I’ve written a lot about sex toys, but I haven’t written much about caring for your sex toys. (And, by “caring,” I’m referring to cleaning.) Proper cleaning of your toys should be viewed as a necessity, not an option!
It’s recommended that you clean your toys before the first use and after each subsequent use. Cleaning is essential for removing bacteria from the products and for prolonging their longevity. If the toy takes batteries, remove the batteries before cleaning and during storage. For toys that you are using by yourself, you can clean them with: Hypoallergenic or mild soap and water; or a toy cleaner spray or wipes such as Mighty Tidy or Play Safe.
Mighty Tidy and Play Safe are designed specifically for cleaning adult toys of any material. Mighty Tidy is a light cleanser that’s free of any harsh detergents. It does contain a fragrance for those of you who like a light scent. If you have a perfume allergy, you might want to choose Play Safe instead. Play Safe is 100% natural and alcohol free, and also wards off certain bacterial infections.
If you are using toys with one or multiple partners, you MUST clean your toys thoroughly after every use with a strong cleaner. (In this case, “strong” doesn’t mean toxic, but rather, a product that is designed to protect against bacteria and infections, including HIV and Hepatitis B.)
A DC-area hospital recently had an outbreak of STD cases that were linked to sharing toys. If you aren’t in a monogamous relationship with your partner and you are using toys together, make sure that you clean the toy between individual uses! It’s worth breaking the mood for two minutes to clean the toy before you use it on yourself or your partner, especially as compared to the alternatives! A great cleaner for this purpose is Pjur Med Clean.
This gentle spray lotion is alcohol and perfume free. (I’m not a fan of anything in the bedroom that smells like fruit or the perfume counter at a mall so that’s a plus for me.) Pjur Med is also dermatologist-tested and safe for use on your body. And, most importantly, the cleaner is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. That means that Pjur Med is powerful enough to guard against STDs and HIV. Toy cleaners are available in sprays or wipes.
There seem to be more sprays on the market, but I prefer the wipes since there’s no need to get a tissue or towel to dry the toy off afterward. Pjur Med comes in both a spray bottle and wipes for $15.95. That price is higher than most of the other cleaners out there, but if you are using toys in a non-monogamous relationship, a few dollars more is a small price to pay for peace of mind!
It’s important to note that not all cleaners are intended for internal use or as a substitute for a personal wipe. Unless the cleaner explicitly states that it’s body-safe and intended for internal use, don’t use that product on anything other than your toys!
Remember to store your toys in a dry location. If the toy came in a box or with a travel satchel, you might want to keep the box or satchel for storage purposes. That will save you from having to clean your toys before each use to get rid of any dust.
If you’re in need of a personal cleanser for before or after sex, choose a product that’s free of any potential allergens like parabens. If you have a perfume allergy or find alcohol-based products too harsh for your skin, look for wipes that are higher quality, fragrance-free and natural.
Lotus Blooms' bestselling products in this arena are the discrete and disposable Pleasure Wipes and the Femme Fresh Wipes. Pleasure Wipes are alcohol-free with a soft, clean scent and can be used before or after sex. For those of you who are in need of a wipe before sex, Femme Fresh Wipes will serve your purpose well. They also have the added benefit of root-based libido enhancers for a little extra oomph in the bedroom.
Pjur Med is a clear winner since it is highly effective as a toy and body cleaner. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, yet strong enough to protect against HIV. This product gets my full Five Squeals of Approval. It might not be the norm to squeal about cleaners or safety, but pleasure shouldn’t trump hygiene and health!
Keep having fun, but don’t forget to clean those toys, too! xoxo
* Pursuant to FTC Guidelines, I received the aforementioned products free of charge in exchange for my honest assessment.