Sex toys are an excellent addition to your sex life, both solo and with a partner. But sex toys also become a lot less awesome if you don’t care for them properly. Not washing your toy, using the wrong lube, or storing it incorrectly can all lead to problems, whether that’s a shorter life span or a risk of an infection for you.
Following are our best tips for keeping your sex toys safe, in good shape and running as long as possible.
- Wash your toys after every use. Do this even if you’re only using it on yourself and not sharing with a partner. Toys that are washed every time last longer.
- If you want to be really safe, wash your toys before every use, too. They can come in contact with lint, pet hair or other bacteria while they’re stored and then if you insert them, that goes into your body.
- Choose the right soap. Use a mild, unscented hand or dish soap – there’s no need to go with the antibacterial option because they can leave a residue. If you want a more discreet option you can also purchase toy cleaner.
- Don’t submerge any battery-operated toys in water. If your toy has batteries, plugs into the wall, or buzzes in any way, you have to take extra precautions. Wiping it down with a warm, soapy washcloth is all you need to do.
- Make sure you’re using the right lube. Don’t use silicone- or oil-based lubes with silicone toys, because it will stick to the material and break down the surface of your toy. Go with water-based or hybrid-lube instead, but still always make sure to wash it off afterward.
- Use a condom with your porous toys. Some porous toys can’t be completely disinfected, so you should always use a condom when using it with a partner. If you’re only using your toy on yourself, you should be fine as long as you wash it after every use.
- Always check to make sure your waterproof vibrators are still safe to use. If the little rubber plug or O-ring that covers the battery compartment of your toy is missing, loose, or broken, no more shower fun for you because it’s no longer waterproof.
- Look out for any irregularities that might signal it’s time to throw out your toy. Unfortunately, even the best sex toys don’t last forever. If the motor gets louder, it’s a sign that the toy is getting to the end or if the charge isn’t lasting as long. Also look out for seams coming apart or pockmarks in your silicone toys, since that means it’s no longer nonporous.
- Don’t just toss them in your bedside drawer. Who knows what dust, food crumbs, and other junk is lurking in there? Store your toys wrapped in cloth or in a cloth bag (luckily, many toys come with their own dust bags, so don’t throw them out). Once you do that, your drawer is totally fine.
- Take the batteries out of your vibrator when you’re not using it. Leaving the batteries in can actually corrode the toy and drain the battery life, since they’re conducting at a low charge when in the toy. And there’s nothing more disappointing than the halfhearted buzz of a vibrator on low batteries.
Happy (and safe) sex toy adventures, everyone!