I’ve been reviewing a lot of sex toys and have a rather lovely collection, so much so that I had to buy new storage for it a few weeks ago. That made me think about a subject I don’t see covered very often – how to care for and store your toy collection. This month I was given permission to write a column on just that! Not as many pretty pictures but, I hope, valuable information to keep your toy investment in good shape.
Remove Batteries and Unplug
The first thing to do is take the batteries out of your toy and if you have sleeves, plugs, etc, disconnect or remove them. Toys should never be stored with their batteries and bacteria loves to live inside threads and between parts of a toy so it always pays to take then apart if they are designed to be taken apart.
Wash and Dry Thoroughly
The first rule of toy storage is to store your toys clean. Wash them with a cleaner appropriate to the materials they are made of and dry thoroughly. Never store toys wet because you risk mold, mildew and even rust in powered toys. Antibacterial soap and warm water are a must and work on most toys but be sure to always rinse thoroughly, soap residue can both degrade the toy and irritate your skin as well. Not in a good way and not in good places!
You can also buy specially made sex toy cleaners that are designed to be antibacterial as well as to preserve the toy’s material. Just read the directions on the cleaner and follow them. I still recommend a good rinsing, however. Remember not to immerse battery-operated toys.
Toys should be stored separately from each other. Not necessarily in separate boxes but not touching other toys. This is because different materials can cause chemical reactions with each other and stains, degraded materials or even oozed together toys can result. This can be as simple as putting a layer of cloth between toys like a t-shirt or washclothes or you can find cloth bags as well.
If a toy comes with a nice bag, it pays to keep it and store the toy in it. Some toys come with fitted cases and I recommend you always keep those and store the toys in them. They take up a little more room but protect the toys well.
By the way, if you have toys with power cords that disconnect, I highly recommend labeling the cords. It may seem silly but I use a label-maker to put the toy’s name on the cord or the adapter. This has saved me multiple times when I had multiple cords that all looked the same.
Keep Cool, Covered and Dark
The best way to preserve your toys is to keep them cool, away from light so you avoid sun damage and covered to avoid dust, link and other dirt.
I’m a firm believer in having dedicated toy storage and not just because I have a nice collection. It’s much nicer to have a toy that’s clean and stored neatly when you feel like playing and who wants to dig through the depths of an underwear drawer to find a vibrator during an orgasm emergency?
There aren’t a lot of storage solutions designed specifically for sex toys but I’ll list some options you might want to consider and, at the end of this article, I’ll tell you what I use. There are other options than those I’ve listed and you may come up with other solutions as well, but this is just a sampling.
Duffle or Other Bags
Duffle bags are a sort of time-honored option. They are handy in that you can tuck them in spaces you might not be able to hide a box or two in. They don’t do a great job of protecting whatever is in them from physical damage because they are both soft-sided and permeable. It’s also a bit difficult to keep toys separated inside them.
Plastic boxes are handy and, if you are not afraid of snooping friends or family members (or don’t care if they see your collection) the transparent boxes can allow you to better identify what is in the boxes. The do well at protecting their contents but, because of possible interactions between the box and the toys, you have to be sure the toys are not touching the plastic directly. They can take up a fair amount of room and some toys don’t fit into them very well.
Makeup Cases and Train Cases
Makeup cases and train cases can be useful for toy storage as they have all the nifty spaces for things like lube and smaller toys.They’re also quite stylish and some even come with locks,which can be a bonus unless you forget the combination when you really need a toy Right Now. The handles make them easy to carry as well. But they don’t usually hold a lot of toys or larger or odder sized toys.
What do I use?
I actually use a combination of solutions. I have several plastic shoeboxes for smaller toys and I bought a storage ottoman bench for the collection. Yes, I had to buy a piece of furniture for my sex toy collection. Laugh all you want, I know you’re just jealous.
Inside the ottoman I have the toys that have their own cases, the plastic shoeboxes with smaller toys and toys that are packed in their own bags. For the most part, it’s a great solution for me. There is some digging involved when I want a particular toy.
If you decide to go this route, I do recommend you do not get an ottoman with casters or wheels and you do get one sturdy enough to use as its own sex toy — or at least sex altar!
© 2009 Kyra Saunders. All rights reserved.