilize it. Drop your cup into a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. When it’s ready to take out, let it dry and completely cool on a clean surface (we like to use a clean paper towel or cloth towel for this).

Many cups, like LOLA’s menstrual cup, are made from silicone that can withstand boiling temperatures. Just be sure it doesn’t touch the bottom or sides of the pot while boiling. A common trick for this: put your cup in a wire whisk before submerging it into the water.

Voila — your cup is sterilized! You’ll use this same method at the end and the beginning of each cycle, too, to fully sanitize it before your next period.

Cleaning your menstrual cup

If you want to freshen up your cup between uses, you can rinse it with warm water and a mild or unscented soap before reinserting. You can also use specially made soap for menstrual cups.

Many menstrual cups have tiny suction holes near the rim. These holes help create a seal during insertion by allowing air to pass through. They also make removal easier and more comfortable, since you can break the seal by simply squeezing the base of the cup. To clean out these holes, fill the cup with warm water, place your palm over the top, and flip it upside down over the sink or toilet. Squeeze the water out through the suction holes to clear out any lingering residue. For any remnants, you can use the dull end of a toothpick or a dental floss pick to carefully push it through.

Keep in mind, your cup isn’t necessarily dirty if it starts to take on coloration! To remove any stains or discoloration, you can try scrubbing your period cup with mild or unscented soap and water. If that doesn’t do the trick, try soaking your cup in lemon juice for at least an hour. Then scrub and boil before inserting again.

How to clean your cup in public

Cleaning a menstrual cup in a public or shared bathroom requires a bit of planning, but once you get the hang of it it’ll become second nature.

First of all, make sure you wash your hands before touching your vagina. Once you empty your cup into the toilet, you can rinse it off in the sink, wipe it down with tissue paper, or simply reinsert it. Whichever method you choose, vagina-friendly cleansing wipes are an easy way to freshen up during cup removal and insertion in a public restroom. After you’re done with the wipe, just toss in the wastebasket and you’re ready to go.

Storing your menstrual cup

Between periods, be sure to keep your period cup in a clean place free of dust and debris. Some cups (like LOLA’s) come with their own carrying case that is perfect for both storage and taking with you. These cases keep your cup clean and dry until your next cycle.

It’s not recommended that you store your menstrual cup in cloth or plastic bags as they can collect dust and prevent proper drying, respectively. A lack of proper drying can create a bacteria-prone environment — a major vaginal no-no.

And don’t forget to sanitize and fully dry your cup before storing it away!

Like any product that gets up close and personal with your vagina, you want to make sure it’s clean. If you work these cleaning habits into your routine, you’re on the road to a happy, healthy vagina and long-lasting menstrual cup. Happy cleaning!

Menstrual blood has been known to cause staining on some of our favorite things, including underwear, sheets, towels, etc. but one place you may not think about in terms of stains is your menstrual cup. Yep, even the silicone used for your menstrual cup can sometimes stain. There are a few things you can do if your menstrual cup has a stain on it. Read on to learn more.

Try To Ignore The Stains
If you have a stain the first thing you can do is just ignore it. If you have a colored menstrual cup it’s easier to mask the stains. Having a small stain on your menstrual cup may not look appealing but it should not affect the quality of your menstrual cup.

How Do You Remove Stains From Menstrual Cups?
If you cannot stand the sight of stains on your menstrual cup, we have a few tips for you. Fortunately, with proper cleaning between uses, your menstrual cup should stay fairly stain free. For tips on cleaning your menstrual cup, head over to this blog post.

Every so often a stain may set in while wearing your menstrual cup. For these instances you can try boiling your cup an extra time. Always make sure to keep the cup off the bottom or sides of the pot.

If the stain isn’t lessening with the boiling method, you can try a hydrogen peroxide solution mix. Our go-to method is roughly 1/3 hydrogen peroxide and 2/3 water. Allow the cup to soak in the solution for about 5 – 10 minutes. After soaking, make sure you thoroughly wash the cup to ensure no lingering hydrogen peroxide remains. Don’t forget to rinse the air holes as well at the very top of the cup.

If the stain has still not let up, you can try the hydrogen peroxide soak again, but avoid repeating the hydrogen soak too frequently. Hydrogen peroxide can cause drying and although it does not seem to affect the material of menstrual cups, it’s still best to play it safe.

How Do You Remove Stains From Clothing?
If you’re worried about leaking or if you’re first learning how to use a menstrual cup, you may have a few incidences where menstrual blood winds up on your sheets or clothes. Hydrogen peroxide works wonders here as well, but you could also try a natural stain remover cleaner such as Ruby’s Red Wash! One of our favorite products for stain removal, Ruby’s Red Wash is gentle and has a soft scent. So what is it? Take a look at this blurb directly from their site:

Ruby’s Red Wash is made of a biodegradable mixture of bacterial cultures, an alcohol-based detergent, and essential oils for fragrance. It has a pleasing scent and is safe to use. (Make sure you use common sense and treat it like most cleansers, though. Meaning don’t mix it with other chemicals or cleansers, and don’t inhale it, folks!) – About page – RubysRedWash.com

Do you have any tips for removing stains? Let us know in the comments below or find us on Facebook!

Menstrual cups are made from non-porous materials such as medical grade silicone or TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) and are ideal for internal period care. Knowing how to clean your menstrual cup is important — thankfully cleaning your period cup is simple. They wash easily and will last for years with proper care!

A menstrual cup can be worn safely for up to twelve hours — unless you have a heavy period, and are changing more frequently, you won’t need to clean your cup more than twice a day. If you find that you have a heavier flow, you may opt to rinse with water in-between your twice daily washes.

Cleaning a Menstrual Cup Day to Day

It’s easy! Use warm water (as hot as you can stand) and a gentle, vagina safe menstrual cup cleaner or soap. Not sure which soap you should choose? We would recommend a soap formulated specifically for the purpose of washing cups to be safe (brands such as Lunette and Elevated make washes that we love). If you prefer not to use a cup specific wash look for gentle soaps free of harsh dyes, perfumes, and additives that may cause irritation to your skin or harm the cup.

Tips for Washing Your Menstrual Cup

  1. Empty and change your cup in the shower and keep a cup safe soap handy there.
  2. Fill the cup with soapy water and place your palm over the opening. Flip over and squeeze water out through the suction holes to remove any remaining gunk.
  3. Rub cup between hands while washing under water to remove any gunk left in suction holes.
  4. Take a soft bristle toothbrush and scrub any residue left around grip rings or suction holes on occasion.
  5. Use interdental cleaners for cleaning out suction holes if needed.

Worried about what happens in between removing, washing, and replacing your menstrual cup? Typically the blood flow isn’t heavy and fast enough to leak onto your legs or floors while you have the cup out. If you do find this is the case for you try laying a couple of squares of TP inside your underwear to catch any spots while you wash your cup.

How to Wash Your Menstrual Cup in Public

When and if you find yourself in a public restroom stall in need of cleaning your menstrual cup don’t panic! You do not need to take your soiled cup to the row of public sinks! Instead, simply remove the cup, dump contents into the toilet, and wipe the cup out with a few squares of toilet paper.

If you know you will be changing your period cup in public regularly it may be worth purchasing “cup wipes” to keep in your bag. If you are changing your cup in a single person restroom with a sink we recommend not using the soap they provide, just to be on the safe side, and simply wash out with warm water until you get home.

How to clean a menstrual cup

How to Sanitize Your Menstrual Cup

Sanitizing your menstrual cup is recommended by most brands, especially before using your period cup for the first time. There are a few methods, so choose the one that works best for you!

Menstrual Cup Boiling

Do you have to boil your cup? No, but if you prefer that your cup be fully sanitized before or after each cycle you can safely do so. In fact, it is recommended by most brands. You can boil your period cup in a pot on the stove, or in a specialty container in the microwave (be sure to allow it to cool before opening!) Please note that frequent boiling may be a contributing factor to the silicone softening and thinning over a long period of time.

How Long to Boil Your Cup

We suggest placing your menstrual cup inside of a whisk, to keep it off of the bottom of the pot, and leaving it inside a boiling pot of water for 3-5 minutes (100% recommend setting a timer! You do not want to forget your cup on the stove.)

Sanitize Your Menstrual Cup without Boiling

If you would rather not boil, you can place the cup in a “steam bag” (often sold for use of sanitizing breast pump parts), use Milton tablets and soaking, or buying a specific menstrual cup container for steaming cups in the microwave (Yuuki Cup makes one). There are evn a number of menstrual cup steam sterilizers on the market — just be sure to choose the cheapest you can find since they are all the same product rebranded (no need to pay more!)

Though sanitizing isn’t required on any routine basis you should sanitize your cup before using again if you’ve had any sort of infection.

How to clean a menstrual cup

How to Remove Menstrual Cup Stains

Stains are an unavoidable side effect of using a menstrual cup. A stained cup does not need to be replaced, but if you prefer to use a cup without staining you can do a 3% hydrogen peroxide soak overnight. Soaks should not be done too often, but once every few months is ok. Be advised that most menstrual cup manufacturers do not recommend soaking and it may void your warranty, if applicable. We love using the little Wean Green glass containers for our soaks.

Cleaning A Menstrual Cup Without Access to Water

How to Know When to Replace Your Menstrual Cup

If your cup shows any signs of cracking or splitting, if your cup gets a chalky residue or feels sticky to the touch, these are signs you need a new cup. In all likelihood you will replace your cup because you’re excited to try a new brand before you ever NEED to replace the cup. Ruby Cup accepts cups for recycling or you can simply burn your medical grade silicone cups to ashes.

Did you know that your menstrual cup can last well over 5 years? Some users have used their cups successfully as long as 10! That’s a long time to not lose something so small but if you can keep track of your cup that long you’ve saved yourself a LOT of money! If you clean your cup and occasionally give it a good scrub there’s no reason your cup can’t last you just as long.