Menstruators can get quite hung up about smelling during their periods. It’s perfectly natural for there to be some slight odor but if you’re concerned about a strong smell do go and see your doctor. The good news is that if you think the funky smell is coming from your period cup, there are things you can do about it.
How to keep your period cup fresh
It can be a good idea to boil your cup for 20 minutes before and after your period, for the cleanliness of your cup and the health of your vagina. Make sure you use a deep pot to boil your menstrual cup otherwise you will risk burning or warping your menstrual care device. Check out full details on ‘How to clean’.
Alternatively, use liquid soaps or cup wipes that have been specifically formulated for menstrual cups. These washes are designed to clean the cup properly without leaving any residue. Avoid any that include oils, colorants or scents as they may leave chemicals on the cup. Some ingredients also harm the silicone material. A normal vaginal pH level is between 3.8 and 4.5, which is moderately acidic. Look for cleansing products that have a similar PH balance.
Never, ever put your period cup in the dishwasher!
There are some alternatives that you can use, if you don’t have cup wipes or a proper liquid wash at hand.
Wipe thoroughly or soak your menstrual cup for an hour with rubbing alcohol. (Soaking in hydrogen peroxide 3% will freshen it too.) Pro tip: You can also use a toothpick soaked in rubbing alcohol to clean out your menstrual cup holes. Boil your cup AGAIN for 20 minutes and allow your cup to air dry in the sun completely before use. Leaving the cup to soak in the sun helps with discoloration or smells – but it’s not always the most practical solution!
You can also soak your menstrual cup for an hour, or wipe down, with lemon juice. Be sure to boil your menstrual cup for 20 minutes to get rid of any lemon juice residue before use!
Finally, you can make a solution of half water and half vinegar and soak your menstrual cup for an hour. You already know what to do next! We'll give you a hint: boil your cup for 20 minutes!
Buy Lume Deodorant and wipe some inside after a good rinsing between re insert. Its a miracle.
Thank you Bethany for the protip! Brilliant :) Now I don’t have to hover with my tongs during the boiling process out of fear of damaging my cup as it rests on the bottom. I understand it’s heat resistant… but at some point all that heat is going to compromise the material in some way. I mean, c’mon! Lol Anyway, I vote that use of a whisk should be included by anyone recommending boiling as a cleaning method.
Hi Glad I’m not broken! We recommend using distilled vinegar or white vinegar. 😊
Sooo glad I googled this before I just tossed my Diva Cup and got a new one. Soaked it overnight in anti bacterial, anti fungal wash and it helped a ton but wasn’t a 100% fix. Will ACV work for the vinegar bath or does it need to be white distilled?
Hi Katie! We do not recommend a baking soda bath for your Cup. However, you can still the Cup in sunshine for a few hours – that might just do the trick!
Can I speak my cup in a baking soda solution? I’ve tried vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol. I’ve booked it multiple times. It still stinks! Baking soda disks have worked wonders with other silicon products I own but I don’t want to risk ruining the cup.
Hi My cup smells like death! Lunette Cup must be boiled for 20 minutes before first use to sufficiently sanitize the cup. We recommend boiling between each cycle as well. You can purchase a separate pot to be your Lunette Cup pot if boiling in regular pots is not ideal for you. :) You can wipe the cup with rubbing alcohol, lemon juice, or vinegar to help get rid of odor. You can also let it sit out in the sun!
I’ve been tempted to throw my cup away because I can’t get rid of the odor. Is it okay to soak it in rubbing alcohol and water to try and get rid of the smell? I have a back up but I’d hate to just have to throw it away. And I prefer not to boil it because the thought of having something that was in my vagina in a pot I use to cook with just doesn’t sit well with me.
Hi, Bella! We do not recommend using Milton tablets. :)
Can I soak it in Milton ( the stuff for baby bottles and teats ?
Ohhhhh ladies y’all have eased my concern, and quieted my self consciousness🙌🏼🙌🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Thought I was having big big problems. Headed to ving bath the vag cup then boil that bish.
Hey No name! So glad we were able to help! :)
I’m a first time user of a diva cup and I’m glad I found this when I did. I was beginning to worry.
I’m glad I found this. Every time I remove the cup after the 3rd day, it’s always like something died. I mean I realize this is dead tissue and old blood shedding so I’m sure that doesnt help the smell as well. But I cant even tell you the extent of concern I felt the first time I noticed it. I wish there was a way to take away the smell during my period. But guess that’s just something we have to learn to deal with, or buy an extra cup to swap out with every other day. Good to know I’m not the only person having this issue though.
Pro tip when boiling: put the cup inside a whisk to prevent the cup from touching the bottom of the pot and protect it incase you accidentally let the water boil away.
Let us know how it goes! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel you need more assistance with the smell. Happy to help!
I’m so grateful I’m not the only one having this issue. My cup smelt really bad and I couldn’t figure out why. I’m hoping the vinegar bath and boiling will help.
The one hour hydrogen peroxide soak got the majority of the discoloration out (but not the smell).
The 20 minute boiling of the cup got the smell out! Make sure to set the timer on your phone (and maybe a backup or two) so that the water doesn’t boil away.the cup is made of silicone, so it can handle the heat.
“Silicone rubber is generally non-reactive, stable, and resistant to extreme environments and temperatures from -67 °F to 572 °F (-55 °C to 300 °C).”
Wish I would have read this earlier…thought there was something wrong with the cup because of these smell and threw it out :(
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com if you find you have any other questions about your menstrual cup.
We got you. <3
I was thinking something was wrong with me. My lunette stinks!! Washing myself with almost half a bottle of Summers Eve to fix my pH.
Will be soaking it tonight!
Thanks for all the comments!
@Nahhh: We’re so happy that soaking your cup got rid of the smell!
@L: How long have you had your cup? If it smells really bad and you notice discomfort while wearing it, we recommend you get a new cup. Cleaning your cup regularly is a great way to extend the life of your cup and helps to keep away unwanted smells.
@Dez, @My Mama Ain’t Name Me, @Funky Franny: You are not alone! Period cups can start to smell if they aren’t cleaned properly, or if the soap you’re using is one that doesn’t work well with silicone.
Don’t hesitate to give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions!
Omg! Thank you. The peroxide and 20 min soak did the trick. I was not putting that funky cup back in me smelling like it did!
What if the smell doesn’t come out? Is it now bad?
Wheew!!!! Thank you Baby Jesus for others