BDSM Education Beginners Guides

Toy care, cleaning and lube guide

Toy care guide and cleaning advice

Within Dommes Life, a practice that is well known and followed is SSC/RACK/PRICK. Why bring up SSC/RACK/PRICK when talking about toys you are probably wondering? Well, being safe in part means taking care of yourself and using safe toys to play with. Toy care is really quite easy if you understand what needs to be done, why it should be done a specific way and what type of toy you are trying to get cleaned. So let’s dive right into this topic and let you get back to the fun with a safe toy to use.

The very first step to coming up with a clean toy is pretty basic. You need to determine what type of toy you have, meaning what material is it made from? Are you needing to sanitize or sterilize your toy? Does it have a motor or battery (s)? Is it waterproof? How has it been used and how will it be used? And will it be shared with anyone else? The answers to those questions will lead you down the path to properly caring for your toys. Below we will cover the basic care for most toys.


Most of your plastic toys are made from ABS, which stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. That is on the test at the end so pay attention. Hehe! Typically this type of toy is harder and not flexible although it is safe for the skin. But it is available in blends that may not be as safe so please note the actual material of your toy.

Care for these plastic toys is easy as they don’t require any special treatment. Just clean, dry and covered to reduce germs, dust and bacteria.

Cleaning ABS toys is simple. Wash with soap and water. Then any one of the following will be fine. Boiling in water for 3-5 minutes. Soaking in a 10% bleach solution for 10 minutes before washing with soap and water again. Wiping down with isopropyl alcohol and once dry washing with soap and water again. The only exception is if it is a blend with something else, like latex for example, then you cannot boil it. Also if your toy has batteries or motors then it cannot be boiled.

Lube for plastic toys is recommended to be water-based or oil-based.


This is a common material that is similar to rubber but is actually Polyvinyl chloride. Toys made out of PVC can be rigid or soft. These types of toys however are not safe for all skin types so use with caution.

Care for PVC toys is pretty basic. Keep them covered and separated from touching other toys to protect from dust, germs and bacteria, as well as preventing chemical reactions or discolouration.

Cleaning this type of toy is basically just soap and water. Since it is porous it cannot be sterilized.

Lube for PVC toys is pretty much water-based only.


Made from Thermoplastic Elastomers these toys have names like cyberskin or ultraskin and are typically found on toys like masturbators or cock sleeves. They are porous so they cannot be sterilized and they also have a normal use life of 6 months or less. If you notice any discoloration please discard and replace as it most likely means that there is bacteria.

Care is very easy. Store clean and dry. Avoid storing in sunlight.

Cleaning is limited to soap and water as the porous surface cannot be sterilized.

Lube is limited to water-based only


Rubber toys are usually a cheaper option and typically textured. They also normally have a very distinct smell. Unfortunately they are not safe for all skin types and a condom is recommended.

Care for rubber toys is basically covering them to prevent dust and keep them from touching other toys. Also keep them from being stored in direct sunlight or high temperatures.

Cleaning these porous toys is basically limited to washing with soap and water.

Lube for rubber toys is limited to the type of condom you are using. Or, if using without a condom, then water-based or silicone-based.


Silicon toys come in many forms and a variety of actual materials. You can find anything from 100% medical-grade silicone toys that are non-porous to silicone-blends and silicone-like toys that are porous. There are even food-grade silicone toys that are out there and no, this doesn’t make them edible!

Care for your silicone toys is pretty simple really. Make sure they are clean and dry. Keep them covered and separated from touching other toys to protect from dust, germs and bacteria as well as preventing chemical reactions or discolouration.

Cleaning these toys depends on if it is a medical grade silicone or not. If it is, wash with soap and water to sanitize and then boil for 3-5 minutes to sterilize. If it is not medical grade then it cannot be boiled but you wash with soap and water to sanitize and then soak in a 10% bleach solution for 10 minutes. After the bleach bath you will need to wash it with soap and water again to remove the bleach. Medical grade silicone can have a bleach bath as well, just remember to wash with soap and water after. Another option is to wipe them down with isopropyl alcohol after the soap and water. Then after the alcohol is dry wash it again with soap and water before use. This alcohol method works with any type of silicone toy as does the bleach bath method.

Lube for your silicone toys is basically any type other than silicone based lube as that can potentially melt your toy and break it down. But water based or oil based are great.


Medical grade stainless steel is the most common material used for toys. There are however some products that are plated with different metals so please double check the material of your toy. Metal toys are also great for temperature play. Soaking in a bowl of warm water or a bowl of cold water with ice cubes is a great way to try this out. Also, metal toys are strong and dense, so they are commonly used with pressure play and weight play. So versatile.

Care for stainless steel toys is quite simple. Store clean and dry.

Cleaning your metal toys is also very easy. Wash with soap and water. Boil for 3-5 minutes. Or wash in your dishwasher on a sterilize setting.

Lube for stainless steel toys is unlimited so use whichever you prefer.


This type of toy is not the most common but there are some very nice safe options available that are sanded smooth and finished with a high quality resin, leaving them non-porous. Just be aware of any cracks or chips and discard the toy if they develop.

Care for wood toys isn’t too difficult. Store clean and dry in a protective case. Many come with a case so this is a great place to keep them.

Cleaning wood toys is typically just washing with soap and water, unless the manufacturer has specific directions.

Lube for this type of toy is normally whatever you prefer. Again, unless specified by the manufacturer.

General lube guide


Otherwise known as petroleum jelly this product is clearly marked as external use only. Also, because it can trap heat, it is not recommended for use when temperature play is involved.


Very common type of lube and compatible with every type of toy. The biggest drawback is that it needs reapplication frequently. Also if you are using it vaginally some have different PH levels and can irritate the vagina.


These are long-lasting lubes that are great for external use or anal play but are not compatible with all toys so make sure that your toy is safe with oil-based lubes before using.


Great lubes for most toys but never use with a silicone toy. These lubes are very smooth and can be used around water, such as the shower or bath.

Coconut oil

A healthy alternative from the kitchen is coconut oil. It is good for most skin types and mild. Not recommended to be used with any latex products, even latex condoms.

Olive oil

This has been used for hundreds of years if not longer and is safe for most toys. Not recommended for vaginal use though and can trap heat if used with temperature play.

General rules for toy care

Remember, soap and water will keep your toys sanitized and it is recommended both before and after play to keep them safe. Sterilize between uses if your toy is able to be sterilized. Also, use lubes that are compatible with your toy and the desired areas of play. Store toys that have removable batteries with the batteries out. Be careful and have fun!

Contributors: This article was researched and written by Umlindi, edited by Mistress Michelle and published by Umlindi.

These educational topics wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication from our Dom(me)sLife contributors – Thank you MM

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