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!
I’ll definitely need to try soaking mine in alcohol. Mine, without fail, ends up smelling like (TMI) really bad breath mixed with a fart every single month and it’s really started to disgust me. I also live in a basement apartment with no yard, so leaving it in the sun isn’t an option. Alcohol it is!
Melanie, I feel your pain! I left mine to dry in my bathroom window..well, my husband didn’t close the door thoroughly and the cats got in there. I couldn’t find it for most of the day, until I walked in and they had finally batted it next to the door. Oje. 🤦♀️
Crazy thing, I got out of the shower, glanced over at the cup, and thought to myself, “I hope the cats don’t get in here and knock that down, maybe I should put it away..” But alas I forgot, and my premonition came true. Ergh. 😒
Glad to hear the sun trick is working to get rid of the smell! Yikes about your dog’s new chew toy though haha!
I found boiling doesn’t get rid of the smell much but sitting it in a sunny window for awhile always does!😃 however this isn’t always easy in the winter and on a side note make sure it is placed high as apparently a puppy/dog will grab it and toy on this new “toy” 😳🤢 or so I have discovered
We do not recommend using toothpaste on your menstrual cup- this can cause damage to your cup, and can also affect your vaginal pH balance, which could lead to infection.
Toothpaste works like a charm!
I am using two different types of cup, one made of silicone and the other of some different kind of material (not latex). The silicone one smells horrible at the end of my period, the other one does not. Maybe it’s about the material…
I have found tea tree oil between uses removes the smell and I figure it has anti-bacterial properties so that has to be a plus right?
Thank you for these tips. It has helped a lot! Just boiling in water wasn’t helping so I will use vinegar and water next time :)
I’ve used a mentatrual cup for about 15 years and this lunettenisninly my secon in that time. If only I could save the money I would have otherwise spent on tamps And pads!
I accidentally left mine in too long and it has what I can only describe as a “rotten broccoli” smell (gross I know) but how do I make it go away I’ve done just about everything and I gag every time I catch a whiff of it. Any solutions?
My diva cup smells after one use now and doesn’t seem to go away completely. The cup is 3 months old, Ive boiled it, I wash it every time with cold water and the diva wash. Is it normal that I need to soak it in alcohol after each use? I love my cup but this is an issue