I know I shouldn’t be too surprised that sex toys can mold, but let me tell you, it was an unexpected discovery. It happened one day when I was rummaging around in my nightstand drawer and I found my favorite vibrator covered in a thick, fluffy mold. At first my heart just sank, which makes sense since I’d spent a pretty penny on that thing. But then I remembered that I haven’t used it in months and I thought, why did this happen? So I did a little research and I was even more shocked to realize that moldy sex toys are a surprisingly common problem.

Apparently, dildos moisture can accumulate inside sex toys, which can create the perfect environment for mold to grow. And it’s not just mold—yeast and bacteria can also build up over time and make the toy very unhygienic. Plus, it’s super icky to have to clean up mold every time you want to use the toy! So if you’re buying sex toys, you need to be aware of the risk of mold, and taking proper steps to make sure it never happens to you.

The best way to prevent your sex toy from getting moldy is by keeping it dry. It doesn’t matter if the toy is made of silicone, metal, or rubber—don’t let it sit in moisture for long periods of time or the mold could start growing. After I found the moldy mess in my drawer, I started drying off my toys with a towel after every use and storing them in a cool, dry place, and so far it’s worked like a charm.

If your sex toy does get moldy, don’t panic! Just wash it with a gentle anti-bacterial soap and make sure it’s completely dry before you put it away. And if the mold doesn’t come off, you might have to throw away your toy and get a new one. It’s a bummer, but it’s worth it to make sure no ickiness remains.

You also should stick to using water-based lubricants with sex toys. Most toys are designed to be used with water-based lubes, and they can wear down the material if you use oil-based or silicone lubes. Plus, these types of lubes can provide a better surface for bacteria and other icky stuff to grow on. So it’s best to stick to water-based lubes if you want to play it safe.

It’s also important to remember that sex toys are not indestructible. Even the toughest metals and most durable plastics will deform over time if you don’t take good care of them. And if the material starts to change shape, moisture can start to collect in nooks and crannies, creating an environment where mold can grow. If you notice anything off about the texture of your toy, stop using it right away and make sure it’s completely dry before you store it.

So, why do sex toys mold? It’s all about moisture. To keep your toys safe and vibrators hygienic, make sure you dry them off after every use and store them in a cool, dry place. And be sure to use water-based lubricants to make sure the material doesn’t break down. Do all that, and you’ll never have to worry about gross, moldy toys again!