Although most of us forget to think of them that way, motorized sex toys like vibrators are still electronics. Just like your hairdryer or your favorite electric shaver, your trusty vibe contains moving parts that will wear out sooner or later. Eventually the entire device will need to be replaced.

While there’s no way to avoid having to say good-by to your favorite vibrator someday, you can make sure it’s with you for as long as possible with proper care and maintenance. Here we’ll go over everything you need to know to get the most possible use out of your favorite toys.

1.      Understand the lifespan of your vibrator.

Even the best, most expensive vibrators aren’t made to last forever. Vibrators come equipped with motors that are filled with lots of tiny little parts. Such parts can burn out easily and quickly in comparison to other electronics, especially with lots and lots of use.

All things considered, it’s reasonable to expect the average vibe to last about 3-4 months with frequent use and good maintenance. Higher quality vibrators may, of course, be expected to last a bit longer. As is the case with many electronics, your vibrator may have come with a guarantee that it will last a certain amount of time. Make sure you understand that guarantee, as well as the protocol for returning the product if it doesn’t last as long as it should.

2.      Don’t run your vibrator for too long at a time.

Generally speaking, it’s not recommended that you run your vibrator for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. Remember what we said above about vibrator motors being small and filled with lots of tiny parts. Because of their small size, they can overheat really easily. They need to be allowed ample time to cool down properly.

If you’re planning a marathon pleasure session either on your own or with a partner, consider bringing several toys to the party. Switch things up frequently when it comes to your motorized toys to make sure the motors will last as long as possible.

3.      Remove the batteries when your vibe isn’t in use.

Removing your vibrator’s batteries when you’re not using it helps your toy last longer in two different ways. First of all, it won’t ever be left on accidentally, leading to premature motor burnout. If you keep yours in a nightstand or drawer, it won’t switch on accidentally while you’re hunting around for nearby items either.

Secondly, it reduces the chances of a battery ever corroding inside your toy. This does occasionally happen and when it does, it almost always means the end of your high quality vibrator, no matter how new or well-kept it might have been.

4.      Make sure you’re cleaning your vibrator often enough.

As with any item that gets up close and personal with your naughty bits, hygiene is really important when it comes to your vibrator. It’s not just about keeping your own body healthy either (although that definitely ought to be a priority). It’s also about preserving the life of the toy. Bodily fluids, sex lube residue, and additional grime can build up on a vibrator’s surface.  Corrosion, degradation, or discoloration will probably occur sooner or later as a result. Once that happens, you’ll need to replace the toy, even if the motor is still in good condition.

Always wash your toys after every use, even if you’re only using it on yourself instead of sharing with a partner. If you’re serious about keeping your toys in good condition, you may want to consider washing your toys before each use as well.

5.      Make sure you’re cleaning your vibrator with the right soap.

You don’t need to buy a special fancy soap to wash your vibrator with. You do need to steer clear of super harsh options and soaps that contain fragrance. You can never be sure of how such products will affect the integrity of your toys. Also, they can leave residue that might cause irritation if they ever came in contact with sensitive skin.

Instead, choose mild, unscented hand soap or dish soap. (It’s really not necessary to go for the antibacterial option.) Many people also like keeping a spray-on toy cleaner handy for quick or discreet clean-up after play time. Just spritz it on and wipe it right off again. Done!

6.      Use condoms on your rubber vibrators.

If your vibrator isn’t made of either hard plastic or silicone, it’s most likely made of rubber or some sort of rubber blend. Such materials can be porous, making them much harder to disinfect and clean. That means they don’t just get dirty with regular use. They stay dirty to at least some degree no matter how meticulously you clean them.

Consider using condoms on vibrators like these, even if no one uses the toy but you. Condoms make it much easier to keep your fun hygienic, not to mention protect the integrity of your toy. They help reduce the chances of you or a partner ever having a negative reaction to the material the toy is made from as well.

7.      Keep an eye on the seal when it comes to your waterproof vibrators.

Waterproof vibrators are nothing short of fantastic. They make it possible to take your fun into the shower, the tub, or just about anywhere else you might be down for a little play without having to worry about what the moisture might do to your favorite items. Even so, it’s important to keep an eye on the seal with these types of toys.

Your waterproof vibrator is the wonder that it is thanks to a rubber O-ring that fits closely along the rim of the toy. Should that O-ring ever break or deteriorate, you can’t consider the vibrator waterproof any longer. At that point, you’ll either need to resign yourself to using it only under dry conditions or shop for a replacement.

8.      Treat your toys with a little TLC.

The more care with which you treat your vibrator, the longer you can expect it to be around to pleasure you. That said, be gentle with your toys. Don’t bend the cord, yank it, or use it to pull the toy it’s attached to around. Otherwise, broken connections and fraying could occur.

Be careful with the caps and closures as well. Don’t screw them on too tightly or treat them too roughly. Remember, your vibrator is still an electronic device. It deserves to be treated with the same tender loving care you’d treat your cell phone or your remote control.

9.      Regularly inspect toys and check for damage.

You don’t have to like your playtime rough for your favorite sex toys to be susceptible to damage. All vibrators are going to experience some wear and tear, even if you only use them occasionally. This is especially the case when it comes to cheaper items. For instance, vibes made of harder plastics can develop splits or cracks over time. Toys made of rubbers, jellies, and similar materials can rip or develop pockmarks. Glass items can chip or wind up with rough edges.

Consider giving all of your vibrators and other toys a once-over each month to check for damage of any kind. Make it a point to replace damaged items promptly. You don’t want a vibe that’s developed a crack or a split somewhere to catch on your delicate skin (or your partner’s).

10.  Make sure you’re using the right lube.

Not all lubricants are safe for use with all sex toys, up to and including your favorite vibrator. Silicone-based lubricants, for instance, might be fantastic for smoothing the way when you’re with your partner, but can cause “realistic skin” toys to degrade or deteriorate. Oil-based lubricants can actually damage not only sex toys, but condoms as well.

Make sure you’re always in the know as to whether or not your lube of choice is a safe fit for your toys. Alternatively, you could simply stick to water-based lubricants. Not only are they just fine for use with good old-fashioned skin and flesh, but they’re safe for use on the great majority of sex toys as well.

11.  Be careful how you store your vibrator.

If you’re like most people, you probably store your vibrator somewhere the cleaning lady, your children, or your houseguests are unlikely to simply stumble across it. However, stuffing your vibrator underneath your mattress or chucking it into the drawer of your nightstand really isn’t the best thing for the toy. Many toys – especially those made of soft silicone or similar substances – easily attract grime, dust, lint, and pet hair even when placed well out of the way.

Protect the integrity of the toy by first storing it in a soft bag, a box, or a case. (Many toys actually come with one.) Then return the item to your discreet hiding spot of choice. You’ll also want to avoid storing toys together. While it’s fine to store a collection in a single place like a chest or drawer, make sure each is further protected by its own bag or case as well. Your toys will thank you for it!