How can I change my menstrual cup in public toilets?

All beginnings are difficult, as is the case with the menstrual cups (here you will find a step-by-step instructions how to use it). After a few cycles and a lot of practice, you will feel much more comfortable with your cup. However, you probably still prefer to change your menstrual cup in the comfort of your home. But now you’re on the road or at work and the cup is getting a little too full? Unfortunately there’s no way around it: You have to change your full menstrual cup for the first time in a public toilet? Probably the worst-case scenario for you and you are wondering how to properly clean your menstrual cup in a shared bathroom with a separate common sink in the entrance room? Here are my best tips for you, so that you can change your menstrual cup in public toilets without any problems! 

5 tips for the more reserved ones among you

If you don’t want to walk provonkly with the bloody menstrual cup from the cabin toilet to the communal sinks, there are some more subtle alternatives for changing and cleaning the cups in public toilets! You’re probably still wondering how to clean your menstrual cup without a sink though? First of all, with a good portion of humor and self-confidence it’s not so bad. After all always remember you’re not the only person who bleeds every month.

Tip #1

First of all, check if there is maybe a family toilet or a toilet for people in a wheelchair? Because they usually have the toilet and the sink together in one room. This way you can change your menstrual cup almost as comfortably as at home.

Tip #2

Secondly, take a bottle of water with you to the toilet. First you have to pour the menstrual blood into the toilet first, then wipe the cup with toilet paper. Afterwards wash the menstrual cup and your hands directly above the toilet using the water bottle. Finally, you can either use toilet paper to dry everything again or insert the menstrual cup directly while still a little wet.

Tipp #3

There are also extra wet wipes for quick cleaning of menstrual cups on the go. Here, however, it should of course be noted that this can cause (unnecessary) waste.

Tipp #4

If you are one of the more natural and courageous people, you can even clean the menstrual cup with your own urine. Because this is said to have a disinfectant effect. Of course, this is especially practical if you are far away from any sanitary facilities, for example when hiking, and there is no other alternative.

Tipp #5

If you don’t like any of these suggestions and you just don’t want to use your unwashed menstrual cup again, there is of course a plan B! Ultimately you can buy a second menstrual cup, which you will always have with you as a (clean) backup.

Afterwards you can wash your hands at the communal sink. Once you are finally back home, clean your menstrual cup properly.

Or: Be brave and show your menstrual blood!

No problem at all for the braves one to change a menstrual cup in public toilets. Here is a short step-by-step explanation: Wipe the menstrual cup briefly with toilet paper after you have emptied the menstrual blood in the toilet. However, make sure that you only use one hand for touching the cup. This way the other hand stays clean and you can easily unlock the toilet door again. Afterwards simply leave the toilet with your still somewhat bloody cup and rinse it out in the sink in the common room. Be brave and leave your fears behind! There’s nothing wrong with showing menstrual blood in public – even though the big market leaders in the menstrual products industry have been telling us otherwise in their advertising messages for years.

Break the menstrual taboo

Rebel and be part of the menstrual revolution by actively ignoring the taboo around menstruation. Maybe you can even start a conversation about menstruation or tell an interested person about your method? In all the excitement, don’t forget to wash your hands though! Afterwards, just go back to the toilet with your clean menstrual cup. Make sure that the hand with which you want to reinsert the menstrual cup remains clean. Always use just one hand to open and close the toilet door.

Instructions for changing & cleaning the menstrual cup

For better understanding, here is a brief overview of how the process of cleaning the menstrual cup should ideally look like:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Remove menstrual cup
  3. Pour menstrual blood in the toilet
  4. Wash the menstrual cup
  5. Wash your hands
  6. Reinsert the menstrual cup while still slightly wet
  7. Wash your hands

Have you ever changed your menstrual cup in public toilets?

If you have any questions or are unsure about using or changing your cup, you are more than welcome to write us at any time! We would also be so happy if you told us a little more about your experiences with the menstrual cup. Have you ever had to clean or change your menstrual cup in public toilets or other unusual places? We cannot wait to hear from you!

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January 17, 2020
Britta Wiebe ist die Co-Gründerin von Vulvani. Am liebsten recherchiert, schreibt und konzipiert sie den ganzen Tag neue Artikel oder innovative Bildungsformate rund um Menstruation. Wenn sie nicht in der weiten Welt unterwegs ist, genießt sie ihre Zeit mit lieben Menschen im schönen Hamburg. | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter


  1. How are you supposed to get to the sink to wash the cup if you’re in a stall- You can’t just walk out the stall and wash it cause first of all you’re bleeding…

    1. Hi Kokichi,
      you can first clean the cup in the a stall (e.g. with toilet paper, wipes or a watter bottle) and then use the sink to really wash the cup. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions about menstrual cups.
      – Britta

      1. Hi Sam, there is good news here: the basic assumption that menstrual blood is literally unstoppable is not quite correct! The menstrual blood leaves your body in waves. So once you empty your cup, you’ll probably have enough time to wash the cup in the sink.

  2. Don’t wash your cup with urine! What a stupid idea! Yes, urine is sterile, but your urinary tract and surrounding areas are not that clean. Peeing on a cup and inserting it back in is very easy way to get infection. Don’t do this!

    1. Hi Kathyss, cleaning your menstrual cup is just one option when you don’t have running water and are on the go. It’s more like an emergency rinse-off option. You pat it dry with toilet paper before reinserting it.

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