The article also lists great tips for cleaning and keeping your sex toys looking their best. Some of this information I had never heard before and was glad to find out! So, here's what I learned:
1.) Mild soap and water is best.
2.) Stay away from anti-bacterial soap. Studies indicate that prolonged exposure to the chemicals in triclosan or triclocarban can have harmful side effects.
3.) For bad stains, try a toy cleaner specially formulated to be safe on your girly parts.
You should throw out your toy if:
1.) The toy gets badly discolored, because it can be a sign that the material is breaking down.
2.) The material is torn or ripped, because bacteria can live in the torn section and won't get clean.
3.) The motor gets louder, because it's a sign that it's wearing out, which isn't harmful, but "could lead to disappointment at a crucial moment."
Materials - Jelly and rubber toys should be thrown away after a year. Bacteria can grow in such materials. Silicone and elastomer, however, are nonporous and don't break down, so they can last much longer, and it's likely that the motor will wear out before the material does.
Storage - The batteries should be removed from battery-operated vibes in order to lengthen its lifespan. Also, prolonged exposure to the sun could be damaging, so shut your shades, put it in a drawer, or stop playing with yourself outside all the time.
You get what you pay for - A $25 vibe will probably last about a year when using it a few times a month. If you spend $100 or more on a vibe, you should be able to use it more frequently and for a longer time. Also, more expensive vibes typically come with a one-year warranty, while the company Jimmyjane offers a three-year warranty for one of its vibes.
If it ain't broke, don't replace it - If your vibe merely looks gross, but is properly cleaned and cared for, you can have it for up to 20 years, so long as the motor doesn't wear out. The most important aspect is whether or not the toy is working for you. If it gets you off, then it's serving its purpose.