Expert Tips To Clean All Kinds of Sex Toys

Written by Clare Louise

Sex toys can be an exciting addition to your sex life, but it’s important to understand how to properly clean them to avoid any negative consequences. Many certified sexologist emphasizes the importance of knowing what type of product you’re using and what it’s made of before attempting to clean it.

Sex toys are usually made of porous or nonporous materials. Porous materials are prone to harboring bacteria, which can cause a dysbiosis in the vaginal microbiome, leading to infections like UTIs. The vagina is home to a range of bacteria and fungi that help keep it healthy, but throwing this organism out of balance can lead to infections.

Porous materials such as fabric, leather, hard plastic, and rubber, including thermoplastic rubber (TPR), thermoplastic elastomer (TRE), and jelly rubber, can harbor bacteria even after cleaning and drying. It’s important to consider using a condom with these materials or opting for nonporous toys like silicone, metal, and glass, which are typically easier to clean thoroughly.

To determine what your sex toy is made of, check the website of the sex toy company or look for the instruction booklet that came with your toy. Many products come with specific instructions on how to clean them. If there are no specific instructions, you can refer to the catalog of the most common materials used for sex toys and how to clean them.

Clean Silicone Toys

For nonporous silicone, clean with a mild soap and warm water or a damp, soapy washcloth. If there are removable parts, wash them separately. Boiling non-motorized silicone products can also provide a deeper clean. Metals like medical-grade stainless steel and gold, as well as borosilicate glass (aka Pyrex glass), are nonporous and can be cleaned using mild soap and warm water or a damp, soapy washcloth. You can also boil waterproof, non-motorized products for three to four minutes to disinfect.

Clean Crystal and Glass Toys

Crystal, stone, and non-Pyrex glass sex toys are porous unless sealed in a specific way. Clean with a mild soap and warm water or a damp, soapy washcloth, but be careful not to expose them to heat.

Clean Nylon & Leather Adult Accessories or Clothing

Durable nylon materials can be washed in the washing machine or hand-washed with mild detergent and warm water, then hung to dry. Leather, which is extremely porous, can be difficult to clean, so wipe it down thoroughly with a damp, soapy washcloth, including the stitching, and leave it out to air dry.

Clean Wooden Sex Toys

Wood sex toys are often sealed with a medical-grade finish that makes them nonporous, but double-check with the manufacturer before cleaning with mild soap and warm water or a damp, soapy washcloth. Cyberskin and vinyl are porous, so clean with a small amount of mild soap and turn a masturbating sleeve inside out to clean all the nooks and crannies. After washing, dust with cornstarch to prevent them from becoming sticky or degrading quickly.

Clean TPE and TRP Sex Toys

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPR), thermoplastic rubber (TPE), jelly rubber, and other plastics are all porous and should be cleaned with warm water and mild soap. Use a toothbrush to get into smaller areas and crevices. PVC can also be cleaned with mild soap and water, but it is a major source of phthalates, which may be harmful to human and reproductive health.

Taking care of your sex toys is essential to keep them clean and safe to use. So, make sure to follow these tips to keep your sex life happy and healthy.