We all know the amazing benefits of using sex toys, whether alone or with a partner, but do you know how important it is to properly clean your toys? I have to admit that I wasn’t always as diligent about cleaning my toys as I should be. I was rewarded for this neglect with a nasty bacterial infection caused by an improperly washed vibrator. After a round of antibiotics cleared up the problem I logged on to the internet to find the best and easiest ways to prevent the painful situation from repeating itself.
I learned that not only can you contract bacterial infections from improperly cared for toys, but there are also several STDs that can be transmitted by sharing toys without washing them first. For example, Scabies and Hepatitis can live on a toy for several weeks. I was even more shocked to learn that you can actually become pregnant from sperm left on a vibrator or dildo! Can you imagine?! Even if you use condoms during intercourse you could still end up pregnant from your toy! The website offered several suggestions for keeping your toys clean and yourself healthy.
The first suggestion was that any new toy be thoroughly washed before the first time you use it. That seemed obvious to me, but I was the one who’d ended up with an infection so who was I to judge? The article offered several ways to clean toys of all varieties of materials.
First and foremost always remove any batteries before cleaning a toy. Glass, Pyrex and stainless steel varieties can be cleaned with hot soapy water or for even better sterilization they can be boiled or placed in the top rack of your dishwasher. Again, if your toy vibrates or has any type of battery or electrical component, stick to the warm soapy water instead of using the boiling or dishwashing techniques.
Like glass, Pyrex and stainless steel toys made of hard plastic and silicone are nonporous and relatively simple to clean. While they can’t hold up to the heat of boiling water or the dishwasher a simple washing with hot soapy water will remove any bacteria causing residue. It’s always best to let your toys air dry after cleaning to make sure germs aren’t transferred from a bath or dish towel onto the toy.
The hardest toys to clean are the ones made of rubber or jelly like materials. They are porous, tear easily, and are the perfect place for bacteria and diseases to thrive. My vibrator was rubber, which helped to explain how I’d ended up with my infection. Toys made of cyberskin, such as cock rings and male masturbation sleeves can also be difficult to clean. These are the toys that require special treatment to ensure they don’t cause ill effects to your health. If you love your rubber toys invest in a cleaner specifically formulated to clean their porous surface. Cyberskin toys, especially masturbation sleeves, should be powdered after cleaning to keep the surfaces from sticking together. (Pulling the stuck together pieces apart is what causes the microscopic tears where bacteria can fester.) Cornstarch can be used for this, or you can pick up a product like Fleshlight Renewing Powder.
Whichever type of toy you prefer, proper cleaning is the only way to ensure healthy sexual function whether alone or with your partner.