Where To Put Vibrators Besides On Your Naughty Bits

About a week ago, the other Autostraddle staff members and I stumbled upon an article about hand knit vibrator cozies.

via BuzzFeed

And we all cringed a little. While they were cute (sometimes), it didn’t seem right to put a vibrator or a dildo into something that’s shedding bits of yarn all over it, then promptly stick it in an orifice directly after. Wouldn’t scraps of fiber get all up in there? And the more we got to talking about it, the more we realized we wished we knew a little more about storing these magical instruments of pleasure. Someone copped to wishing she could do more than store this one in a ziplock plastic bag, something she dubbed the least sexy storage solution ever.

We called in the experts. Here to answer our vibrator storage questions are Clare from Smitten Kitten, Carol from Oh My! and Dr. Queen from Good Vibrations. While I had conversations with everyone separately, there were a few vibrator storage themes that came through in everyone’s responses to my questions:

+

Silicone Toys vs. Lint: the Never-Ending Story

I MADE THIS FOR YOU. Also keep your dildos away from Falcor, because pet hair.

When Dr. Queen told me, “I so agree with you about the fuzz, FYI,” it confirmed all our suspicions. Clare said “Silicone toys, if they really are silicone, are great because they are non-porous and can be kept forever. Because of these qualities, the real concern with storing them is whether they will collect lint or dust where they are. Silicone seems to attract pet hair and lint like no other so keeping it in a sealed container, as opposed to your sock drawer, is a good option.” Lint came up as the main perpetrator of bad toy storage over and over again. Giving your toys a quick rinse before you use them could cut down on this problem.

+

Squeaky Clean for Happy Holes

I MADE THIS FOR YOU TOO!

Everyone, and I mean everyone, said you should clean your toys before storing them.

Clare: If they do get some lint build up, you can easily wash them off with soap and water. If you are wanting to sterilize the toy, you can put it in boiling water (for non-motorized toys) or wipe it down with a 10 to 1 water to bleach solution (for motorized toys).

Carol: If you are in a dorm room and you are too tired to get up and wash the toy you can use a cleaning wipe or spray put out by the sex toy industry.

Doctor Queen: “The very easiest thing to do is to use a toy wipe (Good Vibrations sells them), or even the kind of wipe you’d get in the tissues aisle at the store, and then wipe once again with a wrung-out wet clean washcloth to remove residue from the wipe, especially if it’s a scented wipe. Or, for waterproof vibes and dildos, wash with soap (hand or dish, but NOT with triclosan) or adult toy cleaner (Good Vibrations has that too); non-waterproof toys can be washed under running water very carefully, making sure you don’t get the battery compartment area wet at all, or use a soapy cloth and then repeat the part about the wrung-out washcloth if you don’t have a toy you can just rinse.
“Silicone dildos, but not vibes, can be boiled for a few minutes, or go into the top rack of the dishwasher, unless it’s Thanksgiving weekend.
“Once you’ve used and cleaned your toy, I’d recommend against putting it into an airtight place before it’s dry; it’s not an especially good idea to rinse off your vibe and then throw it in a plastic bag, for instance, or put it back into the plastic casing it came in. I always air-dry mine on a clean towel before putting anything back in storage. This is extra-true for vibrators because of the motor casing and, if you are old-school, batteries. Very humid environments (like a basket in the bathroom) are not great for vibes, especially battery vibes, unless they are built to be water-tight. BTW, if you do not use vibes on a regular basis, take the batteries out between uses, and when you travel with them.”

Clare also assured us that every toy is a little different, and that the Smitten Kitten and other fine sex toy retailers have individual care and cleaning instructions for all their products. You wouldn’t clean a Vixskin dildo the same way you’d clean a Spareparts harness, for instance.

+

Perfect Toy Storage

Treasure your toys!

“I like clear Tupperware containers because you can see what is there but don’t have to worry so much about lint,” says Clare. I quite agree, most of my storage solutions have come right from The Container Store. Lucky for their employees that no one ever asked me what I’m going to do with the three tiered plastic chest of drawers. While I have the most in common with Clare’s suggestion, the more whimsical among us may prefer Carol’s:  “I store my toys in old suitcases. I confess they are willy nilly but all quality materials so no issues there. If one is going to pay good money for a wonderful object of pleasure, then take good care of them; wrap them in silk or put them in silk bags.” Carol also threw something out there for the staff member who stored the vibrator in a plastic bag: “I know people who put it in ziplock bags after cleaning!” Just make sure they’re dry first! Really, the main point with silicone toys is keep them as free of dust and dirt and lint as you possibly can.

With some softer toys non-silicone toys, Carol says that if you store them touching each other, they’ll melt. I encourage everyone to check out the Coalition Against Toxic Toys, a non-profit run by Smitten Kitten, as many “jelly” toys are actually unsafe for use. Don’t believe me? Dr. Queen has some pretty hilarious toxic toy stories: “I once saw a dildo of the type that is barely sold any more, one of the phthalate-laden ones, that had been left on a car dashboard in the sun. Not most people’s first thought for storage in the first place, I realize, but it pretty much melted the item, and that is clearly a VERY bad storage fail. My other favorite unfortunately storage story also happened with the old-school “mystery rubber” sorta-kinda-realistic dildo: left lying on the colored Sunday comics, it picked up the ink and could never be washed off again. While I realize this might inspire some readers to try a new art project, I wouldn’t recommend inserting the resulting Sunday Funnies Dildos into body cavities, at least without a condom.”

Dr. Queen echoed Carol’s love for suitcases: “I like to store toys in their own little suitcase. I have one decoupaged with pictures of panties, which is pretty appropriate! But there are also chest-style toy storage boxes that are being sold these days that are very nice, and there’s a little suitcase, too, that makes a perfect overnight bag. Often these storage options have compartments or elastics built in to separate one toy from another, which is a good idea.”

Good Vibes got back to me with this storage container! And this one! And this one for when you go a-roamin’ with your toys!

Doctor Queen summed everything up very nicely: “The main things to think of in terms of toy storage are avoiding extremes of hot and cold (so, not out on the back porch if you live in the North Country or on the equator); avoiding exposure to dirt or pathogens (so not just under the bed, with dust mites and cat hair); and making sure that the way the toy is stored doesn’t break it (as when one dumps everything together in a tangle of cords and harness buckles).
“These basic principles are pretty sound across materials, with a few exceptions. Latex rubber is even more vulnerable to temperature extremes and also to air; I would advise against storing latex dildos in an open basket in the sunlight. Softer materials such as Vixskin or any of the cyberskin variants can more easily be damaged by a nick or a poke with a sharp object than a hard material can, so don’t toss all your buckle-on restraints and pokey Wartenburg Pinwheels in with the soft toys. Leather is especially sensitive to moisture.
“I think your instincts on the knitted cozies were right on, and I would add that if an allergic-to-wool gal gets wool fibers in her vagina, that would be extra-bad. People who receive such cozies as gifts from over-enthusiastic maiden aunts, Etsy-trolling girlfriends, etc., should rinse their dildos off before use. If someone wants to develop a lined cozy, that would be a great improvement: all the cute, much less risk of little fibers shedding all over your insertable toys.
“Satin-y bags you can get for storing lingerie are a great way to separate one or two toys from others. This material will breathe but not shed the way kinky Gramma’s Hand-Knit Cozies will (I made that name up, BTW). And you can also find sleeve-type bags made to put a wine bottle in for gifting; those are GREAT for your Magic Wands.”
So there you have it ladies. Hand-knit vibrator cozies = bad. Proper care and keeping of sex toys = sexy.
Avatar of Ali

Freelance writer and fiction author, Geekery Editor for Autostraddle.com and Fiction Editor for qu.ee/r Magazine. Keep up with her at her website.

Ali has written 228 articles for us.

15 Comments

  1. Thumb up 4

    Please log in to vote

    I love having sex toy wipes, especially since I’m a college student/RHS staffer and don’t want to walk down the hall to the bathroom sink to wash off dildos, but those mofos can be seriously expensive. My strategy? Go online and buy gigantic cheapo packs of Natracare’s organic baby wipes, which I figure are about as body safe as you can get, and ignore the baby on the package.

  2. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    My toy attracts dust like nobody’s business, even after washing it and letting it air-dry. I guess I just live in a dusty apartment? I dunno. I don’t use it without a condom because it’s just way way way easier this way to make sure it’s dust-free.

  3. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    While fixing my bangs I realized the travel cases for straighteners could also be useful for storing dildos or vibrators. They might be expensive but if you have one lying around and you don’t straighten your hair much anymore (like me) then it could work for traveling.

  4. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    I agree with the tupperware items for storage. You can store some wipes in there too then when finished and your eyes are rolled in the back of your head because you just came so hard, just wipe it down, store it and clean it later.

  5. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    I only have two toys, a little bullet and a smallish vibrator. I keep them in an old glasses case, and I always wipe them down before and after my little sessions. I learned that the hard way about a year ago.

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.