Cleaning your toys is one of the most important steps to properly enjoying it. Both before and after the use of whatever sex toy of your choice, you must throughly cleanse and let dry. Do it regularly even if you aren’t currently using it, always keep them fresh and ready for use. Properly taking care of your investments (Yes, sex toys are investments as they are luxuries. You want something that will last and have quality.) ensures that it will last you the guaranteed warranty.
I understand that we all can get lazy from time to time and forgot to clean a toy right after use or even before. That’s okay, and we can acknowledge that. What we can do now is put into practice cleaning regularly and sanitizing/sterilizing all of your toys at least once or twice a month. Towards the end, I’ll go over what’s the difference between the two and their purposes.
TYPES OF TOY MATERIALS
Medical grade silicone is by far the best and my favorite material to own. It ranges from squish soft density to firm density. Or if you’re interested in other options, there are dual density silicone dildos: soft outer layer covering a firm inner core meant to feel more realistic when using. When I think of silicone I know that I’m getting a high-quality product. However, don’t be fooled by some companies who advertise as silicone. Always do your research on the company and their material because they it really just be harmful and toxic material made to look or feel skin like or realistic.
- Lube Options: Water-based lubricants never silicone-based.
- Best Method: Boiling them in pot or soap and water.
Glass is a great body-safe material. But make sure to always inspect the piece for scratches and chips before use, if any spotted stop using immediately. Be very careful with the care of a glass toy. They are made out of highly durable glass material. It should be odorless and tasteless. Such a sleek and elegant toy is easy to clean.
- Lube Options: All lubricants and oils are okay because they don’t cause long-term damage.
- Best Method: Soap and water or a toy cleaner. Or 10% bleach solution.
Metal is a very popular material when it comes to toys. They are often made from aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum is more affordable of the two, But both aluminum and medical grade stainless steel are completely body-safe. Metal toys are often heavier in weight which adds to the pleasure of user, so bonus feature!
- Lube Options: Compatible with any type of lubricants and oils.
- Best Method: Boiling the metal toys wrapped in towels to prevent damage.
Mechanic toys are mostly medical grade silicone toys that feature motors for vibration settings and intensities. Vibrators contain motors on the inside of the toy and can often be visible from the outside of the toy or hidden completely to it waterproof. Despite some mechanic toys and vibrators being fully submergible it doesn’t mean you can do that for cleaning or sterilizing. You want to avoid getting the inside of a motor wet so it doesn’t damage or cause issues.
- Lube Options: Water-based lubricants.
- Best Method: Soap and water or a toy cleaner.
This includes toys that are made out of clear, jelly, TRP, TPE, PVC and rubber material. TRP and TRE are the non-toxic of the bunch but I would still recommend avoiding. However, rubber, PVC, and jelly are the most dangerous to use. They are often very cheap and inexpensive because as I stated before a majority of these products are luxuries and are expensive. Therefore they aren’t accessible to people with low funds. Rubber and other porous material often have an unpleasant scent and have varying levels of toxicity. It’s very important to do your research on what is and isn’t porous.
Why you should avoid porous material? They aren’t body safe at because materials like rubber are impossible to clean. They are very hard to clean because they contain holes throughout which allow liquid or air may pass. When this occurs it’s very hard to clean those areas, let alone sanitize them. That makes it incredibly hard to share these toys with other play partners despite using condoms as a protection barrier.
- Best Method: Soap and water or a toy cleaner. (They can’t be sterilized.)
Not Mentioned Materials:
- ABS Hard Plastic (Non-Porous)
I would lastly like to make a note about toys that are “multi or multiple material”. For example I have ball gags that silicone and the straps are made out of leather or faux leather. These can be tricky to clean because one method might not work for the other depending on the material again. I’ve found the best method of cleaning to be hot water and a fragrance-free soap or toy cleaner. And I take a small towel for more control with the same cleanser to wipe the leather material until I feel it is clean.
WAYS TO CLEAN YOUR TOYS
Always check the manufacturer’s directions for the recommended cleaning methods for your specific toy because it will vary.
Soap (Fragrance-free) and Water
Use a mild soap of your choice and hot water and gently scrub for about 3-4 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and then let dry.
Place a towel at the bottom of a pot, or wrap them around metal or glass toys before you boil them. Allow them to boil for 3-5 minutes.
I haven’t used this method. But you can put your non-vibrating toys, but no glass in a dishwasher. From what I know you should only use this method if your dishwasher has the sanitize setting. I suggest giving a quick beforehand, then run them only by themselves with no detergent or other dishes! Not all materials will be able to handle the high temperature of the dishwasher.
Using Wipes or Towel
For easy and mess free cleaning you can use a washcloth or wipes to clean your toys. I recommend this for toys that have multiple materials that can’t use the same method.
I asked on twitter for other cleaning methods and @WitchofTheWands said she recently started used Star San cleaning solution.
“It is amazing and safe for just about everything. It is used a lot in home brewing so it is safe enough for things that people are going to eat. I tend to whip it out for super sanitizing. And I like it so much more than bleach for the smell.”
10% Bleach Solution
Soak the toys in a 10% bleach solution for about 15 minutes before rinsing. After rinsing, I suggest thoroughly washing them with a mild soap and rinse again.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLEAN AND STERILIZING
Cleaning and sterilizing/sanitizing your toys is meant to keep them safe and last longer. There’s nothing dirty about our genitals but we have to acknowledge that bacteria can goes grow when not cleaned and stuff builds up. This can cause infections, like UTIs when you repeatedly use a dirty toy. Same thing applies to sharing your toys with other partners. You don’t want to share or spread an infection. Always clean before hand and use a condom for protection.
To me cleaning is what we do to gently remove the bacteria and grim on the toys. It’s quick and easy. Using mild, non-irritating soap and water is the go-to for cleaning.
Sterilization methods include boiling for non-vibrating toys or soaking toys in a 10% bleach solution for about 15 minutes before rinsing. Sterilizing is important when you come into contact with other bodily fluids. You want to completely disinfect the bacteria.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and that all of this information helps you keep all your favorite toys clean and long lasting! As I learn about more material and test them out this document will surely be added to and updated frequently.