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How to clean your sex toys

By Anonymous Author
Cleaning and adequately storing your sex toys is vital for keeping them in tip-top shape and long-lasting. While there's nothing "dirty" about genitals, bacteria and organic matter can build up on your toys and spread, so thoroughly cleaning them is essential. Unclean sex toys can introduce bacteria, fungi, and other unwanted pathogens.

One of the safest ways of cleaning your sex toy is with a sex toy cleaning spray or any other high-quality disinfectant that is silicone friendly. Spray the cleaner over the entire surface area, then wipe with a clean cloth. Then, rinse your toy thoroughly with warm water and mild soap, and let it dry completely before putting it away. For cleaning sex toys like male masturbators, remove the inner sleeve completely. Be sure to remove batteries before cleaning battery-operated toys. 

Another option is to use a gentle, non-perfumed hand soap to wash your toys. Spend about 2-3 minutes cleaning each toy. You can also use a mix of bleach and warm water for glass or stainless steel toys. Soaking them in a bleach-water solution requires about ten minutes. Sterilise glass, stainless steel, and silicone toys with boiling water as an alternative. Boil your toy for about three minutes.

Avoid dish soap and perfumed soaps as they may leave harsh residues on sensitive skin. As well, avoid rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol with silicone toys. Rubbing alcohol is best used as a pre-disinfectant before using regular hand soap to wash glass or stainless toys. But isopropyl alcohol has not been proven to be effective as a primary disinfectant. Pharmacy hydrogen peroxide is not recommended as it requires long contact times with your toy to be effective. As well, hand sanitisers and household cleaning products are completely out of the question.

SUPER IMPORTANT! You want to clean your sex toys before and after every use, and there are some simple rules you can follow to ensure complete hygiene and safety. Please bear in mind that there are different levels of cleaning or disinfectionSurface cleaning removes fluids and organic and inorganic matter from the surface of your toy. Disinfection removes bacteria and some pathogens from the surface of your toy. Sterilisation kills all bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Always start with a surface cleaning. Disinfect if your toy has been inserted in your anus. Disinfect if you have a yeast infection or any other type of infection. You can disinfect by doing a surface clean followed by a thorough bleach clean. Be sure to rinse your toy thoroughly after a bleach cleaning, as you do not want bleach residue on your toy. Always sterilise (boiling silicone, glass, or stainless steel) if you have shared toys with other people. 

Here are some quick tips for better cleaning!


Different materials require different cleaning methods

Although most sex toys are made of silicone or plastic, you should not wash them together - spend a little more time and wash each sex toy separately. Anything that's non-motorized or waterproof and made of silicone, pyrex or stainless steel can be boiled in water for a few minutes. Disinfectant sprays, as well as cleaning the sex toy with warm water and soap, are alternatives to boiling. Always be sure to thoroughly rinse your toy with water after cleaning with a disinfectant spray or bleach solution, as you don't want residuals left over on your toy.

Almost all toys can be washed with plain water and ordinary soap. This applies to silicone, glass, steel, leather and plastic products. But it's best to avoid using perfumed soaps because they can leave a residue on the toy that can irritate your genitals when you use it again. Also, try to avoid using antibacterial soaps (for the same reason) and just stick to something mild. 


Do not forget about the motor!

If the sex toy has a motor or batteries, please ensure that it is fully waterproof before washing it by immersing it in a liquid cleaning agent. This information is usually found on the packaging or the manufacturer's website. If you are unsure or have not found the information, it is better not to immerse it entirely. Hand washing with water and soap or a toy cleaner spray are better cleaning options for motorized sex toys that are not waterproof.


Say no to paper towels

Diluted paper breaks into small pieces and can become clogged in the toy, damaging it. It is best to wipe your sex toys with a clean, non-woven cloth or leave them to dry without additional action.


When to clean

After you use a sex toy, you should always clean it before you store it. You don't want body fluids drying on it and then sitting in a drawer. Depending on where you keep your toys, you might also wish to rinse them off before you use them. If your vibrator or dildo is left out or in contact with other objects, it can collect lint, pet hair, or dust and will benefit from a quick wash before use.


One body part, one toy

Never use the same sex toy in different intimate places without thoroughly washing it between switches. This primarily applies to vaginal+anal or anal+oral sex. The microbiota of your lower digestive tract is dramatically different from the one in the vagina or mouth. Mixing them is never a good idea. If you need to use one toy in two places, use a condom, changing it every time you switch places.


Always sterilize when sharing sex toys

We'll say it again. If you're sharing sex toys with one or more partners, disinfect them before every switch because you might pass bodily fluids (and potentially an STI) to your partner via your sex toy. The same goes for using sex toys that are suitable for vaginal as well as anal play. Make sure to clean the sex toy thoroughly before you switch from anal to vaginal use to avoid infections!


Different sex toys stored in a goodie drawer


A vid of a nice lady cleaning her toys with hand soap and water. Nice detail on the technique.