How to clean your menstrual cup

How to clean your menstrual cup: top tips for looking after your menstrual cup

The Mooncup menstrual cup is made to last so it’s worth taking care of it properly. To help you look after your faithful cup companion, we’ve put together these simple cleaning and care tips. You’ll be a pro before you know it!

Top first tip: you should always wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling your Mooncup®.

How do you clean your Mooncup?

You should give your menstrual cup a thorough clean before using it for the first time. You can thoroughly clean your cup by simply boiling it or using sterilising solution or tablets – the type used with baby equipment. Just follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for dilution and soak for the minimum recommended time. Then rinse well with clean water. You can watch our video on how to clean your Mooncup menstrual cup here.

We don’t recommend cleaning your Mooncup in the microwave, steam steriliser, or dishwasher as this can damage the silicone.  

How to boil a menstrual cup

Prefer the boiling method? You should boil your cup immersed in water for 5-7 minutes before using it for the first time and after you finish your period. 

It’s a good idea to have a pan you specifically use for this purpose. It’s also handy to set a timer to make sure you don’t overboil your cup – if left to boil too long, it can burn.

After boiling, let your cup cool, dry it and pop it in the cute, breathable, organic cotton bag which it came with. Do not store your Mooncup menstrual cup in a plastic bag or sealed container.

The Mooncup menstrual cup organic cotton storage bag

Cleaning your menstrual cup during your period

During your period, just empty and wash your Mooncup with water or a mild, non-perfumed soap. Always rinse it well after using soap as any traces left on the Mooncup may cause irritation – your vagina will thank you.

The Mooncup should be emptied every 4-8 hours. This recommendation is based upon safe practice for users and has nothing to do with the capacity of the Mooncup vs. other period cup brands. Ultimately, this recommendation comes down to safety and hygiene reasons, to limit the risk of infections for our Mooncup users.

How to change your menstrual cup in a public toilet

What about if you’re out and about and need to empty your menstrual cup? This is possibly the most frequently asked question we get from those considering making the switch. And there’s a very simple tip for it: take a small bottle of water into the cubicle with you. Remove the Mooncup, tip the contents into the toilet bowl, rinse with water and re-insert. And voilà!

Or you can simply wipe the cup with toilet paper, and re-insert. You can give it a more thorough clean when you get home.

How to clean your Mooncup in a public toilet

The same advice goes for travelling on your period but do make sure you use drinking water to clean your cup.

Remember, the Mooncup menstrual cup holds up to three times more menstrual blood than a regular tampon, so you may not need to empty and reinsert it as often as you would change your conventional sanitary protection, making your outings more hassle-free!

How do you clean the holes in your Mooncup?

The suction holes in your menstrual cup need to be completely clear to get the best seal possible between the cup and the wall of the vagina. If the holes become blocked, they’ll need to be cleared.

To unblock the holes, simply fill the cup with water, place your palm on it, and squeeze to force the water out through the holes. You can also clean the holes with a small brush, such as a toothbrush (obviously not the one you use to clean your teeth…). It’s not advisable to use sharp objects, such as needles or toothpicks, to clean the holes as this might damage the silicone.

Get your Mooncup today

How do you use menstrual cup wash or wipes?

Some menstrual cup users like to use soap to wash their cup, but as you can see from above, this isn’t strictly necessary. If you do choose to use soap, go with a mild, non-perfumed kind, and always rinse your cup well to avoid irritation.

It’s not necessary to invest in special menstrual cup washes, wipes or sprays. They’re not needed to care for your cup, and their plastic packaging and microplastics aren’t great for environment either! Please also remember that even “flushable wipes” should go in the bin, rather than the loo: wipes marketed as flushable are responsible for 80% of blockages in Britain’s sewers.

How to remove stains from a menstrual cup

It’s normal to get some staining on your Mooncup menstrual cup over time – as long as you’re following the instructions above, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t clean. However, if you want to get rid of stains, you can soak your Mooncup in sterilising solution or tablets.

Soak the Mooncup in sterilising fluid (used for sterilising baby equipment). Do this for the minimum recommended time, following the manufacturer’s dilution guidelines. Rinse thoroughly with clean water, and then you’re ready to use your Mooncup again.

You can also use bicarbonate of soda: get a clean, damp cloth or a toothbrush with plenty of bicarb and rub it onto the stained area. Once you have cleaned your Mooncup in this way, rinse it thoroughly with clean water.

We advise against using things such as vinegar, lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide to clean your Mooncup as it’s not clear what effect they may have on the material of the cup. It’s also possible that any residue left on the cup may cause irritation to the vagina.

How to remove smell from a menstrual cup

Your Mooncup shouldn’t have any kind of strong smell. The most common reasons for your cup developing an odour are not emptying it often enough or boiling it in a pan with traces of food left. If neither is the case, you may have a non-serious vaginal infection that should be checked out by your doctor or nurse.

To remove the smell from your Mooncup, soak it in a small container of sterilising solution for the minimum recommended time (usually around 15 minutes). Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Don’t wear your period cup for longer than 8 hours and make sure the suction holes of your cup are also clean.

The do’s and don’ts of menstrual cup cleaning


  • Drinkable water
  • Mild soap
  • Sterilising tablets / liquids


  • Petrol based substances such as Vaseline
  • Oils e.g. essential oils or coconut oil
  • Harsh cleaners
  • Strong or scented soaps
  • Dishwasher or microwave

How long does the Mooncup last and when to replace it?

As long as you follow our instructions for cleaning and storage, your Mooncup should last for years and years. Your Mooncup may get some natural staining over time, this doesn’t mean it’s no longer hygienic.

If there are any changes to the texture, flexibility or appearance of your Mooncup (aside from natural discolouration), or any signs of damage it’s time to replace your cup.

Find out more about the Mooncup menstrual cup and buy yours here.

If you have any further questions about cleaning your Mooncup® you can get in touch with our friendly advice service.

You may also be interested in:
How to choose the best menstrual cup for you?
Top menstrual cup tips for a first time Mooncup® user
Exercising on your period: the do’s and don’ts
How to manage heavy periods?