Let’s be honest: you wouldn’t dream of reusing dirty towels without giving them a good wash and storing them in a clean area. Nor would you do the same with your underwear or makeup brushes. So, in that breath, the same should apply to your sex toys!
Sex, whether partnered or solo, is your time to unwind from the stresses of everyday life. However, if you want sex toys to be a part of that clear-your-mind time (and if you wish for those sex toys to last), you’ll need to ensure that you clean your sex toys correctly and store them properly.
And that’s precisely where we come in! Granted, sex toy maintenance may not always be top of mind or even the most exciting thing to do…but it is essential, and your V (and A) will be grateful!
To keep things simple, we’ve placed everything you need to know in one article to help keep your sex toys in the best possible condition.
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It may not seem like it, but where you keep your sex toys is critical to their longevity. “I don’t think people realize how delicate toys can be,” says Emily Morse, sexologist and host of the Sex With Emily podcast. “Leaving a toy in places where the temperature is too hot or stuffy can cause the toys to break down depending on the quality and materials.”
That being said, it’s best to keep your toys in a satin or cotton bag. Any dust or hair floating around will likely become stuck on the bag rather than latching onto your toy.
What about simply storing your toy in the packaging it came in? Well, that also works; just make sure you clean your toy before storing it.
Bacteria can hide in cardboard and some plastics, so it could get nasty if you don’t clean your sex toy before storing it.
Knowing what type of lube you’re using is important
We’re big fans of lube (and you should be, too…it just makes the experience so much better!)
Ensure that you’re using the right kind of lubricant with your toy. Silicone toys and silicone lubricants DO NOT mix. Why? Because the component keeping the silicone lube liquid will attempt to liquefy the toy.
Even if this doesn’t turn into a disastrous scientific experiment, it may ruin your toy.
As a general rule, avoid mixing lubes and toys of the same material. For example, oil-based lube shouldn’t be used with latex or petroleum-based rubbers. Water-based lubricants are generally your best bet and are safe for most toys.
Cleaning your sex toys
After each usage, you should clean your sex toys so that it is as clean as possible, regardless of their material.
While porous toys are more prone to harbor microbes than non-porous toys, it’s good to clean any toy you’ve used immediately after usage. We know, it’s kind of a buzzkill. But, making this a habit will ensure that your toys are as hygienic as possible.
The vagina is home to a myriad of bacteria and fungi that keep it healthy. When you use a sex toy, some of these germs will most likely attach themselves to the toy. Although this typically isn’t really a cause for concern, it sometimes can be.
For example, assume you have a sexually transmitted or vaginal infection and decide to masturbate with a toy. Some microorganisms that cause the infection can remain on the toy’s surface (if it’s non-porous) or go into the tiny pores (if it’s porous) and stay there.
If you don’t clean the toy thoroughly before using it with a partner, you could pass the infection onto them. It’s even possible to reintroduce the pathogen after clearing the infection from your body.
It’s also necessary to note that the risk of infection isn’t limited only to the vagina. The gastrointestinal tract is home to plenty of microorganisms that can be transmitted to an anal toy. If these bacteria get into your (or your partner’s) urinary tract, it can lead to infection (UTI).
FYI: This is not to say that you will acquire an infection every time you don’t clean your sex toy well, but it’s important to recognize that it can happen depending on the sort of bacteria or virus and the environment in which you’re using the toy.
You may want to wash your toy before using it too
Even if you clean your toy carefully every time you use it, you should think about cleaning it before you use it. Since you last used it, it may have come into touch with dirt, lint, dust, or other items.
You can skip this step if you like; washing toys after each use is required, although cleaning them prior is recommended.
Here’s how to properly clean your sex toys before and after usage
Cleaning your sex toys correctly is equally as vital as cleaning them on a regular basis. You risk degrading a toy’s material, altering its shape, or damaging any battery-operated functionalities it may have if you don’t.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on to getting the job done.
Follow these sex toy cleaning guidelines:
For toys made of latex or elastomer:
These porous materials are more temperature-sensitive than non-porous toys, which means they may distort if subjected to excessive heat.
If your toy vibrates, use a warm, moist, soapy cloth to clean it. If the toy does not vibrate (or vibrates but is waterproof), rinse it with warm water and wipe it with a soapy cloth.
For toys made of ABS plastic:
You can wipe it with a moist cloth and light soap, just like an elastomer or latex toy, or wash it with water and mild soap if it doesn’t vibrate. (Or if it vibrates but is also watertight.)
For toys made of soda-lime glass:
This type of glass might be temperature sensitive (which is part of why it can be so much fun during sex play). Wash a soda-lime glass toy in the same manner as a latex or elastomer toy.
For toys made of silicone, metal, or borosilicate glass:
Like the ones mentioned before, these toys may be cleaned with a toy cleaner specifically formulated to clean and sanitize adult toy products or with mild soap and warm water or with a moist, soapy washcloth.
If your borosilicate glass, silicone, or stainless-steel toys don’t vibrate, you can boil them for 3 to 4 minutes to clean them (not gold toys, because many are gold-plated and may include other materials). Aside from leaving soap residue, the motors of these toys can be damaged.
Play safe. Have funn. Own your pleasure!
If you have any specific questions or worries regarding the cleaning, storage, or maintenance of your Femme Funn toy, contact us!
Remember that caring for your toys properly will allow you to get the most out of them, and spending more time with your sex toys means more funn. Enjoy!