But the good news is that there are ways you can get rid of them!
What causes the discoloration of menstrual cups, and is it normal?
The discoloration of menstrual cups is caused by iron contained in hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues back to the lungs.
Since your menstrual cup is in constant contact with menstrual blood when it sits in your vaginal canal, it's inevitable that your cup will be affected by the hemoglobin.
So getting stains on your menstrual cup is normal and it doesn't affect the quality of your cup.
And if you own a colored cup.
No, they're not immune to discoloration either.
They're just better at masking the stains.
Except for maybe black cups.
Can you avoid staining your menstrual cup?
Hot water sets the stain so always rinse your menstrual cup with cold water first when cleaning it to prevent discoloration and then wash it with a mild soap and warm water.
And don't forget to clean those tight areas, i.e. air holes, seams, grip patterns, foldable lid, etc.
The more thorough you are in your cleaning routine the longer your cup with stay nice and clean.
What is hydrogen peroxide and can you use it to remove stains from your cup?
Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical that can clean your cuts and scrapes.
When it's poured on a cut, the hydrogen peroxide bubbles, making oxygen and killing germs.
Hydrogen peroxide is also used in personal care products, such as hair dyes and toothpaste.
The hydrogen peroxide in these products has a lightening/whitening effect.
Hydrogen peroxide (3%) can also be used to effectively remove blood stains from your menstrual cup.
Keep in mind that Hydrogen peroxide, like many household chemicals, can expire.
The 3-percent hydrogen peroxide solution you can buy for use as a disinfectant typically has a shelf life of at least a year and up to three years if the bottle is unopened.
Once you break the seal, the hydrogen peroxide will last 30 to 45 days at peak effectiveness, with about six months of useful activity.
So, if you have a bottle of hydrogen peroxide that has been sitting in your medicine cabinet for a few years, it's a good idea to replace it.
To test if your bottle is still good simply splash a small amount into your sink.
If you don't see any bubbles, it's time to get a new bottle.
To ensure hydrogen peroxide lasts as long as possible, keep it in its original dark container (light breaks down peroxide) and store it in a cool location.
Is it safe to soak/rinse your menstrual cup in hydrogen peroxide to remove stains?
The answer is yes.
But overuse of hydrogen peroxide can degrade the silicone or TPE and shorten the life of your cup so don't do it too often and don't soak/rinse your cup for too long.
Short and infrequent soaks/rinses in hydrogen peroxide is better.
Where can you get household (3%) hydrogen peroxide?
You can remove stains from your menstrual cup with household (3%) hydrogen peroxide.
Note that there are several grades of hydrogen peroxide and not all are safe for home use.
Household hydrogen peroxide is sold in brown bottles in drugstores and supermarkets, and it contains 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.
So that's what you need for your cup.
How to get rid of stains using household (3%) hydrogen peroxide: A step by step guide
During use for any purpose, hydrogen peroxide could splash into your eyes. If this happens, immediately rinse with plenty of running water for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
menstrualcup.eco cannot be held liable or responsible for any events that occur due to improper use of any chemical mentioned in this post. Use at your own risk.
Personally, I like it when my things look and feel brand new as long as possible.
And I'm also very pedantic when it comes to personal hygiene.
So for me, removing stains caused by menstrual blood is an absolute must.
To remove stains from your menstrual cup you will need:
- Safety gloves
- Safety glasses/goggles
- 3 percent household hydrogen peroxide
- A glass
- Your (stained) menstrual cup
Household hydrogen peroxide has a concentration of 3% meaning it's extremely diluted so there is no need to further dilute it.
Remember, you don't want to soak your cup too frequently.
Hydrogen peroxide does not seem to affect the silicone or TPE of menstrual cups, but it's still best to play it safe.
If your cup is not super stained I wouldn't worry about trying to remove any stains.
Wait a couple of cycles, reevaluate, if it's really stained then, then go ahead and give you cup a bath in hydrogen peroxide.
There's no exact rule, but try not to use hydrogen peroxide on your cup more than once or twice per year - it'll last longer.
Follow these steps to remove stains from your menstrual cup:
Again, please be very careful not to splash any hydrogen peroxide into your eyes.
If you have safety glasses or goggles, use them.
I know it sounds silly but better safe than sorry, right?
- Gear up, put on your safety goggles, safety gloves, read the instructions and safety guidelines on your bottle. Safety first - if you're unsure, then skip the entire removing stains from your cup thing.
- Put your stained menstrual cup inside the glass with the bottom of the cup/stem facing down.
- Gently fill the glass with household (3%) hydrogen peroxide so that your cup is fully submerged.
- Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Wash your cup thoroughly to ensure no lingering hydrogen peroxide remain. Don't forget to rinse the air holes as well (if your cup has any), and any other tight areas (seams, grip patterns, foldable lid, etc).
If the stain has still not let up, you can try the hydrogen peroxide soak again, but avoid repeating the hydrogen soak too many times.
You can safely pour the household (3%) hydrogen peroxide down the drain when you’re done.
The solution may even clean your sink in the process.
I hope you found this tutorial useful.
And if you liked it, don't forget to share it with your menstrual cup friends.