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10 July 2014 @ 07:08 pm
Hi guys,

I have a DivaCup that's about two to three years old, and it got some serious stains going so I soaked it in 3% hydrogen peroxide overnight. It removed the stains like a charm--the thing looked like new. I wore it once as a dry run (to the gym), washed it with unscented soap as I usually do, and put it away. Today, I started my period. I popped the cup in, and all was fine until I removed the cup to empty it out. The most horrific cheesy stench met my nose. I was so shocked I actually thought my dog farted. My dog was so shocked she came in from the other room. Yeah, it was like a good French cheese.

Anyway, I washed the cup with soap, then boiled it for about 20 minutes. It still smells. I think the thing that DivaCup's webpage warns against has happened: the peroxide deteriorated the silicone. Soaping the cup after my dry gym run didn't get all the vaginal ladygerms out. The cup is basically ruined now, too--I don't think I want to risk putting it back in. I don't want to get BV or a yeast infection in the middle of my period. The plan is to use pads for the rest of it, and it's a lucky thing I have another cup on the way (ordered two Yuukis; too bad they are taking forever to get here). Ugh, I hate pads.

So I am not really asking for help--this might be more in the vein of a cautionary tale. But I'm curious--do those of you who have experienced the stinky cup phenomenon use peroxide or any other non-recommended methods on your cup?
darkanddusty on July 17th, 2014 04:33 pm (UTC)
I get that cheesy stank smell occasionally, and the best way I've found of getting rid of it is to leave the cup just chilling in your shower/tub for a few days. Make sure air can get to the inside of it (i.e. don't plant it rim-down) and just leave it. Works like a charm.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 17th, 2014 04:48 pm (UTC)
I'm not so quick to blame the hydrogen peroxide. This chart http://www.ozoneservices.com/articles/004.htm says that silicone has "Excellent" compatibility with up to 10% H2O2 and then "Good" all the way up to 100%.

Reading Diva's Care page, I'm not surprised that they don't recommend use of anything except Diva Brand products. Nor am I surprised that they recommend that you replace it for any of a long list of reasons. Even though other cups brag that they can last 5-10 years or more with reasonable care, Diva recommends replacing it annually. Anything that will bring them more sales of their stuff.

Or maybe they know something about its quality that we don't???

Edited to add: "Sunning" your cup is what most people recommend for when it gets stinky. Maybe it's the air circulation, maybe it's the UV rays. But your cup is far from ruined.

Edited at 2014-07-17 06:52 pm (UTC)
Kartos Dal'Avier: Avatar - Katara D:kartos on July 18th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
Maybe they changed the quality? (is that even possible?) When I bought mine ages ago it said it would last 10 years!

TBH when I'm not using my cups, I leave them in a glass filled with water and diva wash (they sent me some because they messed up something on my order, I don't remember it was ages ago), and it tends to take out any smell and most of the stain. I hope I'm not doing anything bad, but it seems like it's okay.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on July 22nd, 2014 06:47 pm (UTC)
i think they just took advantage of the opportunity when cups became more mainstream.
someone pointed out how it's the only brand that recommends boiling for 25 min, and that they might be doing that to make the cups last less (not to mention that if you boil for so long, you're more likely to forget and let the water boil out completely).
to be fair they might also be covering up their asses because of the FDA. even the lunette american site recommends replacing after 3 years.
mshanai on July 26th, 2014 09:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I agree that they are laying it on a bit thick with the "throw it away after 1 year and wash it only with our special stuff" thing. I didn't believe them for a minute with those.

But, re: peroxide... Yuuki also says not to use it--so it's not just Diva.


Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on July 26th, 2014 10:48 pm (UTC)
i don't trust the yuuki company on this. they sell "disinfecting water" as well, and the whole page is written in poor english and seems to be based on hype rather than any actual research. (maybe someone contacted them and said they had ruined a cup with peroxide or got vaginal irritation after using it?)

also it's a czech company, so maybe the default strength of peroxide is different. oh and that particular section is about cleaning in a "difficult" environment, without an opportunity to boil or possibly even rinse the cup.
mshanai on July 27th, 2014 07:22 pm (UTC)
Can you point to any cup manufacturers that suggest to use peroxide on them? I understand distrusting a company that has a financial interest in selling its own proprietary cleaning product for a cup, but manufacturers do have to take some responsibility for the advice they give to people--unlike strangers on the internet, say.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on July 27th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
meluna. admittedly their cups are not made of silicone, but they do say it should be rinsed thoroughly, and judging by the compatibility info, the only potential risk is for the vagina, not the cup. don't get me wrong, i understand if after that episode you're reluctant to use the peroxide again, and i'm not telling you to reconsider that.
however, it seems like peroxide is a common home remedy for BV.
mshanai on July 27th, 2014 08:33 pm (UTC)
Meluna is not made of silicone, so their recommendations are not relevant. Note they also say do not leave the cup in the sun (many plastics degrade in the sun).
Sal McGhostface Killahbeuk on July 17th, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
My cups gets smelly only when I leave it in too long without emptying it. I'm on hormonal birth control so I have light periods and I have to remind myself to empty it twice a day.

I peroxide my cup every other month to get rid of stains. The stink and the soaking are in no way related.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on July 22nd, 2014 06:48 pm (UTC)
yeah this happens to me too, the worst if i do this more than once. i got a second identical cup in order to air it if i leave it in for too long.
trejoytrejoy on July 18th, 2014 05:02 am (UTC)
I rinse mine with diluted vinegar occasionally. Could help with the smell?
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on July 22nd, 2014 06:50 pm (UTC)
hydrogen peroxide is naturally present in the vagina too (and that's why dry runs sometimes help with the smell or staining). some even get bleach-like stains on the underwear because of that (i do, too)
mshanai on July 26th, 2014 09:39 pm (UTC)
Yep, I have heard this, and I get bleaching on my underwear (always black cotton since I was, like, 17, so I am well familiar with this particular bleaching patterns). It is possible, though, that introducing more peroxide into the vag tipped the chemical balance in there and caused BV? Not really sure of this theory, especially since peroxide turns into water fairly fast so it might not have even been around to cause this.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on July 26th, 2014 10:55 pm (UTC)
did you wash the cup with water after using peroxide?
mshanai on July 27th, 2014 07:05 pm (UTC)
Of course. With soap and water.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on July 27th, 2014 07:57 pm (UTC)
regular soap is a far more likely culprit really.
mshanai on July 27th, 2014 08:10 pm (UTC)
It's unscented soap, and I've been using it for many years to clean the cup. I only used the peroxide once, and this happened. I am inclined to go with the simpler explanation, but one can never know for sure.
mshanai on July 26th, 2014 09:35 pm (UTC)
Sorry I'm late to reply, guys--I thought my post wasn't approved for some reason (perhaps the dog farts) and then went away on vacation.

Anyway, it's too late to help the Diva--I threw it away in horror. I actually had some reasons to try another cup anyway--I realized that my night cramps might be caused by the cup, and I have never quite mastered the leak problem with the Diva. It might not be my Goldilocks cup. I am keen to experiment a bit more now.

The Yuuki cups arrived shortly before my vacation. I put some yogurt in the soft one, and wore it in for about 6 hours. No cheese smell in evidence. Then today, I wore the hard one to the gym. I had it in again for just a few hours--I usually left the Diva in for 10-12 hours straight without any problems. The hard Yuuki (wow that thing really is stiff!) smells of cheese now :( I am going to boil them and sun them and then take some measures to address the underlying problem, which is probably a mild case of BV. I do not have any discharge and notice no smell except when I remove the cup. I'm going to try some probiotics, topically applied, once I have some more privacy to deal with this stuff.

TL;DR: It's not clear the peroxide caused the stink after all. It might have happened anyway, and I got the smell with shorter wear and a different, brand new cup. It's probably BV.