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a DJ who lived in seclusion
30 November 2005 @ 01:17 am
Since medical grade silicone is used in sex toys as well as Diva/Mooncups--and there certainly is a lot of information on care of sex toys--I figured that the tips given for a silicone vibrator or dildo would be applicable to a Divacup or Mooncup.

the rundown on cleaning:
* warm soapy water
* boil (Toys in Babeland says 10 minutes, MyPleasure.com says 2-3)
* top rack of the dishwasher
...and then air dry

Blowfish suggests rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol for the ultra-paranoid. Then again, the comparable situation would be sex toys used in a monogamous relationship, and hopefully you're not sharing your cup. In our situation, soap and water is fine.

Don't use silicone-based lube! (And don't use lube containing glycerin, glycerol, sorbitol or anything that ends in -ose, which is the chemical suffix for a sugar.)

Also, once a rip or hole has been made, the material is easily ripped further. So be nice to your cup (don't give it to your dog). Similarly, sex toys will warp and crack if stored in awkward positions that stress the toy. Storing your cup in such a way that it is squashed is probably an unwise idea.

Toys in Babeland
jamieloulabelle @ myspacejamieloulabelle on November 30th, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC)
Good Tips!
Excellent resources!!
Liana: Divacuptezliana on November 30th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you for compiling this!

The only thing I'd add is a clarification on using isopropyl alcohol. I work in a hospital, and when we use isopropyl to clean something, it goes like this:

1. Wash item with soap and warm water to remove residues and bulk soils.
2. Dry with clean, non-linting wipes or allow to air dry.
3. Spray with or dip in 70% isopropyl.
4. Place item on clean surface to air dry.

Step #3 is the one most people don't immediately understand. 70% isopropyl is used because of its ability to rupture bacteria and viruses, thus killing them. At 70%, it contains enough water to penetrate the cell wall, and enough alcohol to kill the pathogens once it is inside. Stronger concentrations will dry out the cell wall and not make it inside. Weaker concentrations will not kill enough pathogens.

Step #4 is done to ensure the isopropyl has enough "dwell time" to do its job.
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on November 30th, 2005 09:02 pm (UTC)
Interesting that greater than 70% will not be effective. We use 95 and 100% all the time in biology labs to disinfect equipment. (Of course, and then we usually flame the tools...)

Oh, wait. What cell wall? Are you talking about human cells? If there is a human cell (say, from the vaginal wall) containing a pathogen on the surface, and the human cell gets dried out by too strong a concentration of alcohol, could the pathogen concievably survive until the next time the cup is used?
Lianatezliana on November 30th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
The cell wall of the virus or bacterium.

We don't deal much with human cells at work. I spend my days in a cleanroom where I prep aseptic intravenous products. We clean our compounding equipment this way.
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on December 1st, 2005 07:44 am (UTC)
If you're just dealing with the bacteria or viruses, why isn't 95% alcohol effective? I thought that alcohol ruptured cell walls. (Oh I'm a failure as a bio major.) Even if the cell just dried out, it's effectively dead so long as the bacterium couldn't sporeulate, no?

According to this, high concentrations of alcohol (EtOH, mostly) do rupture the cell walls. I can't find anything on the effects of alcohols on the virus' protein coat, but I could see the alcohol having such a markedly different pH that the proteins denature.
Lianatezliana on December 1st, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
Hrm, I'm not positive why higher concentrations of isopropyl alcohol aren't as effective, but I've been told that the inclusion of sufficent water aids in efficient denaturation.

Regarding sporulaton: I'm no microbiology expert, but my guess is that if the cell wall dries without lysis while containing a potentially viable spore, later breakdown of the cell wall through other means may release the spore.

Drat, now I want to go back to college. :)
a DJ who lived in seclusionknittinggoddess on December 1st, 2005 07:45 am (UTC)
I should point out that we use ethanol and methanol, but not isopropanol. There would be a difference in polarity and possibly effectiveness, I'm not sure.
-atrophie on December 1st, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
this is what i keep trying to tell the members, you shouldn't use harsh chemicals on cups

silicone will absorb a little bit of whatever you soak it in so if you want alchohol and hydrogen peroxide up your vagina, go ahead and use the chemicals.