I tweeted a picture of the Steelheart all polished up and compared to the Half Shell (which, for some metallurgical reason has always been massively shiny) and that led to some interest in cleaning in general so I figured maybe it was time to do another post about that.
The picture I tweeted is included and, therefore, here’s a jump to protect those in NSFW environments…
But, before we get to polishing, we need to get to the day to day stuff. I am usually in the Steeleheart, of course, so everything I say in this post is based on being in a closed metal tube rather than plastic or an open cage or what have you.
A lot of guys avoid the Steelheart or similarly closed tubes because they’re worried about hygiene. I think some of this comes down to body chemistry, tbh. Some guys are just stinkier than others. Belle has often commented on how I am almost always shockingly non-smelly, even after a work out. I know I can rarely smell myself in traditional B.O. ways and always get a bit of a thrill when I can. In fact, I never wear antiperspirant or deodorant and haven’t bought any in decades. So, all that to say, I may not be the best analog to you when it comes to smelliness.
In any event, I find most of the time and under normal circumstances, the Steelheart doesn’t smell bad. It will, occasionally, get a urinal kind of odor, but much more often it develops a kind of funky, almost verdant aroma. One that I don’t find unpleasant at all. Of course, it’s also that case that I don’t have any kind of cleanliness obsession so your threshold for what is an acceptable level of cleanliness and/or scent is going to be different than mine.
All that said, it’s a fact that a device like the Steelheart with its one, relatively small opening will hold on to more urine than an open cage. Which means, after I take a piss, there is some residual hanging about. If I’m in a normal bathroom, I will take a few sheets of toilet paper and hold it against the opening while giving the tube a good shake to help remove and absorb as much as I can. If I’m in a men’s room, I’ll minimally give it a shake to get a few drops out but sometimes even that isn’t possible if there’s another guy in there and it’s quiet and I don’t feel like rattling the PA and fixing. And that leads to a moist pouch and even an occasional visible wet spot.
So, yeah, errant urine is just going to be a fact of life for any penis-having person with any device locked onto them. Especially since the little pinch and roll move to help remove urine from one’s penis can’t happen when the penis in question can’t be touched. But, as detailed above, there are some things that can help obviate the issue a bit.
Next line of hygiene defense would be a daily shower. I don’t actually like showering every day and, based on my general non-stinkiness mentioned above, don’t need one. It’s especially the case here in the frozen north that daily showering in the winter can dry your skin out. But I will often shower at least five times a week or so because it’s the best way to get the Steelheart clean. I don’t use any special tools or anything. Just soap up the whole unit and use my fingers to get it down into the tube. Then I do a kind of Tennessee Valley Authority redirection of the shower water to flush the soap out.
Note, I have a special way to keep myself clean while tent camping I detailed in this Twitter thread. Camping without showers and with the extra opportunities for strenuous, sweat-inducing activities will often overwhelm even the most advantageous body chemistry.
The next step up from dailyish cleaning happens every two to three weeks. The errant urine in the tube eventually builds up a kind of mineral crust on the PA ring (but also a bit on the inside walls of the tube) and the only way to deal with that is a vinegar soak. Note that I can usually feel the need to clean it more than smell it. The PA ring starts to pinch in a distinctive way I think related to the fact that it can move more freely when clean and shiny and that’s my clue the soak needs to happen. Of course, my rules state I must be locked up at all times Belle isn’t using the penis, so needing to clean the Steelheart means I need to swap into something else, even if only for the short time the soak takes.
I use straight white vinegar in a cup and place the tube, fixing, and PA ring (but not the base ring) in it to soak for at least 15 minutes. I have forgotten about it on occasion and have found zero ill-effects of leaving it soaking for days, so no rush. After, the crusty stuff is easily removed with some soapy water and a little persuasion. There’s no way I know of to removed these deposits while the device is still on me, but I’m open to ideas!
Every couple of months, I find the shine on the tube to be getting a little dull so I use some metal polishing cloths I got off Amazon to brighten it up. They last a long time and work really well as can be evidenced from the image above.
And…that’s about it. Happy to answer any questions left in the comments.