How To Clean Sex Toys?
Sex toys are specifically modelled to induce sexual pleasures. They can enhance orgasm and improve satisfaction, which helps you sleep better, boost immunity, reduce stress, and increase libido. Using sex toys also enables you to understand your body and its sexual needs better. They are also reliable companions to diversify your sex life and give you something new to look forward to all the time.
Sex toys such as dildos, vibrators, etc., are constantly exposed to body fluids; hence, it is crucial to clean them properly. While properly cleaned sex toys have absolutely zero complications risks, improperly cleaned ones can have serious health implications.
Proper and regular washing of these sex toys is important to prevent infections or transmission of STIs. Removing semen residues left on the sex toy from past intercourse before using it close to or in the vagina again is necessary to prevent pregnancy. If different partners share a sex toy, it is even of utmost importance to clean them properly.
The need to clean your sex toy after every use can not be overemphasized. It prevents rapid multiplication of the bacteria. Discrepancies in cleansing your sex toys after every use can lead to the development of yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and bacterial vaginosis due to the sensitiveness of the tissues in the genitals and the natural high absorbing ability of the vagina.
Surface-washing and cleaning using mild liquid soap, water and subsequent air drying can be done for almost all sex toys. While cleaning, it is vital to follow the cleaning guidelines carefully. If you find the cleaning instructions for a sex toy too tiresome or not doable for you, maybe you should consider not buying it at all.
Tips for cleaning sex toys based on materials
Irrespective of the material used in making your sex toy, if it has batteries, be sure to remove the batteries before cleaning.
- If your sex toy is electric, do not immerse its electrical parts in the cleaning water. A safer option is using a wet washcloth and soap with antibacterial properties to clean the toy.
- Sex toys made of glass should be washed with soap and water or put in a dishwasher. To avoid cracks (which can be harmful to you) and breakage, do not expose your glasses toys to severe temperatures.
- There are three cleaning options for stainless steel sex toys. You can boil or soak for 10 minutes in a 10% solution of bleach and water or use a dishwasher. This dishwasher option is recommended when the sex toy has no electrical components; if it has an electrical part or has an attached electrical gadget, clean with warm soapy water and avoid immersing the electrical components.
- Hard plastic sex toys should not be boiled. Instead, clean with soap with antibacterial properties and water.
- Silicone sex toys should either be boiled for 5-10 minutes, placed on the top rack of a dishwasher, or washed using warm water and antibacterial soap. Boiling vibrators made of silicone will destroy its vibrator mechanism so avoid boiling it.
- Sex toys and harnesses made with nylon can either be hand or machine washed with a mild antibacterial soap.
- Do not soak sex toys made of leather. Instead, wipe them clean using a wet soapy washcloth or leather cleaner. Reconditioning using a leather conditioner after washing is optional. The application of clear nail polishes is a good way to protect the metal parts of the sex toy from tarnishing.
- Cleaning of sex toys made with Cyberskin and vinyl is quite easy as all you need is to only wash gently with water, air dry, and apply small amounts of cornstarch to help prevent stickiness because of the vaginal fluid as Cyberskin is used to make most dildos.
- Rubber toys are believed to contain materials that can have adverse effects on your health, hence, using condoms is a good way to protect yourself. Also, as rubber toys are hard to clean, using a condom will prevent fluids from getting in the toy.
The method employed for the cleaning of your sex toy determines the amount of time you have to spend doing it. For a simple surface cleaning, you can spend about two to four minutes on each toy — excluding the time required for air-drying. 5-10 minutes is the expected time to be used in disinfecting a sex toy via boiling and 10 minutes is the minimum time required for the disinfection of toys by bleaching. There is no timeline for disinfection using a dishwasher as it depends on the complete rinse cycle of your machine.
Materials needed for cleaning sex toys
- Water: This is the common item for all forms of cleaning with the optimal condition set at warm temperatures.
- Soap: Dish soaps can be very harsh, do not use them. Mild liquid hand soaps are the best. Antibacterial soaps are okay, but it's not a problem if you don't have any available at the time of cleaning.
- Paper towels or wash clothes for air drying after cleaning. Wash clothes should be clean, of course.
- Pots. You can disinfect your toys by immersing them in boiling water for about 5-10 minutes. This should be done after the initial surface cleaning.
- Bleach and spray bottle: You can also use any other container for your bleach as long as you can easily get the liquid out in squirts and tiny drops.
- Dishwasher: Ensure your dishwasher has the appropriate settings for disinfecting toys. Always place the toys in the top rack of your dishwasher.
- Buckets and bowls for bleaching. If you plan to apply the bleach in tiny drops and leave it to sit, placing the sex toy inside a bowl where it won't be disturbed is a good idea. Buckets are good for immersing your sex toy in bleach-water solution.
- Optionally, sex toy wipes and sprays can be used although, mild soap and warm water combination work just as fine. Sex toy cleaners can be homemade or bought at any sex toy shop near you or online.
Methods for cleaning sex toys
Three methods can be used in cleaning sex toys. They include cleaning, disinfecting or sanitizing, and sterilizing.
Cleaning involves the removal of materials from the surface of the adult toy without necessarily disinfecting or sterilizing it. Generally, sex toys can be sufficiently washed clean with a meticulous wash and rinse, especially when you don’t share them with a partner.
Doublecheck the water safety rating of the sex toy before you begin cleaning to avoid damaging it. All sex toys labelled as splash-proof or waterproof can be rinsed in a sink with water whether the sex toy is mechanized or not. Also, ensure to always remove the batteries of battery-operated sex toys before cleaning.
Rinsing a sex toy with warm water and then wiping it clean with a paper towel is a good way to remove debris from the surface of the sex toy. You can then add use a mild soap to wash more. For sex toys with crevices, it's a good idea to have a dedicated toothbrush or any brush that can be used to remove debris from the corners they could in the toy. Always rinse with warm water after cleaning the crevices.
A properly cleaned sex toy should be placed on a clean towel and allowed to air dry. Except the product information states that a sex toy spray or wipe should not be rinsed off after use, always rinse after using them. Their usage, though, is optional and should only be done for convenience sake.
Disinfecting or sanitizing
Disinfection is used to destroy certain bacteria and pathogens that could be multiplying on the sex toys. Disinfecting is recommended when two or more people share the same toy. If one of the people sharing a sex toy has an active yeast infection, bacterial infection or STI, the pathogen for these infections could be on the sex toy and the other partner contracts it when they use the toy without properly disinfecting it.
Depending on the region of use – anal or vaginal – it is necessary to remove fluids and scents. This is especially important for toys made for anal sex.
Boiling disinfects silicone, stainless steel and glass toys. When boiling glass toys, it is recommended to place a washcloth in the pot to prevent cracking or breaking and remember to boil at low heat.
Disinfection using a dishwasher can be done for silicone, stainless steel and glass toys as long as they're not mechanized. Run the dishwasher in the sanitize cycle, and do not use the dishwasher soap as it is too harsh. Although the dishwasher is good for disinfection, it is however not as effective as boiling when it comes to the disinfection of toys.
Bleaching of toys to remove bacteria is typically done after the preliminary cleaning using warm water and soap. A homemade bleaching solution can be made with five tablespoons of regular bleach per gallon of water. The toy can be sprayed and left to set or immersed in the solution for ten minutes. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after bleaching to remove the remnants of the vagina as they can be harmful to the vagina and health.
Sterilization doesn't just remove pathogens, it kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It can be done using UV rays. This method of sterilization can be very expensive and most people won't be open to spending a lot of money just to sterilize a personal sex toy. Also, the UV light can only sterilize parts of the sex toy it can reach, making it less effective for toys with nooks and corners. Despite this, using UV rays to sterilize your sex toy is equally effective as it kills all the microorganisms and makes your sex toys entirely free from pathogens.
Because they are less expensive and very effective, boiling and bleaching are the recommended best methods to use to clean sex toys.
How to store sex toys
Proper sex toys storage is just as important as cleaning them. Once cleaned, it is essential to store it appropriately to retain its cleanliness until the next use otherwise, your toy is just going to pick up dirt and bacteria if it is not kept appropriately.
Many sex toys come with a case or box; use it to store your toy if it has one, and if it doesn't, use a container with a lid. To keep your sex toy dust and lint-free, store in a sealable pouch. You should store your sex toys with the same amount of care you'd use to store your other sensitive products such as menstrual cups and tampons.
Silicone anal toys are prone to developing odours, hence, they should be stored in breathable containers as opposed to plastic containers.
Generally, it is recommended that sex toys be stored in a dark, cool and dry place. Do not expose sex toys to direct sunlight and moisture. Damaged sex toys such as silicone toys with tears and glass or plastic toys with visible cracks should be disposed of as these defects can make them both difficult to clean and dangerous to use.
It is advisable to refer to your toy's manual, if available, to learn how best to clean it.
We hope this article was helpful to you. If you want to make your sex life more satisfactory, do check out our sex toys reviews. Here you will find everything that fits your budget and taste.
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