Sex toys are fantastic, whether you’re trying to spice up your relationship or playing solo. But while having fun, it’s easy to forget: proper sex toy care. Hey, they’re great for you and your sex life, so you want to keep these babies in good condition so you can use them over and over (and over).
Cleaning sex toys might not be the most glamorous idea, but it’s worth it. Sex, whether solo or with a partner, is your time to unwind from the stresses of everyday life. However, if you want sex toys to be a part of that special relaxation time—and if you want those sex toys to last—you must clean them properly and regularly. Furthermore, there is a possibility that poor sex toy hygiene can cause infections. Thus, safe sex is also something to consider even when toys are involved. Here’s how to clean your toys properly.
Sex Toy Care Means Cleaning Your Sex Toys Properly
When it comes to caring for your sex toys, you always want to be as sanitary as possible. Bacteria can grow if they are not properly cleaned and dried. Unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer, clean them before and after using gentle antibacterial soap and water until all soap is removed. Air drying is the best way to keep your toys clean and prevent lint or residue from other objects from sticking to them.
Most products you can clean with a body-safe toy cleaner, such as Vibe Wash’s Toy Cleaner. Anything non-porous, like silicone, stainless steel, or borosilicate glass, is easy to clean, and a toy cleaner wipe is usually all you need. However, there are some other considerations to bear in mind. Toys that use electricity, such as the Magic Wand, should be wiped down, taking care not to get the cord wet. You should not submerge Non-waterproof toys during washing, and you should always remove batteries before cleaning. If you want something low-maintenance, avoid porous toys, which are the most difficult to clean due to their sponge-like texture.
A quick note: Many sex toys come with sex toy care and cleaning instructions, so keep an eye out for anything specific to your toy that these guidelines may not cover.
1. Always wash your toys after each use.
Yes, I know, even if you’re using it on yourself and not sharing it with anyone else. It’s a fact, toys you wash regularly last longer. If you don’t, the material may degrade or become discolored. In addition, storing and unwashed toys with other toys can contaminate them with bacteria.
2. If you want to be extra cautious, wash your toys before each use.
They may come into contact with lint, pet hair, or other bacteria while being stored, and then if you insert them, they enter your body. However, if you store your toys properly (as discussed later in this post), this is just a precaution you can take.
3. Select the proper soap.
I recommend using a mild, unscented hand or dish soap — there’s no need to use antibacterial soap. It may appear to be a good precaution, but it can leave a residue.
If you want a more discreet option (for example, if you live with roommates and don’t want to drag your sex toys to the bathroom every time you use them), you can use a toy cleaner, such as
Vibe Wash toy cleaner. It’s a liquid formula that you spray on the toy and wipe off. It neutralizes bacteria while not harming the material.
4. Do not immerse any battery-powered toys in water to clean them.
You must take extra precautions if your toy contains batteries, plugs into the wall, or buzzes in any way. All you need to do is wipe it down with a warm, soapy washcloth.
5. Next, determine the material of your sex toy.
The world of sex toys is vast and varied, so this article focuses primarily on vibrators, dildos, plugs, beads, and other items you can insert into your body.
These toys come in a variety of materials. Still, we can divide them into two types: porous and non-porous. Glass, Pyrex, silicone, and stainless steel are examples of non-porous toys that can be safely shared because their surfaces are impenetrable to bacteria. On the other hand, Porous toys are made of absorbent materials such as hard plastic, Cyberskin, elastomer, jelly rubber, nylon, and neoprene.
There’s no need to guess the material of your toy. It should be on the package (or if you’ve already thrown it away, on the manufacturer’s website).
6. This is how you clean non-porous toys.
Silicone: Use soap and water to clean it, or place it in the top rack of your dishwasher. You can also disinfect it by immersing it in boiling water for 10 minutes.
To avoid warping, wash your toy with soap and water and avoid exposing it to high temperatures (such as in the dishwasher).
Pyrex: Pyrex is heat-resistant glass that can be boiled, washed by hand, or put in the dishwasher.
Stainless steel: boil for 10 minutes, soak in bleach and water (then thoroughly rinse), or wash in the dishwasher.
7. Follow these steps to clean your porous toys.
Because porous materials are more temperature-sensitive and prone to warping, they should all be washed in the same way. Use soap and warm water, either in the sink or with a soapy washcloth. Nylon toys, on the other hand, can be machine washed.
Hard plastic, Cyberskin, nylon, neoprene, jelly rubber, vinyl and soft vinyl, acrylic, elastomer, and leather are all porous materials.
8. Check that you’re using the proper lube.
Don’t use silicone- or oil-based lubes with silicone toys because they will stick to the material and wear down the surface. Choose a water-based or hybrid lube instead, but always remember to wash it off afterward (but you’re already doing that, right?).
9. When playing with porous toys, use a condom.
Since we can’t completely disinfect some porous toys, always use a condom on your toy with a partner. If you only use your toy on yourself, you should be fine as long as you wash it after each use.
There is one exception to this sex toy care rule: Always using a condom if your toy is made of jelly. Jelly toys contain potentially harmful chemicals known as phthalates. Though there isn’t conclusive evidence on their health effects, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
10. Always double-check that your waterproof vibrators are still safe to use.
If the small rubber plug or O-ring that covers your toy’s battery compartment is missing, loose, or broken, there will be no more shower fun for you. Sorry! That thing isn’t waterproof any longer.
11. Keep an eye out for any irregularities that may indicate it’s time to retire your toy.
Unfortunately, even the best sex toys do not last forever. If the motor becomes louder, it indicates that the toy is nearing its end or that the charge lasts as long. Look for seams that are coming apart or pockmarks in your silicone toys, which indicates that it is no longer non-porous. RIP.
12. Don’t just throw them in your nightstand drawer and call it a day.
Who knows what kind of dust, food crumbs, and other junk lurks inside? Wrap your toys in cloth or storing them in a cloth bag (fortunately, many toys come with dust bags, so don’t throw them away). Once you’ve done that, your drawer will be perfectly fine (and preferable to somewhere under your bed).
However, you should avoid using Tupperware or plastic bags. Chemicals can leach into the toy over a long period.
If you want to go a step further, consider purchasing a toy storage box. The Vaultz Locking Storage Box has a lock and dividers to keep things organized.
13. Remove the batteries from your vibrator when not in use.
Because the batteries are conducting at a low charge when in the toy, leaving them in can corrode the toy and drain the battery life. And there’s nothing more depressing than a vibrator’s halfhearted buzz on low batteries.
Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? Sex toy care can be easy. With a few easy practices, you can keep your kinky sex toy buzzing till “Infinity and Beyond” :)
If you’re looking for low-cost, hygienic sex toys to add to your collection, I highly recommend Foxxxy. They’ve got a great selection and 20% off your first order when you use the code VIP20. *Though I’m supposed to tell you that ;)