Keeping Your Toys Clean and Safe

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Keeping Your Toys Clean and Safe

This article is dedicated to Lord Colm and the memory of 'jade' and all of the hours and hours of labour and love she poured into writing so many articles. We have been unable to contact Lord Colm to seek His permission to post these archives. This article, that originally appeared on the Castle Realm website, is posted here, pending the appropriate permissions from Lord Colm. The content of the article remains intact and exactly as originally found on the Castle Realm website.


These simple tips can keep you and your partner safe and healthy. If you must share your toys, be aware of the risks and use good hygiene. Play safe and make sure the only thing your toys give are pleasure and not a disease.Play safe!

A condom can be used on a toy that is going to be used both anally and vaginally or shared with another partner. Change it when changing areas or partners.

Any toy that has been used anally must be washed and disinfected before it can be used vaginally. Sharing toys between these two areas can cause PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease). This is a dangerous and sometimes deadly disease.

A toy that has been used anally should never be inserted into the vagina. The bacteria that is normal and healthy in the anus in not healthy for the vagina.Anal sex:

The use of Nonoxynol-9, a spermicide common used to lubricate condoms, can possibly reduce your chances of contracting some sexually transmitted diseases. However this has never been proven and should not be depended upon to prevent disease or pregnancy. Some people are sensitive to this product and develop an irritation from Nonoxynol-9. If this should occur, stop using the product immediately.

Oil/petroleum based lubricants include, Vaseline, hand creams, lotions, body oils, baby oil and many creams. Check the list of ingredients on the label for any mention of oil or petroleum products. Never use an oil/petroleum based lubricant on anything that will be inserted into the vagina. This can cause yeast infections and other bacterial problems.

Never use an oil based lubricant on any toy that contains latex. Oil eats latex (a natural rubber product) and will destroy things like condoms, gloves, dams, cots and diaphragms. Most toys will hold up much better with a water based lubricant.Lubes:What else do I need to know? Small metal toys, like clamps, can be stored in a small cloth pouch to protect them from damage or loss.

Wrap floggers and horse hair whips in a soft clean cloth to prevent tangling and protect the fibers.

Any covered container or "bag" that keeps them dust-free will do. A container that breathes is the better choice than an airtight one and a nice leather bag or wooden chest can be an attractive method of storage. (If you have children or frequent visitors, you might consider using one that can be locked.)

Make sure all batteries are removed from battery operated toys. Do not store the batteries in the same place as the toys. A leaking battery can do a lot of damage to the toys and to tender flesh if it's not detected before use.

Wrap silicone (jelly type rubber) toys in a piece of soft cloth, like terry cloth, to prevent it from being nicked by other toys.

Make sure the toys are completely dry. Storing damp toys in a closed container, such as Tupperware®, is somewhat like making an incubator for bacteria.There are a few things to keep in mind when storing your clean toys. Maintaining their cleanliness is the primary concern and it's not a difficult thing to do. I doubt that most of us will be too concerned with "long term" storage.How should I store clean toys?

After washing, they may be soaked in alcohol for 20 minutes and then removed and allowed to air dry. Alcohol will kill almost any known microbe within 10 minutes so this should be a very effective way to sanitize most metal toys.

Wash metal items like clamps, clips and studs in warm soapy water.

Allow the hair to air dry and expose to sunlight when possible.

Horse hair can easily break the surface of the skin so careful cleaning is a must. Use a mild soap or shampoo to wash it thoroughly. 

Soft buffing will restore the finish and be sure to examine the item for splinters and other damage.

Dry with a soft cloth and air dry for as long as possible.

If the finish is sealed (lacquered, painted, varnished) it should be washed thoroughly with water and an anti-bacterial soap. Do not soak them in water. This could damage the finish and cause the item to warp.

Wooden toys should be treated much the same as leather ones, unless they have a sealed finish. Wood (Paddles, canes, etc.)

Battery operated toys should never be cleaned or stored with the batteries in them. Clean and store them separately.

Carefully dry the surface of the toy and allow it to continue to air dry for as long as possible.

Once the toy is unplugged, wash it's surface with a cloth damped with water and a good anti-bacterial soap. Pay close attention to those nooks and crannies. (Removable parts can be cleaned according to the instructions above.)

Remember electricity and water do not mix well, so never submerge any electrical toy in water. This can ruin the motor by causing corrosion and also be dangerous the next time you want to use it.Electrical toys:

It is my own personal opinion that leather toys should not be shared. They are much too difficult to clean and disinfect so reserving that expensive flogger for that one special "bottom" is the best option.

Air dry leather toys for as long as possible. Exposure to the air will help destroy many harmful microbes. Exposing them to sunlight is also beneficial but be careful not to overdo this and cause the leather to become "weathered". Using a disinfectant spray, such as Lysol Spray, may be beneficial also, but again, this could cause the leather to stain or discolor.

Wiping the surface of the leather with a cloth damped with anti-bacterial soap and water will remove most traces of blood or body fluids, but not all. It's nearly impossible to clean soft, unfinished leather such as suede or chamois so special care should be used to prevent them from being soiled with any body fluids.

Special care should be taken with items made of leather. The leather will lose it's suppleness quickly and dry and crack if subjected to long periods of exposure to soap and water. Even small amounts of water may discolor some leather finishes.Leather:

Most vinyl toys and attachments, without metal parts, can safely be washed in the top shelf of your dishwasher. This method is one of the best ways to sanitize these types of toys.

Carefully dry the toy when cleaning is completed. Most bacteria need a moist place to live and grow and cannot survive on a clean, dry surface. Exposure to the air and light is recommended when possible.

Once playtime is over, a more careful cleaning should be done. Thoroughly wash the toy in warm water and an anti-bacterial soap. (There are many on the market and most do a very good job.) Use a soft brush and gently wash the surface, paying close attention to all the nooks and crannies. Use special care on silicone or jelly-rubber toys so that you do not nick the surface with your nails or too vigorous of a scrubbing. (Nicks cause these types of toys to tear and you might end up with your favorite toy in pieces. These nicks and cracks also provide microbes with a place to hide and grow.)

Wash the toy with a damp cloth and an anti-bacterial soap as soon after use as possible. This will prevent body secretions and lubricants from drying on the surface and making them much harder to remove later.Vinyl, rubber, silicone and plastic:Even the most deadly microbes are pretty easy to kill when they are not inside the human body. Plain old soap and water, accompanied with the scrubbing action of a soft brush, will effectively destroy most microbes. The most important factor is removing ALL body fluids and lubrications from the surface of the toy. This can be a relatively simple process for vinyl, rubber, silicone (jelly-rubber) or plastic toys but may be much more difficult for leather, wooden and electric toys. How do I clean them?The main reason for keeping sex toys clean is to prevent diseases and infections. Sexual contact, whether with a toy or another person, is the way STD's (Sexually Transmitted Disease) are spread. If disease producing organisms are present on the toy and used during sex play, the organisms could easily be introduced into the body and spread the disease. Careful cleaning and disinfecting can keep this from happening. Proper cleaning will also extend the life of your toys and make them much more appealing to the eye.Why worry about cleaning toys?Most of us in the BDSM or D/s lifestyle love our toys. Since toys were designed to bring pleasure and not disease or discomfort, we all should be aware of some basics in the care and cleaning of them. Following some simple guidelines can keep them safe and extend their life expectancy. It just might extend your life expectancy as well.

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