My sex toy is made of what?!
How long sex toys last depends mainly on two factors. The first is your toy’s material makeup, and the second factor is how well you take care of it, which we will get to next.
The good news is that many modern toys are made from high-quality materials. If you’ve ever found a cheap toy and wondered why its price point is so low, it could contain subpar materials. You might end up spending more on a high-quality toy, but you’ll likely only need to buy one instead of frequently replacing a toy that degrades quickly.
So, how can you tell if your sex toy will last? Know your materials, of course!
Silicone is a typical sex toy material, and it’s built to last forever. Silicone can take up to 500 years to break down, so with proper care, you can keep a silicone toy around for life.Silicone sex toys like silicone sex dolls can last up to 4 years, it’s longer than general sex toys.
Glass & Stainless Steel Toys
Glass or stainless steel toys are other high-quality picks. If properly taken care of, glass and stainless steel toys can last a lifetime. Obviously, don’t go dropping your glass dildo on a concrete floor or anything hard.
Jelly Toys or Soft Rubber Toys
Jelly toys or soft rubbers degrade at a much faster speed. These toys are also porous, meaning they contain tiny holes. These little holes trap bacteria that can make them impossible to clean and increase your risk of developing a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis (BV). Jelly toys or soft rubbers might last a few months to a year. One other cautionary piece of advice is that jelly toys or soft rubbers can contain phthalates, which are a possible carcinogen, and terrible for reproductive health and sperm production. AKA, not a chemical you want to touch your bits!
Leather toys commonly used in BDSM are porous and impossible to sanitize thoroughly. If you choose to use leather toys such as floggers or crops, it’s best to keep them away from bodily fluids.
How to Prolong The Life of Your Sex Toy
There are several things you can do to prolong the life of your toy and keep it abuzz for decades to come. First, you’ll want to make sure you clean your toy correctly every time. Proper cleaning reduces your risk of infection and can extend a toy’s lifetime.
To properly clean your sex toy, make sure you know what materials it’s made of, as different materials have different cleaning recommendations. For silicone, glass, and stainless steel toys, wash them with warm water and a mild antibacterial soap for at least 30 seconds and be sure to remove any fluids or residue.
Do not expose leather toys to full submersion in water, a dryer, or harsh light. Instead, spot clean your leather toys with a damp rag and saddle soap or leather conditioner. Note that this does not apply to artificial leather.
Storing your toys properly can also help to prolong them. If you have a sex toy drawer, you’ll want to give your toys space from one another instead of piled up on top of one another, as different materials can interfere with one another. You’ll also want to make sure your toy has had time to air dry after cleaning before stowing it away.
You can use some toys such as dildos, vibrators, or butt plugs with condoms to help prolong their life. This is also advisable for safety if you’re sharing toys between partners; just be sure to switch the condom with every use.
The last tip for getting the most out of your sex toy is to read the ingredients of your lube. Specific lubricants shouldn’t be paired with certain sex toy materials. Silicone-based lubricants, over time, can degrade silicone toys. Oil-based lubricants should never be used with latex. If in doubt, aim for a water-based lube when pairing with your toy.
When to Dispose of Your Sex Toys
Sometimes, the time will come when your sex toy has reached its end. We know, Mariah Carey wails, “I can’t live if living is without you!” in the background. But how can you be sure it’s time to discard a toy?
If you can no longer clean your toy correctly, it’s time to dispose of it. If, after cleaning, your toy feels slimy or like the overall texture has changed, these are important indicators of wear and tear. If you notice any cracks, this is another indication that it’s time to purchase a new toy.
Any damage to a toy’s battery compartment or any frayed wires are also important signs to dispose of your toy. If you’ve had a jelly toy for longer than a year or so, it’s also a safe bet that it’s time for an upgrade.
How to Dispose of Your Sex Toys
When the time comes to dispose of your sex toy, there are options besides throwing it in a garbage bin. If your local recycling center collects electronic waste, which most do, they will accept your toy! Many sex toy retailers offer recycling programs, where you can mail your (properly sanitized) sex toy in, and they recycle it for you, keeping both planet and pleasure in mind.
We hope we’ve helped answer the question “how long do sex toys last” and provided some insight on how to prolong the life of your sex toy so you can enjoy it forever.