You may use your sex toys for dirty deeds, but cleaning and caring for them is important. If you’re putting a toy inside you, you want it to be washed, sanitized, fluffed, and folded. Ok maybe not those last two. But the sniff test that you use to see if you can re-wear that bra again won’t cut it.
Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Your Sex Toys
1. Do buy sex toys made with body-safe materials.
When buying sex toys, try to select toys made of non-porous materials.
The most popular is medical-grade silicone, which has that rubbery feel of rubber toys without being porous. Other popular non-porous materials include Pyrex, stainless steel, or stone. Preferably not from your outside garden.
Check for the words “body safe” or “medical grade.’ It may not always be the cheapest option, but you and your nether regions are worth it.
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2. Don’t buy sex toys made with porous materials.
Cheap, low-quality toys tend to be made out of rubber or PVC, which are porous materials. That means they have pores where bacteria and fungi can grow.
Porous materials are hard to clean properly and germs can stay in the pores even after your most vigorous scrubbing. Leather is also porous, so keep the leather to accessories, not insertion.
Make sure to check before buying since the sex toy market is largely unregulated. There is no Department of Sex Toy Safety checking that materials used to make them are safe to put inside you or able to be properly cleaned. And, yet, the DMV continues to exist.
3. Do clean your sex toys after every use.
After a marathon sex session, the last thing you want to do is get up on your sea legs and wobble out of bed. But, if you don’t clean the toys, any germs or gunk you got on the toys are going to fester.
So grab your partner and head to the bathroom to enjoy some sexy post-sex clean-up.
4. Don’t rely only sanitizing products like on wipes or UV sterilizers.
Using wipes or UV sterilizers is like taking a “pits, tits, and naughty bits shower” with wipes instead of a real shower. You’re a bit cleaner, but you didn’t really wash anything off.
UV sterilizers will kill the germs, but won’t get rid of the gunk so much as EZ Bake it on. Wipes will take some of the gunk off, but you really need to rinse with water and soap to get the toy fresh and clean. That also goes for you.
5. Do clean your sex toys with warm water and soap or sex toy cleaner.
Warm water and antibacterial soap is all you need to clean your toys. Suds up the soap and wash the toy for 20 seconds, getting every nook and cranny, just like when you wash your hands. There are some cleaning products specifically for toys available, and those are good to use too. But if you’d rather not invest in a special cleaner, regular soap and water works fine.
If you’re using leather toys or accessories, don’t get too much water on them or you’ll damage the material. Spot clean those with soap and water, but don’t drench them. In other words: don’t get them as wet as you were five minutes ago.
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6. Don’t drown your sex toys’ motor.
If your toy has electrical components, such as a vibrating motor, clean it without completely dunking the electrical parts.
Check if your toy is waterproof before dumping it in water to avoid a toaster-in-the-bathtub situation. We love a good kink, but we don’t think this is one worth trying.
Even sex toys that are advertised as waterproof will wear down if they’re constantly submerged, and putting the toys in very hot water can damage the mechanics. Use a washcloth to scrub the toy instead of trying to drown it. And, if there are removable batteries, remove them before cleaning.
7. Do boil your non-electrical sex toys.
If you’re looking for a deep clean, you can throw your toys into a pot and boil them clean. That’s some good soup, even if Adam Driver isn’t involved.
Medical-grade silicone, glass, metal, and stone toys that don’t have any electrical components, like a vibrating motor, are generally safe to boil, but check the information from the manufacturer. And yes, this can count towards your New Year’s resolution to read more.
8. Don’t put your sex toys in the dishwasher with your dishes.
Toys that are safe to boil are also safe to put in the dishwasher, but don’t run them with your dirty dishes. Unless you never want your roommate to unload the dishwasher again.
On top of that, detergent isn’t safe for cleaning sex toys. And, the regular wash cycle won’t sanitize them. If you want to wash your toys in the dishwasher, put them on the top rack and run the sanitize cycle.
9. Do use condoms to make clean-up easier.
If you want to skip the cleaning process altogether, put a condom on your toy before using it. Then when you’re done, just remove the condom and toss it. (The condom, not the toy.)
10. Don’t store sex toys wet.
After cleaning, dry your toys all the way off before storing. Storing them wet can lead to mildew and mold.
Just think back to that damp pool towel you left at the bottom of a bag for three months. And then think about that smell in the bedroom. No amount of candles can remedy that. Not even those Goop ones.
11. Do store your sex toys safely.
Many toys come with convenient storage cases and some are available for purchase online, but any lint-free fabric bag will do. Lint won’t hurt anything, but it’s just nice not to have dust bunnies joining your bedroom fun. (Furries are a different matter.)
If the toys are made of non-silicone soft material, make sure they aren’t touching when you store them because they can melt together. If the sex toy has batteries and you won’t be using it again soon, remove the batteries before storing.
Batteries can drain or even corrode when left in the toy too long. This may come as a shock, but battery acid is not a very effective lube.
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