A common question that many women have is, “How to deep clean a menstrual cup?” You probably know from experience that if you don’t clean your menstrual cup properly, it can start to get discoloured (especially the clear Diva Cup and Moon Cup), or it can start to smell badly. Nobody wants this to happen when you spend around $30 or more on a menstrual cup!
There are three things that we need to consider:
- Cleaning your menstrual cup during your period
- How to deep clean a menstrual cup after your period
- How to store a menstrual cup between periods.
We’ll talk about three important topics in turn! So keep reading for all the details about how to deep clean a menstrual cup and more.
Cleaning your Menstrual Cup during your Period
There are various recommendations for cleaning a menstrual cup during your period. The simple one that I personally use is plain soap and warm water. I remove my cup, empty it into the toilet and then wash it thoroughly with soap and water. But be sure to use a very mild soap and not one with strong scents, harsh chemicals, etc.
I use a Diva Cup, which has a hollow stem so I occasionally use a Q-Tip to clean the inside of that. You can also use an old toothbrush to clean the air holes, if your menstrual cup has them.
If I’m out in public, I’ll empty my Diva Cup into the toilet, wipe it off with some tissue or toilet paper and then reinsert it. I try to only do this once or twice before I have access to a sink and can wash it thoroughly with soap and water.
However, there are plenty of women who swear by the special menstrual cup washes. Some of the most popular ones include the Lunette Feelbetter Menstrual Cup Cleanser and the DivaCup DivaWash® Natural DivaCup Cleaner. These special menstrual cup cleansers are reasonably priced when you consider that you have to use such a small amount. I’ve used them in the past and they do indeed keep my Diva Cup looking fresh and smelling nice.
For more details and to help you make the best choice, check out my comparison: DivaWash vs. Lunette Feelbetter.
It really is up to you! But at the very minimum, I recommend cleaning very thoroughly with a mild soap and warm water at least once a day during your period.
How to Deep Clean a Menstrual Cup after your Period
After your period, it’s recommended that you deep clean your menstrual cup at least every few months before putting it away in storage until next month. Some of the various methods for how to clean a menstrual cup include the following:
- Boiling. Boil your menstrual cup in an open pot for 5 minutes. Make sure you have enough water so that it doesn’t run dry and ruin your menstrual cup. There are some special containers to do this (like the Yuuki Menstrual Cup + Infuser Box), but I find that these aren’t really necessary.
- Rinsing. Rinse in a diluted vinegar (1 part) and water (9 parts) solution. You could soak for a minute or two but not longer. You don’t want to start breaking down the menstrual cup material.
- Peroxide? Some do a peroxide soak in order to remove any unpleasant odours. However, Diva Cup specifically recommends not using this, along with a host of other products. It will break down the materials your cup is made from.
However, it isn’t really necessary to do this if your menstrual cup doesn’t smell or isn’t discoloured too much (some discolouration is totally normal). You can simply wash thoroughly with a bit of soap or a menstrual cup cleanser before putting your cup away until next month.
How to Store a Menstrual Cup between Periods
Perhaps the most important thing in this whole article is what you do with your menstrual cup between periods. The most important thing is to NEVER store it in an airtight container. DO NOT put in a tupperware container with a lid firmly on it. This will lead to serious bacteria growth and will probably ruin your cup.
The best way is to store your menstrual cup is to dry it thoroughly and then store it in the cloth bag that probably came with it. Alternatively, put in in a small container with no lid. Or, wrap it loosely in a piece of paper towel. Just make sure it’s exposed to air which will discourage bacterial growth.