How to Clean Menstrual Cup While Traveling: Ultimate Guide

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Menstrual cups were a game changer for me traveling! Find out if it works for your trips and to make travel easier.

This is the story of how the menstrual cup came into my life in 2015, and since then, how to clean a menstrual cup while traveling has been my go-to option. It all started thanks to a trip. I had a fam rip for my job back then, and that unwanted visitor decided to join me on the ship. I was taking the Ferry to the Dominican Republic that afternoon on my way to explore some of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic, and no, I did not have any pads… what I was supposed to do at that moment?

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Of course, many people would argue, “How to clean menstrual cup while traveling?” And definitely, I figured out that and decided to go around the world doing that. I was in the office and was supposed to go directly to the pier to take the ship. My secret weapon was calling Mom! Since I was still scared, I bought pads on my lunch break. I had two 14-pad boxes and a small backpack on which they didn’t fit. I was now supposed to carry them shamelessly in a bag through all those hotels in Punta Cana we were visiting that weekend. GREAT!

Dear menstrual cup while traveling: You don’t know how much I value the fact that you came into my life. The hardest days of the months have been simple days thanks to you. – A small thought I wrote on Menstrual Cups

What Is a Menstrual Cup?

According to Wikipedia, a menstrual cup is a menstrual hygiene device that is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. Its purpose, naturally, is to collect the menstrual fluid. Menstrual cups are usually made of flexible medical-grade silicone, latex, or a thermoplastic isomer. Some are meant to be disposable, and most are not, which is why it becomes an economic option if you are a fellow traveler. How clean menstrual cups tend to be very easy, but people always think it is harder than it is.

The Moment I Decided to Use a Menstrual Cup

Menstrual Cup - When I returned to Puerto Rico that weekend, I decided to find out where to buy a menstrual cup. I have never been a tampon person, and I knew that, as a frequent traveler, I could not keep on traveling with huge pad boxes. A few years ago, I got my period in Sweden, and I couldn’t find any brand big enough for my flow. So yes, a menstrual cup was an option for me.

Things You Need to Know When Buying a Menstrual Cup

I started my research: only a Puerto Rico store sold menstrual cups. I went all my way there and bought mine. The guy who worked there explained everything to me pretty well. He showed me all the brands he has, and I made my decision.

Most of the menstrual cups in the market come in two sizes: #1, in which in most brands the diameter is 41 mm (1.6 inches) by 47 mm (1.9 inches), and the stem measures 25 mm (1 inch), and the volume of the cup is 25 ml (0.85 fl oz). #2 has a diameter is 46 mm (1.8 inches) by 52 mm (2 inches), the stem measures 20 mm (0.8 inches, and the volume of the cup is 30 ml (1.0 fl oz). When you find out this, the first question to ask is:

Which Size of the Menstrual Cup is Better For Me?

Menstrual Cup and Travel - The reality is that it is more of a personal choice and how well you know your body. #2, even though it is recommended if you have a heavy flow, I would say it is up to you. If you have given birth, #2 must be your option. In any other case, I would go straight to #1. Why? What will change is the frequency at which you will empty it. You can wear a menstrual cup even for 12 hours in a row, and no, not necessarily, it will leak. Regarding frequency, how to clean a menstrual cup usually plays an important role in your decision. You have to do it more frequently if your flow is heavier.

Where Can I Buy A Menstrual Cup? Which Menstrual Cup Brand Should I Buy?

Lunnette Menstrual Cup - There are a lot of menstrual cup brands available. The most popular brands are Diva Cup and Lunette. I suggest you buy online a whole kit that includes just the cup and the bag; it will include the menstrual cup cleaner and tips on how to clean the menstrual cup while traveling for a reasonable price. Which menstrual cup brand should you buy? The one you feel works best for you! The best place to buy a menstrual cup, hands down, is Amazon because they have a lot of varieties according to your needs.

Those Little Bags The Menstrual Cup Brings…

Those little bags the menstrual cup brings make them the perfect addition to your trips. They fit anywhere and won’t be as bulky as carrying a whole box of pads. I finally found a way to save space and money on all my trips while on heavier flow days. How to clean my menstrual cup while traveling has not been a trouble for me. Using a menstrual cup has helped me save much money on pads. Now I can save it… for another trip!  

Beyond the Menstrual Cup

Menstrual Cup - Nowadays, there are plenty of options, not only menstrual cups or pads. There are menstrual cloth pads and menstrual underwear. I feel that no one knows our bodies better than ourselves. We know what we need for our period. I realized that either tampons or pads weren’t made for me.

That is why I looked around and found that menstrual cups were an option. I have tried cloth pads and underwear, and the fact that I know how to clean a menstrual cup and the other ones are a bit harder played a role in my decision. Most cloth pads have not worked for the type of body I have. I must say that combining underwear with a menstrual cup has been a blessing. Cleaning menstrual cups while traveling has not been a huge deal. This is something I will keep on doing while I am traveling.

How to Clean Menstrual Cup While Traveling

How to clean a menstrual cup while traveling? As I mentioned before, there are a few brands that include menstrual cup cleaners. I suggest you buy these since most menstrual cup cleaners are travel-size-friendly. Another way to clean them while traveling is always to have a small empty cup in any bathroom. This tip has saved my life more than once. It might also work while hiking or camping, especially in hostels and beach trips. If you go to any of the best beaches for solo female travelers or a Costa Rica beach.

Cleaning Methods

  • Water Rinse: A simple water rinse becomes your go-to method when the facilities are clean and your flow is light.
  1. Carefully remove the cup, ensuring not spill.
  2. Utilize clean water to rinse the cup thoroughly.
  3. Reinsert the cup, and you’re ready to go.
  • Soap and Water: Choose a travel-friendly soap – compact, scent-friendly, and silicone-compatible. In a small container, create a lather using your hands.
  1. Apply soap to hands and lather.
  2. Gently clean the cup, ensuring all surfaces are covered.
  3. Rinse the cup thoroughly to remove any soap residue.
  4. Reinsert the cup confidently.

Menstrual Cup Wipes/Sprays

Menstrual Cup Wipes For the on-the-move minimalist, menstrual cup wipes or sprays offer unparalleled convenience. These wipes or sprays effectively cleanse the cup, providing a quick and efficient solution for maintaining hygiene. Stall Mates is our main recommendation, but a menstrual cup spray like Ecoblossom could also work.

Optional Sterilization

When it comes to maintaining the utmost cleanliness of your menstrual cup, optional sterilization methods such as boiling and microwave steaming step into the spotlight. These methods offer a deeper level of sanitation, addressing any lingering concerns about bacterial growth. In the market now, there are sterilizer options. Although this might not be the best idea to carry for traveling, Ecoblossom offers a sterilizer that could work for travel.

Boiling Method:

  1. Preparation: Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.
  2. Immersing the Cup: Submerge your menstrual cup in water for approximately 5-10 minutes.
  3. Cooling and Drying: Allow the cup to cool before retrieving it from the water. Ensure thorough drying before storing or reusing.

Microwave Steamer Method:

  1. Placement: Place the cup in a designated microwave steamer.
  2. Microwaving: Follow the steamer’s instructions for the appropriate time. Typically, a few minutes are sufficient for effective sterilization.
  3. Cooling and Drying: As with the boiling method, let the cup cool completely before use and ensure it is completely dry.

Safety Guidelines and Warnings: While these sterilization methods are effective, it’s crucial to adhere to safety guidelines to prevent any damage to your menstrual cup:

  • Avoid Overheating: Do not exceed recommended boiling or steaming times to prevent the cup’s material damage.
  • Use Suitable Containers: Ensure the container used for boiling or steaming is appropriate for the microwave or stovetop use and is designated for this purpose only.
  • Regular Sterilization Not Always Necessary: It’s important to note that sterilizing your cup after every cycle might not be necessary. Regular cleaning using the aforementioned methods can suffice for day-to-day hygiene.

Troubleshooting You Menstrual Cup

As you start your menstrual cup usage, encountering occasional hiccups is not uncommon. Let’s address some common concerns and equip you with troubleshooting tips for a seamless experience.

  1. Leaks:
    • Issue: Experiencing leaks can be disheartening, but it’s a hurdle many users face.
    • Solution: Reassess the cup’s positioning. Ensure a proper seal by rotating it or adjusting its placement. Experiment with different folding techniques for insertion to find the most effective one for you.
  2. Stains:
    • Issue: Staining is a common aesthetic concern.
    • Solution: Sunlight works wonders. Place your cup in direct sunlight to naturally bleach stains. For persistent stains, a hydrogen peroxide soak can be effective. Avoid using harsh chemicals to maintain the cup’s integrity.
  3. Odor:
    • Issue: Cup odor may occur due to residual bacteria.
    • Solution: Thoroughly clean your cup after each use. Consider boiling or using specialized cup wipes. Avoid scented soaps, as they may contribute to lingering odors.

Practical Tips Based on Cleaning Method Used

  1. Water Rinse:
    • Tip: Optimal for clean facilities and light flows.
    • Advice: Keep spare water bottles handy for a convenient rinse, especially in places with limited access to clean water.
  2. Soap and Water:
    • Tip: Choose travel-friendly soaps compatible with silicone material.
    • Advice: Use a small container for soap, ensuring hands are clean before handling the cup. Thorough rinsing is key to preventing residue.
  3. Menstrual Cup Wipes/Sprays:
    • Tip: Convenient for on-the-go cleaning.
    • Advice: Look for wipes or sprays designed for menstrual cups. Consider keeping a small supply in your travel kit.

Encouragement for Further Support

Should you encounter persistent issues, remember you’re not alone. The vast menstrual cup community has forums and support groups offering valuable insights for the moment you decide to travel with a menstrual cup. Don’t hesitate to explore brands’ customer support or seek advice from experienced users. Menstrual cup mastery often involves a learning curve, and with time, you’ll become adept at troubleshooting and optimizing your cup usage.

Packing Hacks for Clean/Used Cup Storage

Here you can find some tips that will help you keep your menstrual cup clean while traveling:

  • Organization is Key: A little organization goes a long way when packing your menstrual cup for travel. Invest in small, discreet pouches or compartments within your travel bag. This ensures that your clean and used cups are neatly segregated, minimizing any chances of cross-contamination. Plus, it makes accessing your cup hassle-free, even amid a bustling journey.
  • Hygienic Storage Solutions: Consider using purpose-built silicone pouches designed for menstrual cups. These pouches provide a hygienic and compact storage option, keeping your cup safe from external elements. They are discreet eco-friendly, and often come in vibrant colors or stylish designs.

Travel-Friendly Accessories

  • Collapsible Basin: Maximizing the convenience of cup cleaning is essential, especially in places with limited washing facilities. Invest in a collapsible basin that can easily fit into your travel bag. These basins are lightweight, easy to clean, and provide a dedicated space for rinsing your cup. Embrace the freedom of hassle-free cleaning wherever your journey takes you.
  • Cup Holder: Picture this: you’re on a long bus ride, and suddenly, the road gets bumpy. Without a secure place for your cup, spills can happen. Enter the cup holder—a simple yet ingenious accessory. These holders are designed to cradle your cup securely, preventing accidental spills. Whether in your bag or beside you, a cup holder adds a layer of protection to your cup and ensures a mess-free travel experience.

Personal Touch

  • Comprehensive Packing List: Develop a comprehensive packing list for your menstrual cup essentials. Include spare cups, wipes, cleaning solutions, and other valuable accessories. This ensures you’re well-prepared for your menstrual needs, fostering a stress-free journey.
  • Share Your Travel Story: Embrace the camaraderie within the menstrual cup community by sharing your travel experiences. Your insights and tips can resonate with fellow travelers, creating a supportive network. Consider contributing to online forums or social media groups dedicated to menstrual cup enthusiasts. Your journey is unique, and your experiences might just be the inspiration someone else needs.

FAQ on How to Clean Menstrual Cup

How do I clean my menstrual cup while traveling?

To clean your menstrual cup while traveling, start by finding a private and clean place such as a restroom. Empty the cup into the toilet and rinse it with clean, potable water. If water is not readily available, you can use a water bottle or menstrual cup wipes to clean the cup. Once cleaned, reinsert the cup and wash it thoroughly with warm water and a gentle, unscented soap at the next convenient opportunity.

Can I use hand sanitizer to clean my menstrual cup while traveling?

It’s not recommended to use hand sanitizer to clean your menstrual cup while traveling. Hand sanitizers contain ingredients like alcohol and fragrance that can irritate the delicate vaginal tissues. Instead, opt for clean, potable water or a water bottle to rinse your cup. If water is limited, you can use menstrual cup wipes specifically designed for this purpose.

How often should I clean my menstrual cup while traveling?

It’s important to clean your menstrual cup at least every 12 hours, even while traveling. Empty the cup into the toilet, rinse it with clean water, and reinsert it. If you’re unable to clean the cup with water, you can wipe it with a menstrual cup wipe to remove any residue. Remember to wash your cup thoroughly with warm water and gentle soap at the next opportunity to maintain proper hygiene.

Brenda: + 34 years old + Puerto Rican + Viajera Boricua + Master in Cultural Tourism + Foreign Language Major + Hispanic Studies Minor + Portuguese + Italian + Russian + Literature Freak + ♥’s Indie Music + Volleyball Enthusiast + Tricolor do Morumbi(SPFC) + San Antonio Spurs +


  • April 19, 2016

    I have heard about this product numerous times from friends but I have never used it myself. I will definitely look at getting one for my next big trip. Sounds too handy to pass up!

  • April 20, 2016

    What a great idea for travelling, you can pack lighter and save the environment!

  • April 27, 2016

    I use the disposable SoftCups. I have also never been a fan of tampons – they hurt when they start to dry out, and would often start to slip out. A friend told me about SoftCups, and at first I was nervous about it, and about putting my finger up me to pull it out. After using SoftCups for 2 years I’ll never go back to anything else! Now, I’ve thought about the reusable cup, but am worried about the clean up. I would like to know more details – do you leave the one cup in the whole period, or do you have to clean it up at the end of each day? – Alicia @

  • May 19, 2016

    Wow! Thanks for the info I would love to give it a try. One thing I like about it is it help save the environment.

  • July 16, 2016

    Which store? I am in PR and need to buy a cup now! I forgot mine.

  • September 22, 2016

    I know! Since I switched to reusable menstrual cup, my travels have all been comfortable and convenient.

  • March 25, 2017

    I have the small lunette. I used to use tampons, but I can´t anymore – my favorite part about the cup is that it is small and light! Makes it so much easier to pack.

  • October 11, 2017

    I have been interested in these, have been curious. I can see how this would cut down on luggage when traveling! its also supposed to be better for you and the environment!


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