i've been using a diva cup for the last couple years and i usually just use whatever handsoap is by my sink to clean it (usually it's antibacterial, but rarely is it 'natural', example: i'm currently using bath and body works pink grapefruit antibacterial handsoap). i've never had a reaction after using whatever soap i'm using, and i've never had a reaction to other cleaners like laundry detergent and what have you, so i'm not concerned about that. to sterilize it between periods, i will do one of three things depending on how i'm feeling that day (i've very inconsistent about all this, but hey, it's clean, so whatever). i will either soak it in a vinegar/water solution (for eliminating odor), soak it in a H2O2/H2O solution (for stain removal), or boil it (because i feel like it?).
now, i just got a ladycup in the mail today (orange=so pretty) and i was going over the instructions, and it says to only use natural soap (and they mention it like three times and always with an exclamation point, heh). soooo, my question is, why natural? what constitutes natural? does 'unnatural' soap degrade the silicone? do artificial fragrances degrade the silicone or are they just avoided for contact-allergy purposes? if it's not harmful to the cup/silicone, i'll just keep using whatever soap is within reach.
divacup site faq: Do not use vinegar, tea tree oil, scented soap, antibacterial soap, hydrogen peroxide, bleach or harsh chemicals as these may damage the silicone and ruin the cup. they list Bleach, Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide, Fragranced Soap, Hand Sanitizer, Castile/
Peppermint Castile Soap, Tea Tree Oil, Antibacterial Soap, Dishwashing Soap as "NO"
ladycup: "disinfect prior to first use." how? they don't say. further, "only use natural soap", and "Upon emptying, just rinse LadyCup® with water. LadyCup® can be also boiled or sterilized in the sterilization solution. Your choice of maintenance depends on your particular situation." that's it... not very informative.
mooncup uk: "Wash it regularly with mild soap and hot and water. It can be cleaned more thoroughly between periods." that's it. and it says refer to usage guide, maybe there's more info there?
lunette: more information here. they say, "Perfumed soaps with unfavourable pH-values might leave the cup with a layer of substances that irritate the mucous membrane; they sometimes contain agents that also keep silicone from functioning properly. It is better to wash the menstrual cup carefully with tap water before using the wrong kind of soap. The Lunette™ menstrual cup is smooth on the inside, so it is easy to clean with water only. The next time you wash the cup at home, remember to wash it with soap." as with diva, they also produce their own "mild and natural" cleansing soap...
so, i guess it's damaging after all... i'll have to find something else.