How to Remove Stains From Your Menstrual Cup

menstrual cup with stains

I am sure everyone has a story about an embarrassing period moment, I have several to tell myself. If you’d like to read one of my stories I write about it in my FemmyCycle Review, stuck in Walmart and it was a bloody mess. I had to deal with the dreaded period stains on my underwear and shorts. It is frustrating having to buy new clothes because of period stains, but this doesn’t have to apply to your cups. If your cup is looking discolored, here are some ways to remove stains from your menstrual cup.

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This is why I like to purchase darker colored menstrual cups as opposed to lighter colors. If you cannot see the discoloration there’s nothing to worry about. This is why I think black menstrual cups are awesome and believe more brands should offer them. Like me, you can take the approach out of sight, out of mind.

Why Do Menstrual Cups Stain?

Blood in general stains material, so it is expected that menstrual cups are no exception. Your menstrual cup will get stained after prolonged use and exposure to menstrual blood. Since it is designed to collect menstrual blood and can be inserted for up to 12 hours, blood will be sitting for a prolonged time. This exposure for an extended period will increase the likelihood of staining.

Can I use a Stained Menstrual Cup?

Yes, you can use a stained/discolored menstrual cup. Some take it as a badge of honor that their menstrual cup has been holding up for several years. It is a reminder of how strong they hold during one of the most natural and beautiful processes in the world. On the other side, who will ever see it? Do the stains matter? They do not impact the performance or longevity.

How to Prevent Menstrual Cup Stains

It is a lot easier to prevent period stains on your menstrual cup than it is to remove them. There is no doubt your cup will eventually get stained over time, but you can slow the process. Take the precautions below can help prevent menstrual cup stains for some time.

Reduce Exposure to Air

Keep your menstrual cup in a storage bag between cycles.

There is a reaction between menstrual blood and oxygen, which causes the period blood smell. This also impacts the color of your menstrual blood after a certain amount of exposure. Removing your menstrual cup and dumping it immediately followed by rinsing it as quickly as possible will help reduce the likelihood of stains. This also applies when your period is over. After cleaning your menstrual cup, place it in a storage bag, opposed to leaving it out in the open.

Rinse in Cold Water

To prevent staining it is important to rinse your menstrual cup in cold water before using warm water. Coldwater helps prevent your menstrual cup from staining. If you use warm or hot water to rinse your menstrual cup before cold water, the stains will set into the silicone. Remember, cold before warm, not just in this case this applies to all material that may be stained. (We use this method to clean our cloth diapers to reduce staining, and they look great, even after 18 months of use)

Wash Between Uses

menstrual cup soap and bottle

I know sometimes it can be a chore to maintain your menstrual cup, but think of all of the advantages you get by taking that extra step. Taking the time to wash your cup, between changes instead of simply rinsing it will keep the stains away. Honestly, it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to give it a quick wash with a menstrual cup cleaner and pop it back up.

Related Post: Best Menstrual Cup Cleaner & Wipes

5 Ways to Remove Stains From Your Menstrual Cup

If your menstrual cup already shows its battle scares do not worry there are ways to remove stains from a menstrual cup. Although they may not be 100% effective these methods will significantly reduce the discoloration of your menstrual cup.

Scrub with Menstrual Cup Cleaner

brown toothbrush with pink menstrual cup

If you do not want to use chemicals on your menstrual cup there is a menstrual cup cleaner specially designed by menstrual cup brands to clean your cup. Similar to washing dishes (which I dislike), you can put a little solution on your cup and scrub it with a toothbrush. You will need to use a little muscle to not only clean the surface but try to penetrate the material to get stubborn stains.

Soak in a Water Bath with Lemon Juice

Lemon juice can be used as a natural stain remover if you do not want to use chemicals. I have not tried this method on my menstrual cup, but I have used it on stained underwear and it worked like a charm. I used a cup on water and squeezed two lemons in the water and let it soak from 45 minutes to an hour in cold water. If you plan to use this for your menstrual cup try using 1 lemon to see how it works and add another if necessary. Be sure to boil and clean after the water bath.

Get Some Sunlight

menstrual cup on table in sunlight
Let your menstrual cup get some sunlight.

An interesting trick I learned for stains is placing them directly in sunlight and let nature take its course. I learned this when my dog Bella decided to pee on the couch cushion. I was getting frustrated and my best friend gave me a tip. She told me to put the cushion in the sun to remove the stain and it actually worked.

Place your stained menstrual cup directly in a sunny spot for a few hours you will be amazed by the results. It is cool to see how powerful the sun and even nature can be. Be sure the spot you pick isn’t too hot, you do not want to melt your menstrual cup.

Soak in Diluted Vinegar Bath

Don’t forget to boil your cup after soaking it in your vinegar solution.

If you didn’t know (white) vinegar is one of the ultimate cleaning solutions. Many brands do not recommend soaking your menstrual cup in a vinegar solution, but there are a lot of Facebook menstrual cup users that swear by this method. This method should only be used with menstrual cups made from medical-grade silicone.

Here are the steps for removing stains from your menstrual cup using vinegar.

  • Create a vinegar bath made of half (white) vinegar and half water
  • Place your cup in the solution for up to one hour to allow the vinegar to remove the discoloration from your cup
  • Remove the cup after an hour
  • Clean cup with menstrual cup cleaner to remove any residue left by the vinegar solution
  • After cleaning the cup boil it for 2-3 minutes to ensure all potential leftover residue is removed from your menstrual cup
  • Set your cup in the sun to dry
  • Once dry place in a storage bag

After you’ve completed all of the steps above, the result should be a nice and clean menstrual cup.

Not: This method also works to remove odors from your menstrual cup.

Soak in Hydrogen Peroxide (Once in a While)

menstrual cup in mason jar to remove stains
Mason jars are great for soaking your menstrual cup.

This option is listed last because it should be used as an absolute last resort. If you opt to use this solution to remove stains from your menstrual cup, do not do so more than 2-3 times per year. Using this method to remove stains from your menstrual cup too often can deteriorate the silicone over time.

The steps for soaking your menstrual cup in hydrogen peroxide is similar to the vinegar bath.

  • Create a hydrogen peroxide bath made of 1/3 hydrogen peroxide and 2/3 water
  • Place your cup in the solution for up to 20 minutes to allow the hydrogen peroxide to remove the discoloration from your cup
  • You can move the cup around in the solution to aid in the process
  • Do not leave the cup more than 30 minutes
  • Clean cup with menstrual cup cleaner to remove any residue left by the hydrogen peroxide solution
  • After cleaning the cup boil it for 2-3 minutes to ensure all potential leftover residue is removed from your menstrual cup
  • Set your cup in the sun to dry
  • Once dry place in a storage bag

After this, your cup should be sparkling clean. Just remember, do not use this method regularly, the best way to take care of stains is prevention.

If you want a colored cup there are a lot of different options from Lunette, Hello (they have black), Athena, Flex, or Saalt. There are other options, but these are the brands that have darker colors available.

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