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How to clean your sex toys

By Anonymous Author

Clean and properly storing your sex toys is not only important for keeping them in tip top shape and long lasting, but also essential for your health. While there's nothing "dirty" about genitals, bacteria and organic matter can build up on your toys and spread, so it's important to clean them thoroughly. 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. Remove batteries before cleaning battery operated toys. Spray the cleaner over the entire surface area, then wipe with a clean cloth. Then, rinse it thoroughly with warm water and mild soap, and let it dry completely before putting it away. For sex toys like male masturbators, AKA fleshlights, remove the inner sleeve for cleaning and put it back in its case once it has dried completely.

Another option is to use a gentle, non-perfumed hand soap to wash your toys. Spend about 2-3 minutes cleaning each toy. As well, you can 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.  Boiling water can also be used to sterilize glass, stainless steel, and silicone toys. Boil your toy for about three minutes.

Avoid dish soap and perfumed soaps as they may leave residues that are harsh 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. 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 a disinfectant. As well, hand sanitizers and household cleaning products are completely out of the question.

SUPER IMPORTANT! You want to clean your sex toys before and after every single 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 disinfection. Surface 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. Sterilization kills all bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Always start with a surface cleaning. Disinfect if your toy has been inserted in your anus. As well, disinfect if you have a yeast infection or any other type of infection. You can disinfect by first 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 sterilize (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 throughly rinse your toy with water after cleaning with a disinfectant spray or bleach solution as you don't residuals left over on your toy.

Almost all toys can be washed with plain water and ordinary soap. This applies to products made of silicone, glass, steel, leather and plastic. 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 make sure that it is completely waterproof before washing it by fully immersing it in a liquid cleaning agent. This information is usually found on the packaging or the manufacturer's website. If you are not sure 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, the paper breaks up 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 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 store your toys, you might want to also 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 one sex toy in different intimate places without thoroughly washing it in between switches. This mostly applies to vaginal+anal or anal+oral sex. Microbiota of you lower digestive tract is dramatically different from the one in the vagina or mouth. Mixing them is never a good idea. If you really need to use one toy in two places simply 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, it's important to disinfect them before every switch, because there's a possibility that you could 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 in order 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.