How to Safely Clean and Care for Your Sex Toys
You’ve had your fun, now what? Sex toys are a quick and convenient way to spice up intercourse and masturbation. But while these bedfellows are low maintenance, they still require a little love and attention from time-to-time.
Here are some top tips to help prolong the lifespan of your favorite sex toys.
Why You Should Clean Your Sex Toys
Whether solo, shared, internal, or external, when it comes to sex toys, there’s bound to be an exchange of fluids and skin-to-skin contact.
Even if you use a condom, some lubricants and liquids can leave behind some residue - especially if you use the wrong type. So, just like your nether regions, sex toys need a good clean before and after every use.
However, the cleaning process can vary depending on the type of sex toy, the design, and the material.
Porous, Non-Porous, or Waterproof?
From vibrators and dildos to cock rings and anal beads, no sex toy is the same. Each is available in a variety of styles, shapes, sizes, and materials to satisfy your deepest desires.
That said, some materials are easier to clean than others. Porous materials, for example, are notorious for being harder to clean. Sex toys that are waterproof and non-porous can easily be wiped clean. That’s why it’s important to check what material your sex toy is made from, whether it’s porous or non-porous, and if it’s waterproof.
If you’re unsure, here are some examples of commonly used porous and non-porous materials:
- Non-Porous Materials - Silicone, ABS plastic, borosilicate glass, soda-lime glass, treated wood, polished stone, glazed ceramic, stainless steel, aluminum, and other metals.
- Porous Materials - Leather, PVC, jelly, rubber, latex, and real-feel plastics (TPR/TPE).
Different Cleaning Methods
Everyone has their preferred cleaning style and each has its pros and cons.
A futuristic approach to cleaning sex toys, UV-C light helps disinfect items with minimal effort. These lamps are proven to be effective at killing up to 99% of germs. But they shouldn’t be used alone.
UV-C light cleanser won’t remove bodily fluids or sticky lubricants from the toy’s surface. Don’t let that put you off, though. If you invest in a UV-C box, for instance, it can also double as a safe and hygienic way to store your sex toy.
While some materials (such as silicone, Pyrex, and metal) can be boiled, if the sex toy is motorized or heat-sensitive it can damage, warp or break it beyond repair. Before submerging in water, always read the manufacturer’s description to see whether it is waterproof.
Also, check if the material can withstand high temperatures. Once you’ve done your diligence, you should boil items for at least 5-10 minutes. If the item has batteries, be sure to remove them first. This cleaning method is best for dildos and non-mechanical toys rather than vibrators and items that require a power source.
Like boiling, you need to ensure that the sex toy is waterproof and dishwasher safe first. For a dishwasher to properly clean, you need to use a cleanser in addition to your everyday cleaner. Obviously, this method isn’t ideal if you need the item right away, or if you share a house. Dishwashers can also leave behind soap residue which can irritate the natural PH of intimate areas.
Sex Toy Cleansers:
Convenient and easy to source, spray and wipe, liquid cleansers are a fast and efficient way to disinfect your sex toys in a pinch.
Before use, make sure that the formula is compatible with the material of the sex toy. Something water-based, that’s also paraben and alcohol-free is better for you. Ideally, this method should be used in combination with anti-bacterial cleaner or soap and water for a more thorough clean.
Soap and Water:
Sometimes the simplest solution is also the best. Soap and water doesn’t sound very sophisticated, but it works. When washing by hand, you should always use a mild anti-bacterial soap with warm water and wash it for at least 20 seconds.
This cleaning technique is well-suited to non-porous materials. If the sex toy can’t be submerged in water, use a clean and damp cloth to wipe the surface instead. Beware of using harsh bleach or chemicals, as this could discolor the sex toy or irritate your skin.
Whichever cleaning method you choose, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Storing Your Sex Toys
Once clean, it’s crucial that you thoroughly dry and store your sex toys somewhere dry. The last thing you want is to find your favorite vibrator covered in mold, grime, or fluff from your sock drawer.
If you can, try to find a clean and sturdy vessel to keep it in great condition. A plastic container, a satin sack, an unused make-up bag, or even the original packaging can help protect it from dust, dirt, and other germ causing factors.
Now that you know how to correctly clean and care for your sex toys, you can relax in the knowledge that your sex toy will last for years to come.