So, I’ve taken on a new project through a wonderful website I actually stumbled upon through someone I follow here. It’s called Eden Loves Bloggers, through the adult website http://www.Edenfantasys.com Basically, I get to write twice a month about nearly whatever I want, so long as I somehow incorporate their website into what Im writing about, and I get awesome little rewards for it. (I might even share those with you if you’re extra nice) This is pretty easy, considering I run a sex blog…and they’re a sex store…do you see where Im going with this?
This will be my first of hopefully lots more posts. Since they’re an adult toy (and lingerie and DVD) store, I figured a post about toys might be appropriate. No, you will not see pictures of me playing with toys, you will however maybe learn a thing or two about caring for your own toys.
Proper care for your toys is extremely important to both keep you safe, and keep your toys performing at their best.
Selecting a toy:
Maybe you don’t yet own your first sex toy, or you’re in the business of obtaining a new one. Deciding what works best for you in terms of how you use it and how you want to take care of it will help. I personally am extremely lazy, if I could just power wash my whole house (inside and out) and be done with it, that would be amazing. Some toys you can just pop into your dishwasher, others require more careful maintenance. So, determine what kind of effort you’re willing to put forth to keeping your favourite play things in tip-top shape.
Whats the safest toy? : Metal and glass toys are the least porous of the bunch, meaning that bacteria, fluids, and lubricants won’t be absorbed into the material. They’re the easiest to clean because of this.
Following these are silicone toys, which are also non-porous, but can be damaged by lubes or other materials coming into contact with them.
Then there are Hard Plastics which are only mildly porous
Then Latex which are porous, they will absorb fluids and bacteria over time
And lastly, Jellies, rubbers, and cyberskin toys which are very porous and do absorb the fluid and bacteria you put on them.
Using a toy safely: There are steps you can take to keep yourself safe as well as speed up the clean up of your toys. The biggest one is to use a condom on your toy, ESPECIALLY if you share your toy with a partner, or alternate from vagina and anal use. Use a new condom each time the toy switches partners or orifices to avoid spreading of bacteria. Condoms on the more porous toys is highly recommended, to avoid compromising your toys. You still must wash your toy after the condom comes off, but a quick rinse after condom removal can be much faster and easier than trying to get lube and body fluids off and out of your toy. In general, the less often you have to expose your toy to rigorous cleanings, the longer your toy will last you.
Cleaning a toy: Below is a break-down of how best to clean different types of toys
- Metal - Can be boiled, put in the dishwasher, washed by hand, wiped down with alcohol. Can be completely sterilized
- Pyrex Glass - Can be boiled, put in the dishwasher, washed by hand, wiped down with alcohol. Can be completely sterilized
- Silicone - Can be boiled (if non-electrical/battery operated), washed by hand.
- Hard plastics - Wash by hand
- Latex, PVC, Jellies, Rubbers, Cyberskins - Wash by hand
*When boiling a toy: only a time of about 2-5 minutes is needed. Boiling longer may cause your toy to melt or crack. Be careful, especially if you have a metal or glass toy, that its not knocking around inside the pot, as it could chip (itself or the pot) If the finish of your metal toy, or the structure of your glass toy chips, cease use of said toy, as you could injure yourself. Boil each toy separately, changing the water each time. Do not boil with any soap or detergent, just water. Be careful removing the toy from the water as it will be hot! Place on a towel, plate, etc and let air dry.
*Dishwashing a toy : DO NOT use dish detergent. It seems convenient, but only if you’re loading an entire dishwasher full of toys. Place your toys on the top rack. Do not put your toys in the dishwasher with your dishes, as your toys should not be coming into contact with dishwashing detergent or food or anything else. Dishwashing your toy is only better than boiling it if your dishwasher has a sanitize setting, otherwise its easier to just boil. If you do dish wash your toys, remember that glass and metals retain heat, so be careful pulling them out of the dishwasher.
*Hand washing a toy: wash your toys with a mild anti-bacterial soap and warm water. Be sure any lubes or fluids from previous use are thoroughly washed away. Also be sure to thoroughly rinse the toy after washing, as soap residue could cause a break down in the toys material. When done place toy on a towel and let air dry.
Be sure when using soap on your toys its one that your body is familiar with, to avoid any allergies.
"My toy is electrical/battery operated, but it says its waterproof, what do I do?" - NEVER submerge even a waterproof toy. Waterproof, in this instance, means that you can take it into the bathtub with you, and it probably won’t break. Boiling or dishwashing or running the toy under a faucet forces the water into the toys cracks and crevices in a way that simply dunking the toy into your bathtub for a few moments does not. The more vigorous the water, the more likely you are to have leaks..and eventually a broken toy. If it turns on just hand wash it, and keep the mechanical part out of the water. Use a washcloth to wipe down areas that you cannot submerge into the sink. Remove batteries or bullets before washing.
Be sure that your toy is completely dry before storing to prevent mold/mildew.
Lubes: Whats safe for me and my toy?
- Water based lubricant - safe for ANY toy.
- Silicone lubricant - safe for metal, glass, hard plastic, and latex toys. DO NOT USE ON: silicone, jelly, rubbers, or cyberskin
- Oil based lubricant - NOT SAFE. Oil based lubes, lotions, etc are not safe for vaginal or anal use, and can also break down toy materials as well as condoms.
Using the right lube not only means protecting your toy, but also protecting yourself. Silicone lube is great for bodies, its not so great for your silicone, jelly, or cyberskin toy. Oddly, silicone mixing with silicone can cause a break down in material. Not only can this ruin your toy, but it can cause mild to severe reactions in or on your body (from the release of chemicals into/onto sensitive areas of the body). When in doubt, water based lube is the way to go.
Storing your toys: Keeping your toys safe between uses
How you store your toys is just as important as how you keep them clean. A poorly stored toy can absorb bacteria around it between uses, degrade, melt, etc, all of which ruin your toy and endanger your own health. Sometimes your toy comes with its own handy packaging that you can continue to use. In that case, please do continue to use it. If your toy does not come with its own fancy carrying case, get yourself a box of ziploc baggies. Each toy should get its own baggy (that remains free of lubes and moisture) that it can go into after being cleaned after each use. Do not put your toys away without cleaning them! (I know, I know, theres nothing sexy or fun about taking your toys to the bathroom post-coital embrace, but it needs to be done. You can cuddle and fall asleep AFTER you take care of safety business)
Keeping toys separate from each other means there will be no chance of transference of material or bacteria. Different toy materials can and do react with each other when they touch, especially for prolonged periods of time. I accidentally melted a dildo once by not storing it separately from my other toys. And guess what, melted dildo chemical in the vagina really burns. That ended our sexytime pretty quickly, and took a few days of recovery. You don’t want that.
Keep your toys in a dry and dark place (night stand, closet, under the bed, etc). Exposure to direct sunlight, heat, and moisture can melt or otherwise degrade your toy. You also want to keep them free of dust, dirt, hair, etc.
EdenFantasys offers an array of toy storage solutions, from individual pouches to whole boxes (for the more enthusiastic toy owner) http://www.edenfantasys.com/sex-toy-accessories/sex-toy-storage/ all of which are viable ways to store your toys safely.
Always take the batteries out of any vibrators to prolong battery life and be sure theres no leakage into your toys.
And thus concludes your basic primer on keeping you and your toys safe and happy! Now go try it out ;)