How to clean sex toys 101

Intro

Everybody knows how messy a bit of self-love can get, making clean up a very important part of the fun.
Knowing how to wash your toys is crucial to stay healthy, clear of irritations and to keep your precious little helpers alive through countless orgasms. Still, a lot of people have no clue how to wash up their toys and this is where we come in.

First of all, you should never clean up with brushes or rags for scrubbing.
 Instead, you should use your clean hands for rinsing at all times because you could eat away at your toys over time. This could make clean up much harder as well as reducing your toy's lifetime greatly.

The way to clean sex toys will be different depending on the material of the toy itself.
So read on for some more context-sensitive advice.

 

Silicone, Glass & Stainless Steel

The great non-porous trio. They are the ideal toys not only for their safe composition but also for their ability to retain temperature as well as being very easy to clean.

Note that if you see TPR anywhere in the description, it isn't a silicone toy.
Also, not all metal toys are Stainless steel. For these follow the directions for the other materials further down.

If the toys have no motors or if they can easily be removed, clean up can be as easy as throwing it on the top rack of the dishwasher and set it to sanitize.  No detergent needed.

Otherwise, they can be boiled for 5 to 10 minutes.  This will make sure no bacteria survives the attack. This could be useful if you plan on sharing the toy between partners or your own very different cavities.

If you don't need to sanitize the toy since you won't be sharing it in any way, scent-free hand soap and a good rinse will do the trick.

And for the toys with motors, we highly suggest simply hand rinsing the toy and then applying a traditional antibacterial sex toy cleaner. After it is covered, let it settle for 3 to 5 minutes on a clean towel.
You can always give it an extra rinse to be safe.
Otherwise, scent-free hand soaps works well too, just don't submerge your toys if they're not 100% waterproof.

If you plan on sharing your vibrating toys between partners or your own orifices, using a 10% bleach water solution or rubbing alcohol the same way you'd use a toy cleaner and rinsing afterward will do the trick.

 

Jelly, Hard Plastic, Skin Imitations, and Others

In our humble opinion, they are the lesser materials. Still, some prefer to stick to them, may it be a texture preference or a price-conscious decision.

We still firmly believe that, if not careful, they can easily become a threat to your health.
So think of getting something safer and easier to clean as soon as you can afford it.
Also, you can take the time to take a look at our top toys guide. We almost only advertise entirely safe toys and if there's any type of risk we will be sure to mention it.

You should also note these toys should never be shared.
These toys are impossible to fully sanitize due to their porous nature so you could put yourself or someone else at risk.
Regular latex condoms won't do the trick either because the oils used to soften these toys break down condoms with use.
The only condoms that are going to work are polyurethane or nitrile condoms

Otherwise, clean up still should be a breeze with the aid of a good sex toy cleaner.
To avoid any problems you should avoid any other method.
As always simply hand rinse the toy, spray cleaner all over and let it stand for 3 to 5 minutes on a clean towel.

Dealing with Odor

Body safe materials still can sometimes retain odor, especially when using these toys anally.
If the toy is made of silicone, glass or stainless, you can just boil them with a bit of vinegar and it should do the trick.

If the toy has a vibrator that you can't remove, a little bit of 100% acetone rubbed with something soft like makeup remover pads will do the trick nicely as well.

For toys that are not body safe, I'm afraid that nothing can be done and you should really start thinking of switching over to something safer.

Exceptions

Some other toys don't necessarily put you at risk if you use different methods. While we still encourage using toy cleaner in most cases since it makes clean up easier, you can still get away with other methods in some scenarios.

Clitoral Toys

If you don't tend to use them for penetration as well, you can simply clean your toy with any non-alcohol based unscented soap for the skin. Just rinse thoroughly after to avoid any build-up of soap residue.

Anal toys

If you don't share your anal toys, they can easily just be cleaned with warm water and antibacterial unscented soap.
I cannot stress enough that if you wish to share your anal toys they should properly be sanitized. If they are not made of silicone, glass or stainless, forget about it!

Masturbators

If your masturbator is just a temporary help, a good rinse and clean with a hand soap should be enough.
A lot of them can be flipped over like a sock for better cleaning and drying.

Otherwise, if you plan on using them for some time you should absolutely be careful with moisture.
Since these toys are known to accumulate mold if left moist, you should always completely dry your toy and make sure there's no water left inside the toy before storing.
When stored, if the toy came with a shell make sure to leave it cracked open to let a bit of air in.

For more specific cleaning instructions on how to clean all the most popular models, see this article.

Best Toy Cleaner

No matter what happens, the quickest, most careless way of cleaning your toys is to use a toy cleaner.

While most of them are made equal and the brand rarely matters (as long as they are anti-bacterial, unscented and don't leave residue)  we, of course, still have a top pick.

Pjur Med Clean

Pjur med clean sex toys

The Reason Pjur Med Clean is our top choice because, on top of doing its job very well and being discreet at that ( no mentions of sex or toys on the label ), it cleans silicone lube very well. May it be on toys or spills, just spray the cleaner over a stain or a puddle and wash off normally!

And since silicone is our favorite lube to use and our least favorite to clean, this is a godsend.

Not only does it clean toys great, but you can use it on yourself as well. Just apply before or after sexual interactions to freshen up on the go. Just spray and wipe off.
It also comes in wipe format which is great to have on the move as well.

The only minor downside is that this cleaner comes at a buck or two more than most brands.

Cheapest Place to buy:

U.S. & Canada: SheVibe
U.K.: LoveHoney

 

Conclusion

Now you have absolutely no reason to be left with unhealthy, unclean toys.
Follow these guidelines carefully and your toys, as well as your privates, will lead very long and healthy lives together.
And if that doesn't warm up your heart I don't know what will!

Author Details
Founder & Editor

Jimmy is a veteran sex shop worker and currently a freelance illustrator & head honcho at Tabooless.net.

In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, breakfast for every meal, and shooting the shit with his kitty cat.

His goal is to create a better world by making sure no naughty bits are left behind.

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