Disinfect your menstrual cup only AFTER you cleaned it. Heat treating a soiled Cup may set stains that will be difficult or impossible to remove.
How often should you clean and disinfect your menstrual cup?
We recommend cleaning the MeLuna menstrual cup at least every 8-12 hours. Even if it is not full, taking the cup out and cleaning it will prevent bacterial growth and odors.
We recommend disinfecting the menstrual cup after every period, before storing it away. Some users also like to disinfect the cup once again right before using it for the next period.
How to clean and disinfect your menstrual cup
Cleaning your menstrual cup
1. Wet the cup under running cold or lukewarm water for 5 seconds.
2. Use a minimum of 1/4 tsp of Cetaphil (or similar cup safe cleanser)* to rub the cup for a minimum of 30 seconds. Use the MeLuna brush to clean the two air holes (run the brush through each air hole at least once).
Dry the cup completely before storage. For a perfect place to air dry the cups, check out our selection of cup trays and stands in our store.
The MeLuna menstrual cup should never be stored in an airtight container. This could promote odors. We recommend that you store your MeLuna menstrual cup in its bag (each MeLuna menstrual cup comes with its own storage bag).
* a cup safe cleanser can be a cleanser made specifically for menstrual cup cleaning or a mild detergent/skin cleanser made for humans like Cetaphil. Do not use any harsh or abrasive cleansers like those made for dishes, laundry, household items or similar. Do not place your menstrual cup in the dishwasher or washer.
Disinfecting your menstrual cup
Methods using hot water or steam
On the Stove
Your MeLuna should be disinfected before your first time using it and after every period. You may disinfect it by floating it completely submerged for 3-5 minutes in boiling water (100° Celsius/ 212° Fahrenheit). Take care when removing the cup as the water will be very hot.
BE CAREFUL: In order for your cup to not melt, do not leave it lying on the bottom of the pot without water! Do not leave the pot unattended. For safety, the use of a timer may be helpful. Cooking times of 3 minutes are sufficient.
TIP: It works great if you put the cup inside of a whisk. The whisk (or strainer) keeps the cup safe from melting and you can retrieve it without burning your fingers. Do not use any implements to stir the cup while it is hot and soft though.
Always wash your hands before handling and inserting the MeLuna. With adequate cleaning and disinfection procedures it is actually much more likely that bacteria and contaminants are introduced via your hands than the cup.
The above cleaning recommendations have been verified to be effective methods of cleaning and disinfection of your MeLuna cup in an independent lab study.
Below are some methods that have worked well for users in other countries. Please note that the below methods have not been subject to a cleaning/disinfection validation.
In the microwave:
Of course, the cup also be disinfected with the microwave. As always they must be floating in sufficient water, otherwise the disinfection is not effective. The TPE plastic used for the MeLuna is nonpolar and does not heat up in the microwave. Disinfection is carried out by the heated water. Be careful not to burn yourself when you remove it. The water will be very hot.
In a Steam Device
If you prefer you can also disinfect your menstrual cup in a disinfection device made for cups that works with steam. Please follow manufacturer instructions for use.
Methods using cold water
Disinfection via Milton tabs:
Tabs like those made by Milton for baby and breastfeeding items have been shown to be effective in disinfecting menstrual cups.
IMPORTANT: you will need one Milton mini tab per 100ml of water. The Disinfection cup is perfect for this and holds exactly the right amount of water. The foldable microwave disinfection cup would hold a lot more water and would require more tabs
Additional Tips and Ideas on Cleaning and Maintaining your MeLuna Menstrual CupWhat can damage the MeLuna?
Wrong detergent: Use only mild soap or detergent - no harsh abrasives.
Incorrect storage: One thing that can harm the material of the MeLuna and result in a cup becoming prematurely porous are UV rays. Under normal storage there is nothing to worry about. Your MeLuna should not be left out in the sun. Also high temperatures above 280 °F should be avoided.
Recommendations for cleaning on the go
Wipe out your cup with a paper towel or similar and re-insert it. Also cleaning with clear, cold water is an option.
Bringing along cleaning wipes or a bottle of water can be very helpful in public toilets, since you do not have a sink within reach.
We also offer a cleaning wipes in our online store.
We do NOT recommend the use of alcohol wipes. Recent studies have shown that alcohol increases biofilm formation of Staph bacteria, the bacteria associated with TSS.
Specific Issues: Odor and Discoloration
Slight discoloration may develop over a long period of use and may occur in any menstrual cup brand.
With regular thorough cleaning this staining can usually be limited. Remember heat sets stains so be sure to always clean your cup in cold water thoroughly BEFORE disinfecting by boiling in hot water.
Odor formation can be prevented by not wearing the cup for too long periods of time. The maximum time span to wear the cup should not exceed 8 hours to 12 hours in the body. Because of the variations of proteins in the blood it is possible that a menstrual cup suddenly takes on a strange smell, even though it has been cleaned as usual.
Cup Safe Water additives:
Hot salt water:
You may add a little salt. This helps to prevent discoloration and increases the cleaning effect.
Adding a little bit of vinegar in the boiling water prevents lime scale and has a natural disinfectant and deodorizing effect. Vinegar water can be used hot or cold at not more than a 3% concentration.
For more in depth info see our blog posts on the subject!