It’s important to keep your sex toys clean so you can enjoy worry-free sexy time. For instance, can you think of anything less sexy than discovering mold on your vibrator in the heat of a passionate moment? Yikes.
Don’t worry, it’s fairly easy to clean and store your sex toys safely. It just takes consistency. Whether you use your toys alone or with a partner, set up good cleaning habits for your toys.
We’ll cover some specific cleaning guidelines below, but no matter what kind of toys you use, there are some universal guiding principles. If you’re sharing penetrative toys with a partner, clean them during sex (more on that below) or use a condom. Once you clean a toy, make sure it is 100% dry before you store it, as any bit of moisture can attract mildew. Don’t leave your toys out to dry for days on end! Bacteria can work its way into porous materials, which you can’t just wash away.
Here’s what you need to know about cleaning and storing your sex toys.
Cleaning Non-Electric Toys
The first step to figuring out the right cleaning method is to learn whether your toy is made of porous or nonporous material. Why does it matter? A toy made of porous materials requires a bit more of your time and attention to maintain.
The tiny holes in porous materials mean that these sex toys are more likely to accumulate bacteria, mold, and mildew if you don’t keep them clean. Porous materials include rubber (or elastomer), Sensafirm or UR3, and Latex. These materials are often found in toys that are made to feel skin-like, like cyberskin dildos. Condoms are a great way to protect yourself if you’re not sure about the safety or cleanliness of a penetrative toy.
To clean a non-electric, porous sex toy, you can use mild, unscented antibacterial soap and warm water. If it’s an elastomer blend (skin-like), try not to use too much soap as this can ruin the skin-like texture. Rinse it under warm water and leave it somewhere clean to air dry.
If your non-electric toy is made of nonporous material, such as silicone, glass, ABS (a hard kind of plastic), or metal, then cleaning your toy is pretty simple: soap and warm water. Keep in mind that there are two types of glass, borosilicate and soda-lime. For soda-lime glass toys, keep the water temperature very mild. For silicone, borosilicate glass, and metal (but not gold!) toys, you can boil them for 3-4 minutes to completely disinfect them.
Cleaning Electric Toys
If your toy vibrates, you can still clean it using soap and water. Just don’t submerge it under running water unless it specifically says that it’s waterproof. Even then, a short cleaning under running water should suffice.
The best way to clean a non-waterproof electric toy (like a wand) is to clean it thoroughly with a damp soapy washcloth. Tada! That’s it. Leave your toy to dry in a clean, non-porous place and store it as soon as it is completely dry.
Which Toys to Clean During Sex Vs. After
Some of these are especially important for shared toys. If you’re sharing a penetrative toy with someone during sex, one option is to use a fresh condom to protect you and your partner. Do keep in mind that oil-based lubes can erode condoms.
However, it is really easy to clean your toy with water and soap if you prefer. This is especially recommended for anal toys. Just remember to rinse off every last trace of soap before using the toy internally. Oh, and don’t towel dry it since lint can stick to wet toys! Simply add lube and you’re good to go.
Otherwise, most toys can wait to be cleaned until after sex. You can buy special cleaning solutions made for sex toys, but soap and water will do just fine.
Storage Ideas for Sex Toys
Don’t shove your toys in a drawer! Keeping your toys loose is just a recipe for disaster. Not only could anyone stumble on your collection—which doesn’t have to be a big deal—but loose toys can collect lint and other icky materials.
There are so many great storage solutions that can protect your toys and look beautiful doing it.
Use a small silk or satin bag to store your toys, and just toss it in the wash when it needs to be cleaned. You can also use a plastic container with a lid, which makes for easy wipedown. Some of these containers can even be locked, if that’s a concern to you. Otherwise, store your toys in their original packaging.
There you have it! If you have the energy, try to clean your toys right after the act. But if you’re too satiated, then just do it as soon as possible. Many people like to clean their toys before every use, to ensure it’s totally clean and safe to use.
Don’t be afraid to organize your toys so they make the most sense to you. For instance, you could keep frequently used toys in your nightstand in a silk bag. Under the bed, you could use a plastic container for larger toys.
Keep your toys clean and you can enjoy worry-free playtime!