Sex Toy Hygiene: Love your Toys And They’ll Love You Back!

sex toy hygiene

For some people there is only one tried-and-true toy in their collection, while others fill their toy box with copious brightly colored, kinky little trinkets. Whether you use one toy or many, it’s important to maintain a clean environment and sanitary practice for your toys. The key to understanding proper toy care is recognizing that each material comes with its own instructional guide.

If you’re prone to infections, it’s best to avoid anal or vaginal penetration with toys made of non-silicone or other porous materials. For instance, TPE or TPR material, thermoplastic elastomer, and thermoplastic rubber respectively, is soft, supple, and porous, which means they cannot be sterilized – this means it’s impossible to completely remove germs that can live in the small pores of these materials.

Non-porous materials like silicone, stainless steel, or borosilicate glass are the best options for anal sex and for those predisposed to UTIs, yeast infections, or other vulvar and vaginal infections.

Kill (most of) the Germs!

Motor-less and non-porous toy materials such as glass, silicone, medical-grade plastics or metals can be boiled in a large pot of water for 3-5 minutes to sterilize. These types of toys should never be submerged in boiling temperatures for longer than 10 minutes at a time. As an added protection, place a washcloth or small towel at the base of the pot to keep your toys from making contact with the pot’s hot metal – especially if your toy is made of glass.

After cleaning, carefully remove your toys from the pot. They will be too hot to touch so cautiously drain the water and let them cool completely before using or storing them.

Porous textured toys like some rubbers, jelly, and elastomers can be damaged by boiling water or high heat, so the most effective way to clean these materials is by spraying and lightly scrubbing with toy cleaner and warm water.

Some spray or foaming antimicrobial toy cleansers can also be used to remove microbes from the surface of the toy, as well, but the cleanser must be completely washed off before use. Remember: Materials like TPE and TPR are only able to be cleansed on the surface and cannot be sterilized, so it is recommended not only to clean them after each use but also replace them frequently. Hey, it’s always fun to shop for new toys.

As a good rule of thumb, no matter what the material, every toy should be patted dry after washing and stored in a cool and dry place when not in use, ideally in a way that gives them space away from other toys. Some materials can change texture or even break down after prolonged contact with an incompatible material (this is common with porous materials, like TPE, TPR and jelly).

If sharing toys with others, external condoms can be used to put a barrier between the toy and each partner’s skin/bodily fluids. Simply apply the condom to the toy before use, remove it when done, and apply a new one before the next person uses it. Dental dams can be used for toys made for external stimulation, like clit vibes.

Keeping your pleasure products clean is a critical part of maintaining the longevity of the toy as well as reducing the risk of infection or skin irritation. Creating a regular clean-up routine -it takes just a couple of minutes- before and after sex will make all the difference!

Happy Pleasure!

Written by Louie A. Ramos

Your Complete AlgoSexy Guide to Personal Lubricants

Guide to personal lubricants

Personal lubricant is one of the easiest ways to upgrade your sex life. There’s a huge variety of lubricants to choose from, from simple water-based to formulas with flavors and added enhancements, and many are made for specific kinds of play. Understanding the distinctions between these lubricants can be overwhelming, so here’s a breakdown to help you out!

Water-Based Lubricant

Water-based lubricants are the most common kind of lube and a great place to start. Water-based formulas offera smooth glide that’s great for all kinds of play. They’re also easy to clean (off yourself and other surfaces), they don’t stain, and they are compatible with all kinds of condoms and sex toys. These benefits make water-based lube a fan favorite.
Because of their water base, these kinds of lubricants can dry out over time (and with friction) so water-based lubricants do need to be reapplied during play.

Silicone-Based Lubricant

Silicone-based lubricants offer a smooth, silky glide that’s long-lasting because, unlike water-based lubes, silicone does not absorb or evaporate and doesn’t require the same frequency of reapplication – this makes silicone lube popular for anal play and sex around water (like in the shower). It’s also hypoallergenic, making it an excellent choice for lubricant users with sensitive skin or allergies.
Silicone lubricants are latex condom safe but not recommended for use with silicone toys, and some silicone can stain fabrics.

Hybrid Lubricant

Hybrid lubricants are as they sound – part water-based, part silicone-based –and are often touted as offering the best of both worlds. The main attraction to hybrid lubricants is the ability to enjoy the thicker cushiony feel of water-based lubricant and the long-lasting silky glide (and water-friendly traits) of silicone lubricant. Just keep in mind that since hybrid lubricants contain silicone, they are not recommended for use with silicone toys, and there is a chance they can stain fabrics.

Oil-Based Lubricant

Oil based lubricants are popular for massages and can be used for anal play. The most important point to remember about oil-based lubes is that they should never be used with latex condoms or most sex toys, as the oil can deteriorate the latex and other materials. As with other types of oil you may encounter, oil-based lubricants can be more difficult to wash off of skin and sex toys, so be prepared for a little extra cleanup, and it’s recommended to protect your bed sheets and fabric surfaces, as oil-based lube will leave behind stains.

Flavored Lubricant

Flavored lubricants are usually water-based and have the same “easy-to-clean/toy-safe” traits as all other water-based lubricants. Not all flavored lubricants are created equal, however, so it is important to read ingredients to see what’s used to sweeten and change the taste. If you or your partner are prone to vaginal infections or skin irritation, it’s recommended to use flavored lubricants that do not contain sugar-derived ingredients.

Desentizing Lubricant

Desensitizing lubricants are made with ingredients that provide a numbing sensation meant to make anal sex play feel more comfortable. Many of these kinds of lubricants feature a small amount of benzocaine, which numbs the surface of the skin, and are most popular for use during anal penetration – however you choose to use it. However, it’s important to understand potential risks of using desensitizing lubricants. First, our pain receptors exist for a reason – if sex feels painful or uncomfortable, the most effective way to remedy it is to stop. For some, anal sex can feel painful because
of tense muscles and/or not enough lubrication; for others, vaginal sex can be painful because of muscle tension, lack of lubrication, or even some medical conditions. Using a desensitizing lubricant reduces our ability to feel the discomfort or pain and, in turn, risk injury or more intense discomfort once the numbing agent wears off. Please take care and caution when using these products, as they are not a solution for painful, uncomfortable sex.

Sensation-changing Lubricant

Some lubricants are enhanced with ingredients that offer the sensation of temperature changes: some offer a warming sensation via the addition of glycerol, alcohol or cinnamon, while others provide a cool tingly feel thanks to added menthol or peppermint leaf extract. Whatever sensation you’re looking for, it’s recommended to check the label to see the ingredients used. Similar with flavored lubricants, some ingredients can irritate sensitive skin, so we recommend testing it on a less-sensitive part of the body – arm, leg, back of the hand – before using it on more delicate areas.

Happy Pleasure!

Written by Louie A. Ramos