Trusted for 23+ Years
The Enlightening Guide To Sex Toys & Batteries
Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert
Sex Toy Longevity
Let's pull back the curtain on some enlightening tidbits about sex toys requiring batteries. The lifespan of your sex toy isn't just about the tech; it's about proper care. Thus, we have put together a few reminders on using them in your sex toys most effectively.
Properly taking care of your sensual products includes sex toy longevity and can mean the difference between having a sex toy for a few months versus years. Much of the information in this article is not well known, but it's essential for peak performance to keep your sex toys running well.
Store Batteries Outside Of Sex ToysJust as we can clean and properly store our sex toys to ensure they serve us well, storing your batteries outside of your sex toy can extend your toy's battery life and lifespan. There are a few reasons why this is true:
- If your sex toys are inadvertently turned on when moved around and not in use, it can drain the batteries even at a low speed.
- If you washed your sex toy and some water accidentally got into the battery compartment, it can corrode the battery and the contacts inside the toy. That is why it is important to always make sure to completely dry your sex toy and leave the batteries out to let in air and to keep it from getting damaged by moisture.
- Alkaline batteries can leak and corrode everything inside your sex toy, causing it to be permanently ruined. If this happens, do not try and remove them. Your sex toy is ruined, and it should be discarded. You will need to properly dispose of the product to avoid getting chemical burns from the damaged battery.
Alkaline batteries are the YOLO of the battery family and are non-rechargeable. The name alkaline is based on the potassium hydroxide cocktail inside, not a throwback to the old acidic electrolyte battery juice used in older, non-alkaline batteries. They are what most people grew up using.
While the most common battery type is the standard disposable alkaline battery, there is a game-changing alternative to this alkaline counterpart. Enter the NiMH rechargeable battery, which comes in all standard sizes, such as AAA, AA, C, and D, as well as others.
NiMH batteries offer better performance than alkaline batteries because they maintain a more consistent voltage over an extended time. This means your sex toy is going to hold its peak power longer with NiMH batteries than with alkaline batteries.
Remember that when either of these battery types starts to slow down, you should remove them. Allowing a NiMH battery to keep going after it’s run down can damage the battery. Before a complete discharge, you should place rechargeable NiMH batteries into a charger where they can be easily brought back up to full power.
NiMH rechargeable batteries can last for many years and are great for sex toys. One of the best rechargeable NiMH batteries is the Eneloop battery made by Panasonic. They can be charged up to 2100 times and don’t have the 'memory effect' common with other brands of NiMH batteries.
What Is The Memory Effect?
The memory effect is when a battery is charged before the energy has been used up. The battery then memorizes this altered, decreased life cycle. Then when you go to use it again, the voltage decreases immediately. This results in your toy running out of power prematurely.
Eneloop batteries do not have this issue, which is why it’s the battery we recommend to our customers. You can purchase them along with the required charger at any store that carries batteries.
A third commonly used rechargeable battery type in sex toys are lithium-Ion (Li-ion). Unlike alkaline or NiMH batteries, which are inserted by the user, lithium-Ion batteries are permanently installed and never removed. They are the batteries used in rechargeable sex toys.
You can learn more about this battery type in our Rechargeable Sex Toys Guide.
Recycle Your Batteries
Batteries in landfills are not just bad for the environment; they are bad for your health. Even though landfills are lined, rainwater carries chemicals in your trash into the water table, which contaminates your drinking supply.
So next time you are heading to the garbage with batteries, think about that glass of water you will drink and choose to recycle it. A useful resource for finding recycling centers in your area is Earth 911.
Batteries Stuck In Sex Toy
While using rechargeable batteries generally works great, please be aware that some brands run slightly larger than others and can be larger than their alkaline counterparts.
For example, you could have a rechargeable AA battery that's slightly taller or wider than a standard AA alkaline battery. This could cause the battery to become stuck in your sex toy. This is not usually a problem unless your sex toy's battery compartment is very tight.
If your batteries get stuck, you may want to try the following tips; however, please note that we are not liable for any damage you cause to a sex toy as a result of batteries becoming stuck inside and your attempts to remove them.
These are suggestions only and are to be done at your own risk:
- You can attempt to pull the batteries out with some slim pliers.
- You can also try using a flat head screwdriver or butter knife to wiggle the batteries out.
- You can try putting the battery compartment (not the whole product) wrapped in a plastic bag into the freezer and wait a few hours. If you cannot remove the battery compartment, you may try putting the entire product inside. The point in doing this is to reduce any swelling caused by heat around the batteries and allow for them to loosen up inside.
- If you can remove the batteries, do not use these types of batteries in the product again.
- Be warned that if an alkaline battery or other types that are stuck and has leaked or exploded within the device, do not attempt to remove it. You will need to properly dispose of the product to not incur chemical burns from the damaged battery.
Is It Your Sex Toy Or Your Batteries?
Customers who think an adult toy is defective often find that it was just improper positioning of the batteries, so make sure to read the following carefully:
Removing The Pull Tab
Battery pull tabs are clear plastic strips put inside your sex toy to ensure it doesn't accidentally activate during shipping and to preserve battery life. You can easily pull on this tab to remove it and allow the device to function.
A Good Charge
Make sure your batteries have not expired and that they have a good charge.
Clearing The Contacts
Make sure the battery contacts are clear of paper or residue. This will ensure that the battery has a clean connection to provide the most power.
Make sure that the batteries have been inserted correctly. This means checking the polarity. Most battery compartments have diagrams showing where the positive (+) and negative (-) ends of the batteries should be placed.
If you haven't already, check the battery compartment for a battery diagram. If it isn't written on the paper insert, it might be imprinted on the casing inside the battery compartment, on the battery compartment lid, or written on a card included with your vibrator. Then make sure the positive end of the battery matches the positive and negative ends.
Getting The Seal Properly Aligned
If the toy is not working, try adjusting the batteries to make sure they are making contact. If your batteries are in good condition and installed correctly, and the vibrator still doesn't work, check that the base cap is tight.
Many waterproof vibrators come with a rubber grommet at the base to prevent water from entering the battery compartment. For the contacts to reach the battery, it's often necessary to tighten up the base.
It's okay to tighten up the base as long as you're twisting the base and not the adjustment dial; be careful not to break it. Twist the base until it comes in contact with the batteries.
Removing Noise Protection
Some vibrators come with a paper or plastic insert inside the battery compartment. Before removing them, consider that vibrators often work best when these inserts are left intact. They cut down unwanted noise by separating the battery from the outer casing and allowing it to fit snugly in its compartment.
If there is no insert installed, the battery could rattle against the outer case, causing a lot of noise. The inserts also act as a moisture barrier, helping to prevent unwanted moisture from coming in contact with the battery and avoiding any battery leakage from coming in contact with your vibrator's casing. If a manufacturer has placed them in the battery compartment, it may be best to keep them inside.
Reducing Battery Noise
As mentioned, some sex toys that use batteries are louder than their rechargeable counterparts because the batteries themselves move inside the toy and knock against the interior walls. Let's explore this in more detail:
Paper & Cardboard Inserts
Some "sexperts" on the internet have suggested putting paper or cardboard inside the battery compartment that the manufacturer did not put in there. However, there are potential dangers associated with using foreign materials, such as paper or cardboard, within battery compartments.
Batteries, particularly when corroded, can pose risks of chemical leakage, short circuits, and heat generation. These issues can be made worse by materials that are not designed for such environments. Let's dive into the potential risks to consider:
Corrosion & Leakage
If batteries corrode, they can leak caustic chemicals, which can degrade paper or cardboard, potentially leading to further spread and leaking.
If paper or cardboard becomes moist from humidity or water when cleaning, it can become a conduit for electricity, leading to a short circuit of your sex toy.
Batteries can get warm, especially if they're short-circuited or malfunctioning. Paper or cardboard can increase the risk of fire if that occurs.
Is Electrical Tape A Safer Alternative?
If you're looking to reduce vibration noise or stabilize batteries, please know you may be voiding your warranty, and we cannot be liable for your choosing to tinker with your sex toy. With that being said, it would be potentially safer to use electrical tape compared to paper or cardboard, as electrical tape is designed to insulate electrical connections and resist heat.
Also, remember that inserting additional materials in the battery compartment might prevent the battery cover from closing securely, or it could exert pressure on the batteries, possibly causing damage or misalignment.
Furthermore, if you wash or use a sex toy in water and the seal is not secure because you have not put the closure back on properly or because there are additional materials that you have added inside the battery compartment, you could inadvertently allow water into the battery compartment which would ruin the toy.
If you are attempting to use your sex toy for the first time and it is not turning on, keep in mind that most modern and high-end sex toys have travel locks. Most often, this is a feature in rechargeable sex toys, but if yours has one, then you will have to disengage it.
This is simply a feature that keeps your sex toy from inadvertently turning on. Thus, you must push the power button for 3-6 seconds to disengage the travel lock and turn the sex toy on. To turn it off, you will need to hold the power button for 3-6 seconds as well.
Your sex toy's longevity is not just about its mechanics but how you maintain it, especially when batteries are involved. From choosing the right type of battery to understanding storage and usage, there's a lot to take in.
It's essential to take the time to care for these products, as they, in turn, care for you. Thus, always champion safety, give batteries their eco-friendly exit, and treat your device with longevity in mind.