So your menstrual cup is stained. Don’t worry, and don't ditch it for a new cup just yet! Even though your cup may not look as crystal clear or colourless as it once was, staining on your menstrual cup is normal and doesn’t mean that it’s unclean or damaged. Regardless, if you’re longing to have your unstained cup back or prevent stains from forming, follow these tips:
This is a super important step to follow to prevent menstrual cup staining! You should rinse all discharge off the surface of your cup with cold water first, then if you wish to wash it with warm water and a menstrual cup wash you can do so. Be particularly mindful of this if you like to remove your menstrual cup in the shower - avoid rinsing it with the hot shower water, as this will set any stains.
Just like stains on your clothes, the sun can help to remove stains from your menstrual cup, too! We recommend placing your cup outside in direct sunlight (out of reach of pets and children of course) for a few hours to help fade stains.
For your health, it’s important to only leave your menstrual cup in for the maximum time recommended by the manufacturer - some advise 12 hours, while many also advise 8 hours (here in Australia, 8 hours is recommended by the TGA). The longer you leave your cup in between emptying and rinsing it in cold water, the more likely it is to become stained, too - so keep this in mind if you want to prevent stains.
You should always clean and disinfect your menstrual cup properly, to keep it hygienic and to help keep staining under control. When emptying your cup, wash it in cold water with a little bit of menstrual cup wash - it’s best to choose a wash that's formulated especially for menstrual cups and avoid most soaps, as they can leave residues on your cup that may cause skin irritation or damage the silicone or TPE over time. You should also disinfect your menstrual cup by boiling it in water between cycles. Always make sure you clean in the holes too - you can do this using toothpicks, or by filling your cup with water and placing it upside down on the palm of your hand, then squeezing the water out through the holes.
Using isopropyl alcohol (or rubbing alcohol, like Isocol) and a soft cloth to rub the surface of your cup may help to remove stains. Similarly, soaking your cup in hot water and ¼ teaspoon of bi-carb soda for a couple of hours can lift discolouration. Always make sure you wash your cup thoroughly after using these methods to remove any alcohol or bi-carb residues. We don’t recommend soaking your cup in hydrogen peroxide or vinegar, as although these may lift stains, they can damage your cup.
If stains really bother you, choosing a coloured menstrual cup is a fantastic option! They say ignorance is bliss, right? Colour will help disguise stains so you can be none the wiser. The black RubyCup is our top recommendation if you’re scared of stains! Of course, always make sure that you’re cleaning your cup properly regardless of colour and staining.