In Focus: Care & Cleaning of gear

Leather and other porous gear:

A good flogging or whipping may let blood, cum, or other bodily fluids permeate your floggers. It’s important to clean the equipment with a good antibacterial agent between partners, and let any porous toy sit or hang for a certain period so that all the bugs will die. HIV is quite fragile to the air, but Hep C is tenacious and can possibly live on a flogger or in a good sized driedover bubble of blood for up to two weeks. At some point, leather will need to be conditioned, as most of the anti-bacterial solutions will deplete some of the natural oils that keep floggers and leather gear supple. Good leather conditioners can be found at most fetish stores, and there is a wealth of information on the web.

One prominent leather Daddy who has set policy for many leather groups recommends covering floggers/whips with fresh hydrogen peroxide for at least 30 seconds and then washing well with a 10% Simple Green solution. A surgical spray germicide is an alternative to the peroxide. Finally, if possible, put the cleaned toy in a plastic bag and do not reuse immediately.

Rope that has fluids or cum on it can be put in a pillowcase, washed in the hot cycle of your washing machine, and then left to dry for a week or so. If left in the pillowcase, they can be run through the dryer. This also makes the ropes softer for those bottoms who don’t prefer scratchy rope!

Non-porous gear:

Any kind of hard piece of gear (sealed/varnished cane, metal or fiberglass paddle, even electrical gear such as violet wand probes) can be wiped clean with any good anti-bacterial, or even a 10% chlorine bleach solution (one part bleach and ten parts water). Alcohol will clean most surfaces, but it does not properly disinfect. Any type of metal gear, such as shower nozzles, re-usable scalpels, reusable piercing supplies or jewelry should be hospital-grade sterilized. If you don’t have an autoclave (professional steam or chemical sterilizer) or other type of sterilizer at home, many tattoo and piercing shops will do this for you at little or no cost. There are also “cold sanitizing” solutions available to sterilize some gear.

Rubber Toys:

Some dildos and insertables that have some “give” are porous, and cannot be perfectly cleaned of bugs, shit and bacteria. Some good quality latex and rubber dildos and silicone toys are nonporous and can be boiled or run through a hot dishwasher cycle to disinfect. Some brands such as “Cyber skin” or novelty brands with batteries should not be put in sterilizers or dishwashers. When buying dildos and insertables from SM, fetish or sex toy shops, they will often have clear instructions on which toys can be boiled or sterilized well enough for use with multiple partners.

One great way to reduce HIV and STD risk is to cover the toys with a condom or barrier if you’re using them on multiple partners.

And remember, clean your dungeon equipment, the walls around you (should fluids get on them) and even the Top and bottom to avoid contamination

Leave a Reply