Clean your sex toys

Bryana Lozoya, Reporter

Using sex toys can be fun and exciting, but remember to clean them often and know which materials are safe to insert in your body.

Currently, there are no safety regulations in the sex toy industry in the United States. Due to that, many sex toys are often labeled as a novelty only.

According to the article “The Safety Dance” by Burke Denning on Kinsey ConfidentialTM, sex toys are often sold as novelty items because then they do not need to adhere to certain regulations that require reporting chemicals and materials used in a product.

Due to the classification of being “novelty,” sex toy manufacturers are not responsible for what happens if their toys are used for other purposes.

Another reason why many sex toy manufacturers choose to classify their toys as novelty use is because if they were to submit their products to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) they’d have to go through extensive testing and meet financial requirements.

Despite all of that, there are brands of sex toys made of safe materials and are of high quality. A downside to that is their prices. Good quality toys can be costly, but the phrase “you get what you pay for” rings true for sex toys.

Cheap toys more than likely mean that their quality is not the best compared to others.

When out shopping for toys do your research on which brands use body safe materials.Know that non-porous materials are much safer for your body than sex toys made of a porous material.

The problem with porous sex toys is that they can trap dirt and bacteria that can never be removed.

If someone used a porous toy and had an infection at one point when they used the toy, they can re-infect themselves. If using a porous toy, it’s safer to use it with a condom.

Porous materials are low-grade silicone, jelly, rubber, PVC, and vinyl. Keep in mind that some companies claim that their products are made with silicone, when in fact they use a mix of elastomer and thermoplastic rubber (TPR).

The best way to ensure that you purchase a toy that’s actually made of silicone is from a high-quality manufacturer you trust. Many porous materials also contain phthalates, a class of chemical plasticizers that are added to toys to make them more flexible and squishier.

Body safe materials in sex toys are high-grade silicone, borosilicate glass, stainless steel, and hard (ABS) plastic.

Keep in mind that each type has different cleaning instructions, so be mindful of reading any instructions on how to clean the toy or look up how to clean a toy made out of a particular material. Be especially mindful on cleaning instructions for sex toys that use batteries.

If cleaning a toy that has batteries, take them out before cleaning. Do not submerge any electrical component in water and use a washcloth to clean them.

One source I found helpful when learning is Dr. Lindsey Doe’s video “Sex Toy Q & A” from her YouTube channel Sexplanations.

Doe is a clinical sexologist and holds a Ph. D. in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Her video provides a chart of cleaning different types of materials in sex toys.

Besides using a cleaner appropriate for a sex toy, toys can be washed in various ways.

Toys made from glass, silicone, and metal can be washed with antibacterial soap and water, washed on the top shelf of a dishwasher, or boiled in water for five to ten minutes. Hard plastic can be washed with antibacterial soap.

When it comes to storing sex toys, make sure that they’re completely dry and not in contact with other sex toys.