Best Ways to Remove Stains From Your Silicone Menstrual Cup: My Tips
I Love My Cup! But Must It Be So Gross?
Try not to cringe when you look at that before picture. My husband thought it was dried menses, but it's not; it is stained. Between every switch, I washed with soap and water, and between cycles, I threw in a boil. It was clean—as far as germs were concerned. But blood is a powerful stainer, and the silicone becomes a victim.
I thought that maybe that's just the way it was. Eventually, my lovely, frosted-looking Diva Cup would more resemble a brand new Keeper. I'd have to hide it in a bag instead of leaving it conveniently on my medicine cabinet shelf. How could I advertise all its wonderful qualities to new friends when they won't be able to look past the staining? Because let's admit it: despite the fact that just about every woman on the planet deals with blood on a monthly basis, we still cringe when it is admitted in public (unless you're me, and friends of mine will agree: it's how I roll).
I couldn't live with that. I love to show people my Diva Cup and tell them all about it's absolute awesomeness. But my best marketing tool was turning ugly. I needed to act.
The Problem, Up Close
Yes. I'm going to do it. You're going to see it. See that? STAINING. BIG BAD STAINING ON MY MENSTRUAL CUP! The horror...
Things I tried that did not work (I admit, it's not a long list, but I avoid chemicals when I can, so my due-diligence has boundaries):
- baking soda
- white vinegar
- apple cider vinegar
- castille soap (distilled and undistilled)
- boiling with vinegar
- baking soda and vinegar together
These did not work. Obviously.
Don't hate me for drawing this out when the answer is so simple:
Hydrogen Peroxide, 3%
That's it. Pour some hydrogen peroxide into a clear glass (so you can watch the magic happen, though I suppose your fascination may be less than mine, so an opaque container will work just as well, if you must), drop in the cup, and wait.
Like the photo shows, after an hour and a half, I could already see a drastic difference. After three hours, even more. By five hours, only a little staining was still apparent around the lip of the cup and the end with the stem (I've cut my stem off). By the time I looked in the glass again at the end of the day, my cup was ready.
Some Things to Note
I rinsed my cup thoroughly after soaking in the hydrogen peroxide and may boil it once more before using it during my next cycle. However, I feel it's worth noting that hydrogen peroxide is naturally occurring in a woman (think yellow staining), and is perfectly safe for your body. That doesn't mean go crazy with it, but rinsing your menstrual cup in water will probably be just fine after the hydrogen peroxide soak.
Please be sure you use only the 3% solution; it is what I used and if you're going to follow my advice, please be sure to do it exactly. I have no idea what effects using a stronger solution will have.
It is worth noting that this trick may only work with silicone cups. I do not own another, so if you try it on something not silicone, you do so at your own risk.
I Love My Menstrual Cup
Any Diva Cup user should know that the Diva Cup company does sell a wash specifically designed for your cup. It can fit in your purse and used right over a toilet should you need to change it while out and don't want to use the sink in the public restroom (teaching opportunity, anybody?) I have not used this cleaner; I prefer knowing exactly what is being used on the products I rely on, especially those as personal as a cup, so making my own makes me happy.
Have any questions? Please don't hesitate to leave them in the comments! I will respond as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Want more about menstrual cups? Check out my Menstrual Cups 101 article.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.