Why I’m Totally OK With Showing Off My 5-Year Old Menstrual Cup

Menstrual cups are revolutionary and a wonderful way to balance your carbon footprint in the right direction, but after a few years they can start to look more lump of coal rather than diamond. Due to the pH environment of the vagina, many women experience staining of their menstrual cups, no matter how clean it is. There are many DIY methods on the internet utilized by women to re-sparkle their cups, but many silicone cup manufacturers don’t recommend anything beyond a gentle soap and perhaps occasional boiling. I decided to risk one of my original menstrual cups on a popular stain removal method using something you probably already have in your medicine cabinet: 3% hydrogen peroxide!

My Lunette Diana (sadly, a limited edition color of the classic Lunette cup) came into my life a lively pop of spring green, but after 5 years had settled into more of a river-bottom, rusty green. Since it’s just a back-up cup these days, I was willing to risk it in an attempt for color rejuvenation… for science! Speaking of science, I referenced this Chemical Compatibility chart which allows you to select a material and chemical and see their compatibility under different environments. Seeing that silicone has an “Excellent” rating with Hydrogen Peroxide at the 10% strength, I was put more at ease with my little experiment because I only had HP at 3% and was going to be diluting it even further with plain old tap water.

After cleaning - it matches this spider plant!

It matches this spider plant!

My materials? A clean mason jar with lid, Hydrogen Peroxide 3%, and my dingy cup. I popped my Diana into the jar, filled the jar halfway with hydrogen peroxide, filled it the rest of the way with tap water, then placed the lid onto my jar loosely. This was left on my kitchen counter overnight. The next morning, I emptied the jar and rinsed off my Diana – my beautiful, sparkling, spring green Diana! I was amazed at how thorough the soak was. It even got the tiny suction holes along the rim!

After-

Another after shot, featuring a view of PDX

So that is why I’m totally OK with showing you my 5-year-old Lunette. Not all cup manufacturers recommend using this method of stain-removal, so please only do so at your own risk (and do NOT use this with the natural gum rubber Keeper Cup–it can cause corrosion)! I personally won’t use this method of cleansing often as I’m confident in the simplicity of gentle soap and water, but it’s nice to know that it worked well for old, stubborn stains.

Have you ever used a controversial stain-removal method on your cup? What’s your favorite cleanser to use? Are you one of the lucky ones whose cups don’t stain at all?

Until next time!

Absorbently yours,

Meagan

About the author of this post:

meagan b gladragsA menstrual cup user for five years, Meagan has been converting other women to reusable menstrual products since 2009. Occasionally accompanied to the office by her two pugs, she has been known to carry over twelve tubes of lipstick in her purse at one time. Outside of the GladRags office, she can be found infusing bourbon and practicing her enviable make-up skills.

  • kearsten

    I use good old baking soda and a stiff nail brush when mine looks dingy. It doesn’t quite bring it back to brand new appearance, but it gets pretty close! My cup is over 8 years old and is a clear mooncup…and I only have the one! It’s had plenty of heavy use!

    • Meagan Brockway

      Thanks for the comment, Kearsten. Add this to the long list of baking soda’s household uses! I’m picturing using a toothbrush and baking soda and brushing my menstrual cups…

      • kearsten

        Haha That’s how I started out, but a toothbrush isn’t strong enough for a good cup scrubbing…hence the switch to the stiffer nail brush! It helps get rid of any odors, too….like if you’ve slept longer than usual and you have a whiffy cup….yep, been there a time or six! Haha

  • Angie Spring Kennedy

    I have a Diana as well…I use regular soap and water during my period but even if I clean it regularly, by the end of my cycle, it’s stained and no amount of scrubbing could get it clean. (I used a toothbrush, but never tried a nail brush) So I’ll usually soak it overnight in peroxide and water and it’s good as new. I previously used a clear Diva Cup, but don’t remember using peroxide on it or not…the Diana is two or three years old and I think the only part that is really hard to keep clean is where I trimmed the stem.

    • Meagan Brockway

      Angie, I have the same problem with my Moon Cup! The edges I created when I trimmed the stem are the easiest stained. I might try some other cleaning techniques I’ve discovered on the internet to tackle that one… Being clear, those stains are really obvious!

  • My clear Diva cup is eight years old and I’ve never had any staining, not even where I cut the stem off. I used to use the Diva wash, but now I just use Ivory hand soap to clean it. If it smells or I’m having a problem getting the holes clean, I boil it for 5-10 minutes.

    • Of course, a few months after I posted this, my cup started staining. :-/ Just a few small spots on the outside of the rim. I’m obviously older now than when I bought the first one [25 vs 34], so I’m just going to buy the bigger size instead of worrying about this smaller one being stained.

  • Jessica Harwell Long

    I totally wish I had Diana! I have Cynthia and Aine I wanted Green but alas they were no more….I am hoping they make the golw n the dark ones that they april fooled last year…

  • Samantha McMillan

    Nice to know that staining is normal. I’ve never worried much about it because I know it’s clean and no one sees it but me anyway, but I decided to do a quick search anyway to see WHY it stains. I’ve been using it for about a year and it started staining a few months ago. Might try a peroxide soak just to get a fresh start!

  • Gina Smith DC

    I always had used the cup cleaners and boiled mine to sterilize, but the stains were never gone. After 7 years, stains were inevitable. BUT OH MY GOD, it was so frustrating. I soaked mine over night, just last night, with your recipe! And it freaking worked!!!! My old one looks brand new! THANK YOU!

  • Paris Deptula

    This worked so well! I really wasn’t too bummed about the stains on my cup, but there’s just something about a bright, colorful cup that makes you smile. Thank you for this tip! My cup is back to new! ☺️