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A Complete Guide on How to Clean Sex Toys

When it comes to pressing all the right buttons in the bedroom, sex toys are a fun way to zero in on what arouses each other, all while fostering your connection. But, like that connection, a little TLC goes a long way toward maintaining health and longevity. If you choose to use sex toys in the bedroom, whether with your partner or for some alone time, it is important you know exactly how to clean your sex toys to maintain their safety and lifespan.

An effective cleaning routine for your favorite sex toy is as simple as determining what it's made of, using the corresponding cleaning products, and making a habit out of it. In this blog post, we’ll cover how to clean your sex toys so you can feel confident every time you use them. 

Cleaning sex toys: Begin with the basics

The easiest way to pinpoint the best practice for cleaning your sex toy is to refer to the manufacturer's instructions that came with the box. But if you don't find them stuffed in your desk drawer alongside your take-out menus, don't fret. A simple Internet search will yield the care guide for your sex toy, divulging the brand's specific suggestions for cleaning and maintenance. The most important thing to note about your sex toy is what material it's made of. This is a critical component of cleaning it, which is essential for keeping it – and you – germ and infection-free. This generally falls into two broad categories: sex toys made of non-porous materials and porous materials.

Cleaning sex toys made of non-porous materials

If the manufacturer's instructions for your sex toy reference a composition of glass, stainless steel, silicone, acrylic, or hard plastic, you are dealing with a non-porous material. Accordingly, bacteria aren’t likely to seep in and get trapped (although you should always pay special attention to any ridges, cracks, or crevices in your toy). While a gentle scrubbing with soap and water should suffice for most sex toys made from non-porous materials, you can also use a sex toy cleaning wash or solution. Because these products are made specifically for cleaning and sanitizing sex toys, they are more like to protect the integrity of your toys and work effectively.

Cleaning sex toys made of porous materials

If the manufacturer's instructions for your sex toy reference a composition of rubber, "jelly" rubber, vinyl, cyberskin, softskin, ultraskin, nylon, or leather, you're dealing with a porous material. On the plus side, your sex toy feels very authentic. However, sex toys comprised of porous material do require considerably more maintenance than their non-porous cousins.

Porous materials make it easier for bacteria to sink in and hunker down, so routine washing is more important than ever. While cleaning, avoid anything that could be toxic to you and your partner or that could lead to an adverse physical reaction. Instead, stick to a very mild soap or a non-toxic cleaner designed specifically for porous sex toys. 

Perfect your technique

Perfect your technique

From here, the process is pretty straightforward. For non-porous products that are motorized or have batteries, take out the batteries and then simply wipe the device down using a damp cloth and cleaner.

For non-porous products that are not motorized, feel free to scrub more vigorously or, when appropriate, boil clean. For porous materials, clean as thoroughly as possible without utilizing too many suds – an overabundance of cleanser could cause damage to these sensitive materials. If you use lubrication with your sex toy, make sure that it is completely cleaned off with the soap and water or cleanser of your choice. Once you've impressed your partner with your cleaning skills, make sure you let your sex toy air dry completely. 

Almost as important as how you clean your toys is how you store your sex toys. Make sure that your silicone toys and toys made of other materials are stored in a soft cloth bag to protect them from light, water, dirt, and dust, keeping them clean for your next use. Keeping them in a protective bag in the drawer of your nightstand is an excellent choice–there’s a reason it’s a classic!

Clean sex toys are safe sex toys

In conclusion, taking care of your intimate toys is not only essential for your health but also for their longevity. By following these simple cleaning guidelines, tailored to the material of your toys, you can ensure that they remain safe and satisfying tools for your pleasure. Remember to consult the manufacturer's instructions for specific guidance and always prioritize gentle care to keep your toys in perfect shape.

About the Author

A native of Charleston, S.C., Julie Sprankles has been writing professionally since 2003. She received a double Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications from Charleston Southern University. Formerly editor-in-chief at award-winning shelter publication "Charleston Home + Design Magazine," Sprankles now enjoys writing and editing full-time.

Resources

Cleveland Clinic, Masturbation

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