There are a lot of considerations that go into buying sex toys that go beyond size, shape and how many speeds it has.
Did you know that the material it is made from or the lube you plan to use with it can make a difference?
Here are our top tips for making sure you sex toy shop as safely as possible.
Sadly, not all sex toys are created equally as some can be made from materials that might actually harm our health. One such material is phthalates which are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more durable and soft. Scarily, they have been linked to endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity and cancer. They may occur in personal care products including sex toys, cosmetics especially nail varnish and eyelash glue.
Sometimes these materials can occur in cheaper or older products on the market meaning that you need to shop carefully.
Be careful of porous and slightly porous products so that you can properly clean your toys and destroy any lurking bacteria. Some non-porous materials which are body-safe include ABS plastic, pyrex, stainless steel and silicone. Most sex toys are made from silicone because it is softer yet still easy to clean.
When it came time to choose materials for the Quest products, we created the range from ABS plastic which is a form of hard plastic that is chemically inert. This means it doesn’t react to other chemicals and is safe to be paired with lubricants while being non-toxic and non absorbent. We also used medical-grade silicone to create some of the toys while using premium metals for those with motors. This means no nickel or cheap alloys which will keep your toy going for longer.
View the Quest range by clicking here
Storing sex toys
While all of us are guilty of having a secret hiding place, there are things we need to do to ensure our toys stay clean and in good condition.
You need to store a vibrator in a clean, dry place as moisture can destroy batteries or the motor. Always store a sex toy allow from different materials where there might be chemicals that can react with each other. In case things have gotten hot under the covers in more ways than one, allow a vibrator to cool before putting it back into its hiding place. Keep an eye on overheating over time as it may mean the motor is overheating.
If this happens, switch it off, let it cool down before using again.
People can have allergies which means shopping carefully. This may mean being extra aware of added fragrances or ingredients in lubricants. It can also extend to sex toys in that some people may struggle with latex or where there are bits of metal, materials such as nickel can cause issues. This can be avoided with latex-free toys and also, stainless steel.
Sex toys and Lube
It’s important to note the material that your toys are made from so that you can find a good lubricant to match. Some lubes such as oil-based products are not suitable for silicone sex toys as they degrade the material breaking it down. This can cause splits, holes and fraying which allows bacteria to get into the product passing it to the user.
Matching silicone or latex products to the right lubricant doesn’t have to be difficult as you just need to make sure they are waterproof. Not only that but be careful what ingredients the water base contains as CBD for example is not water solube. It needs to state that it is safe to be used with condoms or sex toys.
Batteries and water do not mix so be very careful with which toys are water friendly and which ones are not before you have that relaxing post-work bath. Some batteries may leak over time which means you need to stop using a toy immediately and avoid any contact with the skin.
How to clean your sex toys
So you’ve done the thing, bought the toy and shopped carefully….now what? Sex toys need to be cleaned regularly, especially after use with a new partner. But how?
Gently hand wash the toy with warm water and a mild soap. You will need to determine how waterproof a toy is before and also remove the batteries before a wash. Splash proof and waterproof are very different things: waterproof means a toy can go into a certain depth of water but splash proof can’t.
Disinfecting and sanitising can mean a toy is free from any nasty bacteria that may linger after a quick wash.
Avoid any harsh chemicals or overly fragranced soaps as they may cause irritation. Allow the toys to air dry before popping them back in the drawer or box under the bed. You can also pat dry with a clean towel if you need to.
There are cleaning wipes and sprays that you can buy at sex shops but it’s worth a chat with staff to make sure they are compatible with the product you have.
You can disinfect 100% silicone, stainless steel or glass toys by boiling them for three minutes. In the case of glass toys, place a soft towel in the water to avoid it moving around and causing cracks off the side of the pan. They need to be air-dried afterwards.
You can use the dishwasher with certain non-mechanised 100% silicone toys, glass or stainless steel. Although, you may want to consider not adding fabric softener to the mix. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t as effective as a boil wash.
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