Just like anything inserted into your body over and over again, you want to make sure it’s safe and healthy.
On most sex toys, cleaning directions are located directly on the packaging. So, as much as you want to throw the cardboard or plastic exterior away in a rabid scurry towards the prized possession, save it for some extra knowledge on how to nurture the longevity of your invested toy. Most cleaning directions are pretty basic: soap and water. But, not every sex toy is cleaned the same way, because they aren’t made the same way. For instance, the material a toy is made from, as well as whether or not it is motorized, plays a role in how to clean it.
Before you start going at it, let’s look at why cleaning your collection is more important than you think. STIs and general hygiene are the two main concerns but keeping them in tip top shape is another reason to wipe that sucker down after insertion or play time.
Ah, STIs. They aren’t just limited to intercourse or oral, they do in fact thrive on toys, especially when used with a partner. Not cleaning the material thoroughly afterwards can result in bacterial or yeast infections — even HPV was shown to have been passed almost immediately.
79 million Americans are infected with HPV, which can lead to cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus, and panic. Moreover, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and various bacterial infections (think, serious itching) can be transferred through shared toys. Remember to get tested often, between partners, and during, since symptoms may not be visible or obvious.
Cleaning your toy is also just a good idea for general hygiene. Just like peeing after sex is a good idea, so is cleaning your toy. Make it a habit and don’t fall asleep right after the deed is done. You need to treat your body with the respect and love it deserves, treat your toy the same way. Also, don’t cross-contaminate. Your anal plug shouldn’t be going anywhere near your vagina. Keep things separate for a happy ending.
How do you clean your sex toy exactly? As I said above, look at the directions before handling it. But, here are a few quick tips if you aren’t 100% sure.
- Motorized and silicone, glass, stainless steel, or wood: soap and a damp cloth.
- Not motorized and silicone, pyrex, stainless steel, or stone: place it in boiling water for 10 minutes or place it in the dishwasher without soap.
- Hard plastic, elastomer, jelly rubber: these materials store bacteria so using a condom is highly recommended. Just a tip: make sure it’s non-lubricated because silicone lube and silicone toys are a no-no. The result is sticky and messy as silicone bonds to silicone. Read more about what condom’s to use with what material here.
Aftercare includes drying off your toy and placing it in a silk bag or special box to keep it away from outside bacteria. If you choose to store your toys in a box all together, remember to keep them separated by material. Latex, silicone, and rubber can cause toys to become misshapen.
Moreover, sex toy cleaners exist and at a shop, representatives typically advise customers to purchase a cleaner as an addition. Remember to remove the batteries, spray the cleaner directly on to the toy, and rinse with warm water.
How often should you be cleaning your toys? After every single use. You can’t skirt around this and make it a once a week thing. And there isn’t really a “how-to” section that answers this question like we have above. It’s just necessary. Make it a habit. Get it done.
To take care of your body and also the longevity of your toys, it only takes a few moments to assure your toy will last through your next play time. I know it isn’t incredibly sexy to jump out of bed and clean but hey, in the long run, it matters. It doesn’t have to be be 30 seconds after a climax but before your next use, you better be cleaning that thing. It’s a deed that must be done and you’re the only one who can do it.