of us in the BDSM or D/s lifestyle love our toys. Since toys
were designed to bring pleasure and not disease or discomfort,
we all should be aware of some basics in the care and cleaning
of them. Following some simple guidelines can keep them safe
and extend their life expectancy. It just might extend your
life expectancy as well.
worry about cleaning toys?
main reason for keeping sex toys clean is to prevent diseases
and infections. Sexual contact, whether with a toy or another
person, is the way STD's (Sexually Transmitted Disease) are
spread. If disease producing organisms are present on the toy
and used during sex play, the organisms could easily be introduced
into the body and spread the disease. Careful cleaning and disinfecting
can keep this from happening. Proper cleaning will also extend
the life of your toys and make them much more appealing to the
do I clean them?
the most deadly microbes are pretty easy to kill when they are
not inside the human body. Plain old soap and water, accompanied
with the scrubbing action of a soft brush, will effectively
destroy most microbes. However, with the onset of so many deadly
infectious diseases, I recommend using Safe-T-Kleen sold by
Sensuality's. It kills HIV, Hepatitus and a number
of other deadly bacteria! The most important factor is removing
ALL body fluids and lubrications from the surface of the toy.
This can be a relatively simple process for vinyl, rubber, silicone
(jelly-rubber) or plastic toys but may be much more difficult
for leather, wooden and electric toys.
rubber, silicone and plastic:
the toy with a damp cloth and an anti-bacterial soap as soon
after use as possible. This will prevent body secretions and
lubricants from drying on the surface and making them much harder
to remove later.
playtime is over, a more careful cleaning should be done. Thoroughly
wash the toy in warm water and an anti-bacterial soap. (There
are many on the market and most do a very good job.) Use a soft
brush and gently wash the surface, paying close attention to
all the nooks and crannies. Use special care on silicone or
jelly-rubber toys so that you do not nick the surface with your
nails or too vigorous of a scrubbing. (Nicks cause these types
of toys to tear and you might end up with your favorite toy
in pieces. These nicks and cracks also provide microbes with
a place to hide and grow.)
dry the toy when cleaning is completed. Most bacteria need a
moist place to live and grow and cannot survive on a clean,
dry surface. Exposure to the air and light is recommended when
Most vinyl toys and attachments, without metal parts, can safely
be washed in the top shelf of your dishwasher. This method is
one of the best ways to sanitize these types of toys.
care should be taken with items made of leather. The leather
will lose it's suppleness quickly and dry and crack if subjected
to long periods of exposure to soap and water. Even small amounts
of water may discolor some leather finishes.
the surface of the leather with a cloth damped with anti-bacterial
soap and water will remove most traces of blood or body fluids,
but not all. It's nearly impossible to clean soft, unfinished
leather such as suede or chamois so special care should be used
to prevent them from being soiled with any body fluids.
dry leather toys for as long as possible. Exposure to the air
will help destroy many harmful microbes. Exposing them to sunlight
is also beneficial but be careful not to overdo this and cause
the leather to become "weathered". Using a disinfectant
spray, such as Lysol Spray, may be beneficial also, but again,
this could cause the leather to stain or discolor.
is my own personal opinion that leather toys should not be shared.
They are much too difficult to clean and disinfect so reserving
that expensive flogger for that one special "bottom"
is the best option.
electricity and water do not mix well, so never submerge any
electrical toy in water. This can ruin the motor by causing
corrosion and also be dangerous the next time you want to use
Once the toy is unplugged, wash it's surface with a cloth damped
with water and a good anti-bacterial soap. Pay close attention
to those nooks and crannies. (Removable parts can be cleaned
according to the instructions above.)
dry the surface of the toy and allow it to continue to air dry
for as long as possible.
Battery operated toys should never be cleaned or stored with
the batteries in them. Clean and store them separately.
(Paddles, canes, etc.)
toys should be treated much the same as leather ones, unless
they have a sealed finish.
If the finish is sealed (lacquered, painted, varnished) it should
be washed thoroughly with water and an anti-bacterial soap.
Do not soak them in water. This could damage the finish and
cause the item to warp.
with a soft cloth and air dry for as long as possible.
buffing with restore the finish and be sure to examine the item
for splinters and other damage.
hair can easily break the surface of the skin so careful cleaning
is a must. Use a mild soap or shampoo to wash it thoroughly.
the hair to air dry and expose to sunlight when possible.
metal items like clamps, clips and studs in warm soapy water.
washing, they may be soaked in alcohol for 20 minutes and then
removed and allowed to air dry. Alcohol will kill almost any
known microbe within 10 minutes so this should be a very effective
way to sanitize most metal toys.
should I store clean toys?
are a few things to keep in mind when storing your clean toys.
Maintaining their cleanliness is the primary concern and it's
not a difficult thing to do. I doubt that most of us will be
too concerned with "long term" storage.
sure the toys are completely dry. Storing damp toys in a closed
container, such as Tupperware®, is somewhat like making
an incubator for bacteria.
silicone (jelly type rubber) toys in a piece of soft cloth,
like terry cloth, to prevent it from being nicked by other toys.
sure all batteries are removed from battery operated toys. Do
not store the batteries in the same place as the toys. A leaking
battery can do a lot of damage to the toys and to tender flesh
if it's not detected before use.
covered container or "bag" that keeps them dust-free
will do. A container that breathes is the better choice than
an airtight one and a nice leather bag or wooden chest can be
an attractive method of storage. (If you have children or frequent
visitors, you might consider using one that can be locked.)
Wrap floggers and horse hair whips in a soft clean cloth to
prevent tangling and protect the fibers.
Small metal toys, like clamps, can be stored in a small cloth
pouch to protect them from damage or loss.
use an oil based lubricant on any toy that contains latex. Oil
eats latex (a natural rubber product) and will destroy things
like condoms, gloves, dams, cots and diaphragms. Most toys will
hold up much better with a water based lubricant.
use an oil/petroleum based lubricant on anything that will be
inserted into the vagina. This can cause yeast infections and
other bacterial problems.
based lubricants include, Vaseline, hand creams, lotions, body
oils, baby oil and many creams. Check the list of ingredients
on the label for any mention of oil or petroleum products.
The use of Nonoxynol-9, a spermicide common used to lubricate
condoms, can possibly reduce your chances of contracting some
sexually transmitted diseases. However this has never been proven
and should not be depended upon to prevent disease or pregnancy.
Some people are sensitive to this product and develop an irritation
from Nonoxynol-9. If this should occur, stop using the product
toy that has been used anally should never be inserted into
the vagina. The bacteria that is normal and healthy in the anus
in not healthy for the vagina.
toys between these two areas can cause PID (Pelvic Inflammatory
Disease). This is a dangerous and sometimes deadly disease.
toy that has been used anally must be washed and disinfected
before it can be used vaginally.
A condom can be used on a toy that is going to be used both
anally and vaginally or shared with another partner. Change
it when changing areas or partners.
simple tips can keep you and your partner safe and healthy.
If you must share your toys, be aware of the risks and use good
hygiene. Play safe and make sure the only thing your toys give
are pleasure and not a disease.