What Kind of Silicone Can I use to Make Sex Toys?
There are several kinds of silicone but there is only one that you can use to make body-safe sex toys.
Here’s the TLDR: Only platinum cure silicone can be considered body safe.
What kinds of silicone are there?
(First, this isn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide to silicone curing systems but rather explaining why we use the silicones we do. There are several other curing systems that can be used but they are used in manufacturing and beyond the scope of our discussion.)
Silicones are defined by their curing mechanism. At the highest level, we have condensation-cure and addition-cure.
With condensation-cure, the silicone cures by taking moisture out the humidity in the air. Then it creates the cross-links that cause the silicone to cure. This is going to be things like silicone caulking you might use in your bathroom. These are sensitive to humidity and will not cure if the humidity too high or too low.
The main problem with condensation cure silicone is that it is not body safe.
Addition cure silicone cures when a catalyst is added to the mix causing the silicone to start the curing process. Usually this is a metal, but there are others. But, these come in 2 main “flavors”: Tin-Cure Silicone and Platinum-Cure Silicone
Tin-cure silicone uses tin as the catalyst. The primary downside of tin-cure silicone is that it creates alcohols during the curing process and so it can’t be considered body safe. Also it causes cure inhibition in platinum cure silicone so if you will be working with platinum cure silicone don’t keep tin-cure silicone anywhere near your platinum cure silicone work area. The best option would be to just not allow tin-cure silicone in your studio. But if that’s not an option, at least have separate work spaces for your different kinds of silicone and never let tools or supplies move between the work spaces!
Platinum cure silicone on the other hand is the perfect silicone for what we want. It is stable. It doesn’t produce hazardous chemicals in the curing process. And it’s fairly easy to work with. It is a little sensitive to contaminants causing cure inhibition but being conscious of that is usually good enough to keep you from having problems.
Platinum cure silicone also comes in a variety of firmnesses and it’s easily colored with mica pigments. Also, the molds can last years where tin-cure silicone molds tend to fail in a year.
Smooth-On has a variety of silicone choices that you can work with – I’d recommend starting with the DragonSkin or the EcoFlex lines of platinum cure silicone. You can find some recommendations here.
Until Next time!