Free Standard shipping on all orders of $69 and over! Discreet packaging! See Details >

Sex Toy Safety & Care

May 24, 2016

Sex Toy Safety & Care

There are literally thousands upon thousands of sex toys to choose from. Some toys are very simple and do not have any, or few, bells and whistles. On the other hand, there are sex toys out there that seem as if you need a mechanical engineering degree in order to use them properly. Sex toys have a wide range in terms of pricing as well. Whether your toy is simple to use or extremely complicated, cheap or expensive, it is always very important to take care of them properly and use them for their intended purposes. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you properly maintain your toys so they can last as long as possible. With proper care, your toy(s) can last a long time!

First, let’s talk more about safety considerations before purchasing your new toy. When purchasing your toy, especially online, be certain to read product descriptions. Many reputable online retailers and manufacturers provide detailed product specs that allow you to learn more about your toy.

Pay close attention to the materials that the toy is made from. Retailers and manufacturers rarely list the product’s entire chemical composition which may require some up-front knowledge on your end. Make every attempt to avoid toys that are made from materials that are not body-safe. Toys containing Phthalates are definitely ones that you want to avoid. Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to soften hard plastics to make them more flexible and have a softer feel. Although toys that contain phthalates may seem to feel more real, or cost less, they should always be avoided as they are extremely toxic. The reason phthalates are so harmful is due to the fact that they are not chemically bound to the toy’s plastics. Thus, when inserting a toy into your body, those harmful chemicals can be released inside of you.  If the toy that you are thinking about purchasing is made of “Jelly”, or you can see through it, then it most-likely contains phthalates. If you already have one of these toys, be sure to check its smell. If it has a bad odor, and upon washing several times, if the odor is still there…toss it in the trash. Or possibly do some more research online about that specific toy. Do not hesitate to email the manufacturer and ask them questions about the toy’s chemical composition. Here is a list of body-safe toys:

  • Silicone
  • Glass
  • Stone
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • TPR (thermoplastic rubber)
  • TPE (thermoplastic elastomer)

Some retailers will also provide usage recommendations. Before purchasing, ask yourself what you want out of your toy. What parts of the body do you intend to stimulate? Some toys can be used on several parts of the body while others are made for one specific area. The company Tantus, for example, provides great information as to recommended usage. For example, if you are buying a toy for anal play, it may be of a certain shape that will not allow it to be inserted into the vagina. If that specific toy’s description says something like “for anal use only”…please do not try using this anywhere else. We know this seems silly, but we know a lot of creative people who think outside of the box.

Upon receiving your new toy, many people like to tear into the box and get right down to business. We do not recommend this whatsoever. Once you’ve unboxed your new toy, take a look at the directions first. For toys that are rechargeable, some manufacturers recommend that you give them a full charge before using. Also, if your toy has a lot of bells and whistles, test the buttons and settings to become more familiar with it. One of the most important things to remember is: CLEAN YOUR TOY BEFORE USING! It doesn’t matter if the toy is brand new, it could still have some unknown particles on it while being boxed at the factory. Once you’ve followed the recommendations above...have some fun!

There are so many versatile toys out there. When we say “versatile,” we mean that the toy could be used on several different body parts. For instance, some toys can be used both vaginally and anally. If you have a toy like this, be very careful when using. Never, absolutely never, use the toy in both body parts in the same session. If you do, be certain to thoroughly clean the toy before using on the other body part. If you do not follow this rule, you could be setting yourself up for a very nasty bacterial infection. For an additional barrier of protection, many people place condoms over toys that can be used both anally and vaginally. In addition to the added barrier of protection, a condom can help keep the toy clean or easier to clean after using.

Keeping your toy clean is a very important factor in the longevity of your toy. Not to mention it is extremely important in keeping your body healthy. With so many different toy materials available, it can sometimes be difficult knowing the best way to clean them.  For toys that are powered, be certain to check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding proper cleaning. Some powered toys may not be waterproof, therefore, it’s not a good idea to submerge them in water. If this is the case, it is best to use antibacterial soap on a wet rag and thoroughly wipe clean. However, some powered toys do have caps or barriers that cover the toy’s charging outlets allowing them to be completely submersible. We’ve created list of body-safe toy materials with proper ways to clean and care for each material type.

  •  Silicone

Silicone toys that are 100% silicone (and are not powered) can be boiled for 3 to 4 minutes or placed in the top rack of a dishwasher. You can also clean any silicone toy with a 10% bleach solution or with antibacterial soap followed by a thorough rinsing under hot water. When using a lubricant, please use only water-based lubricants. Silicone-based lubricants can damage the toy’s silicone material.

  •  Glass

Glass toys are dishwasher safe. To completely sterilize, simply put it in the top rack of your dishwasher. You can also clean them with antibacterial soap followed by a thorough rinsing under hot water. Glass toys are non-porous so feel free to use any type of lubricant with glass.

  •  Stone

Much like glass, these are also dishwasher safe and can also be cleaned with antibacterial soap followed by a thorough rinsing under hot water. Stone toys are non-porous so feel free to use any type of lubricant with them.

  •  Wood

Wood toys have been sealed with a body-safe sealer making them non-porous. Cleaning can easily be done using antibacterial soap followed by a thorough rinsing under warm water. When using a lubricant with a wooden toy, any type of lubricant can be used as long as the wood is non-porous.

  •  Metal (Stainless Steel & Aluminum)

Similar to silicone, these can be can be boiled for 3 to 4 minutes or placed in the top rack of a dishwasher. You can also clean them with antibacterial soap followed by a thorough rinsing under hot water. Avoid using abrasive metal cleaners on them as they may scratch the toy’s surface resulting in porous areas. Metal toys are non-porous so feel free to use any type of lubricant with them.

  •  TPR & TPE

Thermoplastic rubbers and elastomers tend to be soft and stretchy. Because of this, they are porous. Even though the materials are considered to be body-safe, these materials can harbor bacteria more easily. If you are using a dildo and sharing with a partner, we recommend using a condom with it. Thoroughly clean all TPE & TPR materials with antibacterial soap followed by a long rinse under hot water. When using with a lubricant, use only water-based lubricants. Avoid using oil-based lubricants as they can damage the toy’s material. For storage, please take special precautions and store separately, preferably in a plastic container or storage pouch. If contact is made with other soft material toys, they may leach from each other.

Once your toy has been cleaned, we recommend placing them on a counter top to let them air dry. It is okay to dry them with a towel, however, lint often sticks to the toy (especially silicone).  When it comes to cleaning, our rule is to always clean your toy before and after each use.

Lastly, storage is also a vital part to properly maintaining your toys. If you have kids (and don’t want to get busted), store your toys in tubs and place them on high shelves where children cannot reach. For any toy with a removable battery, please remove the battery before storing. Another thing to consider is keeping each toy in its own storage bag. Several manufacturers include a lint-free storage pouch with the toy or they can easily be purchased online or at a craft store. Keeping them stored individually helps prevent scratching, scuffing or leaching between toys. 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about a specific product and need assistance with proper maintenance, cleaning and care. We are always here to help!

 

We hope you have enjoyed this post. Please feel free to comment if you have any questions, concerns or information you'd like to share. Be sure to check back for more blogs and product reviews or subscribe to our newsletter for automatic updates. We can also be reached directly via email at robinandliam@couplesplaythings.com.

Thanks again,
Robin & Liam



Leave a comment