Sex toys have become incredibly popular over the years, and endless couples and groups use dildos, vibrators, or anal toys to spice up their intimate moments.
Coupled with the popularity of sex toys is the importance of hygiene. In fact, cleaning your sex toys is essential after every use, as they’re in direct contact with body liquids, bringing microorganisms and potentially causing infections, such as STIs.
You can clean your best sex toys with water and soap, then dry them in a towel. Washing them in boiling water or a dishwasher is also a great option.
There is so much more to know about cleaning sex toys, such as how long to wash them, tips for cleaning specific materials, and much more, and we’ll cover all the details in this post, so be sure to carry on reading to find out more.
Why you should clean your sex toys
Using a dirty or infected sex toy that hasn’t been washed or stored correctly can potentially be dangerous as it’s full of bacteria.
These bacteria can bring viruses and infections such as STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and hepatitis B and C, among others, especially when using them for intimate acts such as pegging sex. Of course, a condom can be used on sex toys to limit infections and protect you from getting a disease, but frequently cleaning them is ultimately the best option.
All in all, it’s the same principle as washing your gym clothes after working out, and cleaning your dildo or vibrator after playing, is an essential part of the game.
When and how often to clean your sex toys
When and how often you should clean your sex toys will depend on how often you use them. Generally, you should clean your sex toys after every use with some soap and water. This will help keep them clean and free of any potentially harmful bacteria.
If you haven’t used your toys in a while and haven’t stored them properly in a cotton or polyester bag, you should also clean them before you have your fun time.
Can you get an STI by using a sex toy?
It is possible to get STIs and other diseases by using a sex toy. Of course, you can’t get any STIs if you only use your time with yourself.
However, if you use it with a sexual partner that has contracted an infection, and don’t wash it thoroughly afterwards, you could risk getting an STI, as the toy becomes the agent that will carry the disease.
According to the NHS, while sex toys are safe, the most common infections you can get are chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, shigella, and even yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, when not cleaning them after every use.
What sex toys can be cleaned?
All toys can be washed, regardless of the material. But, of course, some materials should be washed differently than others. These are the best ways to clean each sex toy material:
- Glass – Wash in warm water with soap or sex toy cleaner, or wash in a dishwasher
- Jelly rubber and latex – Wash in room temperature water with soap or toy cleaner
- Leather – Clean it using a damp cloth with soap or sex toy cleaner
- PVC and vinyl – Use warm water and soap
- Nylon – Wash in a machine or hand wash with soap
- Silicone – Wash in warm water with soap or sex toy cleaner, or wash in a dishwasher
- Stainless steel – Wash in warm water with soap or sex toy cleaner, or wash in a dishwasher
Let your sex toys dry completely before storing them in their fabric bag or drawer. Apart from a lint-free fabric bag, we also recommend using a clean container and also storing them in a dry and cool place, regardless of the material.
How to clean sex toys and have fun safely
Just like BDSM toys, cleaning your dildo or vibrator may not be the most glamorous job in the world, but it’s important to keep them clean to stay protected. Here are some tips on how to clean them properly and continue to have fun safely.
Use water and soap
Most sex toys can be cleaned with a gentle antibacterial cleanser and warm water. That being said, you will want to wash them thoroughly for no less than 20 seconds.
Using water and soap is suitable for non-motorised, motorised, and normally non-porous sex toys as well. On top of that, we also recommend using a soapy cloth to wash them thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
Use boiling water or your dishwasher
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to clean your sex toys, leaving them in boiling water or in a dishwasher can be an effective solution. In fact, boiling water will kill any bacteria or viruses that may be present on the dildo, allowing you to remain safe from STIs and other infections.
After boiling them for about 3 minutes, you can then remove the toys from the water and allow them to air dry. If you’re using your dishwasher, simply place the toys in the top rack of the dishwasher and run it on a normal cycle.
However, it’s important to note that not all toys can be boiled and, instead, only non-porous materials such as pure silicone, stainless steel and waterproof toys. Of course, motorised sex toys shouldn’t be used either in boiling water or dishwasher as they’ll be damaged by the heat.
Wash them using sex toy cleaners
Sex toy cleaners are products specifically designed for your dildos and vibrators. While water and soap work for pretty much all materials, these cleansers will sanitise your favourite toy after playing.
We recommend picking a water-based cleanser that is free of alcohol and parabens to keep it as natural as possible. Avoid toxic cleaners and products containing bleach as, if not washed out and dried properly, they may end up on your genitals, which is the last thing you may want.
Use UV light to disinfect your sex toys
UV sanitisers are the latest accessory on the market to remove bacteria from your sex toys, and devices such as the b-Vibe UV Sterilizer Pouch are a great tool to use on your sex toys.
But bear in mind that these UV light pouches don’t clean and only disinfect, leaving body fluids still on the sex toy.
This means that you’ll still have to clean with a soapy cloth and water if you want to avoid all potential diseases.
What you need to clean your sex toys
The good news is that you don’t need much to clean your sex toys. The bad news is that you really need to clean them after every use. Here’s a quick summary of what you need to:
Clean the sex toy’s surface
For a quick, efficient cleaning process, you’ll only need water, soap, paper towels or a cloth. We recommend liquid hand or antibacterial soap to wash your dildo or vibrator and avoid dish soap or other harsh types of soap. Once free of bacteria, you’ll want to leave your toy air-dry on a paper towel or a cloth.
If you’ve used your toys with multiple partners or for anal sex, you’ll want to deep-clean them, and you have several ways to do so. Before cleaning them with the methods below, make sure to properly clean the surface with soap.
To disinfect them, pour water into a pot and boil it. Once the water reaches the boiling point, leave your dildo in it for a few minutes.
Alternatively, you can use bleach together with boiling water, and you’ll be certain to kill all microorganisms and pathogens. The ideal ratio is 5 tablespoons of bleach, or ⅓ cup, per gallon of water.
Moreover, after cleaning the surface, you can throw your toys in the dishwasher. That being said, your dishwasher should have a disinfecting feature. If not, we recommend using bleach and boiling water.
Last but not least, you can also use water-based cleansers to disinfect all your toys from all bacteria, and we’ll list the best ones below.
Once sanitised, place your toys on paper towels or a dry cloth.
The best sex toy cleaning products
Keeping your sex toys clean is extremely important. In fact, not only does it help to ensure that you remain healthy and free of infection, but it also helps to keep your toys in good condition so that they last longer.
While there is a variety of ways to clean your sex toys, such as classic water and soap, these sex toy cleaners are great for disinfecting them and if you’re trying to avoid strong bleach.
If you want to be extra certain that your favourite sex toys are free of bacteria and pathogens, you should definitely try this spray from Adam & Eve.
This four-in-one cleaner is antibacterial, disinfecting, smells great, and sanitises thoroughly, which is great, especially if you use your toy for anal sex.
If you’re looking for something non-liquid to apply aftercare to your sex toys, these may just be what you need. The wipes are not only great for cleaning your sex toys but also to clean yourself up after a play session.
This paraben and alcohol-free cleanser from Lelo is exactly what you need to sanitise your favourite toys. Before rinsing it under warm water and patting it dry with a lint-free towel, allow 30 to 60 seconds for it to work.
Apart from being a sensational cleaning product, it’s great for keeping your toys intact and won’t leave any chemical smell.
This was all you needed to know about cleaning your sex toys, from the best and most efficient ways to the best and most effective products on the market. As we highlighted, it’s important to wash and disinfect them after each use in order to prevent your risk of STIs and other viruses, especially when working as a sex worker.
Lastly, after washing your favourite toys, we highly recommend storing them properly in a cotton or polyester bag and avoiding plastic bags as they might create bacteria and eventually smell bad.