There is no "1 size fits all" method for care
of your sex toys and adult products because they are constructed using
different materials that all have their own strengths and weaknesses. No
worries, everything that currently exists will be covered here for you.
Sex toy care and maintenance is very important for health and safety reasons, as
well as getting the most out of your products. Please don't underestimate
the importance of proper care procedures. In my opinion, safe sex of any
kind begins with hygiene.
All sex toys should be inspected, lubricated (as use dictates) and cleaned
Inspected? Absolutely! Check for any damage to the material - separation,
cracking or peeling of any kind could harm tissues and provide places for
harmful bacteria to hide. The surface should be clean, smooth and free of
Don't insert a sex toy in the vagina or mouth after it has been used
anally without a condom or being cleaned. This practice could cause
infections in the urinary tract (UTI) for females or intestines. Always
use new condoms from sealed packages - never reuse or multipurpose them.
ALWAYS read any instructions that come with your sex toys. Some materials
require very special care. All unique practices recommended by the
manufacturer should definitely be followed to the letter!
A word about porous and non-porous
Porous / permeable / penetrable are surfaces that have minute holes or
spaces where air or water may penetrate. A sponge is a great example of
something porous. Other examples are paper, cardboard, untreated wood and
Non-porous are surfaces that are not permeable or have what appear to be
pores. Examples of non-porous things would be the tiles in your shower,
glass, processed metals and glazed bricks.
I highly recommend cleaning sex toys after every use. I've heard and read
about some pretty crazy cleaning techniques over the years. I will stick
to a few that seem the most widely used and effective for the materials
they apply to.
Warm soapy water or wipes:
Using sanitizing or antibacterial soap and/or wipes - be sure to get all
surfaces of the toy from top to bottom. If using warm, soapy water a soft
cloth or sponge can be used to rub the toy down well to allow the soapy
mixture to do its job.
Rinse well with clean water as any soap or cleaning solution left behind
could sting or cause other issues with contact to sensitive areas.
Some materials can't handle cleaning solutions or soap and may only be
rinsed with warm water. Use your hands (like you were cleaning a piece of
fruit) to help the water clean all residue from the item.
It's true! You can put some sex toys in the dishwasher! (top rack only)
solid, waterproof, non-porous items can be put in the top rack for
cleaning - but don't use soaps, crystals or solvent packs.
For legitimate sanitation you can boil certain non-porous items for a few
minutes. However, you should use a pasta straining insert or vegetable
steamer to keep your products from laying on the bottom of the pot where
they could be damaged by direct contact with the heat source.
NOTE: Dishwasher/boiling/any method that completely submerges the
item in water should only be used on non-porous toys without
any electronics/batteries or anything else that could be penetrated or
damaged by the water and/or temperatures. Never submerge electrical
components in water.
So what method for what material?
Glass / Ceramic / Hard Plastic / Metal and 100% Pure Silicone are
non-porous and can typically be given a more thorough cleaning. However:
glass and ceramics may want to be treated with some care in regard to
temperature change... Going from cold to hot or vice-versa may cause
damage to the piece and injury to you.
PVC / Jelly / Rubber / Leather / Latex and Vibrators - should all be
treated as porous and cleaned in the limited, gentle methods described
above for porous things. Though some items in this grouping may appear
non-porous they should still be treated as porous due to fragility of
material or textured surfaces or an attaching spot to where electronics
may be connected.
Realistic materials like cyberskin - Cleaning is best left very simple
with a warm rinse, air drying and a light dusting of cornstarch. Make sure
these items are 100% dry before storing as they may get moldy.
Proper lubrication is not only recommended for a better sexual experience
and personal safety, but also the longevity of your sex toys.
Silicone and oil based lubes will actually break down some materials
causing undesirable degrading and decreased life span of the items. We pay
good money for these products and their service is invaluable - there are
some of my purchased friends I can't EVER imagine parting with. It would
be that much more tragic if it was something I could have prevented with
You will find that your non-porous materials (glass, ceramic, metals, etc)
already have a nice smoothness to them and as a result will require
less lube than their porous counterparts.
So what lube to use for what
type of material?
First rule of thumb and easy to remember - when in doubt, use
water based lubricant. It is safe for all materials.
Oil based lubes can be used for non-porous materials. Metal, glass,
ceramic and hard plastic.
Silicone based lubes can be used on the same toys just mentioned above and
also likely safe for thermoplastics, pvc, jelly, rubber and latex.
Water based lubes, as mentioned at the top of this piece can be used on
anything. In a pinch, spit is a water based lubricant. But you probably
already knew that ;-)
Once your sex toys are clean and dry, I prefer to keep them in individual
pouches with a draw string, made from breathable materials. Why?
1) Some materials remain kind of tacky and I don't want them to pull out
of storage with loose change, hair, socks or whatever else stuck all over
2) Regardless of the material, keeping your toys in a safe, moderate
temperature environment is a good practice.
3) These things bring us great joy, I like to treat them with the
reverence they deserve. It adds a little something to the experience when
you remove a beautiful pouch from storage and lay it with care on the bed
4) An extra layer of privacy. If you've got extra nosey guests that take
extended, self guided tours of your home every time they use the restroom,
if they happen to find "that" drawer, they'll just see pouches.
Make sure any electronic devices are switched (and locked if an option) to
the OFF position and batteries removed.
Why turn something off if the batteries are removed? Remember those times
when you were playing loud music in the car and turned it off without
turning down the radio? Yeah, that in vibrator form.
ADD ONS: (condoms and batteries)
Sex toys are incredible but some require batteries or our practices
require the use of a condom - these additional items also require care,
maintenance and caution.
When purchasing condoms for sex toy use, get either non-lubricated condoms or lubricated with water based
lubricant only. Silicone lubricant is not good for silicone toys. The
reaction could be costly. We don't want that.
Condoms for sex toy sharing:
If your sex toys have not (or can not) be sanitized properly a condom
barrier should be used for the safety of all parties involved. Every time
the toy is switched to another person, a brand new, sealed condom should
unsung heroes of the sex toy industry)
Unless in use daily, battery powered sexual devices should be stored
without the batteries inside.
If the batteries are kept inside they will drain, die, could leak battery
acid, corrode or accidentally be turned on. Remember that last one when
traveling - how many comedy sketches have you seen about a dildo in
airport security. This isn't fantasy, this stuff happens!
New, alkaline batteries are recommended for most (if not all)
applications. Rechargeable batteries simply do not, at this time, have the
same power and lasting ability as regular, store bought batteries.
Experiment around a little with batteries. You will find that XYZ battery
works great in your flashlight but doesn't live up ABC battery in your
favorite vibrator. You may also find (as several studies have) that the
most technological, wonder battery of the future with the massive premium
price tag may NOT be worth it in working hours, dollar for dollar against
a "normal" battery.
You will find, that like other things in life, a little investment of time
and money here and there on proper precautions, care and maintenance will
serve you very well.
I don't know about you, but for me, any simple practice that enhances my
pleasure, safety and stretches my dollar by making things last longer is
pretty great and I'm all for it!
Remember, all of these items were designed to help us have a good time.
Don't get hung up on any of it, relax, take a couple slow, deep breaths
and have the time of your life. Enjoy!