It’s a wide world of sex toys out there! So many shapes, feels, and functions. With so much to explore, you may wonder what you’re getting yourself into when you buy a new pleasure product. Your sex toy is designed to take care of your needs—so what do you have to do to take care of its needs?
The good news is that body-safe sex toys should be low-maintenance. Those products are made of functionally nonporous materials including: silicone, stainless steel, glass, and ABS plastic. These are the best for long-term use because they won’t harbor bacteria, and they can be sanitized to kill any pathogens (including fungus, STIs, and more).
Sanitizing & Cleaning
Both sanitizing (a thorough cleaning process) and everyday cleaning are important processes.
First, if you’re looking to clean a vibrating or thrusting toy—anything with a motor inside!—figure out how waterproof it is. Most body-safe vibrators are at least splashproof (IPX rating 4-6), meaning they can be washed with soap and water in the sink. Many are also “100% waterproof”/fully submersible (IPX 7-8), so you can bring them into the shower or bathtub with no worries.
Notable not-waterproof exceptions include certain ultra-strong massagers like the (Hitachi) Magic Wands. (Those should be wiped down rather than soaked or splashed with running water.)
Here are the two levels of sex toy cleaning:
Before using a new sex toy, best practice is sanitize it! This will remove any grime from the manufacturing, packaging, and shipping process. It’ll also remove any bacteria if you’re using the toy between anus and vagina, between partners, or on a long-term basis. Choose any one of the following methods:
- Simplest method: Use a UV sanitizer. This kills 99.9% of germs within a few minutes.
- Soak in a 10% bleach solution (1 part unscented bleach to 9 parts water). Then wash thoroughly with soap and water. (If you’re cleaning a nonwaterproof toy, wipe rather than soak.)
- Rub down with 70% isopropyl alcohol (sold cheaply in any pharmacy). Again, use soap and water afterward to remove the sanitizing agent.
- If the toy has no motor (like a plain dildo or plug): Boil in a pot on the stove for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Also for nonmechanical toys: Run through the sanitize cycle of a dishwasher, without any detergent. Wash with soap and water afterward to be thorough.
And for everyday cleaning: Washing well with soap and water is perfect. Like washing your hands, it’s mainly the friction of rubbing two surfaces together that removes germs. Soap helps, but extra cleaning agents—like *antibacterial* soap—don’t do any more.
If your toy has cracks or crevices where dried fluids may accumulate, give those areas a little extra attention. A soft-bristled toothbrush may be helpful in extreme cases. Vibes like the BMS Pillow Talk series include a special cleaning brush!
It’s generally recommended to charge a new powered sex toy prior to use, though most will come with some power in them. Once the battery runs down, simply charge as needed! The majority of vibes will take between 1 and 2 hours to complete a full charge. Battery life does vary by toy, so you’ll learn what your product’s specific charging needs are as you use it more often.
Most vibes in Peepshow Toys’ curated collection are USB rechargeable. This means that you can even plug the cord into your computer to charge it, or connect it to a USB charger cube (the kind that comes with any mobile phone) and plug that into the wall.
With rechargeable devices, the biggest trick is making sure you have the correct cord for the job! Vibrator charging cords are very distinct, so if you own more than a couple toys, it’s best to label the cord when you get it, to avoid confusion. (Unless you’re buying a brand like BMS Factory or Fun Factory that does that work for you, yay!) Otherwise you may fry your vibe’s motor by sticking in the wrong cord.
And of course some toys require external batteries—they’re not rechargeable. Just replace the batteries as needed and you’re good to go again.
It’s 100% safe to store nonporous sex toys touching each other. Silicone dildos will not degrade other toys, for example.
One kinda-exception is the Blush Real Nude and Vixen VixSkin dual-density dildos, which may leave the surface of other materials a tad sticky. (At least prior to a good washing!) That’s due to the high dimethicone (silicone oil) content in these toys’ super-duper-soft platinum silicone outer layers. It’s not harmful...just tacky. Vixen Creations recommends storing any VixSkin upright in its container for this reason.
Though it’s safe to lump all your body-safe toys together in a drawer or plastic storage bin, you may choose to use individual bags to organize. Separate toy storage bags also help keep a vibrating toy and its charging cord together, and are convenient if you’re traveling.
If you buy quality sex toys from a reputable source (like anything at Peepshow Toys), keeping them clean is a simple process. Sanitize prior to the first use, then wash with soap and water post-play after that! Charge any vibrating toy as needed, being sure to use the correct charging cord. Toys may be safely stored in a nightstand, in a storage pouch, or anywhere else that’s easy for you.
Phallophile Reviews explores and ranks body-safe silicone sex toys, from thrusting dildos to G-spot vibes to suction cup positions and more! Follow the author, Felicity, on Insta or Twitter for her latest toy adventures.