How to Clean Your Sex Toys The Right Way So You Can Use Them Safely
We can’t say enough good things about sex toys. They’re great for solo pleasure, they can be a stimulating addition to partnered sex, and in general they help you explore different sensations and learn what feels good to you. But if you’re going to use dildos, vibrators, butt plugs and the like, whether it’s during masturbation or sex, it’s imperative that you learn how to properly clean them. Failing to properly clean sex toys both before and after using them can result in bacterial infections like bacterial vaginosis, UTIs and yeast infections. If you use sex toys with a partner(s), not cleaning them before and after use can also spread STIs and STDs. So yes, safe sex is also a thing to consider even when toys are involved. Here’s how to clean those sex toys the right way.
A quick lesson: sex toys are made of different materials, and some are made from a material that can harbor bacteria, oils, dirt, etc. These ones must be cleaned with specific products that don’t disrupt that and make that bacteria spread. Or worse, give you an infection. Nonporous materials include things like silicone, glass, metals, and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic. Porous materials, the ones that can harbor bacteria and other generally gross things, include rubber, latex, Soft skin items. These toys need to be cleaned more thoroughly, and it’s more important that you clean them after every use.
You probably don’t want to hear this, but sex toys should be cleaned after every single use. While that may sound laborious, it makes sense. Even if you’re only using it yourself, it is very easy for bacteria to attach themselves to your toys. You don’t want that getting anywhere near your genitals!
If you keep the packaging, there should be cleaning instructions. However, if you just couldn’t wait and tossed that packaging immediately (relatable), here are a few guidelines:
- Use a mild soap-free of any micro-beads, exfoliants, or harsh ingredients. Make sure whatever soap you’re using is fragrance-free, as fragrances can irritate the vagina and the pH balance of your vulva.
- You can try cleaning it with some mild soap and water, but that might not get it completely clean. If you’re using this kind of toy with a partner, we’d recommend trying it with a condom to make sure no bacteria or STIs are transferred.
- Be careful about putting a non-waterproof toy (especially one that vibrates or is motorized) right into water. Just use a washcloth with a mild soap and a little bit of water, and then dry it with a paper towel.
- Clean your toys with boiling water. If it’s not made of silicone, Pyrex, or stainless steel, try the above. Always dry your toys off completely — especially if the toy is made of silicone or isn’t waterproof, as the water can hurt the material.
Oh, and don’t forget to wipe down your lube bottles and wash your hands. Those are sex toys in need of cleaning too.
You can keep a sex toy cleaner like the Amoreux Toy Clearer on hand. It’s a quick and discreet option that you can use to disinfect and spot cleaning your toy without harming its material, but it’s not for everyday use. The toy cleaner is more like quick wash and go. It’s better than nothing, but it can’t replace giving the item a full wash. If you have an orgasm so unbelievable you simply cannot motivate yourself to move afterward. You can wipe your toy down with the toy cleaner and give it a deeper wash once you’re ready to get up.
Don’t leave your toys out to collect dust on your nightstand. No matter a toy’s material, avoid storing it in cramped or damp quarters. Like rolling around in a drawer, where it can touch other items. This is especially important for products made of elastomers or rubber, which might deteriorate if left to come in contact with other materials.
For this reason, we recommends housing your sex toys in a storage bag, case, or organizer that closes and zips. Which will keep dust, hair, and toxins off your toys.