There’s a lot of information available on how to care for silicone, glass, metal, and even jelly/rubber sex toys. Wood? Not so much. In general, though, you want to take care of your wooden kink toys the way you take care of anything else made of wood (like furniture). Yes, you can clean it, but keep a few precautions in mind.
Cleaning Wooden Paddles and External Toys
Any wooden kink toy used on the outside of the body can be cleaned easily. Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth. If body fluids get transferred to your toy, use an antibacterial sex toy cleaner or even an alcohol wipe to clean it off.
All of our external wooden products are protected by polyurethane. While a wooden toy can get damp or even wet, being submerged in water isn’t recommended. If you need to rinse something off your toy, only get it wet enough to get the mess off and dry it completely.
In general, clean your wooden paddles, knives, and other kink toys this way:
- Wipe down with damp cloth
- When necessary, use antibacterial wipe, spray, or other cleaner
- Rinse with warm water if necessary
- Wipe down to dry
Cleaning Wooden Insertable Sex Toys
Wooden anal plugs tend to bring up the question about splinters. Not only does John Brownstone sand every item, but especially the anal plugs, to within an inch of its life, he also protects the plugs with 18+ coats of acrylic. This seals it so it’s body safe and no splinters or bits of wood will touch your skin.
That said, we still do not recommend submerging a wooden anal plug in boiling water or putting it in the dishwasher to sterilize it like you might a silicone butt plug. The chances are low that it could be damaged, but an imperfection in the protective coating could allow water to seep in and damage it over time.
This means that unless you’re fluid-bonded with a partner, using a barrier/condom, or taking other precautions, we recommend wooden insertables remain a one-person toy.
Cleaning is similar to wooden paddles:
- Wipe down with damp cloth
- Use antibacterial sex toy cleaner or alcohol wipe if needed
- Rinse under running water only when necessary
- Dry completely before storing, wiping off any moisture with a dry cloth
Wood Can Break
One last thing on the care of your wooden kink toys. Wood can break. Swing too hard against another hard object (wall, furniture, etc) and it can break. It can also break in transit if packed with other wooden items. (True story: I once shipped out an order of a dozen wooden figurines to a non-kink customer and didn’t include enough packing. Half of them arrived cracked or broken. Yes, John Brownstone remade them and we re-sent them with more cushion. But if you ever wonder why your order has so much bubblewrap and protection, that’s why.)
For storing in your home or taking to a party or dungeon, you’ll probably be fine to just throw your wooden toys in the bottom of your toy bag. But if you’re moving or shipping a toy in the mail, place some padding between anything made of wood. Even a folded towel or a single sheet of bubblewrap will keep them marginally protected for simple transport (like a moving box).
If your wooden toys knock against other wood or hard materials, the finish can be damaged, the wood can crack, and in extreme circumstances, breaking can occur. It’s only something to worry about when you transport your toys. Or if you have a habit of throwing paddles across the room for some reason. (Hey, your kink isn’t my kink, but your kink is okay.) But we urge you to keep it in mind, especially if/when you move. (Our pro tip: we move our kink toys in our car. We don’t want a box to spill open and to have to answer uncomfortable questions from the mover or our family members. This also keeps them safe and allows us to minimize rough handling and the time toys spend in the heat.)
Ultimately wooden kink toys are easy to use and easy to take care of, in general. If you enjoy playing in ways that mean body fluids get everywhere or you spend a lot of time cleaning out stains, you may want to pick another material. But for those who don’t, wood is easy to clean and safe to play with.