The importance of cleaning sex toys isn’t exactly rocket science, in fact, it’s necessary because hygiene is very important. And, as we know, bacteria, germs and viruses love wet and warm places. And so then, we know already that sex toys are a true haven for such things.

When cleaning your sex toys, there are two primary levels of hygiene to look at, and these include: surface cleaning and sterilization. The type of cleaning and the methods used are highly dependent on the material of your toys and so it’s important to know what your toys are made from.

Sex Toy Care, Cleaning & Maintenance

Clear All Germs

In truth, the sharing toys between partners or orifices should be done with barriers like condoms, plus thorough and proper cleaning. It’s much better to have your own personal toys, however. So here, sterilizing your toys becomes important. To sterilize means: to make something completely free from bacteria, microbes and viruses. Sterilizing adult toys requires a few things. First of all, the toy needs to be nonporous, so those made from silicone, glass, most metals, ABS plastic, or medical-grade plastic. Secondly, you need an agent that will kill all the microbes using a form of heat, bleach or a pure form of alcohol.

toy and body cleaner

Solid Silicone, Metal or Medical Grade Plastic

For solid silicone, metal, or elastomed (medical grade plastic) toys without motors, you can boil your toys in large pot. Some people recommend using a dishcloth or hand towel in the bottom of the pot to keep the toys from coming into direct contact with the pot. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it can provide definite peace of mind. Additionally, boiling your toys for between 3-5 minutes works well, too.

If your dishwasher has a sanitize setting, you can easily load up motor-less toys in the top rack and run them through without detergent or dishes. It’s still highly recommended that you hand wash all your toys before sanitizing in the dishwasher.

Non-Porous Toys with Motors

For non-porous toys with motors, you can use a 10% bleach solution to soak your toys for 10 minutes. A 10% solution may be used with 1-2 capfuls of standard chlorine bleach per sinkful of warm water. This can work for waterproof toys and water-resistant toys, just as long as you’re very careful not to submerge the charging port (if there is one). If the toy isn’t waterproof (or you’d prefer not to use bleach), then rubbing down the surface with isopropyl alcohol will take care of the germs for you.

Always wash your toys with soap and water after their bleach sequence and take special care of your stainless-steel toys if you’re using this method. If left soaking for too long, bleach can begin to degrade the surface of stainless steel, ruining its shiny finish and status as a non-porous toy.

wash toys with soap and water

Porous Toys Need Sanitizing

Sanitizing is the art of removing all the possible bacteria and microbes from a porous toy. This means toys made from elastomer, some TPR, and those with seams, as examples. If you’re prone to infection or using the toys anally (or on more than one body), use a condom over the toy to safeguard against bacterial contact or sexual transmission of infection or disease.

Bathtime Toys

For most adult toys made from body safe materials, especially waterproof ones, washing with antibacterial soap and warm water is the best way to clean before and after each use. Washing toys with soap and water (before use) removes surface bacteria and particles (like dust and hair) from anything that’s going to come into contact with your genitals. After play, soap and water clears body fluids and lube. Once the toy has been washed well, you can leave it out to dry or use a soft cloth to do it thoroughly.

Sex Toy Cleaners

Times to sanitize include: if you have a vaginal or urethral infection, you have used a toy anally, or if the toy comes into contact with more than one body. Sharing anal toys aren’t recommended though, because of STIs and STDs (sexually transmitted infections and sexually transmitted diseases).

Generally speaking, when talking about how to care for your sex toys, toy cleaning products come up as an option. Here, commercial toy cleaners (and baby wipes) can be great for quick after-play clean up. A toy cleaner can be a good stop gap measure to increase your safety if you can’t get to the sink quickly.

sex toy cleaner

The Last Word

Cleaning your adult toys is a critical part of maintaining both their functionality and use, as well as your overall sexual health. And it’s definitely true that contaminated toys can mean contaminated bodies. So, make sure to take the time to match your needs for materials and cleaning methods with your personal toy usage. Safe play is totally worth it, and your health (and your partner’s) should always be the priority in every, single session.