At Par Femme, we’re not averse to getting down and dirty. But there’s one major exception to this: your sex toys.
Sure, we’re all grownups who know the importance of personal hygiene. But when you’re navigating a bedside table stocked with silicone, Pyrex or even wood, it’s easy to forget the special requirements that each toy has.
First up: let’s get some common sense out of the way. If it has a motor and isn’t explicitly 100% waterproof, please don’t submerge your toys in water. And as a rule of thumb, if it’s made of a porous material, it’s going to take more than a spray-and-wipe to get it sparkling.
For vibrating toys made out of silicone, glass, stainless steel or, yes, wood, keep it simple. Option 1: unscented soap and a gentle surface wash. Option 2: a specialised sex toy cleaner (you’ll find the how-to-use instructions on the label). Dry off to keep your toys pristine.
If you’ve gone for something static (but no less exciting), a hot bath does wonders. Yes, that’s right—your sex toys work hard, and they deserve some luxury. A 10-minute dip in boiling water will sort out anything non-motorised that’s made of silicone, Pyrex, stainless steel or stone.
If you’ve sprung for cyberskin, you’ll know just how lifelike the silicone-based thermoplastic feels. And just like skin, go easy. Soap and warm water (keeping the suds to a minimum) will do the trick.
If your toys are on the older or cheaper side, they might be made from elastomer, thermoplastic elastomer, jelly rubber or hard plastic. While most companies seem to be moving away from these materials—they’re porous and can still have bacteria and STDs clinging to them after a wash–you might still find that you’ve got one in your arsenal. Always, always use them with a condom.
After your toys are clean, store them in individual bags or cases. As easy as the jumble bag option is, it isn’t the best for ongoing care. Silicone is especially known for attracting lint, so a quick once-over with a paper towel goes a long way.
And finally—if in doubt, read the fine print. Yes, saving your little boxes and booklets can feel like an administrative approach to pleasure, but even if you’ve long since recycled them, most toy brands have care instructions on their websites. Convenient, no?
Tabitha Laffernis is a writer based in Sydney, Australia. Her short fiction has been published in Flapperhouse, Hobart, and Gigantic Sequins. You can keep tabs on her work here.