Disinfecting, cleaning, and storing your sex accessories would be the last thing on your mind after a job well done (you know what we mean). Just like you can't ignore the dirty dishes lying in your sink, you can’t neglect your sex toys’ cleanliness either. But not doing it on time can seriously disturb your health and reduce your toy’s shelf life. In this blog, we will be talking about how to clean sex toys and store them safely. But before that, let us first talk about its importance.
Why It's Important to Cleaning and Storing Your Sex Toys?
Sex toys engage with sensitive areas, making proper sanitation vital. Cleaning and properly storing your sex toy with a sex toy cleaner after each use prevents bacteria accumulation and even serious diseases. Bacteria such as salmonella, shigella, E. Coli, and campylobacter can be spread via sex toys, along with hepatitis A, B, and C, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. It can also lead to other infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), fungal infections, and bacterial vaginosis. Also, using a toy with a partner who already has a sexually transmitted infection (STI) can further contribute to the spread of the infection.
How to Clean Your Sex Toys?
Here's a comprehensive guide on how to keep your intimate accessories clean and safe for use: -
Choosing the Right Cleaning Method for Your Sex Toy Materials
Sex toys are created from various materials, and understanding the appropriate cleaning method is crucial for maintaining their integrity and safety. Here's a quick guide based on materials:
- Nonporous Materials (Silicone, Glass, Stainless Steel): These toys can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap or a sex toy cleaner. Boiling for 3-4 minutes is effective for silicone, glass, or stainless-steel toys without electrical components.
- Hard Plastic (ABS): Wipe with a moist cloth and light soap, or wash with water and mild soap. Avoid boiling.
- Porous Materials (Jelly Rubber, Elastomer, Latex): Clean with room temperature water and a soapy washcloth.
- Nylon: Machine or handwash with a mild antibacterial soap.
- Special Materials (Crystal, Stone, Wood): Clean with warm water and soap or a lint-free fabric bag.
Immediate Cleaning is Crucial
One common mistake is assuming that brand-new sex toys are automatically safe to use without cleaning. According to sexologist Rebecca Alvarez Story, sex toys are not sterile, and they may carry dust or bacteria even when fresh out of the packaging. Just like new underwear, it's essential to clean your sex toy thoroughly with soap and hot water (depending on the material) after unpacking. Allow it to air dry on a clean surface before its inaugural use.
Waterproof or Water-Resistant? Know Before You Clean
While many sex toys are waterproof, it's crucial to confirm their water-resistant capabilities before submerging them for a bath-time cleanse. Make sure you check out the product information to avoid causing electrical and battery damage. Before cleaning your battery-operated sex toy, ensure to remove the batteries. Using toys beyond their waterproof limits can lead to unwanted consequences.
Drying: A Step Not to Be Overlooked
Failing to dry a toy fully before storage can damage it. Therefore, wiping the toy thoroughly with a clean cloth before placing it back in its designated spot is recommended. Avoid towels that leave debris, as they might introduce irritants to the toy.
You can also leave your sex toys and intimate accessories to air dry. Placing it on a clean paper towel ensures lint-free drying and prevents potential infections. If your toy is battery-operated, leave the battery case open during the air-drying process.
Avoid Scented Soaps and Harsh Cleaning Products
It is better not to use scented soaps, household cleaning products, or bleach for cleaning sex toys. Contrary to some suggestions, never put your sex toy in the dishwasher. Dishwashers can leave a residue not meant for intimate areas and may damage the toy's motors or electrical components. These substances can cause irritation and problems like yeast infections.
Use Specialised Sex Toy Cleaners
Instead, you can also incorporate sex toy cleaners by Spicy Love in the cleaning routine of your intimate pleasure instruments. These dedicated cleaners are formulated to address the unique materials of sex toys, ensuring thorough disinfection without compromising their integrity.
By including such cleaners, you can add an extra layer of protection against bacteria, fungi, yeast, mould, and viruses that might linger on your toys.
How to Store Your Sex Toys?
Properly storing your sex toys is essential for maintaining their hygiene and longevity. Here are some storage tips:
Use the original packaging, such as bags or boxes, to protect and store your toys safely.
Temperature and Light:
Avoid Extremes: Prevent storing sex toys in places that can get extremely hot or cold, as this can degrade materials like silicone, rubber, plastic, or latex. Extreme temperatures can also impact the performance of batteries in rechargeable toys.
Lithium-Ion Batteries: Rechargeable sex toys with lithium-ion batteries perform best in temperatures between 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Avoid extremely higher or lower humidity levels. 30% and 60% RH are the optimal ranges for good battery health.
Light and Humidity:
- Avoid Direct Sunlight: Direct sunlight exposure can damage or fade sex toy materials over time due to heat and light. Choose a darker storage place to minimize exposure.
- Ideal Humidity Levels: Maintain a low-humidity environment (40-60%) to prevent mould and bacteria growth, especially on porous toys.
Satin or Silk Bag:
Invest in a small silk or satin bag for your toys. These bags are not only luxurious but also breathable, preventing dampness and potential mould growth. They are particularly suitable for toys made of materials like leather.
Storage Boxes and Bags:
You can also opt for storage bags specially designed for sex toys, ensuring flexibility for accommodating various shapes. Look for features like antimicrobial coatings, adjustable trays, and USB ports for charging. And for privacy, you can choose a lockable box.
Store toys made of different materials separately. Different materials can react with each other, leading to degradation. For instance, porous materials like TPR, PVC, jelly, rubber, and latex should be stored separately and away from silicone.
If your toys are battery-operated, remove the batteries before storing them. This helps prolong the life of both the toy and the batteries, preventing leakage and potential damage.
Before and after storage, inspect your toys for any visible cracks, tears, or imperfections. Dispose of toys with defects, as they can be unsafe for use.
When it comes to sexual pleasure, make sure you check the manufacturer's guidelines on how to clean sex toys and take care of them. Remember, every sex toy is unique and comes with its dos and don'ts - so it is all about using it right and preserving its quality.
Integrating these measures into your regular routine goes beyond mere cleanliness; it signifies a commitment to preserving the instruments that contribute to your well-being. Moreover, it's a smart strategy to extend the longevity of your investments.
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