Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One Flaming Hot Diva (Cup)

There are people who can get by nicely on 5-6 hours of sleep per night. I am not one of them. In fact, if I don't get my usual 8-9 hours, I become pretty much useless.

So yesterday, while it was totally, incredibly cool to get a free energy audit, the dudes showed up at 8:15 in the morning! In my book this qualifies as cruel and unusual... not to mention the fact that I was up past 2am obsessing about cleaning... because, you know, those energy auditors are real sticklers for dirty mini-blinds!

OK, so suffice it to say that I wasn't exactly hitting on all cylinders yesterday.

Anyhow, after the dudes left, I was going about my daily business. OK... fellows, you might want to beware, this next part gets a bit "feminine." About a year ago, after reading "No Impact Man" I decided to try a "Diva Cup" for my feminine hygiene needs. Turns out the thing is FABULOUS, whether it's green or not. I mean, seriously, you only have to change it once in the morning and once at night, so you don't have to count the hours and worry about toxic socks, and it never leaks, and you don't have to worry about having a fempon on hand... OK, so you get the picture. Anyhow, when you're done using the thing for the month, you're supposed to boil it for 20 minutes to kill any lingering germs.

So, back to yesterday. After the dudes left, I decided to boil my Diva cup, along with a little plastic squirty thing that I use to clean it out. Now, did I mention that I don't function all that well when I don't get enough sleep? So, I put the thing on the stove and promptly head over to Beth Terry's site to read all of the comments on my "Show us your Plastic Challenge". I was happily reading away, and commenting on other people's posts when I noticed a strange smell.

At this point, most normal people would think, "something is wrong", unfortunately, my thought process went more like this: "Isn't it interesting how the brain works. Here I am reading about plastic, and so my brain starts conjuring up the smell of plastic."

OK... so about 30 minutes later, I look up and see smoke pouring out of the kitchen. Suddenly, I remembered my Diva Cup on the stove. Oh man... it wasn't pretty. Seriously, the water had boiled completely away and when I took the lid off flames shot up about a foot in the air. I think the plastic squirty thing was the main thing burning since silicone doesn't really seem terribly flammable to me.

Oy Vay! So here it is, the remnants of my flaming hot Diva Cup! Think that will void the warranty? :)


Remember this the next time you think you've done something really stupid. There is, at least one person out there stupider than you, at least when she doesn't get enough sleep!

And for those who just can't get enough of my Diva Cup idiocy... you can read the exciting sequel to this story: Lightening Doesn't Strike Twice, but what about Divas?

Heaven help me...


30 comments :

  1. Oh no, your poor Diva Cup! Fortunately, I've never done that to mine. It's in perfectly good condition after 14 months of using it (I ignored the whole "replace after 1 year thing"). Unfortunately, I think I'll be replacing it anyway with the "post-baby" size cup.

    I did absentmindedly put some veggies on to steam last week without putting water in the pan below the steamer basket. I, too, noticed a strange smell, and it took me awhile to figure it out. I finally noticed that the bottom and lower sides of my pan were turning a funny color. My nice second-hand copper bottom pot it still usable, but not quite as shiny and pretty.

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  2. Ha! I have a friend who has let the pan boil dry while making hard boiled eggs... I think she's actually done it 3 times! Apparently eggs explode when the water boils away, and they leave disgusting burnt egg mess all over the ceiling!

    I too, was ignoring the "replace if after a year" thing... guess the universe showed me!

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  3. I've never boiled over and destroyed a Diva Cup, but when I was in university, I asked my apartment roommate if I could use dish soap in the dishwasher, since we were all out of dishwasher powder. He said yes. Little did I know that he was joking... because about five minutes later we had suds filling up our whole kitchen!

    I've never been able to live that one down :)

    Jessica

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  4. Hi Jessica,
    Oh no! I think there was an I Love Lucy episode like that! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I have burned more things than I can count on two hands. I now never EVER put anything on the stove without setting the timer. Except the tea kettle because it whistles. Ever ever. Here is my own burned plastic story: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/03/sweet-smell-of-burning-plastic/.

    I also once set my house on fire (years and years ago) when a toaster caught fire and it took me forever to realize what the burning smell and crackling sounds were. I blame the ADD.

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  6. I found your post through the plastic free site. I had a rueful chuckle. I haven't melted plastic but I did melt a tea kettle once because I turned on the wrong burner. I was used to a gas rather than electric stove. I will also say that it is a good thing my tea kettle doesn't fit into the microwave! When I get into a creative thought process things end up in weird places. I am also on week two of my plastic challenge. I suspect my tallies will vary as I get things replaced. It is amazing how much plastic works its way into our lives!

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  7. Hey Beth and Renee,

    Thanks so much for stopping by, and for making me feel like much less of an idiot... or maybe we're all just idiots, who knows! I think a timer is most definitely in order!

    And Renee... I've done my fair share of spacing out and putting metal into the microwave. The flames were really rather spectacular.

    Unlike Beth, however, I have never actually succeeded in setting the house on fire... oh but the night is young, you never know...

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  8. oh no! yikes! yeah I think that a timer is a good plan!

    How fun that you schooled here! I am in Stavanger in the south. 3 years now, but Im from OKC. My parents however are just up from you in Fort Collins :)

    God Helg!
    Fonda Lashay

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  9. oookay. found you site whilst Googling burned diva cup stove... I had convinced myself that I was going to somehow give my husband and myself carbon monoxide poisoning or something from a burnt cup. Feeling much better since you are obviously alive. Thanks for curing my neurosis!!!

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  10. OMG Jessica you have made my day. I am so relieved to know I'm not the only idiot who's ever melted her Diva cup. In the post I failed to mention that it was like below zero that day and I had to open all of the windows to keep from asphyxiating. It has helped me to gain some perspective on things though... whenever I'm having a bad day, I can say to myself "Well, at least I didn't set my Diva cup on fire!"

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  11. Ahhh..that photo was pretty nasty. But the post was HILARIOUS. Thanks for making me laugh today.

    Also, I have ADD and that's a total ADD moment, if you ask me. :-)

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  12. Maybe I have some sort of lack-of-sleep-ADD... I wonder if I could use that as an excuse to get out of jury duty next week... probably not.

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  13. Haha! I did the exact same thing yesterday, except became convinced I smelt gas before realizing the more likely culprit was the pile of smoking latex on my stove!

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  14. Anon... there must have been some sort of burnt diva cup karma going around yesterday, because believe it or not I just did it AGAIN! A new post is forthcoming...

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  15. Hi EcoCatLady. Just thought I'd mention that I love my Diva Cup! It has saved me a lot of money, not to mention a lot of waste. I use it along with cloth pads. I've had mine for almost two years now and luckily I haven't burned it (although the company recommends getting a new one every year- I wonder why?). Mine became it bit discolored over time so I soaked it in OxyClean and it was just like new again.

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    1. Hey Emily - I totally love mine too... that is, my third one! I've finally come up with a boiling routine that seems to work. Instead of boiling it for 20 minutes. I bring the water to a boil then shut it off and let it sit until it's cool enough to touch. I figure if it works to cook eggs, it ought to kill anything that's lingering there.

      Mine is a bit discolored too... perhaps I'll try some OxyClean. Of course, it's not like anyone sees it! :~)

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  16. HAHAHA omg - EcoCatLady!!!!!! I found this site by googling "I caught my menstrual cup on fire"... I kid you not. I did this exact same thing tonight and set off all the smoke alarms and everything. I kept hearing this crackling sound and thinking "hmm.. you know that sounds like a fireplace. Oh well." *continues facebooking* Then suddenly, it hit me. OH SNAP! FIRE!!!!!!! MY CUP! I ran to the kitchen to find flames shooting out of the pan about 8 inches or so and my cup is now a bunch of ashes in the kitchen sink. Well... I had been using it for about 18 months but... I guess it's time for a new one! :P Hahahha. I'm honestly glad I'm not the only person who has done this. LOL!

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    1. Oh, it makes me feel SOOOO much better to hear other people's flaming diva cup stories. I particularly like that you heard it, smelled it and ignored it just like I did!

      Don't know if you bothered to read the sequel or not, but I actually managed to do it AGAIN. So now instead of boiling it for a full 20 minutes, or whatever you're supposed to do, I just get the thing boiling, then leave it for at least an hour. I figure if it works to cook eggs, it should kill any lingering germs.

      My idiocy amazes me. Thanks so much for commenting!
      :)
      Cat

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  17. All I can say is : Kindred Spirits!
    LMAO at your story..I do the same.
    Though I just recently discovered what a DC was...all very interesting to say the least.
    L.

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  18. This has been a very informative post - and so have the comments! But now I think about it, I've boiled so many pots of things dry why not a Diva cup if I had one?

    I have been wondering if I should buy something like that...I probably will but I've read lots of "I can't get them in" stories and that sounds horrendous.

    You have to replace them every year? That's not much cheaper than just buying sanitary products (although far more eco), they start at $50 here in Oz as far as my research has shown.

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    1. Agreed on the expense part. Well... my INTENTION has been to use them for much longer than a year. As far as I can tell, there's no real reason to replace them, but I think it's one of those legal CYA (cover your a$$) kind of statements. My current cup has made it 10 months without a "meltdown" so hopefully it will last a good long time.

      But even if it doesn't the convenience factor is so high for me that I probably wouldn't go back to "other methods."

      And actually, getting them in isn't really a problem - well once you get the hang of it. Getting it OUT the first few times was a challenge and I was on the verge of freaking at one point, but I've got it down to an art at this point!

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    2. LMAO! Worth another post? 18+ haha :)

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    3. Yikes! That has the potential to be somewhat graphic and X rated!

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  19. Aww, that sucks! I had to laugh at the way you explained away the smell though. I'd have probably done the same!

    And sidenote, I also have a strangle compulsion to clean for strangers . . I found myself wiping down the baseboards the night before we had an electrician coming (why?!).

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    1. Well, I don't know if you read the follow up post or not, but I managed to do the same thing AGAIN a few months later. Now I just stand there until the water boils and then turn it foo and let it sit in the hot water for at least half an hour. I figure if that works to make hard boiled eggs, it ought to be enough to kill any lingering germs!

      And I'm soooo glad to know that I'm not the only person who has this strange compulsion to clean for the random installer people! Guess I've got some sort of a complex about people figuring out what I slob I genuinely am!

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    2. OK, that was supposed to say "turn it off" not "turn it foo"! I think that one might qualify as of my more humorous dyslexic moments!

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  20. This is an old post,I know, and I am way past the age of needing a diva cup, but I am a retired nurse practitioner in womens' health and I am thinking you probably don't need to BOIL the cup?? I used a diaphragm for years, for birth control,same concept..rubber thingy you put up there..and was never advised to BOIL it..just wash,dry, keep in a case. I used one for about 10 years then another one for about 10 years. Lived to tell the tale. I think we get a little nuts about "germs.." Just sayin'.. P.S. The bacteria that causes toxic shock is in the BODY not on the items we put INTO The body,such as tampons or diaphragms or cups! Good info to have??

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    1. All excellent points! I tend to agree that we are WAY over the top when it comes to germ-phobia in this culture.

      But I did have a series of recurrent yeast infections that didn't go away until I soaked the thing in hydrogen peroxide. Not sure if that was a coincidence or what.

      Anyhow, thanks so much for visiting and commenting!

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  21. well, I'm glad to know that there is some solidarity out there with other women who have forgotten about a boiling cup. Luckily, yesterday, I managed to catch it before it melted or even disfigured, but it's got a nasty smell and an unsightly brown twinge. I tried to boil it again with bicarbonate of soda, but that didn't really work. And here in Australia, I don't think we have OxyClean. Any other recommendations for restoring it back to new?
    Cheers!

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    1. Yikes! I dunno... I think the main ingredient in OxyClean is hydrogen peroxide, but I don't know enough about silicone polymers to know if it would be safe to use again. You wouldn't want any toxic chemicals leeching out of it or something. I'd say you could ask the manufacturer but I'm pretty sure they'd tell you to replace it. Good luck and here's to kitchen timers!

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