How to Clean and Care for Your Menstrual Cup

One of my most popular posts here is where I talk about my menstrual cup (I use the Diva Cup brand). It’s a small silicone cup that you insert into your Vajayjay during your period. It catches the monthly flow, and you just have to empty it and clean twice a day. No pads or tampons needed ever again!

Now before you think gross, nasty, ewww, oh my gosh what the heck is wrong with you – go read my first post where I talk about how this awesome little cup changed my life. Literally – my life is forever changed for the better because of it.

Since that post went up, I’ve had a lot of questions from both friends and readers about using a menstrual cup. One of which is how to clean and care for it. While you mainly should follow the directions that come with your cup, I’ve learned a few tricks of my own.

Staining

Recently, I had become frustrated with the natural staining that happens with my cup.

Haha, just kidding. That’s actually a photo of a cup that caught on fire.

But in all seriousness, there is natural staining that occurs with regular use over time. In my frustration, I began to search for what other people were doing to remove stains and landed on this post on The Crunchy Chicken. There were a lot of great recommendations on how to get rid of stains, and the main one was to use hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen Peroxide: When you start to notice staining that won’t go away on your cup, soak in a mixture of half water and half hydrogen peroxide. Leave your cup in there until it looks like new. I have done this, and my cup came out looking like new. I actually forgot about my cup for a couple of days and had left it in this mixture, and it is just fine – no damage at all. However, I know that a lot of the companies do not recommend this, so this is an “at your own risk” tip.

Lemon: When you boil your cup for once a month cleaning (see below), add a slice of lemon to the mixture. Lemon is a natural brightener.

Sunlight: Good old natural sunlight will also whiten your cup. Placing your cup in a windowsill will help to naturally brighten it. Just don’t put it somewhere that gets extremely hot (like in your car dashboard) – we don’t want it to melt!

Regular Emptying and Washing of the Cup

When emptying the cup and washing, always rinse first in cold water. Hot/warm water allows blood stains to set in so use cold to prevent this. I wash my cup with a liquid castile or black soap. I would strongly encourage you to avoid washing the cup in any kind of “regular” soap.

Once a Month Cleaning

After your cycle has ended, soak in the hydrogen peroxide/water mixture as described above, or you can boil your cup in water on the stove for no more than 20 minutes to eliminate germs.

Other Menstrual Cup Options

If you really are concerned about the staining, you might try the Lunette brand of menstrual cups. They come in colors!! I recently bought the purple one to try out as I hear that it doesn’t show stains, ever! I’ll be talking about this later, and comparing how it works to the Diva Cup.

Are you a cup user? What are some of your tips? 

By |2013-12-04T03:08:04-04:00September 6th, 2012|Organic and Green Living|45 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a former sweet-tooth turned health-nut. After a difficult loss of a first pregnancy and having a second child with a heart condition, I became obsessed with health and wellness. I revamped our entire family's lifestyle, dropped seven pant sizes, and created a website where I could share our story and help support people wanting to make small changes day by day in order to live well. I also support my family by the work that I do here through advertising content, affiliates, and partnership/consultant links within content. When you click and/or order, it puts food on our table. Thanks for all your support, and may you live well and thrive!

45 Comments

  1. Kristin Benham September 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    What about for folks who work on their feet and have a lot of moving. Can you wear it then, or if you exercise heavily?

    • Crystal Collins September 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      Hey Kristin! I actually exercise in mine and it does just fine. It suctions in there and won’t come out unless you break the suction to pull it out.

      • Kristin Benham September 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm - Reply

        I am going to have to give it a try 🙂

        • Saralynne June 12, 2017 at 7:51 pm - Reply

          I use the cup and homemade cloth pads and they have legit changed my life It doesn’t feel like I’m on my period when I am I can do whatever I want. I dont have as intense cramps. And they are far more comfortable.
          Wanna swim just wear the cup. Less chemicals because it’s cloth and hospital grade silicon. Wanna play soccer you can with the cup. It doesn’t hurt. I use oxiclean to get the stain out of my pads I soak them over night then toss them into the laundry.

    • Savanah Fahrney-Day May 7, 2015 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      I wear mine hiking without an issue. If I’m extremely active, I do have to empty it more than twice a day because my flow speeds up a bit & I’ve heard others say the same thing.

      • Crystal Collins May 8, 2015 at 5:50 pm - Reply

        Yes, I’ve experienced the same thing! Yay for being active! 🙂

  2. Lauren September 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the post. I have tried baking soda, but it didn’t help. I’ll try hydrogen peroxide now.

  3. Rebecca September 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    I have never heard of this, but may give it a try! Thanks for the info 🙂

  4. Janice September 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    I actually have had some very minor leaking with yoga and core exercises – really anything that causes you to use your kegel muscles in the extreme. I just use panty liners or wear my red panties. It is still worth it in my opinion.

  5. Chrissy September 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    Ah…the Diva Cup. LOL I tried it and since my vajayjay um…hooks at the end, lol…well…the cup sort of navigated its way out of reach and I had to go to my gyno to get it removed…neither I nor my husband could get the silly thing out. And I had to take antibiotics for a week and a half afterward. So…I think it is an awesome product…but it might be wise to visit your gyno first and discuss your internal layout. 😉 If I had done this she said she would have told me it wouldn’t work well for me. Apparently my issue was very predictable!

  6. Christie September 6, 2012 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    I just started using the cup, and I LOVE it!! It IS truly life-changing…can’t ever go back to that other stuff. 🙂

    By the way, I think I saw in the instructions that you’re not supposed to use castile soap. Not sure why, though.

    Thanks for the tips! I’m going to try that hydrogen peroxide thing soon.

    • Katherine April 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      Have you tried any of the other cups? i ermm hook at the end too and the larger/longer cups or the longer stems work fine for me. Lily cups are the longest i have seen a 3.07″ in length compared to diva cup at 2.25″ in length so over 3/4″ longer. If you tie a string tightly to it to test fit it….you should be alright.

      • Crystal Collins April 6, 2015 at 10:15 pm - Reply

        I have tried two other brands…luna and I forget the other. I had serious leakage issues, and I have not had these issues with my Diva.

        • Raquel August 23, 2015 at 11:07 pm - Reply

          I just used it for the 1st time. I think it’s really hard to get in and out. When putting it in, I can’t do the 360 turn. And to take it out, I can’t break the seal, just pulled it out with toilet paper since it’s so slippery. There is a lot of suction that way and I don’t know if it’s bad for you. The 1st time I was taking it out I was totally freaking out since it took me about an hour to do it . Also I’m a heavy bleeder so the 1st night totally leaked a lot. Any tips???

          • Crystal Collins August 25, 2015 at 4:35 pm

            Best advice I can give is to practice when you are not on your period. Or if you are on your period, keep wearing pads until you get the hang of it. I continued to wear pads for the first couple of cycles while I tried it. It took me two full cycles before I got the hang of it. Good luck!

      • Britt April 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm - Reply

        Hi for the ladies with the hooked Vs lol I believe after childbirth your pelvis shifts causing your cervix to shorten but you can still wear the diva cup! I was reading an arrival about it and the girl keep having it poking out the bottom of her V and she said she turned it inside out! Yep had no issues after that. I’m about to try that bc although it doesn’t poke out the bottom of my junk it is kinda long. Oh and don’t go cheap I know it’s expensive but worth every single penny! Stay away from the so called soft cups which looks like some weird bag stuck on a neuva ring lol or some odd press and seal lid for your left overs. I tried it bc it was cheaper well the results.. it was fine for an hour I got up and sat back down and all the sudden I had blood leaking down my thighs it was like I peed all over myself but wasn’t pee! Luckily I was at home not work or on a date thank God. So do yourself a huge favor and your Vag a favor and get a cup stop shoving chemical cotton up your coochies and good luck.

  7. Jennie September 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Since it’s made of silicon, it can’t possibly melt on your car’s dashboard.

    Remember, this is the same stuff that they make ovenware out of.

  8. robyn September 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    i bought one about a year ago and it took several tries to get it right! i always have one really really heavy day at first (like have to rinse it every hour heavy) and it was a mess (literally) to get it in at first. finally got the hang of it and love it! and def. noticed my cramps were lessened. i take it out in the shower and rinse with hydrogen peroxide since we keep a jug in the shower (we usually brush our teeth in there and swish/gurgle with H2O2 during our showers).

  9. Shelby January 9, 2014 at 7:26 am - Reply

    I’m boiling my Diva Cup as we speak (or, rather, as you read)! My period is on the heavier side and I do still use a pad for my first overnight and sometimes, even a bit further. It does take some getting use to but don’t give up! Your life will be forever changed once you begin using your cup! Thanks for the cleaning tips!

  10. Kellie May 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    After having my first child and bleeding for 2 months after I never wanted to see another pad or tampon ever again! So I bought a diva cup and haven’t looked back since! It’s seriously changed my life! My cramps are almost none existent (I believe tampons made my cramps worse) it’s so much cleaner and easier than tampons! I am seriously so thankful for my diva cup! I am actually about to buy a meluna because the sizes are better and the diva cup is a bit too long even with the stem cut completely off! But seriously I’ll never ever go with out my menstrual cup ever again! All my friends think I’m crazy but this thing really rocks my world!!! 😉

  11. Deanna September 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    Does the diva cup work better than the soft cups? I’ve tried the soft cups a couple time and something inside might be wrong cause no matter how many times I read the instructions and did it word for word I’d still bleed around it… Like the girls said above “a mess” literally!

    • Crystal Collins September 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      I have tried a few other cups and they have all given me issues. I definitely have been happy with the diva.

    • Chris June 15, 2016 at 11:16 am - Reply

      My daughter and I both tried the softcups (disposable menstrual cup ) and they were awful, always leaked, messy getting removed and just a pain. So we got the Lola cup and we love it. No leaks, no in out issues (after a bit of practice) and will never use anything else again.

  12. jessica January 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    Just wanting an update on the purple lunette cup please? im looking to buy a cup and thinking purple lunette sounds good. Thanks

    • Crystal Collins January 13, 2015 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      I tried the Lunette and was not happy with it. It did not function well, kept leaking, and I even had a problem with it staying in place. 🙁

    • Lisa February 4, 2017 at 12:18 am - Reply

      I use a lunette and am super happy with it! No leaking or fit problems for me

  13. Laureina January 26, 2015 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Hi, Im wondering if these just don’t work for me. I have the meluna that came with a larger size for heavy days and smaller size for normal days. Ive noticed with my last set of twins that I have very weak vag. wall and it just won’t sit correctly to do its job, I leak everywhere, Ive tried all kinds of different folds. Not sure if maybe a tilted uterus is to blame and can’t be done? I would love this to work though, all the chemicals only exacerbate fibroids and cysts and would like to be rid of this issue altogether.

    • Crystal Collins January 27, 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply

      I’m not sure what the issue is. I’ve tried other brands of cups, and had issues with them as well. Diva is the only one that has worked well for me.

      • Christine March 16, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

        I believe I read somewhere that the lunette (and if you look at the pictures of the sizes comparing lunette and diva) is smaller, narrower. The diva cup is a bit longer and wider, I guess it depends on your internal anatomy. I leaked with the lunette a lot, but not at all with the diva.

    • Carrie March 23, 2015 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      I also have had several pregnancies, including twins, and now have weaker muscles and a low (and misshapen) cervix. I found that the diva was too long and stiff. I was only able to use it if I turned it inside out, and even then the stiffness bothered me on my extra sensitive days. I then tried the Sckoon Cup, and I LOOOVE it! It is softer, shorter, slightly different shaped, and even comes in different colors. I also just got a FemmyCycle for a low cervix, but haven’t actually tried it yet.

  14. Savanah Fahrney-Day May 7, 2015 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    I’m a huge fan of Diva cups. I finally got my mom to try it, but she needed a different brand. I wish Diva made them in different shapes/stiffness-es for more people to benefit.

    After my cycle is done, I wash it & then set it in my bedroom windowsill until next time. I also highly recommend having a second one in your purse or car…or as a backup in case you accidentally drop it in a toilet, it rolls down the pipe, and you are unable to fish it out. I learned that the hard way 🙁

  15. Sara May 21, 2015 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    I just got the cup after getting very heavy cycles once #3 came along. I love it so far but after just a few days, the cup has an odor to it. Gross, I know. But I’m not even gross! It’s out and rinsed/washed constantly (heavy cycle!). I have been using regular hand soap to wash it with which, I guess is a no-no? Have you experienced this? I tried boiling but it lingers on. Any tips? I love everything about a cup but don’t want to feel gross!

    • Crystal Collins May 22, 2015 at 12:16 am - Reply

      Try one of two things or both:

      1. Leave it sitting in direct sunlight for 6-8 hours.

      2. Let it soak overnight in 1/2 hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 filtered water.

      That should do it for ya! Also, you may want to check and see if you’re dealing with another issue if the cup is getting like that after just a few days. When I experienced what you are experiencing, I actually had a yeast issue happening: http://naturalthrifty.com/how-to-treat-a-yeast-infection-with-garlic.html

      • Sara May 22, 2015 at 8:52 am - Reply

        Thank you, Crystal! I’m trying the peroxide soak and then will give it a time out in the sun. I actually take a garlic supplement every day and I am going to keep this info handy should I need it!

  16. Melissa December 20, 2015 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    I have mostly seen questions and comments from women/moms. I have tried the disposable softcups, but am looking forward to getting a reusable one for myself but I have a 14 year old daughter who hasn’t tried tampons yet. Could I start her out on one of these?

    • Sara January 27, 2016 at 9:25 am - Reply

      The Diva cup has two different sizes/shaped cups. One for anyone who is under 30 (I think that’s the age?) and/or has never been pregnant and one for those of us who have been pregnant. I think this would be great for your 14 year old. Worst case scenario is your’re out $30 if she hates it and the best case is she discovers the benefits of a cup at a young age. It may take some time for her to get to know the cup but imagine not having to change a tampon or pad all day in high school?!

  17. B December 29, 2015 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    Can you just say the word vagina instead of trying to censor it and make it sound cute. Its a body part not a swear word. Grow up.

  18. You're stupid January 25, 2016 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Medical grade silicone is made to resist up to 200°c it won’t melt in your car you’re a moron, unless your car gets to 240°c the actual melting point of medical grade silicone

  19. Kay April 7, 2016 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    The lunette is my jams. I’m 24, no kids, and have a tiny vagina. The lunette worked for me first time around, no problems, no leaks, all awesome. It definitely reduced my cramps too. I wish I had it in high school. Definitely less traumatic than changing tampons and pads during class.

  20. Marisa October 4, 2016 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    How do you clean the holes on the top of the cup? I find that after soap, boiling, etc. they still aren’t clean.

    • Sara November 8, 2016 at 9:09 am - Reply

      I was having the same problem so I used a toothpick to get the little holes clean before I washed it. I don’t think this would be “recommended” by the manufacturer but obviously we’re grown women and know how to not poke holes in medical grade silicone with a toothpick. Good luck. : )

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