Not Obvious Facts About How to Clean a Menstrual Cup

May 11, 2022

How to clean menstrual cup? You may ask what’s the difficulty? You take it out, clean it with water or soap and it’s done. How-to articles can be boring and instruct you about the most obvious things. This is not one of them.

We care about your vaginal health just like you, and we think you should know DO’s and DON’T’S of sanitizing a menstrual cup.

Most cups are made from medical silicone. If you use the wrong cleaning product, you can damage its structure making space for harmful microbes.

Here you will learn:

  • how to sanitize a menstrual cup
  • if you need to boil your cup and for how long
  • whether using menstrual cup soap is necessary
  • what products mustn't be used
  • our tricks for sanitizing in common bathrooms
  • how to get rid of any unpleasant smell

First-time Cleaning and Between Your Cycles

Your new menstrual cup has just arrived. Make it ready for its first use and do a thorough cleaning. Have a look at what the producer of the cup says, but in general, the best and the cheapest is menstrual cup boiling from 4 to 10 minutes:

How to boil menstrual cup?

You’ll need a pot, water and a whisk (our golden tip).Why do you need a whisk? Well your cup will float on the water, you can trap it in a whisk and then you ensure that it’s fully immersed in water. Then, dry it carefully and store it in a breathable container, like cotton pouches.When the day of your first period arrives, you can just rinse your cup with water and it’s ready to use. A cup menstrual cleaner will help you with that.

Cleaning Menstrual Cup During Your Cycle

This is when most cleaning happens. If the bathroom you use is clean, private and doesn’t make you scream inside every time you enter it, you’re really lucky.

Choose one of the following options:

  • Rinse it under running water
  • The cup is not “contaminated” after touching some blood. You may have a deep-rooted feeling to scrub it “real-good”. However, a few minutes under running water and you’re good to go.

Hot or cold water?

Cold or lukewarm – if you want to prevent the stains.

Hint: Empty the cup in the toilet!

  • Rinse it under running water and use a special soap

Do you feel better when you use a product? Sure. Remember to use a PH-balanced soap, just like the one you use for your vagina. Remember that special soaps are not necessary and there are solutions that don’t require it at all. However, if you’re looking for the right soap to clean menstrual cup:

  • water-based
  • fragrant free
  • NO OIL – it can damage the cup
  • Use a menstrual cup cleaner (for example that from Emanui)

Instead of cleaning the cup with your hand, you can choose to use a tool. A menstrual cup cleaner is an exceptionally convenient tool that allows you to clean the cup perfectly with minimal effort and much less water (only 60ml! a very small glass of water!)

It’s a flexible, portable container that you can fill with water just before you use it. You put your cup in it.Shake it, squeeze it, rub it. Afterwards, pour the water out to the toilet through a beak-like opening.There’s no risk that your cup will fall into the toilet and you are ready to re-insert it again.

What if You Don’t Have a Comfortable Place

A common sink? The bathroom doesn’t feel very hygienic? You’re travelling? You don’t have access to running water?

We hope that one day it will be normalized to clean a cup in an open space and no one gets shocked or offended by the sight of little menstrual blood. As for now, you don’t have to fight for a better world on all occasions.

  • Just empty it.
  • Surprised? A cup does not actually have to be cleaned each time. It’s completely fine to clean your hands, empty the cup into the toilet, wipe it with toilet paper and re-insert it. Easy.
  • Hint: Don’t use scented wet wipes.
  • Use a menstrual cup cleanser

Remember Emanui? A clever and handy menstrual cup cleaner? We can’t think of a better solution.

You fill it with water in the common sink before entering the toilet cubicle. Then, you take it with you, takeout your cup, empty it. Put it in the menstrual cup cleanser, shake it, squeeze it, rub it and pour the water out to the toilet.

What if I don’t have running water?

Bottled water will be just as fine! Any drinkable water is fine. Hence, be careful if you travel!

How to sterilize a menstrual cup? And how often?

By boiling menstrual cup or using sterilizing solution. Do it after each period.

How to wash menstrual cup? And how often?

Check out the instructions above. At least twice a day, every 12 hours. If possible, every 4-8 hours.

What products will damage my cup?

Harsh cleaners can damage medical silicone. It may not be visible to you, but bacteria may penetrate the fabric and you will risk a vaginal infection.

Beware of:

  • Petrol based substances such as Vaseline
  • Oil based substances
  • Harsh cleaners - hydrogen peroxide. Be careful! Some websites recommend using it to get rid of stains. It’s not the best idea!
  • Strong or scented soaps
  • Dishwasher liquids
  • Bleach
  • Vinegar, Be careful! It’s sometimes recommended as a “natural” cleaner. Natural it may be, but it’s too strong for a cup!

Does your cup have vacuum holes?

If so, you need to clean them too. They need to stay “unclogged” to create a vacuum in your vagina. You can run water through them, use a designated toothbrush, flossing brush, blow in them or use a menstrual cup cleaner.

How to get rid of the smell?

Well, it shouldn’t smell! Make sure that you store it in a breathable container and check your vagina for infections.

However, if it does smell, sterilize menstrual cup by soaking it in a sterilizing solution and rinse with water.

Choose a sterilizing solution for cleaning baby bottle teats or a sterilizer recommended by the manufacturer of your cup. That's enough to sanitize menstrual cup.

Is a stained cup safe to use? How to remove stains from menstrual cup?

Yes, it is. Menstrual cup staining is normal and should not prevent you from using it or rushing to buy anew one.

It’s a matter of aesthetics. If it’s quite important to you, you may consider darker shades or do an occasional overnight soaking in a sterilizing solution. Yes, the one for baby bottle teats.

I hope cleaning a menstrual cup does not seem confusing to you anymore! We would hate it if you stopped using it just because you didn’t know how to clean it in your workplace or when travelling. One menstruating person uses around 9 000 menstrual products in a lifetime. The planet needs you.