Tips and Tricks for Making Your Vibrating Friend Last
Have you ever bought an electrical appliance you were really excited about? I don’t necessarily mean a vibrator. It could have been a high-tech hair dryer with a built-in volumizer you were crazy about, or a new, all-in-one remote control that turns on your television, stereo, VCR, DVD player and disco strobe light, all with just a touch of your finger.
If you have, then the next part of this story might sound familiar, too. You get your new electronic wonder home, and for the next couple of months or so, all is bliss. But then, disaster strikes. One day, in the middle of styling your hair or reveling in your multi-media event, your technological wonder stops working. You’re left feeling broken-hearted. Okay, maybe not broken-hearted, but upset, annoyed and wanting a replacement immediately.
Or, worse yet, you unwrap your little slice of the electronic revolution and it doesn’t work from the minute you take it out of the package. Crisis!
Vibrators are not unlike the hair dryer or remote control described above. Like any small appliance, they’re made of breakable parts, and the longer you use one, the more likely it is to come undone.
That said, with proper care, a vibrator can have a healthy and above-average lifespan. In fact, we know women whose vibrators have lasted years. Read on for tips you should keep in mind when caring for, storing, using and even purchasing a vibrator. With proper care, you’re a lot more likely to have a fuller and more satisfying long-term relationship with your electric toy.
A Vibrator’s Lifespan
The first thing to keep in mind is that vibrators aren’t made to last forever, and their lifespan will vary based on a number of factors. Vibrators have motors, which are made up of very small parts that can burn out easily. They are, to be fair, complex electronics. The longevity of your vibrator depends on the quality of the product, the extent to which you care for your battery-operated pal, and a little bit of luck on your part regarding whether you got a good vibrator or a “lemon.”
As a general rule of thumb, it’s reasonable to expect your vibrator to last at least up to three months, with average use and good care. Some more expensive vibrators will exceed this expectation, but consider yourself lucky if your vibrating pleasure tool does. Do keep in mind that most companies won’t take returns on faulty vibrators.
Vibrator duds do happen, and even once is more often than we’d like. We’d suggest always turning your battery-operated vibrator on as soon as you get it and checking it to make sure the motor is operating properly and ready to go.
Fun with Motors
I have a space heater, which I use in my office. I love my space heater because it makes me feel warm and special, not unlike my vibrators. My space heater also comes with a fantastic feature: When the motor starts to overheat, it shuts itself off to cool down so it won’t break.
Unfortunately, your vibrator offers no such luxury. Its motor is ready to run until it either satisfies you completely or burns out and breaks on you. In an ideal world, the former would always come well before the latter, but we all know that’s not entirely the way it works.
To get the most out of your motor, we recommend not running your vibrator for more than thirty minutes on low speed. And if you’re operating it on high speed, be sure to give it a rest after fifteen to twenty minutes. These are tiny motors, and most vibrators can burn out quickly if you use them for extended periods of time.
If you have a dual-action vibrator, you’ll want to be extra conscientious about not running it for too long at a time. Because they’re designed to function in multiple ways at once, malfunctions and burn-outs can happen quickly.
Making the Most of Battery Power
The majority of vibrators are powered by batteries, which is great for mobility since you don’t need to be near an electrical outlet to enjoy them. But batteries have their own special needs, and knowing what they are can help keep your vibrator operating at its peak performance.
For example, always make sure you’re using the freshest batteries you can. Older batteries, obviously, will cause your vibrator to run on slower, less powerful speeds. Also, if the battery contacts in your toy seem to have a film or layer of residue on them, try gently rubbing them with a pencil eraser. And if your batteries don’t seem to be working, you might want to try jiggling them around a bit.
Another important thing to remember is that you should always remove your vibrator’s batteries after use. This will not only increase the lifespan of your batteries, it will also keep the battery compartment clean, keep the contacts clean, and reduce the chance of your vibrator being ruined by battery leakage.
Caring for Your Vibrator
Let’s be honest, people: who wants to get up and clean their toys after using them? However, taking the time to properly care for and store your toy after use can turn your one-night fling into a year-long romance.
• CyberskinTM and Realistic Materials: These very porous toys require lots of care. Clean them with warm water and toy cleaner. Allow them to air dry completely and then brush them with a dusting of cornstarch before storing in a dry, airtight place.
• Silicone: Silicone is non-porous and nearly hypoallergenic, so you can use toy cleaner or soap and water. If your silicone toy is waterproof, you can even clean it in the dishwasher or submerge it in boiling water. Just make sure you allow it to air dry completely before storage.
• Jelly: Jelly is extremely porous and should be cleaned with toy cleaner and warm water. Allow it to air dry and be sure to store it in an airtight container.
• Plastic, Acrylic or Glass: Plastic vibrators can be wiped down with basic rubbing alcohol after use, or cleaned with a warm washcloth and anti-bacterial toy cleaner. Dry with a clean towel afterwards for best results.
One way to simplify the cleaning of your toy is by using a condom over it during use (and you always should use a condom over your vibrator if you’re sharing it with a partner or switching orifices). Then, all you have to do is remove the condom and dispose of it appropriately.
Remember, you always want to store your toy in a cool, dry place. Moisture can affect many vibrator materials and cause them to decay or disintegrate more quickly.
The Quality Factor
Care is important, but the best way to ensure that your vibrator lasts and lives up to its full potential is to buy high-quality ones. The difference between a ten-dollar vibrator and a hundred-dollar vibrator is more than its price; you’re paying for craftsmanship and the quality of its motor. And, needless to say, the hundred-dollar vibrator will most likely last longer.
Most importantly, relax and enjoy! Vibrators are meant to make you happy, and with a little basic care, we promise they will.
~Adapted from Kimberly Geissler’s Article: Long Live Your Electronic Toy