It’s not fun to open up your toy box and ask “Why Are My Toys Melting?” If you want to never find out firsthand what a pile of melted toys is like, here are a few things you need to know.
Sex toys melt when chemical reactions take place between the toy material and an outside source. There are two main sources of toy meltage: improper lubricant and improper storage.
Do not just toss toys of different materials into a box or drawer. Different materials have different chemicals which can react causing toys to melt. Sometimes simply reusing a box or bag that used to store a different material to house nice silicone toys can cause toy melt as the residual chemicals are enough to cause reactions. Either stick to a single soft material or keep your toys strictly separated by material and don’t reuse old containers to house a new material type.
Some materials also react poorly to heat and sunlight, so try to keep your toys someplace where the temperatures are cool and steady, there is little light, and there is air flow. If you can’t avoid these things, try sticking to glass, metal and medical grade silicone only as those are generally more resilient.
The type of lube used on the sex toy should vary by the toy material.
First, lube types and the shorthand used in this list:
Water = water based. Usually glycerin or plant extracts suspended in water. This is safe on most toys, safe for internal usage, and a good personal “default” lube. Ex: KY jelly, astroglide
Oil = oil based. Assorted emollients and oils mixed together. Best used for external use (ex: giving a hand job), but may be OK for anal sex. The jury’s out on if it’s wise for vaginal sex as it can cause more infections in some women, even if others swear by it. Ex: Boy Butter, vegetable oil.
Avoid anything based in a non-organic oil as it is mildly toxic and it has a chance of chemical reactions with toys. In other words, things like Vaseline, mineral oil, baby oil, and petroleum jelly can melt some toys and aren’t good for you so don’t use them as lube.
Silicone = silicone suspended in water. It’s popular for it’s high slipperiness and the fact that a little goes a long way. If the lube contains Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, or Cyclomethicone it’s silicone lube. Some brands claim to be silicone toy safe, but I wouldn’t risk my silicone toys to find out. Ex: Eros, Liquid Silk
Here’s a fast rundown of what works best on what.
- Glass, Metal: Any lube should be fine.
- Silicone: Water, oil. No SILICONE! Silicone lube adheres to silicone toys, destroying them. Be careful: some oil-based lubes contain silicone. Always read the label before purchase.
Porous – you should use a condom on these, but in case you don’t…
- Wood/leather: Oil. Silicone is OK, but oil helps preserve the material, so it’s ideal.
- Hard Plastic, Vinyl, acrylic: Water, possibly silicone (test first)
- Latex: Water, silicone. NO OIL! Oil destroys latex/rubber. This goes for condoms, too.
- Mystery Rubber: Water, but do a test patch first as weird reactions sometimes happen.
When in doubt, do a patch test or put a condom over the toy. To do a patch test, put a patch of lube on the toy base and leave it there a week. If there are no reactions, it’s probably safe. Using a condom is also always a great solution and I highly recommend it if you’re worried about the lube and toy reacting poorly or are using any porous toy material.