Intimate Product Cleaning Advice

How To Properly Clean Your Sex Toys

Nearly 14 years ago, I bought my first sex toy, and at the risk of sounding

melodramatic, it kind of changed my life. It was a bullet vibrator, and the day I

brought it home, I spent about two and a half hours having consecutive orgasms because

of it. Ever since then, I've been a pretty big supporter of using sex toys. Sex toys can

spice up sex between long-term partners, they're useful to make sure you get off during

partnered sex, and they're also great for single people (like me) who are just too lazy

to finger themselves. But if you're into using sex toys — whether you use them strictly

when you're masturbating, or you use them during sex, too — it's imperative that you

learn how to properly clean your sex toys. As I'm sure you already know, dirty vibrators

and dildos can cause some pretty nasty vaginal infections. Also, if you generally share

your sex toys with a partner failing to properly clean your sex toys before and after

use can actually result in them spreading STIs and STDs between you and your partner.

So, just to be safe, you might want to read the following six tips on how to properly

clean your sex toys.

Know What Material Your Toy Is Made Out Of

According to Women's Health, how you should clean your sex toy depends largely

on what the toy is made of. Evidently, silicone sex toys are hard to beat, because

they're pretty soft, non-porous, and generally not irritating to sensitive skin. You should

be able to tell what your sex toy is made of just by checking out the box and/or the

manual it came with, but if you've already lost or pitched those things, you can look

your toy up online, too. As you do so, keep in mind that many sex toys

(particularly the jelly rubber kind) can contain toxic materials, like phthalates.

If your sex toy looks and feels like real skin, then it's probably made of cyberskin.

Since cyberskin (also called "softskin" or "ultraskin") is super porous, it's crucial to only

use a little bit of mild soap and warm water to clean it. Additionally, if your toy is made

of porous materials like cyberskin, jelly rubber, or hard plastic, then getting it 100%

clean isn't even possible, and you'll want to make sure to wrap it in a condom if you're


Make Sure You're Using Small Amounts Of Mild, Fragrance-Free Soap To 

Wash Your Toys

Don't make the mistake of thinking you need to use a harsh soap, or see lots of suds,

in order for your sex toy to get properly cleaned. Actually, using too much soap or

extremely harsh soap can damage sex toys that are made out of more sensitive materials

(like cyberskin). You should probably also stick to only using fragrance free soap on

your toys, just so you can avoid any undo irritation to your vulva.

This is especially important to keep in mind when you're washing any toys you may

have that are made of porous materials. Sex toy cleaning sprays and wipes are also

an option to keep in mind, because they're specifically formulated to clean sex toys

without damaging them. They're not too expensive either. So whether you've put a lot

of money into your sex toy collection or you simply want to make your toys last as

long as possible, consider investing in a sex toy cleaning spray.

Don't Submerge Any Toy That's Motorized

You probably could have figured this one out for yourself, but I'm going to go ahead

and cover it anyway. If your sex toy is motorized, and not sold as water proof — whether

that means you're working with a battery-powered situation or your toy actually has

a power cord of some sort — never submerge it in water. You'll ruin it, and then it

won't matter how clean it is; because you'll either have to go to a sex shop and buy

one in your sexually frustrated state, or order a replacement online and wait patiently

for it to be delivered. Instead, clean these toys with a dab of mild soap and a damp


Do Submerge Non-Motorized, Durable Toys In Boiling Water

If your sex toy is made out of a durable material (like silicone, pyrex, stainless steel,

or stone) and it's not motorized, then you should be submerging it in water to properly

clean it. In fact, letting your toy sit in boiling water for a few minutes is your best bet

for a deep clean. You can also run your sex toys through the dishwasher to sanitize

them, but make sure to pay attention to any cleaning instructions regarding water

temperature (and be sure you don't load your machine up with Cascade first).

Always Use Clean Towels To Dry Off Your Sex Toys After Washing Them

I know, I know, duh. But seriously, it's important that you use either a super clean

hand towel or a fresh paper towel to dry off your sex toys. Don't think it's ever safe

to use the dingy hand towel hanging in your bathroom, either. Because unless you

live alone and never have guests over, or you wash your bath towels daily, then that

towel's almost definitely holding some bacteria hostage.

No matter what you choose to use when you dry your sex toys off, though, make sure

you dry them completely before storing them. Regardless of how sanitary your sex

toy storage space is, even slightly damp sex toys are susceptible to mould and mildew

growth. Not only will fungus likely ruin your toys, it's obviously not something you want

to rub on or inside of yourself.

Wash Your Toys Before & After You Use Them

I know it's a pain in the butt to wash your sex toys before and after you use them

especially if you're in the middle of something sexy and fun. But if you assume your

sex toy is safe to use in the morning just because you washed it the night before you

could end up putting yourself at risk for infections.

Of course, this depends largely on how you store your sex toys. If you put your toys

in their own sanitized case or bag directly after washing them, then it's not as likely

that your toy rolled up against something germ-y overnight. However, since we're

talking about your body here, regardless of your sex toy storage methods, you should

probably go ahead and wash your toys both before and after you use them. It'll only

take a minute, and knowing you're not about to give yourself an infection can only

work to make your whole experience hotter, right?