How to Clean Your Sex Toys – Guide to Buying a Good Sex Toy Cleaner
You want to extend the life of your toys while protecting your health, right?
Then learn how to clean well your sex toys are a must.
Sex toys can spice up your masturbation routine or your pleasure with your partner. It’s a great way to find out more about what you like.
But like anything else, there is a right way and a wrong way to take care of them.
In this guide I will explain the reasons why cleaning is so crucial and an overview of how to clean different materials.
I will also cover the cleaning protocol for different types of sex toys, as well as the best materials to use for work.
Why clean your toys?
Your toys will likely come into contact with vaginal fluids, semen, and potentially anal bacteria.
For some, this knowledge is reason enough to regularly disinfect their toys.
But let’s take a closer look at some good reasons for a regular adult toy cleaning program.
Prevention of cross contamination
Anal bacteria can survive outside the body for days. With a regular cleaning routine, you will reduce the risk of cross-contamination (spread of anal bacteria to the vagina) with your anal toys.
This sanitation process is especially important if you share toys or use them for the anus and vaginal area.
Protection against pathogens
Some pathogens, like hepatitis C, can survive for weeks outside of your body.
If you share toys without cleaning them properly in between, you risk spreading STIs and STDs.
Simply put, regular cleaning of your toys will help prevent the risks of infections below.
When should you clean your toys?
Your first question might be, “How often should I clean my vibrator?” Or something similar.
Ideally, I recommend that you clean your toys before and after each use.
But I understand how the heat of the moment can make cleaning before each use a problem.
So if you have properly sanitized and stored your toy after the last use, you can sometimes do without it without sanitizing it first.
At the very least make sure you wash and store it properly after each use.
Or, better yet, keep sex toy wipes next to your bed to wipe the toy quickly before your playtime begins.
Sharing Toys – The Protocol
When you enjoy sex with a partner who is not bound by a fluid, you should use a condom with your toy and be very careful with disinfection.
Porous and non-porous toys
In this article, I will cover porous and non-porous materials. I have a list of toy types in the cleaning equipment section.
Porous sex toys can be a breeding ground for bacteria because it is difficult to properly sterilize this type of material.
You can still use porous sex toys, but if you do, be sure to wash them immediately after use. Otherwise, the bacteria are more likely to settle in the material.
To be even safer with this, you can use a condom with your porous toys.
If you plan to use this type of toy with a partner, the use of a condom is even more important.
For the sake of simplicity, I recommend using only non-porous sex toys with a partner. That way you can just wash it thoroughly before and after sharing and you’re good to go.
Non-porous materials include glass, metal and silicone, and are naturally water resistant and smooth.
Using condoms with a toy
To avoid the buildup of bacteria, consider using a condom with your toys. Even if you never plan to share it.
If you plan to use a condom with your toy, make sure it is not lubricated or uses a water-based lubricant instead of silicone.
Because condoms that use silicone lubricant can react with your silicone toy and cause deformation or damage.
What is your toy made of?
Knowing what your toy is made of is important not only for your health and safety, but to observe the proper cleaning steps for the toy.
Silicone is an example of a high quality material for a toy.
The silicone is soft, non-porous and has a low risk of irritating sensitive skin. IMHO, this is the best material you can get for a toy.
But there are also plenty of other good guys. If you are unsure of the material of your toy, check the manual or box or search for it online.
Potentially toxic toy materials
When learning more about the composition of your toy, do not forget that some toys are made with toxic materials. Watch out for phenol, phthalates and toluene.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should pay particular attention to the chemicals in your sex toys. Make sure you do your research!
A quick way to tell if your toy contains hazardous materials is to check if it has a strong odor. As a rule, toys with a noticeable odor are made from dangerous materials.
You will recognize this smell as a rubbery or “new car” smell.
6 quick tips for proper cleaning
Whenever you clean your toys, follow these tips to make sure you protect yourself and the materials from damage.
In general, adult toys are not cheap, so you need to treat them properly and help them last as long as possible.
1. Follow the instructions
Each sex toy is different.
So while this article provides some useful general information about cleanliness, manufacturing information is also a great place to look for recommended maintenance instructions.
2. What to use for cleaning
If your toys are made of wood, ceramic, metal, silicone, or ABS plastic, you can use a 10% bleach solution to clean them.
Alternatively, rubbing alcohol is a good disinfectant solution.
If you decide to use soap to clean your toys, be sure to use a mild, fragrance-free product.
The use of harsh soaps with perfumes can increase the risk of irritation in your most sensitive areas. In some cases, these types of cleaners can also damage your toy!
I personally recommend using specific cleaners for sex toys, and I will recommend a few at the end of the article.
The reason I recommend these products over regular soap is that they are specially designed to clean your toys without damaging them.
Prevention is better than cure, right?
3. To immerse or not to immerse?
How do you know if you should submerge your toys in water during the cleaning process?
If the toy has a cord or batteries, it should not go underwater unless it is specifically a waterproof toy.
Even then I would be very careful to immerse your motorized toys. Especially the most expensive!
Durable toys without a motor, on the other hand, can be safely submerged.
Stainless steel and silicone are two safe materials for this. Some people even wash their toys in the dishwasher.
If you do this, avoid high temperatures (for materials like rubber) and avoid using detergent.
For reasons of cleanliness, it is preferable to wash your toys alone in the dishwasher instead of washing them with your dishes.
4. Drying your toys
Use a paper towel or a clean towel to dry your toy once you have finished washing it.
Using the towel you use after washing your hands is not enough, as it is probably full of bacteria.
Always allow your toy to dry completely before putting it away, as wet materials are more at risk of mold and mildew.
5. The boiling water method
If your toy is made of a durable material like stainless steel or silicone, you can disinfect it with boiling water. Again, do not immerse toys with an engine or cord.
If you insist on submerging your toys, make sure they are waterproof.
You do not need to use this method every time you clean your toy. Instead of, I recommend it for 5 uses (for deep cleaning) or if you just shared your toy.
I particularly recommend using the boiling method for anal toys, to kill excess bacteria.
If you are unsure whether it is safe to boil your anal toy, you can contact the manufacturer and ask him.
Otherwise, using a special cleaner for sex toys or wipes for sex toys should be good enough for most cleaning sessions.
6. Proper storage of adult toys
As I mentioned briefly earlier, properly storing your toys is an important step to keep them clean.
While it may seem correct, storing your dildo or anal plug in your drawer is not enough.
Although you may not realize it, the drawer is probably not very clean. Keep your toy in a drawstring bag or even in its original packaging before putting it away.
Cleaning according to material
For the safety of your toys (and your body), you should be aware of the safe disinfection protocol depending on the material of the toy.
I break them down into two categories: porous and non-porous.
Bear in mind:
I recommend using an adult toy cleaner in addition to all of these steps, just to be careful!
As mentioned, non-porous toys are smooth and easier to clean because they do not store bacteria in the same way as porous materials.
Here’s how to care for a variety of non-porous toys:
- Glass: You can use soap and lukewarm water to clean your glass toys, although extreme temperatures should be avoided. If you are cleaning an anal glass toy, be sure to use a rubbing alcohol solution to properly disinfect it and remove any lingering odor.
- Steel: You can boil your stainless steel sex toy or soak it in 10% bleach mixed with water. Steel toys can also stand up to going in the dishwasher, but remember what I said earlier about avoiding detergents. If the toy has an electrical component and is not waterproof, be sure to keep it away from the water.
- Silicone: For silicone toys, you can boil them in water, wash them in the dishwasher, or use lukewarm water with a mild soap to clean them. Remember not to boil the vibrators, as this will likely damage the electrical mechanism.
- Plastic: You can clean hard plastic sex toys with lukewarm water and mild soap, but do not boil them as the material will likely melt.
Porous materials take a little longer to maintain because they are more prone to harbor bacteria.
Here are the general guidelines for the maintenance of porous sex toys:
- Rubber: Rubber sex toys are more difficult to clean than the non-porous toys we just described above. You can use cleaners specified for use with rubber for this type of toy. But again, due to their porous design, I recommend using them with a condom to avoid the buildup of bacteria.
- Leather: Although the sex toys themselves are usually not made of leather, the straps that accompany them may be. For these, you should use wet wipes or a leather cleaner.
- cyberskin: Some sex toys use Cyberskin, a very porous material that creates a realistic feeling. These should be used with cleaners for sex toys specially designed for this purpose, or simply lukewarm water. Avoid abrasive soaps for porous toys as this can damage the materials. When the material is damaged, it is easier for bacteria to settle there.
Cleaning wooden sex toys
You should only use a wooden sex toy if it has a body-safe coating that makes it non-porous.
You can clean your wooden toy with a soft cloth or wipes for sex toys. Other than that, ask the manufacturer what is the safest way to clean the product.
How to clean toys by type
I have already covered some basic information on how to clean toys according to their material. But sex toys come in so many different varieties.
So, to give you a clearer picture and to make sure you follow the right cleaning steps every time with your specific toy, I will also cover the guidelines based on toy categories.
The best way to clean vibrators involves wiping them with a warm, damp towel. You can also use sex toy wipes to disinfect your vibrator.
Just be careful to keep the motorized part as dry as possible.
Since the vibrators come with a motor, they should never go in the dishwasher or in a pot of boiling water.
Do not forget to also clean the cracks in the vibrator (around the buttons, the battery cover or any other crevice).
These areas can be hot spots for bacteria.
To clean a Fleshlight, remove the plastic case and remove any body fluid or lubricant from the insert by running hot water through it.
Bear in mind:
Detergents or cleaners can damage the material of your Fleshlight, so avoid them. Hot water is good enough to clean it.
Let it dry before reassembling it.
You can sprinkle cornstarch or sex toy renewal powder on the Fleshlight insert if it looks slightly sticky after drying.
Male masturbators include hand-sized strokers, pocket pussies and oral sex simulators.
Before cleaning your male masturbator, remove the motor (if it vibrates) to make sure you don’t cause any damage.
Then put the toy under hot water to get rid of any sperm or lubricant residue. If you have a safe toy cleaner to use, you can also use it.
But only use a sex toy cleaner if the toy is hollow all the way through and you can rinse it off completely.
Otherwise, the cleaning product can accumulate inside and you will have no way of removing it.
Dry your male masturbator with a clean, dry cloth or allow it to air dry.
You can clean your penis rings with wet wipes, a damp cloth or warm water.
As with the other toys mentioned, you can also use a sex toy cleaner.
Just make sure the cleaner is specified as compatible with the toy material before doing so.
Cleaning anal sex toys
To prevent your anal toys from becoming too dirty, you should follow the general steps in anal cleanliness before using them.
I wrote a guide on anal hygiene that helps with this.
Make sure you are clean before using them to keep your toys cleaner. If you want to go further, you can use your anal toys with a condom.
When you clean your anal plug, prostate massage device or any other toy for the anal area, I recommend that you be very careful.
Not only is your anus a sensitive area, but your anal toys can easily contaminate your vaginal toys.
You don’t want this type of infection!
So wash your anal toys twice with warm water and use a sex toy cleaner for good measure. You can also boil your anal toys for extra care.
Again, just make sure the material can handle this type of high heat before doing so!
Like your other toys, let your anal plug or anal stimulation device dry completely and store it in a safe and hygienic place.
The best sex toy cleaners
I have mentioned toy cleaners many times throughout the article, and now it is time for me to recommend them.
There are different options here designed for different purposes.
I will cover them quickly so you know which type is right for you.
1. Foaming Cleanser with Green Tea Tree Oil
Foaming Green Tea Cleaner works for all types of toys including metal, rubber, plastic, jelly, glass, etc.
If you are sensitive to soaps, this might work for you.
It is made from non-irritating natural ingredients like lavender oil and guava bark.
It is also free from harsh chemicals like alcohol and parabens.
To use this foaming cleaner, cover your toy with foam, then rinse it.
This cleanser is safe for your body, so it also works to wash you.
2. LoveHoney Sex Toy and Body Wipes
Wipes are a good option for toys with a motor or component that should not be submerged in water.
You can use Lovehoney’s wipes both for your toys and in your intimate areas.
As I mentioned earlier, it is best to clean your toys before and after each use. But in the heat of the moment, running in the bathroom to wash your toy can be a little painful.
The adult toy wipes are a quick fix that you can keep right next to your bed for those occasions.
The pack comes with 25 wipes and is resealable to keep them moist between uses.
But the best part?
These are paraben free and work with all types of toys.
3. LoveHoney Sex Toy Renewer Powder
It can be difficult to keep male sex toys (or any product using realistic materials, such as Cyberskin) cool.
This sex toy renewal powder will keep them like new.
To use it, apply light dusting after thoroughly cleaning your toy and letting it dry.
It can help your toys last longer and continue to feel good through many uses.
I hope this guide has been helpful to you in learning how to keep all of your naughty toys safe and clean.
When your toys are hygienic, you reduce your risk of getting infections and STIs (if you share your toys).
Thanks for reading!