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How to keep your sex toys
When you're laid back enjoying those last moments of post-climax pleasure, the last thing you're likely to be thinking about is cleansing and storing your sex toy, but this isn't something you should forget about. Failing to clean and dry your dildo can lead to unpleasant bacterial growth that could cause infections later on... which is not very sexy. Aside from the health implications, it's really general good practice to keep your toys in clean condition. With a survey showing that 37% of women spend up to $50 on each of their sex toys, this is a hobby that could get expensive if you fail to care for your toys properly and keep needing to buy more!
Storage is also important. You don't want your toys rattling around in a dusty drawer. There are more hygienic and more discreet ways to keep them safe and clean. But what else do you need to consider when it comes to keeping, cleaning and storing your sex toys?
How best to clean your sex toy will depend on the material that it's made from and whether or not it has a motor or other electronic/technological features on it. You need to be clear on whether or not the item is made from porous or non-porous material. Porous materials tend to be things like PVC and rubber and are a great breeding ground for bacteria due to their absorbent properties. They tend to harbor liquids and germs and are tougher to get clean. If you do have a porous toy, it's worth considering using a condom with it.
Non-porous materials are things like silicone, stainless steel, plastic or glass. Some of these may sound harsh and a bit scary, especially in the case of glass, but the advantage is that materials like this are so much more hygienic and also offer the option to experiment with different textures and temperatures. These types of materials are durable enough to withstand soapy water and non-porous enough to get sufficiently clean without too much effort, whereas porous materials require far more thorough cleaning and might not be totally free of germs and bacteria.
Non-porous toys can usually be cleaned with a mild soap and water. Make sure it's natural, gentle and unfragranced as anything too harsh may upset the natural pH balance of the body. You can also buy designated foaming cleansers, santizers or wipes designed purely for cleaning your toys, such as this Anti-Bacterial Toy Cleaner. These are super handy to have right by the bed and tend to be free of any ingredients that can cause irritation. Always opt for water-based cleansers instead of oil-based ones, which can break down and damage particles within the silicone that many toys are made from.
It's equally important that after cleaning, you make sure your toy is completely dry. Leaving it damp can help any lingering bacteria to thrive as they love damp conditions. It may also cause damage to the toy, especially if it is motorized or uses batteries. Use a towel or cloth to thoroughly dry your toy after you've cleaned it.
Sensible storage is another way to keep your toy safe, clean and away from prying eyes. It's not ideal to have any sort of toy rolling around in a drawer where it will pick up dust or lint and potentially be easily spotted by prying eyes! The best and most logical option is to keep your toy in the box or packaging it arrived in. Otherwise, a sealable material bag or box with zipper or velcro is a good choice. If you want to be super sensible, opt for a fabric bag that is washable so you can ensure that it is always clean.
Things to be aware of
Sex toys are designed with pleasure and fun in mind, but like all sexual activity, there are potential health risks. Certain cheaply made vibrators and dildos can contain harmful chemicals called phthalates, which are used as a binding agent. This substance has been linked to a number of health issues including fertility problems, so reputable brands are now careful to ensure that all of their products are phthalate-free. Keep this in mind when you go shopping and remember that cheap isn't always best. Of course, you can take steps to ensure your health and safety with good cleaning practices, but you need to be dealing with a good-quality toy in the first place if you want to avoid problems.