cup care instructions
Reading time 3 mins.

Why We Don’t Recommend Sterilizing Your Cup with Hydrogen Peroxide

Sterilizing your cup with hydrogen peroxide might feel necessary, but it’s not. In fact, it can irritate your vagina and deteriorate your cup.

In this article /

    Sterilizing your menstrual cup with hydrogen peroxide might feel necessary, but it’s not. In fact, using hydrogen peroxide on your DivaCup can irritate your vagina and may deteriorate the silicone of your cup. If you’re using a menstrual cup for the first time, we recommend sterilizing it in boiling water. Because the DivaCup is made from 100% medical grade silicone, boiling your cup is sufficient for removing residue and unwanted bacteria.

    How To Clean a Stained Cup

    Medical grade silicone is non-porous and bacteria resistant when it is cared for and stored properly. That means using a specifically formulated cleanser to cleanse your cup between uses and then storing it in a breathable cotton pouch between periods.  
    If your menstrual cup becomes stained, you might wish to clean it. However, these stains cause no harm and don’t affect its integrity or function. While it might not look like it did when you first bought it, we don’t recommend soaking it in alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any bleaching agent of any kind.  
    If you really want to improve stains, try boiling it for 5-7 minutes. Or using hot water and a pH-balanced cleanser to thoroughly cleanse it. While preventing stains is not entirely possible, proper cleansing between uses and boiling between cycles may reduce the amount of staining that will occur overtime.

    Why Shouldn’t I Use Hydrogen Peroxide? 

    Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is commonly sold in concentrations around 3% H2O2 and 97% water. It is used as a household disinfectant or topical antiseptic. Hydrogen peroxide at higher concentrations (8% and up), however, is a hazardous Class 1 oxidizer — it is corrosive to skin and other materials.  
    While you might use hydrogen peroxide for disinfecting piercings or treating ear infections – it should never be done at a higher concentration than 3%. This is because even at low concentrations, hydrogen peroxide can irritate our skin. 
    Hydrogen peroxide, in concentrations of 2-3% is used to disinfect contact lenses. This cleaning solution, however, is hydrogen peroxide and a neutralizing solution. The acid must be neutralized before or during the cleaning process to be safe. If it is not, cell and tissue damage of the eyes can occur. In fact, the FDA survey database of adverse events confirms that in numerous cases the misuse of hydrogen peroxide to disinfect contact lenses resulted in various levels of eye and vision damage.

    sterilizing cup hydrogen peroxide
    Hydrogen peroxide, diluted and in very small quantities, used to be used to bleach hair. It has since been determined to cause hair damage.

    100% medical grade silicone, like that used in the DivaCup and Diva Disc is durable. While it should be resistant to hydrogen peroxide, maintaining its strength and flexibility, the impact of repeated use has not been tested. We cannot confirm that it wouldn’t shorten the lifespan of your cup. 
    We do not recommend soaking the DivaCup in hydrogen peroxide to remove stains or sterilize your cup. Even if you thoroughly rinsed it before reinserting, it is very difficult to ensure that the hydrogen peroxide has been properly neutralized. And you run the risk of damaging the cells or tissue of the sensitive area of the vaginal canal. The safest way to cleanse your cup or disc is to use hot water and to lather it with a pH-balanced cleanser like DivaWash.

    Hydrogen Peroxide and Menstrual Devices According to an Expert

    Dr. Aviva Romm, a Yale-trained MD, midwife, author, and women’s health expert, says, “While hydrogen peroxide does remove blood stains from many materials, it is not something that ’sterilizes’. So, they should still be cleaned appropriately with soap and water”. She reminds us that the vagina is a self-cleaning organism.  

    The vaginal ecosystem is self-regulating and delicately balanced. If you suffer from recurrent yeast infections, harsh chemicals may make them even more frequent. It’s always best to allow the vagina to be the self-cleaning organism it is and maintain a simple (but effective) cup/disc cleansing routine.