Does Your Menstrual Cup Smell Bad? Here’s How to Fix It

Whether you have a DivaCup, Saalt cup, or any other brand, we have great tips for removing unpleasant odours.

Image of a menstrual cup with flowers inside.

So you’ve finally figured out how to use and clean your menstrual cup and it’s been great, aside from one small issue – it’s starting to smell. Perhaps you’ve noticed your cup has a sour, fishy or unusual odour that won’t seem to go away. This is a typical experience for many women and there’s no shame in it at all. If your menstrual cup smells a little strange, we’re here to explain exactly how to help get rid of the odour and prevent it from coming back. It’s all part of our commitment to women’s health care and hygiene.

How to get the smell out of a menstrual cup

The following tips should help you to remove menstrual cup odour. However, it is important to first read the cleaning instructions for your specific cup as some may advise against a couple of these suggestions.

Don’t wear your period cup too long

Don’t wear your cup for longer than 8 hours as it may fill up with too much menstrual blood. The cups are designed to be changed at least 3 times per day, ideally every 4-8 hours. Leaving your cup inserted for longer than this is not recommended and can lead to increased menstrual cup odour.

Clean the cup thoroughly

As much as possible, clean your cup thoroughly each time you remove it and reinsert it. Using specially designed menstrual cup wipes and wash may also assist in combating odour. Also ensure that all hollow areas and rim holes are completely clean.

Sanitise the cup in boiling water

Boil your cup in hot water for 2-10 minutes (depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation). This should be done before and after each cycle, however, if an odour develops, try boiling the cup again. Be sure not to let the cup rest on or touch the base of the saucepan.

Create a vinegar solution

Try mixing up a solution of half water and half vinegar. Soak your menstrual cup in the mixture for around an hour and then rinse thoroughly. This also acts as a bleach that can get rid of discolouration.

Use lemon juice to remove odour

Use fresh lemon juice to wipe the inside and outside of your cup, or soak your cup in the juice for around an hour. Once finished, boil your cup for a few minutes in water to ensure all lemon juice residue is removed before reusing.

Find odourless menstrual cups:

Is it normal for my menstrual cup to smell bad?

While the silicone that most menstrual cups are made from is odourless, it is possible for your cup to develop an odour with use. This is an odour of the cup itself, not the period odour you may smell during your cycle.

Every cup user is different and some women may find that their menstrual flow odour is stronger than others. Don’t be alarmed if you notice a strong menstrual cup odour during your cycle. If you’re constantly thinking, “my menstrual cup smells bad,” remember that your smell sensitivity is heightened at the time and it probably isn’t as bad as you may think. If you happen to have health conditions such as a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, this could affect the smell of the cup too.

With that being said, say goodbye to stinky menstrual cups today by trying out the methods above. Menstrual cups are a reusable, environmentally friendly alternative to period products like single-use tampons and pads. We recommend keeping them odour-free to enjoy all the benefits.

Learn more about menstrual cups and periods:

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