Cleaning your sex toys
How to care for and store them
toys are a great addition to
the bedroom but because they have such an intimate purpose, they
must be washed thoroughly and stored well to ensure that they
are always hygienically clean. Bacteria can flourish in warm, damp
places and if you want to enjoy optimum health, there are a number
of wise pointers to follow.
Use condoms on porous sex toys
Condoms can be used on sex toys such as vibrators and dildos and this is often a good precautionary measure, especially on certain
toys. If using a condom, use plenty of lubricant as desired. Remove and dispose
of the condom after each use. It is advisable always to use a condom
on toys made of a porous material as they can be difficult to keep
Clean intimate toys with disinfectant
Many people prefer to use their toys without condoms if they are made
of a safe
Wash toys before and soon after use, ideally using a toy disinfectant after each use. Non-porous toys can be cleaned
with a damp cloth using mild or antibacterial soap and warm water. Use a clean cloth
on toys made of porous material. Avoid strong detergents as these may
lead to deterioration in the material. If no toy cleaner is handy, disinfect with pure alcohol or hydrogen peroxide - dab on with cotton wool or a cloth.
Special antibacterial toy cleaners are available, some of which
are compatible with all sex
toy materials. Dilute the cleaning liquid with warm water as per instructions,
wash with a cloth, rinse well and dry with paper towels or a soft,
lint-free cloth. Spray toys with a disinfectant regularly, preferably after each use.
Waterproof toys should be rinsed with hot water after use in water.
Take care not to wet battery
compartments or electrical parts. Once clean, allow the toy to dry thoroughly
as most bacteria can’t survive on a dry surface.
How to clean sex toys made of different materials
Silicone is non-porous, hypoallergenic and easy to clean.
However, if even a small crack appears, silicone tears fairly easily, so keep
it out of harm’s way. Silicone dildos (and other toys without battery/electrical
parts) can be sterilised – boil waterproof toys on the stove for up to
3 minutes or wash in the top rack of a dishwasher (as long as there are no
plastic parts attached). Alternatively, wash with mild soap and water, and
let them air dry completely or dab dry with a lint-free cloth. Use water-based
lubricants with silicone toys as silicone-based lubes may destroy the surface.
Hard plastic, latex and vinyl do not have to be used with
condoms as they are not as porous as rubber. Wash with mild soap and water,
rinse thoroughly and air dry. Don’t use any oils on latex toys as this
will destroy the surface.
Rubber toys (including jelly rubber) are porous and difficult
to clean so it is best to use condoms on them. Wash with mild soap and water,
and rinse well as soap can degrade the material and irritate you. Air dry.
Don’t use oils with jelly rubber toys as they will damage the surface.
Acrylic toys are non-porous and easy to clean. Wash with mild
soap and water, rinse well and dry with a clean cloth. These can be boiled
or submerged in hot water if there are no electrical parts/batteries.
Cyberskin (and other realistic materials) is a blend of rubber
and thermal plastic. It is highly porous and gets dirty easily, so use condoms.
Wash with mild soap and water, rinse well and pat dry with a clean cloth. To
increase the lifespan of your toy, dust with cornstarch before storing it.
Avoid using talcum powder as this has been linked to cervical cancer. Cyberskin
is eroded by contact with oils, silicone-based lubricants and other rubber
Glass toys can be washed with warm water and anti-bacterial
soap. Sterilise with a cotton ball soaked in pure alcohol and rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Can be submerged in hot water or boiled if there are no electrical parts/batteries.
Elastomer is a soft, porous material that cannot be disinfected.
Wash with soap and water and allow to dry completely.
How to maintain sex toys
Good storage and maintenance will prolong the life of your sex toy.
When you first receive your new toy, check it for any imperfections
that may cause problems, such as rough seams (which you may be able
to file smooth with a nail file), tears or discolouration (some materials
naturally look discoloured, however). Check glass and acrylic toys
for cracks. Use new batteries to check if the toy works properly.
Follow these general rules:
Hiding your toys
Clean your toys thoroughly before and after use. After washing,
ensure that each toys is completely dry before storing to prevent
mould or mildew from growing on it.
- It is a good idea to use a disinfectant spray or disinfectant after each wash. Allow to air dry.
Remove batteries when not in use as batteries can leak and corrode
Wrap each toy in a soft cloth or toy bag as some toys cause others to melt
or discolour when in direct contact. In particular, wrap bullet or egg vibrators
separately from the rest of your toys.
Store toys in a cool dark place such as a drawer as sunlight
and heat may cause some toys to melt or discolour. Don’t
expose them to extreme cold either, such as a refrigerator, as
most toys – except those made of glass, acrylic and silicone,
if without batteries – can be damaged by extreme cold.
How do people store their sex toys discreetly, away from the prying
eyes of curious children, in-laws or domestic workers? In an array
of places, the most important point being that the toys
are kept close to the bed and are easily accessible at the precise
moment they’re needed (and not buried deep in the sock drawer!).
Some choose to keep them in nondescript shoe boxes or tupperware
at the bedside (you could line it with a silky fabric), or safely
locked in a bedside drawer. Others hide them in a box under the
bed, or even tuck them between the mattress and bed base. Tucked
away in a container in the bathroom cabinet is another popular
spot. For those who are really into their toys, toy boxes
are ideal, especially if they have foam padding and
a key, or you could have one custom-made. Whatever method works
for you, toys should be stored hygienically and kept close at hand.
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