How to Get Your Sex Toys Squeaky Clean After Getting Down & Dirty

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How to Get Your Sex Toys Squeaky Clean After Getting Down & Dirty

We know it’s tempting to let your afterglow wipe all other thoughts from your mind after a satisfying orgasm, but alas, plonking a used sex toy back in your goodie drawer without cleaning it is doing a disservice to both your toy and you. Your adult toys take good care of you, so why not return the favour? Not only is cleaning sex toys an essential practice to maintain good sexual health for yourself and any partners you’re sharing toys with, it will also help your sex toys last longer so they can keep pleasing you for ages to come! As far as cleaning chores go, it definitely beats scrubbing the shower grout, and we reckon you get way more in return for it 😋

Why is it important to clean my sex toys?

Imagine you’ve just eaten a delicious meal, but you can’t be bothered cleaning the plate yet, so you put the dirty dish in the sink (to ‘soak’, of course). The next time you get hungry, are you reaching for that same dirty dish to eat off of? Of course not, and the same principle should apply for your sex toys!

Your body’s intimate areas, like the genitals and anus, are naturally full of bacteria that aren’t harmful to you when they’re just doing their thing inside your body’s personal ecosystem, but these bacteria (and sometimes viruses or even parasites) can transfer to sex toys during play. Once there, they can multiply if left unchecked, either living on the surface of non-porous toys or inside the tiny holes in porous toy materials. It’s also possible to pass on infections and even STIs to partners you’re sharing your toys with, or reinfect yourself if you used the toy while you had an infection and then later reintroduced the bacteria on the toy to your system after recovery. This can be harmful to the sexual health of other people using your sex toys and yourself, particularly for people with vaginas, due to the complex balancing act the vagina is performing with its pH levels and the good microorganisms that live inside it.

Of course, all this is not to say you’re definitely going to experience negative sexual health effects every time you skip cleaning your adult toys, but it’s important to know that not only is it possible, it’s totally preventable. In addition to simply cleaning your sex toys, you can use barrier methods like condoms on your toys during sex or masturbation if you’re currently experiencing a transmittable condition or multiple condoms if multiple people are using the toy at the same time.

How often should I clean my sex toys?

Regardless of whether you use toys designed for you to go inside of (like masturbators and cock rings) or toys that are designed to go inside you (like vibrators and dildos), all sex toys should be cleaned regularly, ideally before and after every play session. This includes cleaning a new sex toy before using it for the first time because you never know what sort of dust, lint, or debris your toy has come into contact with since it was packed in its box.

At the very least, you should definitely clean your toys after each use because, in addition to the potential sexual health risks, not washing sex toys can also cause their materials to degrade faster, and nobody likes having to throw out a toy they love playing with!

What's the best method to clean sex toys?

When it comes to cleaning sex toys, most toy materials are compatible with warm water and mild antibacterial soap or adult toy cleaners, though for the best results, different materials require different treatments depending on how porous the material is and its chemical composition. If you’re using soap, stick to gentle soaps that don’t contain any skin irritants like triclosan, alcohol, synthetic fragrances, or parabens, as these can linger on your toy and cause irritation the next time you use it, especially if you have sensitive skin.

What should I keep in mind when cleaning different sex toy materials?

In general, porous materials are more difficult to keep clean as, by design, they’re full of tiny holes that bacteria like to hide and multiply in. This can lead to the material breaking down faster, so it’s worth taking care of your investment with proper cleaning and storage techniques. This is especially important when it comes to realistic sex toys like dildos, masturbators, and sex dolls that use soft materials such as TPR (thermoplastic rubber) and TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) to mimic the feeling of real skin.

If you’d like ultimate peace of mind when it comes to body-safe sex toys, Sexyland recommends sticking to materials that are non-porous and non-toxic, like metal vibrators, glass dildos, silicone sex toys, and so on. If you can’t go past the realistic fleshy feeling of jelly dildos and other similar toys, consider dual-density silicone instead, which has a firm core and a soft, squishy outer to feel like a real erection.

Here’s a quick reference chart for how to look after the most common materials that sex toys are usually made of:

clean and store chart

We recommend picking up individual storage containers or toy bags to store porous items separately so they don’t stick together, lose their shape, or transfer colouring. It’s also worth double-checking your toy’s user manual (or the original packaging if you still have it) to see what it’s made of, what cleaning method the manufacturer recommends, and what the toy’s waterproof rating is.

After cleaning your toy, let it fully air-dry or pat it dry as best as you can before storing it away. This will help prevent mildew and mould growth from ruining your favourite toys, as well as keep unpleasant smells at bay.

For more advice on how to clean sex toys of any material, you can always pop into one of Sexyland’s toy shops and speak to one of our Fun Specialists in person or over Live Chat if you’re shopping for adult toys online.


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