Toy cleaner? Yep. It's time to drop the soap.
Look, you wouldn't wash your car with the same stuff you use to scour the sink would you? Or take a bath in dish washing liquid? So why would you use bath soap to clean your sex toys?
Cleaners are specially formulated for use on different surfaces, from glass, to granite, to the delicate skin of your face, and toy cleaners are no exception. Made to gently and effectively clean all kinds of toy materials, a toy cleaner should be part of any well stocked toy box.
What They Are
Toy cleaners are products specially formulated to clean and deodorize sex toys without damaging the toy material or leaving potentially irritating residue behind. Ingredients vary among brands, but the basic recipe is a mix of deionized water and gentle surfactants. Some brands also include anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredients as well as mild fragrances.
Why They're Better than Soap and Water
Regular tap water contains minerals that, when combined with soap, create a residue that can be very difficult to rinse off completely. You've probably seen this kind of build up on your shower curtain and know what a pain it is to remove. Besides being ugly, the build up of these residues on a toy can degrade soft materials like jelly rubbers, PVCs and "super-skins" over time, causing them to dry out and even crack. Toy cleaners are formulated to clean, deodorize and eliminate bacteria without leaving behind any residue that might be harmful to the toy.
How to Use Them
Let's start with the obvious: If the toy has removable batteries, remove them. If it plugs in, unplug it.
Rinse your toy with warm water and shake off any excess moisture (this step is technically optional but recommended for a thorough cleaning).
What's next will vary depending on whether you're using a spray, gel or foaming cleaner. For spray cleaners, hold the bottle about 6" from your toy and give it a light misting all over. For foam and gel cleaners apply a nickel sized amount to the toy and rub it around, making sure you cover all the nooks and crannies.
Wipe clean with a soft, dry cloth. Apply more cleaner and repeat as needed.
You're done! Allow the toy to dry thoroughly before storing.
With all cleaner types, it's important to remember that a little goes a long way. Don't soak your toy until it's dripping — you'll just be wasting cleaner. Apply a light mist or thin coat and wipe, repeating as needed.
Non-electric toys made from glass, acrylic and silicone can be put in the dishwasher to clean and sterilize. Toy cleaner still comes in handy (and highly recommended) for quick clean ups.