Many couples enjoy bringing toys into their lovemaking. The toys can include special clothing, vibrators, dildos, butt plugs, cock rings, nipple clamps, restraints, whips, floggers, and other sensual items. After the fun, these toys need proper care. While special clothing can be washed or, if necessary, dry-cleaned, some of the other toys need special attention.
Due to the nature of sex play, body fluids will get onto the devices. These body fluids can include saliva, vaginal secretions, semen, feces, and blood. While it may be difficult to get out of bed after the loving, it is necessary to clean your toys after each use – before using the item again. For example, do not insert a dildo that has been used in the rectum into the vagina without first washing it. Yes, it can be a low point in your evening’s lust, but unless you have a second dildo, it is necessary to clean the first one in order to prevent infection.
Most toys can be adequately cleaned with soap and water. It is not necessary to buy any special detergent or any soap that has been labeled as ‘antibacterial.’ Hand soap, dish soap, or any other cleanser will suffice. Make sure you remove or rinse off any fecal matter or blood that is visible. Then thoroughly wash with soap and rinse with water. You can let the toy air dry or use a towel to dry it prior to either storing the toy or immediately reusing it.
While soap and water will work on most occasions, there may be times when you want to use a higher level of disinfection to clean your toys. This is especially true if you are polyamorous or enjoy multiple partners. A higher level of disinfection includes using household bleach and water. Mix one part bleach with nine parts water and soak the toy in the solution for seven to ten minutes. Please note that fabric toys including leather, should not be soaked in bleach. After soaking in the bleach solution, be sure to thoroughly rinse the toy to remove any trace of bleach. Although diluted bleach is non-toxic, it can be irritating to the tender pink-parts.
What about using rubbing alcohol on the toys? Alcohol is a disinfecting agent, but not a great one. In order to be effective, the alcohol has to remain on the toy until it dries. Plus, if there is any type of organic matter such as blood or feces, alcohol will be ineffective unless the blood or feces are removed by washing or wiping them off. After using alcohol, the toy needs to be rinsed thoroughly to remove traces of alcohol.
Leather toys are unique since most cleansers can damage them. For leather clothing and other items such as whips and floggers, using a foaming-type cleaner or a disinfectant such as hydrogen peroxide and a brush to get into the nooks and crannies especially around the tips of the leather. After cleaning the leather with hydrogen peroxide, use saddle soap to enhance the cleaning. Then, allow the toy to thoroughly dry, preferably overnight, before using it again. After cleaning the leather and allowing it to dry, treat it with mink oil or Neatsfoot oil to prevent the leather from cracking and becoming damaged. Neatsfoot oil is available at mot hardware stores.
Do not use the above procedure on suede or suede toys. Instead of peroxide, spray rubbing alcohol on the tips after washing any residual traces of blood. Allow the alcohol to dry to help disinfect it. You may also want to use saddle soap to help in cleaning your toy.
Another option to cleaning leather is to purchase a hospital cleaner/disinfectant such as ClinASept from a medical supply dealer. Follow the manufacturers directions carefully and, after using the disinfectant, rinse the leather toy with clean water.
If a toy cannot be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, its use should be restricted to only one person or it should be thrown away to avoid use on subsequent partners. Always keep in mind that safe sex also applies to your toys.