Sex toys and dishwashers

Femme Mystique Femme Mystique
A member of my extended family works for a local health department and was recently telling me a story that sort of frightened me about sex toy cleaning techniques. He was telling me about not being able to reuse cups at gas stations because regular household dishwashers do extremely little to sanitize dishes, so reusable cups (plastic, metal, etc) had the potential to spread germs. He said that the majority of our household dishwashers do not get nearly hot enough to sanitize. This, coupled the fact that we do not use soap when washing our sex toys, makes me wary of just how clean sex toys get in the dishwasher. Thoughts?
02/22/2009
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Ciao. Ciao.
I looked up dishwashers on wikipedia after not being able to find anything conclusive either way. It appears that most dishwashers on their own do not get hot enough to truly sterilize something (ie. kill everything on there). However, this doesn't take into account the fact that dishwashers aren't killing bacteria exclusively with heat/pressure, they also wash away anything on the surface of what they're cleaning...and many bacteria that infect people are going to be sensitive to temperatures that a dishwasher produces (just like our body heats up when we're sick to try and kill bacteria off).

I would think as long as the toys are non-porous the dishwasher would do pretty well in either killing what was on them, or washing it away entirely. Porous toys I would think might still harbor bacteria after a run through the dishwasher. Is it possible the bacteria could still survive? Yeah, bleach or other sanitizing agents would probably be a better bet if you are really that concerned, but I would say the dishwasher is definitely still effective at cleaning toys even if it doesn't sterilize everything inside of it.
02/22/2009
Dragon Dragon
My children EMPTY the dishwasher. This is so not going to happen in my house!

I also think it depends on the dishwasher and the setting that you use it on. "Energy efficient" for example, and "no heat" dry probably don't sterilize.

But look at it from a different perspective. We live in a unclean world, and we make it cleaner than it used to be. The dishwasher (and more efficient) than handwashing used to be, and in general we survive. The body is designed to handle a certain amount of "non-clean" and actually builds resilience by doing so.

If you're terrified, then only buy the safest materials and boil them. (Life is too short to fret over every detail. It's a matter of looking at all angles and compromises.)
02/22/2009
Cinnamon Chambers Cinnamon Chambers
I agree with just boil or if you HAVE to be as sterile as possible invest in an autoclave.
02/22/2009
Backseat Boohoo Backseat Boohoo
Quote:
Originally posted by Ciao.
I looked up dishwashers on wikipedia after not being able to find anything conclusive either way. It appears that most dishwashers on their own do not get hot enough to truly sterilize something (ie. kill everything on there). However, this ... More
This is a very good point: most of the toys that you can stick in the dishwasher aren't porous, like glass and pure silicone.
02/22/2009
That Weird Guy That Weird Guy
Hmm maybe we need a household (one of those things in science labs that clean the goggles with ultraviolet rays) yeah that would be nice, though it might melt silicone. I don't know for sure though but it would do the trick. I don't think anything can survive it...
02/22/2009
Oggins Oggins
I am lucky enough to have a dishwasher that has the "sanitize" option so, mine really does get hot enough! I could boil eggs in that thing! I do not use it for cleaning sex toys though......three kids and all..... You have to keep in mind though, people have been eating off of dishes washed in a dishwasher for years and I haven't heard of anyone having a problem in that respect. I doubt that there would be from cleaning your toys either. The ultraviolet ray cleaner thingy would be pretty cool though! =P
02/22/2009
bluehand bluehand
lol
02/22/2009
Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon
My boyfriend's dishwasher gives me the willies. I've unloaded it plenty of times before to find food residue and "ick soup" swishing around in depressions (the bottoms of glasses, etc.) I would NEVER trust that thing with my dishwasher-safe sex toys. I prefer to wash them by hand with hot water and antibacterial soap or, if practical, to boil them. My only boilable toys are my glass ones, although I did receive a 100% platinum silicone toy recently... Does anyone know if it's safe to boil silicone toys if they have a battery compartment? I would really like to avoid melting anything important.
02/23/2009
Miss KissThis Miss KissThis
Quote:
Originally posted by Miss Cinnamon
My boyfriend's dishwasher gives me the willies. I've unloaded it plenty of times before to find food residue and "ick soup" swishing around in depressions (the bottoms of glasses, etc.) I would NEVER trust that thing with my ... More
I wouldn't boil anything with a battery compartment, just to be safe. You could wipe the silicone down with a bleach solution (10% bleach, 90% water) and rinse after though.
02/23/2009
That Weird Guy That Weird Guy
Yeah if you boil the electronics it might not work as it was supposed to.

Even if its waterproof. When stuff gets heated the material expands and might open up a spot for water to leak in and destroy it.
02/23/2009
Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon
Thanks, Miss Kiss This and That Weird Guy for clearing that up for me :]
02/23/2009
her.royal.redness her.royal.redness
Quote:
Originally posted by Oggins
I am lucky enough to have a dishwasher that has the "sanitize" option so, mine really does get hot enough! I could boil eggs in that thing! I do not use it for cleaning sex toys though......three kids and all..... You have to keep in ... More
We've got the nifty sanitize feature on our dishwasher too and I use it for my glass toys when I've got the place to myself for the weekend.
05/22/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
I am so excited to have a working dishwasher now!
05/23/2009
Perish Perish
I agree and disagree with dishwashers not getting hot enough and spreading germs. Where i disagree, it would be that they do indeed get REALLY hot. myself and a friend have actually held the door open while having a butter knife jammed into the place that it clicks close so it would think the door was shut. Once the dishwasher was in the rinse cycle it sprayed out scolding hot water everywhere, just believe it that it is pretty hot lolz... Also where i do agree, is on the subject of them spreading germs. I second that dishwashers don't clean the dishes as thourohgly as if you were doing it by hand thus leading to germs just getting swoosh'd around the dishes instead of being cleaned of.
05/23/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Perish
I agree and disagree with dishwashers not getting hot enough and spreading germs. Where i disagree, it would be that they do indeed get REALLY hot. myself and a friend have actually held the door open while having a butter knife jammed into the place ... More
I have to disagree. We cannot handwash with water even remotely close to the temperature of a dishwasher and isn't -that- was kills germs?
05/23/2009
Sammi Sammi
Quote:
Originally posted by Oggins
I am lucky enough to have a dishwasher that has the "sanitize" option so, mine really does get hot enough! I could boil eggs in that thing! I do not use it for cleaning sex toys though......three kids and all..... You have to keep in ... More
Mine has a sanitize option also. I use it to clean toys occasionally, but only when the kids aren't around.
05/23/2009
Snappy Snappy
Do you wash dishes and sex toys at the same time? Do the dishes funny afterward? Do you add anything at all or just use water?
05/23/2009
Luscious Lily Luscious Lily
Quote:
Originally posted by Oggins
I am lucky enough to have a dishwasher that has the "sanitize" option so, mine really does get hot enough! I could boil eggs in that thing! I do not use it for cleaning sex toys though......three kids and all..... You have to keep in ... More
We have a sanitize setting too, and my sister almost got burned by the steam when she accidentally opened it in the middle of the sanitize cycle. No, it's not an autoclave, but it's the next best thing.

When you all started talking about a UV cleaner, the first thing that popped into my head was a little cartoon image of "mutated" toys from the UV rays. Oh, what silly things my mind does on vacation...
05/23/2009
Perish Perish
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
I have to disagree. We cannot handwash with water even remotely close to the temperature of a dishwasher and isn't -that- was kills germs?
Eh... yea we can. They sell rubber gloves that are meant to hand wash dishes under really hot water. And no, the soap is what kills the germs. The hot water simply neutralizes the germs and makes it easier to disinfect what ever is being washed. Just to throw it out there, hot water from the sink and hot water that goes into the dishwasher are the exact same temperature since they both come from the same water heater. When i say "exact temperature" i mean when you turn the lever to the left or right without any cold water being added. Unless you have two seperate water heaters, in which would be very unlikely.
05/23/2009
Perish Perish
I forgot to add, that if the actual dishwasher does heat the water to a boiling temperature then no we wouldn't be able wash things under that kind of temp.
05/23/2009
ScottA ScottA
For the most part, washing does not necessarily kill the germs, it removes them physically. Soap will kill a few germs, but it really cannot be depended on (unless you're using a known germicidal agent properly). For the most part, though, unless you're sharing toys they don't need to be absolutely sterile, so ordinary cleaning methods work.

I would question the efficiency of using a dishwasher to clean the number of toys that an ordinary person or couple would use, especially given that most people would probably feel uncomfortable washing dishes in the same cycle. Soap and water do a pretty good job of washing our built-in sex toys, so why worry too much about our other ones (unless you're sharing, of course).
05/23/2009
Perish Perish
Quote:
Originally posted by ScottA
For the most part, washing does not necessarily kill the germs, it removes them physically. Soap will kill a few germs, but it really cannot be depended on (unless you're using a known germicidal agent properly). For the most part, though, unless ... More
Makes much sense.

Seconded.
05/24/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Perish
Eh... yea we can. They sell rubber gloves that are meant to hand wash dishes under really hot water. And no, the soap is what kills the germs. The hot water simply neutralizes the germs and makes it easier to disinfect what ever is being washed. Just ... More
Well, okay. I've never used gloves to wash dishes as that's a waste. I mean I can turn the hot water all the way up but my human skin wouldn't like it and, as others have mentioned, it's easy to burn yourself from the steam or water that a dishwasher produces. I've burned myself on the steam that escapes a dishwasher, without it even being open. I really feel that, after running through the dishwasher, any germs leftover are negligible.
05/24/2009
Oggins Oggins
Quote:
Originally posted by Perish
Eh... yea we can. They sell rubber gloves that are meant to hand wash dishes under really hot water. And no, the soap is what kills the germs. The hot water simply neutralizes the germs and makes it easier to disinfect what ever is being washed. Just ... More
Yes, you are right in that the hot water that goes into the dishwasher is the same temperature as the hot water from the tap in most cases but my dishwasher has a heating element in it that heats the water even further. I'm not sure of the exact temperature but I'm thinking of actually sanatizing a cooking thermometer to see what it says. I know for a fact that my dishwasher gets hot enough that I don't find myself concerened about any "leftover" germs. I also realize that my dishwasher is fairly new and not everyones is. You just have to take into consideration what kind you have and what it is capable of doing.
05/24/2009
Oggins Oggins
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
Well, okay. I've never used gloves to wash dishes as that's a waste. I mean I can turn the hot water all the way up but my human skin wouldn't like it and, as others have mentioned, it's easy to burn yourself from the steam or water ... More
Agreed! I've been burned from the steam mine produces too.
05/24/2009
Total posts: 26
Unique posters: 17