How to Clean Your Sex Toys

There are many types of toys out there, and they should not all be cleaned in the same way. Since a well-made toy will set you back a bit financially, it would be a pity to ruin it by using the wrong cleaning method.

Let’s begin with a few rules about cleaning sex toys:

Always clean them after use. While post-orgasmic bliss may have you wanting to curl up and be lazy, you’ll still want to get up and clean your sex toy first. Bacteria can build up on sex toys, which could lead to undesired infections later. It’s best to get in the habit of washing your toys after every single use.

Clean them again before use. If your toy is made of nonporous material and you’ve washed and stored it well, you can still give it a rinse off before use. But since nobody wants a yeast or bladder infection, it’s really not a bad idea to clean your toy again before use, especially if it’s made from softer, porous materials.

Allow them to dry properly. Dampness invites bacteria, so make sure your toy is properly dried before storing it in a clean silk or cloth bag. I prefer air drying my toys, but if you want them cleaned and put away quickly, be sure the towel you use is clean.

Don’t drown your motorized toys. Unless your vibrator and other motorized toys are waterproof, you should not submerge it in water or stick it in the dishwasher.

Use mild soap and avoid alcohol products. Always use a mild, fragrance-free soap. I do not recommend using an antibacterial soap, which can leave residue on toys. The fragrances and dyes in soap could irritate your nether region, so choose a soap that’s gentle. If you use a toy cleaner, know that many of them contain alcohol, which could cause irritation and may erode your toy.

Can I really stick it in the dishwasher? I am not a fan of this method, but I know people who enjoy cleaning their waterproof nonporous toys this way. Use the top drawer of the dishwasher and do not use detergent, which can break down and damage your toy.

Know your toy’s materials. Is it porous or nonporous? Porous materials have small holes where bacteria and dirt can live, build up and lead to infections. You will never get these completely cleaned, so you should never share them without covering them with a non-lubricated condom.

Here’s a quick guide to cleaning your sex toys listed by material.

Nonporous toys:

Glass can be washed with mild, fragrance-free soap and water. Avoid high temperatures and do not stick in the dishwasher.

Stainless steel and stone toys can be boiled or placed in a 10% bleach-water solution for  8-10 minutes. Many stainless steel toys are also dishwasher safe.

Silicone dildos can be boiled for 5-10 minutes. Silicon toys can also be placed in the top rack of a dishwasher or cleaned with a gentle soap and hot water.

Silicon vibrators shouldn't be boiled as you can injure them. Wash them with a mild soap and warm water. Be sure not to submerge your vibrator in water unless it is waterproof.

Hard plastic is usually nonporous and can be cleaned with warm water and soap. Do not boil hard plastic toys.

Porous toys:

Jelly, rubber, PVC, and latex are porous and should never be shared. They can be washed with mild, non-irritating soap and water. Do not boil porous toys. Dry them with a clean, lint-free towel. Lint can easily stick to jelly toys, so always wash them again before use.

Cyberskin and vinyl toys can break down easily, so carefully wash these toys with warm water and a small amount of soap (too much soap could cause damage), then allow them to air dry. A small amount of cornstarch can be applied to keep your toy from getting sticky.

Leather should be cleaned with leather cleaner, or a damp soapy cloth. A layer of leather conditioner can be applied to keep your toys at their best. Never soak leather. Apply a thin layer of clear nail polish to metal parts to prevent tarnishing.