If sex toys are a part of your solo or partnered sex life, then you need to master the art of cleaning and using them safely in order to keep you (and anyone you share them with) free from yeast infections, bacterial infections, and possibly even STDs.
Here are a few golden rules:
Know your toy
Sex toys are made from all kinds of different materials that can be divided into two main categories: porous and non-porous materials.
Porous materials trap dirt and bacteria, which means they can never truly be sterilized. Porous materials include Cyberskin, most hard plastics, elastomer, thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), stone, and jelly rubber.
Non-porous materials don’t trap dirt and bacteria and can therefore be totally sterilized. Non-porous materials include silicone, glass, pyrex, stainless steel, ABS hard plastic, and specially treated wood.
For example, IMTOY’s Zoo Collection and most of Luxeluv’s Destination Range are made from silicone, which is non-porous. The Pleasurenana and Memphis, on the other hand, have non-porous outer shells made of ABS, but porous TPE soft inner sleeves.
Different materials require different care
The Zoo Collection
This menagerie of silky soft silicone vibrators is 100% waterproof. They charge magnetically, which means there’s absolutely nowhere for water to get in. Feel free to take them into the tub or under the shower without thinking twice. To clean, simply use warm water and a mild soap. The Zoo Collection’s silicone is dust-proof, so it doesn’t tend to gather lint, which is a major plus! Nevertheless, gently pat the toy dry with a clean towel or cloth and store in its box or in a little silk bag to keep it away from the hustle and bustle of your bedside drawer.
Havana, Santiago & Vegas
This cosmopolitan silicone collection is also waterproof, using a simple but effective design that protects the jack where the charger plugs in. Wash under running warm water with mild soap. Pat dry and store in its box or in a little silk bag to keep it away from all the weird stuff that gets into our drawers and boxes like pet hair, fluff etc.
“The bright yellow body of the masturbator is made out of ABS which is a good material as it’s easy to clean and also non-porous. (…)
The central portion of the masturbator contains the liner which is made out of TPE which is unfortunately a porous material so you won’t be able to share the toy with anyone else as you won’t be able to sterilise it. If you’re planning on sharing it then condoms will be a must.
As with all TPE sex toys never use oil or silicone based lubes, just use a good quality water based lube and you’ll not go wrong.
The liner is very easy to remove for cleaning as it just slides out. To clean it after use just rinse it through and then use some anti-bacterial sex toy cleaner on it. Make sure that it’s dry before reassembly and fitting the end caps again. As with all TPE masturbators you should give the dry liner a dusting of corn flour or branded “renewal” powder to stop it feeling tacky to touch and this will prolong its life considerably. I’d go for the corn flour option as it is much cheaper from the supermarket and it is basically the same thing.”
The Memphis is masturbation sleeve and a Bluetooth speaker all rolled into one! And get this – you can actually set the little bullet vibrator in the TPE sleeve to vibrate to the beat of your music! That takes “beating off” to a whole new level!
When it comes to cleaning the inner TPE sleeve, remove by gently pulling it out of the hard outer shell, being careful not to dislodge the wires of the small vibrator. Remove the bullet shaped vibrator from its housing in the TPE sleeve.
Because its inner sleeve is also made of TPE, Stunt Cock’s cleaning advice also applies to the Memphis:
- Wear a condom if you’re planning on sharing your Memphis.
- Never use oil or silicone based lube. Use water based lube instead.
- To clean it after use just rinse it through and then use some anti-bacterial sex toy cleaner on it.
- Make sure that it’s dry before reinserting the bullet vibrator and reassembling the toy.
- Give the dry sleeve a dusting of corn flour or branded “renewal” powder to stop it feeling tacky to touch and this will prolong its life considerably.
The outer shell of the Memphis is made of ABS and has a silicone grip in the middle for squeezability. That makes the outer shell non-porous, and therefore really easy to clean. However, when the sleeve is removed the vibrator inside of it is very exposed (wires and all), so be cautious when cleaning it. A wipe down with some anti-bacterial sex toy cleaner and a clean cloth would be the safest way to avoid damaging the vibrator.
IMTOY’s app controlled kegel trainer, Candy, is made from the same silky silicone as the Zoo Collection. That means it’s non-porous. The kegel balls is also absolutely seamless and therefore 100% waterproof, so after you’ve done a training session, remove the kegel ball, wash with warm water and mild soap. Pat dry and pop it back into its high tech storage unit which uses UV light to completely sterilise the ball!
Wash insertable toys before and after use
It might seem like overkill, but despite all the precautions you’ve taken to keep your toy fre$h (i.e. keeping it in its box or a silk bag), there’s still a chance it’s gathered a bit of dust, fuzz (or worse) in the interim. You don’t want any free-riders being inserted into you, so a quick rinse under warm water before business time is all you need really. Then it will obviously need a thorough clean immediately afterwards.
Avoid anti-bacterial or perfumed soap
You might think you’re smart by cracking out the anti-bacterial soap to maximise the cleaning process, or you might be tempted to use a perfumed soap to make your toy smell like flowers (instead of lady flower), but the only problem is that these types of soap tend to leave a residue on your toy. You definitely don’t want anti-bacterial anything in your vagina, and harsh chemicals and fragrances are a no-no too! That’s why mild, unscented soap is the way to go.
If you’re going to share your vibrator or your masturbation sleeve, then you’re going to need to use protection. You need a condom or other barrier to protect you and the people you share the toy with from getting re-infected with or spreading a bacterial or yeast infection. Sex toys can even spread STIs, so it’s absolutely crucial to play safe.
With my track record of recurrent bacterial vaginosis, I now put a condom on all my insertable sex toys, even if I’m the only one using them!