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Because Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness, You Filthy Heathens.
Once upon a time, I knew someone who liked to use the crap out of their favorite sex toys and then shove them back into the bedside drawer when they were done. Without so much as a quick wash from a nearby baby wipe, that nasty son of a gun would allow all sorts of dust and debris to stick to the leftover body juices on the toy. And if you think that’s gross enough, imagine my dismay when one of those disgusting things was (attempted to be) used on me. I jumped off that bed so fast you would have thought there was a spider the size of Texas on my sheets. Needless to say, I don’t have sex with that backwards, beat-up Neanderthal anymore.
The things I learned about sex toy cleanliness could have earned me a Nobel Prize for Peace had I shared any of the information with that guy and the 40,000 people he was bound to have sex with in the upcoming decade. Fast-forward a couple years and I’m finally confident enough to spread the love instead of the bacteria. Sex toy ownership is a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of work too. Get a poorly made toy and your job is even more difficult. Make things easier on yourself (and on the people who have to fuck you) by learning how to properly maintain your sex toy arsenal.
Most modern-day sex toys come with an instruction and/or care manual, but those will only get you so far. In fact, there are some steps on those manuals that can only be followed when using that particular toy. Try the same shit on a different toy and you can wave goodbye to it. Some general rules have to be set in place for everyone to follow, and fortunately they have been. The only sad part is that not everybody knows about these unwritten guidelines, and thus, we have people like my ex running freely on the streets. It’s time we all worked together to stop the vicious cycle before it gets even further out of hand.
The Importance of Sex Toy Cleanliness
I can’t believe I have to give you kids this talk without your mother in the room, but if I must, let’s talk about why it’s important to be clean when it comes to using sex toys, especially if you involve a partner. I feel like someone else should have told you this stuff already, but here it goes either way. The following are the top 5 reasons why you should practice safe sex which, by the way, means more than wrapping it before tapping it:
Dirty Sex Toys Harbor Bacteria
We all learned about this in elementary school health class when they taught us how to properly wash our hands. Knowing how filthy the world is, we were instructed on ways to kill bacteria before it spread. Well, the same thing goes for that sex toy in your grubby little hands. It needs to be washed thoroughly too. Sex toys that haven’t been washed correctly will harbor teams of harmful bacteria that could cause all sorts of nasty things to happen (and I’m not talking about a bad breakup either). Please pay close attention to me right now if you’re holding an anal plaything. The fecal bacteria in the anus can be deadly if mishandled, so have your fun but clean up when you’re done.
Unclean Sex Toys Can Cause Skin Irritations
Forget about getting sick for one second and think about all the gross red bumps and rash-like outbreaks that can spawn from being touched by an unclean sex toy. Do you even maintenance, bro? Even if the toy itself is made from a super skin-safe material and you use plenty of hypoallergenic lube, ugly skin irritations can still develop where a dirty plaything is involved. Keep your funk to yourself if you must have it around, because I’m relatively certain that that kind of behavior won’t win you any friends. In fact, most people I know (besides the infamous ex) think such habits are not only disgusting but also an enormous turn-off. Do you need that kind of negativity in your life?
Funky Fuck Sticks Don’t Last as Long
Have you ever noticed that your car starts to run like a hunk of junk when you don’t take care of it properly? Whether the oil gets changed and the tired get rotated isn’t always the issue. Sometimes, the problem is that your ride hasn’t had a good bath in a while. And if a proper cleaning can do that much for a large, careening automobile made out of steel, just imagine what it can do for your tiny little sex gadgets. Your sex toys won’t last nearly as long as they could if you never wash them off. And while some only require a quick spritz with some warm water or a swift dip in a mild soap, others might need a bit more attention. Some of the higher-end models require specialized cleaning solutions and/or renewal powders to keep them intact, and if you don’t use those maintenance products as directed your toy will begin to disintegrate right before your eyes. I’ve seen it happen and believe me, it’s not a pretty sight.
Your Dirtiness Just Voided the Warranty
Do you realize that most of the high-end sex toy manufacturers offer at least a 1-year warranty on their best products? That means you can use it to your heart’s content without worrying about the SOB breaking down on you. However, that’s only one piece of the two-part puzzle. You’ll be required to put in some work to keep the warranty active as well. Warranties usually only cover the product if the user uses it as directed and as long as they do anything stupid with it. Should the manufacturer(s) find out you’ve been living like a pig, chances are they won’t honor their commitment to replace the item or give you your money back. And do you blame them? That sex toy would have been just fine had you taken the time to properly maintain it, you filthy heathen.
That Smell Is Now Coming from Your Crotch
As the last question you want someone to ask during sex, “What’s that smell?” is an inquiry that can ruin the mood faster than a limp dick at a threesome. And in case you haven’t gathered this yet, a dirty sex toy will begin to put off a foul odor after a while. That odor, which is caused by thriving bacteria on the surface of the toy, can attach itself to your skin, clothes and its surroundings, making the whole environment smell like a burnt diaper covered in Indian food. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound very sexy at all. Properly cleaned sex toys not only smell better but they also lose that chemical odor they begin with after a while.
If none of this has convinced you of the importance of keeping your sex toys clean, remember this: Your toys get shoved inside the various orifices of you and/or your partner’s body. Whether you have good hygiene or not doesn’t matter. Even the cleanest people among us are at risk of developing a rash from dirty environs. The problem is that the things naturally produced by your body during sex and/or masturbation can create a potentially disastrous situation if they’re not managed correctly. So, if cleanliness is next to Godliness, then you have biblical permission to commit genocide on all that booty bacteria.
QUICK TIP: How Toy Type Affects Cleaning Style
The type of sex you you’re using determines the kind of cleaning routine you must follow to keep the product intact. For example, the maintenance regimen of a cock ring won’t be nearly as stringent as that of an anal vibrator, and the reason for that should be pretty obvious. On the other hand, a luxury prostate massager may not require much attention because of the way it’s made, while a low-end penis pump might need an hour of tinkering just to get it back in working order. As such, there is no one-size fits all cleaning program for today’s sex toy enthusiast to follow; the main idea to keep things as neat and tidy as possible no matter what you’ve got on deck (or on your dick, whatever the case may be).
The Dirty Dozen: 12 Ways To Take Care of Your Sex Toys Like a Boss
Since there is yet to be an agreement among the sex toy manufacturers of the world on how we should take care of our playthings, I can only give you a few pointers on how I maintain my sex toys like the professional pervert I am. Here are the 12 sex toy care tips that I lovingly refer to as “The Dirty Dozen.”
- Clean Up After Every Use – It doesn’t matter if you played with your sex toy for 50 seconds or 50 minutes, it’s still crucial for you to give it a good bath each time you let it see the light of day. Even exposure to the air around it can cause damage or allow airborne bacteria to cling to its material, which is especially dangerous on toys with porous skins.
- Wash Your Mittens, You Naughty Kittens – Touching your sex toys with dirty hands can be even more risky than not washing it after sex. The sheer number of things that your grubby mittens come in contact with throughout the day is surprising. However, the amount of those things that can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation and toy quality depletion are appalling. Whatever you do, don’t touch your toys with filthy hands before using them on yourself or a partner.
- It’s Always Cool to Use Warm Water – When cleaning your sex toys with soap and water, be sure the stream coming from your faucet is warm to the touch. It should be slightly hotter than your basal body temperature and should be fresh from the tap. Never use cold water unless instructed by the maker, and stay away from stagnant water sources as they may be harboring more bacteria than is on your toy.
- Use the Mildest Soap You Can Find – Most modern-day sex toys require a super mild, hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial soap to do them justice. I suggest using the same type of soap you’d use to clean a new tattoo or piercing. Those cleaning agents usually don’t leave behind any filmy residue, plus they tend to kill any latent bacteria that might have hid itself during the initial cleaning process.
- Dry It the Right Way – Once you’re done with whatever cleaning process you’ve chosen, try to remember that the drying portion of the routine is just as important. Never use any disposable drying materials on your wet toy because it could leave behind a ton of debris. Instead, always use a dry kitchen or bathroom cloth unless the manufacturer includes a drying station with the toy or allow your toy to sit out in the open air for a naturally-paced dry time.
- Mind the Air in There – Regardless of how you choose to dry your sex toys, remember that the air quality in the room matters quite a bit. Don’t believe me? You wouldn’t sit your precious toy out to dry in a garage while testing the exhaust on your hotrod, would you? I rest my case. The only thing left to say is: Always clean and dry your playthings in unpolluted air.
- Wrap It After You Tap It – We hear so much about wrapping it before you tap it that we forget about the importance of wrapping it afterwards. I’m speaking, of course, about your sex toys, not your genitals. When finished, make sure you either swaddle your baby in a soft cloth or stick it back in its included storage container. Many sex toy manufacturers get a lot of gruff for not supplying storage with each product, so don’t make them revert back to their old ways of doing business by ignoring the necessary accessories provided.
- Keep It Cool and Keep It Forever – Sex toys are usually not made to withstand extreme temperatures, so don’t keep yours stashed away in very hot or very cold places around your home. The best location is usually somewhere in your bedroom, either under the bed or tucked inside one of your dresser drawers. A certain level of consideration must go into your geographic location as well, since some places are naturally hotter or colder than others.
- Swap the Batteries Often – Part of cleaning your sex toys is maintaining their batteries (if applicable). Did you know that old batteries can begin to leak out their battery acid if they’re not removed in time? The average shelf life for a AA battery is about 36 months, but most people only get use out of theirs for about 18 months. Either way, you’ll want to check or replace them often to keep things from getting crusted over in the battery housing.
- Remember to Register Your Warranty – While this may have very little to do with your cleaning routine, registering that sex toy with the manufacturer will keep the warranty intact which could help you in the long-run. Sometimes, even properly maintained sex toys break down before they’re supposed to. Protect yourself by pocketing the warranty for as long as you possibly can.
- Do Whatever the Manufacturer Tells You – No matter what I say in this sex toy cleaning guide, always do exactly what the product’s manufacturer says. Usually, that information is found on the owner’s manual or inside any instruction literature included with the toy. If it’s not, you can always look on the maker’s website for answers. Should the manufacturer’s website not have the info and the toy not come with any instructions, use my pointers as a backup plan and then never buy from those people again.
- You Never Go Ass to Mouth (Or Pussy) – As always, never put your toys where they don’t belong. Not sure what I mean, you limitless perv? Well, as a general rule, anal toys should always be used anally and vaginal toys vaginally. And if there must be some overlap to keep things hot, make sure you thoroughly clean your toys before proceeding to the next round. Cross-contamination is a real problem that’s plaguing today’s bedrooms. Stop the violence, ladies and gentlemen.
Taking care of the things you’ve invested in is what the cool kids do. Considering some of the best sex toys on the modern market are extremely expensive, it makes perfect sense to learn the proper maintenance procedures for each. Along the way, don’t forget about the finer things in life (and by that I mean the small details, unfortunately).
The Devil Is In the Details
No, we’re not done with this lesson yet. Yes, I have more important information to tell you about sex toy cleanliness. I tried to tell you this was serious business. Owning a sex product is a right but it’s also a privilege. Treat it as such by thinking about these three things when taking care of your toys:
- The Bump and Grind
Any sex toy that features bumps and crevices should be handled with special care. After all, nooks and crannies are where bacteria and bad things hang out. So while scrubbing your toy probably isn’t a good idea, a decent soak could go a long way if you do it right (and if the manufacturer says it’s okay). And by the way, this goes for the toys that can be used in water as well. A fresh batch for H2O never hurt anybody, you guys. That bath, hot tub or shower are not sufficient sources of clean water no matter how long you’re in there. Don’t make me ruin bath time by throwing statistics at you.
- The Material World
Newton’s Law of Action-Reaction basically states that improper cleaning habits for your sex toy may be especially damaging to certain types of material. Ok, so it doesn’t say that exactly, but cause and effect are still in play on the soccer field of sex toys. No need to be scientific, just keep in mind that not all sex toy materials are the same. While many are made from high-end, non-porous materials such as silicone, stainless-steel or TPE, some are designed out of materials that can hide pockets of moisture, lube and the dreaded bacterial colony. Furthermore, some materials may react badly to certain types of cleaning agents so be careful.
- The Skin You’re In
Despite the relatively rigorous cleaning regimen required for proper sex toy ownership, never forget that this is supposed to be all about you and those wonderful orgasms hiding deep in your loins. If certain cleaning products react poorly to your skin type, skip it. If skipping it leaves you with no alternatives, try using a toy that’s made from a different type of material. Sometimes, top-name manufacturers produce several sex toy cleaning products with varying degrees of allergens in them. Check to see if the brand ambassador of your favorite sex toys offer hypoallergenic cleansers before giving up completely. No matter how weird you feel, you’re not the only one out there with super sensitive skin.
Bad sex toy hygiene is a lot like bad relationship etiquette – it’s got to go before everyone starts making fun of you for it. Think about it, my nasty ass ex became the inspiration for a lengthy article about cleanliness. At least he was good for something. Failed unions aside, taking care of your investment requires skill and strategy, not to mention time and attention. Most of today’s well-known toy makers have worked hard to create extremely user-friendly models, but none of them have ever or will ever be user-friendly enough to not need a good cleaning. Can someone please tell my ex that? He’s still walking around with an old dildo of mine from 2002. If you see him, tell him I used it to clean the toilet before we broke up. Thanks.