Choosing the right lubricant for your toy can be a daunting task as there are so many on the market, but generally speaking:
If you’re in doubt: Use a Water-Based Lubricant.
Most Water-Based Lubes contain No Silicone, No Oils and usually no other ingredients that cause problems with any toy materials. If your lube touts itself as having added essential oils or the like, then it may not be safe for all toys. As a general rule also don’t use baby oil or massage oils with toys – this will limit the possibility of not only damage to the “active” or insertable area of the toy, but also damage to buttons, controls and waterproofing seals that may cause longterm malfunction or negate the waterproofing.
Silicone Toys & Silicone Lube
Silicone lubricants have exploded in popularity over the years as a very long lasting lubricant that stays very slippery over long periods, however one drawback is that ironically they are not always compatible with silicone products.
Silicone sex toys are either completely constructed using silicone, or they have a silicone coating over the usable body of the toy. Unfortunately – and opposite to common misconception – Silicone lubricants are not always suitable for use with Silicone toys. Weird right? There’s a good reason – when it comes into extended contact with a silicone toy surface, Silicone lube may slowly degrade or melt the surface as they both try to become one. This effect can be as subtle as a distortion or discolouration of the surface, or as serious as completely melting the silicone and ruining the toy.
Even in the event of surface damage, the effect may be the nearly invisible “pitting” of the surface, which makes it more porous, and increases surface area where nasty bacteria can collect.
We recommend if you’re using silicone lube with silicone toys, that you wipe off most of the excess, and then very thoroughly wash your toy after use until no silicone is left on the product. Let it dry for quite a while, and then examine it in the light – if you see shininess or “sweating” then you may need to wash again more thoroughly, and leave to dry again and re-examine. The important thing here is not to leave the toy with silicone lube on the silicone surfaces when you put it away. Leaving the toy with silicone lube on it for extended periods will be most likely to cause melting or damage to the toy.
But I love my Silicone Lube!
If you’re concerned about chemical breakdown or damage to the lifetime of your toy, consider buying a toy that is not made from Silicone, or a toy that is confirmed as Medical Grade Silicone. ABS Plastic is pretty well impervious to everything, but not everybody likes that hard plastic feel – especially in anal toys where silicone lubes are used for unparalleled lubrication. For a silicone-safe product that’s more pliable or flexible, try something made from TPR or TPE. A PVC toy may also be safe but damage may still occur longterm depending on manufacturer and formula as they may blend other materials in proprietary formulas.
Glass, Ceramic and Stainless Steel or Aluminium toys are also perfect for use with silicone lubricants due to their hypoallergenic non-porous surface.
As always, thoroughly wash your toys BEFORE and AFTER using them. This is not only great for health and hygiene, but limits damage from lubes that may cause chemical breakdown while in storage for long periods.