How to clean your sex toys

It is always a good idea to clean your sex toys after you use them. This can extend the life of your toy and will make sure it is always ready to use. In this guide you will learn about best sex toy cleaning practices.

Why it is important to clean sex toys?

Sex toys come in direct contact with your body and bodily fluids. After use, bacteria from your body is left on the surface of the toy and can build up over time, exposing you to potential health issues such as UTIs (urinary tract infections) or BV (bacterial vaginosis).

You should always wash your toy before first use as, just like any other product, it comes directly from manufacturing and is not cleaned before.

It is especially important to clean your sex toys in-between uses when sharing toys with a partner. If you don't feel like rushing to the sink to clean your toy during play with a partner, it is recommended to put a condom on the toy when sharing.

Sex toy materials

Before cleaning your toy, it is important to know what material it is made of. Toys made of hard plastic, silicone, glass and metal are the easiest to clean thoroughly without much effort. So are toys that are not motorised and toys without batteries. However, toys made of elastomer, such as masturbators, and motorised toys need extra care to make them clean and last longer.

Cleaning with soap and water

All sex toys can be easily cleaned with mild soap and warm water. Make sure the soap you use does not contain harsh ingredients, fragrances or oils. In general, soap you use to wash your body will likely be safe for your toy as well.

When using this method, don't submerge a non-waterproof toy under water as this can damage the toy.

Using a sex toy cleaner

Sex toy cleaners are developed specifically for cleaning your toys and will not contain ingredients that can damage the material of your toy. While some prefer to use a sex toy cleaner for convenience, it is not necessary to use one if you have access to soap and water.

However, sex toy cleaners are recommended to use on porous sex toys made of materials like elastomer as they are harder to clean. We also suggest using a specially formulated cleaner when taking your toy with you on travels as you might not have access to mild soap on-the-go.

If you have a plug-in toy like a wand massager or a bulky toy like a sex machine, toy cleaners can be an easy and convenient cleaning option when combined with a wet cloth.

Boiling your toys

You can disinfect your toys by placing them in a pot of boiling water for up to 3 minutes. This method ensures your toy is sterilised and is especially recommended for toys used anally.

Unfortunately this method cannot be used on motorised toys as well as toys made of elastomer. You can safely boil non-motorised toys made of silicone, borosilicate glass and metal.

Cleaning a motorised toy

To clean a non-waterproof rechargeable or battery-operated toy it is best to use a sex toy cleaner and a wet cloth. If your motorised toy is waterproof, you can simply use the soap and water method, washing you toy off in the sink.

Extending the life of a masturbator

Penis masturbators are often made of the porous elastomer material. When cleaning these toys, make sure to rinse them thorough getting in all the nooks and crannies and then using mild soap, followed by rinsing again.

Some masturbators can be opened for easier cleaning (such as many Tenga masturbators).

We recommend using a sex toy cleaner for elastomer toys to ensure a thorough clean.

When done, leave the toy to fully dry in a well-ventilated area. Elastomer can feel sticky after cleaning. To prevent this, you can lightly powder the toy when dry with cornstarch. Before next use, rinse off any leftover cornstarch.

You can read more about cleaning a masturbator in our step-by-step guide here.

Now you know how to keep your sex toys clean and ready for use. Cleaning your toys does not have to be a chore, but it is a good habit to have if you want your toys to last longer and prevent unwanted health issues.

Happy playing!