Caring For Your Toys

Author: Raven Shadowborne © 1998

  Many of the toys we use in this lifestyle are inserted into the body. Even those which are not, require proper care and cleaning to keep them safe for use. These items are made of different materials and they all require different ways of cleaning them so as not to damage them. 

   Metal toys (clamps, cuffs, some vibrators) can be washed with hot water and an anti-bacterial soap. Dry them well with a soft cloth to prevent rusting. Boiling them can be done, but is not a good idea as this can promote rusting. For those that use batteries, immersing them in water is a definite no no as the water will destroy the mechanisms inside the toy. This may not be readily apparent to someone just looking at it, but can cause serious problems if the item shorts out while in use. (injury to the one the toy is being used on) A soft brush (extra soft tooth brush, or really soft nail brush) can be used to ensure that the minute cracks and crevices which may be in the surface of the toy are cleaned as well.  

   Rubber, silicone and other soft materials require a more gentle cleaning method. These toys will easily contain cracks and small tears that are not visible. They are pourous and will hold bacteria within them. A soft brush or washcloth is a good idea to ensure you get all the surfaces clean. Again, if any of these are mechanical (vibrating), do NOT immerse in water and do NOT get the battery compartment wet. Anti bacterial soap and hot water are best. most microrganisms can not survive hot water. Allowing these items to air dry (in the sun) is a good idea as well. Periodically check these items over carefully for tears, rips or other signs of wear and tear. If they appear, do not use the item and discard or replace it. One way to make cleaning these items easier is to cover them with a condom before use. Do NOT powder these items before storing them. Soaking them in hot water and a disinfectant, betadine works well but can stain (ammonia or bleach -more water then additive) then rinsing them VERY WELL to remove all of the disinfectant residue, will help sterilize them. 

   Wooden items are more difficult to clean. Paddles and such should be coated with some sort of wood sealant. This coating can prevent bacteria from being absorbed into the wood. Cleaning them is easily achieved with a soft cloth and hot water and disinfectant soap. Dry them well to prevent damage to the sealant. They may require being resealed at some point as the sealant can erode with use. 

   For such things as wooden clothespins and rulers, it is almost impossible to clean them without ruining them. boiling them is a possibility as is soaking them in a mix of water and disinfectant. Wood being very pourous, will soak up the disinfectant which can not be completely rinsed away. This can cause the disinefectant to leave a residue which will reactivate if the wooden item becomes wet. (clothespins used on the vaginal area for example)These items, being relatively cheap are easily replaced and it is probably better to just replace them than to reuse them. 

   Plastic items can be scrubbed with a soft brush using hot water and an anti-bacterial soap. Check the surface of each item for cracks, rough edges or other signs of wear and tear. If they are present, discard the item and replace it. If the item uses batteries, do not get the battery compartment wet and do not immerse the object in water. 

   All toys can be air dried in the sun, which helps kill bacteria. They should all be dry before being stored. Items which are insterted into the body are easier to clean if a condom is used to cover them. (dildos, vibrators, plugs etc) Store these items in a cool dry place. You may wish to store each in their own seperate zip lock baggie to keep out dust. Metal items should be stored in a soft bag (like velvet) to prevent damaging them. Clamps should be stored seperately so they can not rub against each other, become tangled or otherwise damage the other sets.  

   All toys should be inspected for signs of wear and tear before being used. If your toys are not used very often, periodically check them to be sure they are in good repair. If you are unsure of a toy being safe for use, it is best to err on the side of caution and not use it. Properly cleaning and maintaining your toys will prolong their usage. Those items which use batteries should be stored WITHOUT the batteries in them to prevent corrosion. The batteries can be stored seperately. 

   Play safe and have fun! 



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