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cleaning and sanitation question
  • TT
    Posts: 3
    i know the instructions say to clean the aneros with warm soapy water before and after each use. can i apply this same procedure to the rectal syringe and lube applicator? seems to me like soap alone isn't enough to kill all the bacteria all the instruments are introduced to inside the rectum.
  • i wash my helix in warm soapy water then i dip it in rubbing alcohol let soak for a minute then rinse VERY WELL!!!!!!!and i also store it in the original package and its clean and sanitized.
  • B MayfieldB Mayfield
    Posts: 2,140
    (this post was edited 2005-10-15 19:10:57)


    Brut has this one right. This is a really good question; sorry I haven't answered it sooner. It’s important to distinguish between cleaning and disinfection . Soap effectively lowers the surface tension of the item that's being cleaned and combined with water, is strictly a means of mechanical removal of surface contamination. Soap, in and of itself is neither bacteriostatic (inhibits bacterial growth) nor bactericidal (kills them). In essence, it’s good for removing that which you can see with the naked eye.

    To be clear, I’m NOT condemning the practice of cleaning with soap. It's just to say that it has its limitations. I’m reminded of a BacT class that I took where the professor had us take our thumbs and press it on one side of a petri dish. He then told us to wash our hands vigorously for a solid 6 minutes with Boraxo soap. After drying, he instructed us to make a cleaned thumbprint on the other side of the petri dish. After 48 hours incubation, the results were pretty shocking, in that the cleaned print demonstrated 4 times the growth than the uncleaned area. Why? Again, all soap does (when used properly) is to facilitate the removal of material from the skin. And with respect to a finger, one ends up dredging up more bacteria from the recesses of ones pores from the cleaning process than are on the surface to begin with!

    Disinfection involves cleaning to the extent that one effectively destroys or renders harmless any bacteria that are present. Anti-bacterial soaps would seem to be the answer, but don't let the anti-bacterial label fool you. Most common forms of these products contain levels of active ingredients that are far too low in concentration to do any good. And even they had higher levels, it would be necessary to leave it on the skin (or the surface being cleaned) for 15 to 20 minutes to have any appreciable effect. So unless you have a commercial grade product, say like a surgical scrub, don’t bother with the “antibacterial” soaps. (Even surgical scrubs require that you use them for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, rinsing and reapplying several times during in the process, to achieve an effective “kill”.

    The use of an antiseptic is really the only reliable method of disinfection. Hydrogen peroxide, stabilized iodine solutions (Betadine), and isopropyl alcohol (“rubbing alcohol”) are some examples. Isopropyl alcohol is by far the cheapest and most accessible antiseptic that’s out there. Alcohol “kills’ by dehydrating and in some instances degrading the cell walls of bacteria. Consequently, this makes alcohol an inappropriate choice for sanitizing some toys (the jelly type in particular) in that it can degrade the surface of the toy as well. But fortunately for us, alcohol seems to have no appreciable effect on the surface of the Aneros.

    My method of sanitizing the Aneros and the syringe (if I should use it), is to thoroughly clean with soap and warm water first. I then completely immerse these items in alcohol for 10 to 15 minutes. (I take a sandwich size baggy fill it about a quarter of the way with the alcohol, seal the top and shake it well…then lay it down). After the alcohol bath I rinse them with water and let them dry before storing.

    This may seem like a lot to go through, but in fact it takes a couple of minutes to do, and leaves me with the knowledge that all of my stuff is truly sanitized and ready for the next session.

    BF Mayfield

    P.S. I’m aware that there are several products out there made for the expressed purpose of cleaning toys such as Mighty Tidy or Safe Suds. If you should get the impression that they sanitize anything, the ingredients (different organic surfactants…soaps) indicate that they are really cleverly packaged cleaning products. Soap and alcohol are cheaper and really do the trick!

  • TT
    Posts: 3
    BF Mayfield,

    thank you for the thorough write-up. your reply was exactly what i was hoping for.
  • Edit
    Posts: 0
    Oh, yeah. I personally do all that, plus place my aneros in a plasma chamber to sputter off a few microns of the surface, then run it through 2 days in an ultraviolet sterilizer and then give it 3 RADs of gamma rays, just to be extra sure it’s sterilized.

    WTF? Do you really need to go to all that trouble? I mean, I run my dishes through the dishwasher with nothing more than soap and I EAT OFF OF THEM! Why have I been washing my hands all these years? Why does the Center for Disease Control advocate washing your hands? If it isn’t doing us any good, why are we wasting our time? Just to make us feel better?

    I can see going to the extra trouble if you’re sharing the aneros, but if you are the only one using it, it’s YOUR bacteria. You’re not adding anything that wasn’t already there, especially since it isn’t a porous material.

    Wash it off with soap and warm water, dry it of with a towel, and put it away – then wash it again before use. Done.