So you’ve finally done it. You’ve totally discovered the wide, wonderful world of sex toys. You’ve learned what you like, where to buy it, and how to get the absolute most out of using it either by yourself or with your partner. You’ve even begun to amass quite the collection of items – everything from dildos in every size, to vibrators for every occasion, to a healthy supply of lubricants to choose from.

However, as you no doubt already know, building the perfect sex toy collection is one thing. Figuring out how and where to store it is another! Here we’ll take a close look at why the way you store your toys totally matters. We’ll discuss how other people in your position go about storing their toys, as well as give you some tips for finding the right solution for you as well.

Why Storing Your Toys Properly Is Important

If you were like most kids, you totally had a toybox where you kept all of your favorite items. Maybe you were good at actually putting your toys away properly after play and maybe you weren’t. Even so, a lot of your things probably wound up stuffed under the bed from time to time or covered in some unnamed sticky substance every so often.

You can’t treat your sex toys that way if you actually want them to remain functional. Neglected toys can shatter, rust, flake, chip, or even melt. They can become really unhygienic if allowed to accumulate bacteria, mold, or lint as well. If you’re like most sex toy enthusiasts, you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your collection. Proper care and storage can ensure that your favorites are with you for many years to come.

Deciding on a Hiding Place

Even the most sex positive among us usually wants to be smart when it comes to storing sex toys. You might not care so much about your partner or your best friend accidentally stumbling across your stash. Your grandmother, your cleaning lady, or your kids though? You’d probably care deeply.

That said, a great hiding place for your toys is both convenient and discreet. Naturally, you want your toys close to the bed. (Nothing puts a damper on a hot round of foreplay more quickly than having to stop what you’re doing and walk all the way across the room to dig up that new cock ring you really wanted to try.) However, you also want it to be someplace random people aren’t likely to be unexpectedly confronted with a king-size dildo or your favorite set of butt plugs. That said, the following are popular solutions with good reason.

In the Nightstand

There’s a reason why the nightstand is a go-to classic when it comes to storing toys and lube. It’s right there by the bed, so your favorite items are always within easy reach. Plus, most nightstands have drawers, so it’s easy to keep intimate items discreetly out of sight. Granted a nightstand isn’t going to keep a truly nosey child or parent out of your business, but you can more or less rest assured that no one will stumble across your things by accident.

In Shoeboxes

Looking for an easy way to keep nosey roommates or other folks out of your stash? You’d be surprised at the number of people who swear by the simplest solutions. While a curious person might be tempted to look in your nightstand or go through your panties drawer, most don’t pay much attention to shoeboxes.

Shoeboxes are pretty nondescript, so your cleaning lady or your mom isn’t likely to think much of one should they find it stashed underneath your bed or on a nearby shelf. Try lining the box with a soft material to help cushion more delicate toys.

Inside the Bed

There are also a lot of people that keep their less delicate toys close at hand by hiding them in between their mattress and box spring. While some snoops might go to the trouble of lifting up your mattress to look underneath, most won’t.

Just make sure you only use this option for hardier, less expensive toys. Also, you’ll want to make sure lint and bacteria are kept off of your items by placing them in a soft bag or protective case first or, at the very least, wrapping them in a handkerchief or similar item.

Specialized Casing

If you’re super serious about finding the ideal storage solution for your toys, you can always consider purchasing a custom case or otherwise specialized option made with your toys in mind. Such cases often include features like compartments that take the hassle out of organizing a large collection, foam to help cushion your most delicate items, and so forth.

Many also come equipped with locks. That said, if you’re looking for the perfect way to guarantee over-curious children, family members, or cleaning ladies stay out of your things, this is it.

Of course some people truly don’t care whether or not the entire world knows they have a sex toy collection and are perfectly happy to display theirs in plain view. If that sounds like you, then more power to you! All that really matters is that the solution you choose is hygienic and works for you.

What You Need to Know About Caring for Your Toys

There’s more to protecting the integrity of your favorite toys than simply choosing a good storage option. Your toys also need to be properly cleaned and maintained if they’re going to remain hygienic and in in good working order. That said, keep the following rules of thumb in mind.

Toys need to be washed after every use.

Yes, it’s important to wash your toys after you’ve shared them with a partner. However, it’s just as important to do so after solo use. Toys that are washed after every use don’t accumulate potentially harmful bacteria. They’re also much less likely to degrade or become discolored over time.

It’s a good idea to wash your toys before each use as well, especially if you don’t store your toys in dedicated containers, cases, or bags. It’s the best way to make sure they don’t potentially transfer lint, pet hair, or germs to your most sensitive areas.

The soap you use on your toys matters.

Although gentle washing with soap and water is a perfectly safe way to clean many sex toys, choose your soap with care. Avoid scented or antibacterial soaps, as they can leave a residue that could harm the toy or irritate sensitive body parts. A mild, unscented hand soap or dish soap is perfectly fine in most cases.

When washing battery-operated or electric toys, never submerge them in water. Simply wipe them down with a warm, soapy washcloth and dry them gently afterward. You can also purchase cleaning solutions designed especially for sex toys. Just spray them straight onto the toy, gently wipe it off, and you’re all good!

The lube you use with your toys matters too.

While it might be tempting to think that any sex lube is safe to use with all of your toys, this isn’t the case, so you need to know the difference. Never use oil or silicone-based lubes on silicone toys. They’ll cling to the surface of your toy and break down the surface over time, ruining it in the process.

Go with a water-based alternative or a hybrid lube for silicone items or any time you’re in doubt as to which option is appropriate. They are safe for use with all toys no matter what the material. Just make sure you wash everything thoroughly after use!

Use good judgment when sharing toys.

If you like to share your toys with your partners, make sure you’re doing so safely. Sex toys made of porous materials can’t be completely disinfected, so it’s best to incorporate condoms when using them on other people. (If you only use the toy on yourself, you should be fine so long as you wash it properly after each use.)

Know when it’s time to replace your toys.

Even the best, most expensive toys don’t last forever, so it’s important to know when a given item needs to be replaced. Seams that are coming apart are obvious signs that it’s time to let a given toy go. So are pockmarks on the surface of silicone toys or other porous items.

An electronic toy may stop holding a charge as well as it used to. Motors that have become noticeably louder over time are also indicative of a toy is probably nearing the end of its life. Replace them sooner rather than later! Otherwise you risk them conking out at the most inopportune time.

At the end of the day, your sex toy collection is a lot like anything else that represents a significant investment. Proper care and storage can go a long way toward making sure your favorite items are part of your sex life for a long time to come.