The A – Z of How to Clean Sex Toys

Choosing the right sex toys that will meet all your needs can be a real pain in the arse. Especially for those who are new to the world of sex shops.

But, that’s not the only thing that can be annoying—aside from choosing and learning to use them, maintenance of sex toys is often seen as a problematic part regarding sex devices.

Why is that so, one may ask.

It’s pretty obvious—after getting all that pleasure, you are chilling and enjoying your life, but then you remember that you need to take care of your best buddy. ASAP.

Also, you may not be sure if you doing it properly—there are so many sex toys out there, how possibly could one remember how to keep each and every in good condition.

That’s why we come up with the idea to write a 2in1—manual and reminder for those who love to wander through sex shops (such as Emma’s Sex Store) and experiment with all kinds of sex toys. And all that while preferring to keep ’em tidy and squicky clean, so as not to get sick of pleasuring experience.

After all, who wants an itchy and swollen genital area as a consequence of poorly cleaned and infected sex toys? Not you—we bet!

Let’s see how you can make every masturbation (or sex sesh with a partner) completely safe and pleasant, without worrying about the cleanness of your toy.

Skipping the cleaning part if it doesn’t seem dirty

The A - Z of How to Clean Sex Toys

This is a number one no-no!

Any sex toy you use, no matter how you use it—internally or externally, has to be properly cleaned after each use. Especially if you use toys such as dildos or vibrators.

Bacteria can’t be seen with the naked eye, but it can make you a difficulty that can be noticeable—from the space (those who had a yeast infection, or any form of weird vaginal discharge will know what is this about).

The genital area is extremely sensitive. Any bacteria that are not supposed to be there can cause you a problem.

Germs will spread on your toys with the speed of the light, even though they look clean, or you just ”inserted your dildo once.”

Also, you may want to clean your toys before each use, just to make sure there’s no dust or anything unwanted on them. This can be avoided with proper storage. More on that later.

Bleaching (or any other crazy idea) is not an option

The A - Z of How to Clean Sex Toys

Not every sex toy can be (properly) cleaned the same way, but overall, cleaning takes a maximum of five minutes. Not terrible, right?

There are three levels of taking care of a toy:

  • Cleaning: Removal of surface impurities (such as body fluids and lubricant) by using water and some soap product.
  • Sanitizing: By using disinfectants, bacteria, and other unwanted ”creatures” will be successfully removed and thus the toy will be even more sanitary.
  • Sterilizing: Kills everything. Includes boiling the toy (yes, you read that right!) and special UV boxes. Sterilizing includes bleaching too, but we will definitely not recommend that procedure. You don’t need that extra step, nor do you need to think about have you rinsed it off thoroughly enough.

Sex devices are made from various materials, and that’s of the utmost importance to know before cleaning the toy.

Here are the types of materials and how to treat toys made from each of them.

Porous materials—better for solo play

  • TPE/TPR (a.k.a. skin-safe rubber)
  • PVC
  • Jelly rubber
  • Latex
  • Leather

Porous materials are prone to the accumulation of germs, due to their miniature holes which makes them a great place for ”unwanted guests to stay overnight.” You know those guests who literally understand the phrase “my house is your house?” These are even worse! They will never leave your sex toy if you don’t use it and clean it properly.

Sex toys made of these materials are best to be cleaned with warm water and soap, but here’s the thing—it should be unscented soap. Even though you will rinse it off, you don’t need a fragrant toy inside you—especially not in the vagina, which has its own pH for balance. The fragrance is not pH’s friend.

Porous materials are prone to breaking more easily, so using a washcloth for removing things from the surface will do the job.

Don’t use hot water on toys made of stated materials—they do not stand the heat.

We recommend choosing sex toys made of porous materials that will be used by one person, and if possible not for anal penetration. If you really like a specific toy made of porous material, you can always put on a condom—just to be extra safe.

Bondage gear & accessories are often made of leather, so don’t forget to clean them well too.

Note: Don’t be scared of toys made of porous materials—cleaning them thoroughly right after each use will keep you safe. It’s a good idea to clean them before each use. This way you’ll be confident that your toy is good to go.

Nonporous materials—more cleaning options

  • ABS plastic
  • Pyrex (or other forms of borosilicate glass)
  • Regular glass
  • Stainless steel
  • Silicone

Sex toys made of nonporous materials are great for maintenance because there are many options when it comes to cleaning and making them sanitary.

Materials stated above are more resistant than porous ones, so you can perform all three levels of cleaning on them (mentioned previously).

Clean sex toys made of these materials by washing them like porous ones, or boil them in water for ten minutes. Boiling is a great way to completely sanitize the toy, but some precautions have to be taken into consideration. First, do not boil toys that include batteries (for vibrating or anything else). Second, do not boil toys made of regular glass—only boil them if it’s stated that glass is pyrex.

Since these materials are extra resistant, you can freely use a toothbrush to scrub everything thoroughly. Particularly when toys have creases and hard-to-reach spots.

You can also put toys in the dishwasher—sounds crazy, but the steam will successfully kill almost all germs. We recommend not to use tablets for dishwashing because they include a lot of chemicals you don’t actually need to have remaining on the toy that goes inside of your anal or vaginal opening.

For both materials categories,  sex toys cleaners are a great choice— there are numerous sorts, for almost every material that’s out there.

UV sanitizing boxes are on the more expensive side but are provenly great sanitizing tools. What should be kept in mind is that they do not clean the dirt of sex toys, they simply disinfect them. Also, they sterilize only surfaces that are approachable to light.

Not every place is a good place

The A - Z of How to Clean Sex Toys

When you are all done with perfectly cleaning toys, you may want to consider finding the best place possible for storing them. Because, you know, you can’t just keep sex toys in your underwear drawer, nightstand, or bathroom cabinet.

You can, but first, you’ll need to make sure they are preserved from the surrounding space—which has to be clean, dry, and at room temperature.

  • Original packing is a great choice for keeping your sex toy. If it came with one.
  • Plastic boxes or bags are also on-budget options.
  • Fabric bags are breathable, which makes them even more suitable than plastic ones.
  • A makeup case (previously cleaned) is an even less pricey option if you have one that you do not need to use.
  • Socks can act as fabric bags.
  • Anything sealable or washable that comes to your mind will do the job.

And remember: never store wet or insufficiently dried toys. Let them air-dry while you mind your own business, and then pack and store them.

Don’t do these most common mistakes and you’ll be fine

The A - Z of How to Clean Sex Toys

Let’s sum things:

  • Not washing the toy after purchasing, and before first use.
  • Cleansing the toy only with water or cloth.
  • Cleaning with scented soap or any harsh product that may damage the surface.
  • Neglecting the ”not water-resistant” warning.
  • Cleaning porous toys the same way as nonporous ones.
  • Not cleaning between changing holes (anal, vaginal, oral).
  • Putting away a moist toy, which will make bacteria praise your move.

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