Do sex toys expire? (and how to dispose of them)

do sex toys expire

Most sex toys are built to last and will continue to provide pleasure for many years, but do sex toys expire? Some premium versions can last a lifetime with proper care. The more expensive toys tend to last longer than the cheaper ones. And a toy that is well-kept will last longer than a badly kept one. Eventually, though, most sex toys show signs of wear and tear, and you’ll need to let them go.

How do I know my sex toy has expired? 

There are many ways to tell that your sex toy has expired. If your vibrator isn’t working the way it should or your dildo has some cracks and scratches, then it is probably time to let it go. Here are some other signs to look for: 

1. Change in shape 

If your toy begins to change shape even slightly, then it is probably time to let it go. This is more common in jelly toys, but it can happen to many soft toys, too. This can mean a slight bend when it should be straight, or vice versa. Any changes in the shape are a sign that it is time to get rid of the toy. 

2. Cracks and openings 

Any new cuts, cracks, holes, or any other obvious signs of wear and tear should be discarded. It is easy for bacteria to lurk in those openings and find their way into the body, and no one wants that. Out in the trash it goes.

3. The motor is malfunctioning 

If you notice any strange sounds or sensations while using your motorized toys, then it is probably time to dispose of it. This could be a slow whirring or odd clicking noises. It could be that the batteries need changing, but if it continues once you’ve changed them, it’s best to dispose of it.

4. Change in color and texture 

If your toy begins to lose its color and texture, then it is definitely time to let it go. It may look like it’s just seen too much sun, but it could mean that it’s slightly damaged. A change in color or texture can mean tiny cracks and, you guessed it, more germs.  

What should I do with an expired sex toy? 

Once you have determined that your toy needs to go, the next thing is to find the best way to dispose of it in a safe way. The main concern is disposing of them in environmentally conscious ways.  Here are some options: 

Take it to a public electrical recycling center.

If your toys are motorized or battery-powered, then the best option is to that them to an electrical recycling center. At the center, the toys would be safely recycled without any harm to the environment. You can search for a center near you here, and we always recommend calling before heading there to ensure your device is able to be responsibly recycled.

Send it to a sex toy recycling company. 

You heard that right. Some companies pay you to ship your old sex toys to them. These companies will then professionally restore them or use them to make new devices. Examples of companies that provide this service are Scarlet Girl in Portland, Oregon and Eden Fantasys based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Place them in the recycling bin. 

If you have access to recycling bins and your toys are plastic, then recycling them with your usual plastics could be an idea. Probably not the best idea to put them in your household recycling, you do not need that message on your NextDoor app. And, be sure to double-check that it fits your local recycling requirements!

All good things must come to an end, including the lifespan of a favorite sex toy. Buying premium toys and taking excellent care of them protects them from disrepair, but even then, damage and expiry can happen. The best thing, in that case, is to dispose of them responsibly, so they don’t harm the environment.

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