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What’s a menstrual cup? A menstrual cup is a reusable silicone cup that can be used internally to collect your menstrual flow instead of a tampon or pad. You can read all about how to “green” your period on some of my older posts on menstrual cups and pads. I promise they aren’t as weird as you may be thinking.
How do you clean a menstrual cup?
If you already use a cup or if you’re thinking of trying one you may wonder how to clean your cup during and between menstrual cycles.
During your cycle:
To clean your cup during your cycle there isn’t much to do. At a minimum you’ll want to rinse the blood from the cup in the sink before you put the cup back in. Some people use a gentle, unscented water based soap (like Diva Wash, Woo Woo Wash, or Lunette Cup Cleanser) every time you empty the cup. There may be times when you aren’t near a sink and simply wiping your cup clean may be your only option. Just be sure to rinse it clean when you get back to a sink.
After your cycle:
At the end of your cycle you’ll want to wash your cup thoroughly with warm water and a gentle soap. Let your cup dry and then store it in a breathable bag until your next cycle. Most of the time this will be enough, but if you notice your cup getting dingy or discolored you may need to do a deeper clean!
To deep clean your menstrual cup:
The safest and most recommended way to deep clean your menstrual cup is to boil your cup in an open pot of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. This will also sterilize your cup if you’ve had a yeast infection.
If the rim or tiny holes get dingy you may need to gently stretch the silicone and run water through the holes. A soft bristle brush (like an old toothbrush) or toothpick may help also.
I’ve had my oldest cup (my Diva Cup) for over 3 years and it’s starting to look very discolored. The discoloration will not affect the function of the cup in any way and is completely safe to use. However, if it bothers you there is one more step you can take to deep clean your cup. This method is NOT recommended by most cup manufacturers, but a dilute solution of water and 3% hydrogen peroxide will remove any remaining discoloration. To deep clean using hydrogen peroxide, place 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 6 parts water in a cup or bowl and soak your cup for 20-30 minutes. Your cup will come out looking brand new! Just rinse and wash it really well with your normal water and soap before putting your cup away again. As always, allow your cup to dry and place in a breathable bag.
Check with the cup manufacturer for the expected longevity for your cup. Most brands recommend replacing them every 1-3 years, but silicone is very durable and should last you much longer! I’ve had my first Diva Cup for over 3 years and it’s still in perfect condition and isn’t showing any signs of deterioration.
If your cup is ever in contact with unsanitary conditions or happens to fall in the toilet, you may want to replace it instead of trying to deep clean it.
My favorite cup washes (affiliate links):
My favorite menstrual cups:
If you like this tip please share and pin it for others to find!
Learn more about menstrual cups:
- Menstrual Cup 101: From tampons to cups.
- Green your vagina with cloth pads.
- A Greener Period – Cups, Pads, and more!
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Maybe I’m really lazy, but I don’t really do anything to deep clean my menstrual cup. A bit of soap and water is it. There is staining, but no bad smells or anything like that.
JB recently posted..Luna Period Starter Kit Set Review
Can I just use regular soap like dawn dish soap? Or does it have to be a special cup wash?
Any PH balanced soap you would normally use on your lady parts is fine.
After my cycle I put mine in a white wash in the washing machine. When it comes out of there I then put it in a cup of boiling water in the microwave to steam it for about 10 mins and remove any last traces of germs. It seems to do the trick of keeping it clean and also sterilising it.
Hydrogen peroxide has an “excellent” compatibility rate with silicone up to 10% it will not damage the cup I don’t know why certain cup manufacturers tell you not to use it. Maybe so you replace their cup more often
Why throw it away if it has met ‘unsanitary’ conditions? Wash it, sterilized it, use it. I might not be willing to fish it out of the toilet in some circumstances, but I’ve dropped in there before. I clean mine with whatever soap I use on my self in the shower, and straight hydrogen peroxide before storage- no special soaps, no special wipes. That’s the beauty of a menstrual cup, VERY low maintenance. When I first got mine, there were no special soaps or wipes to be bought. So, the directions were just to clean with gentle soap and periodically disinfect by boiling.