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!