How to Clean Sex Toys
When it comes to sex toys, pleasure is often the first thing that comes to mind. But the fun can quickly be spoiled if you don’t take proper care of your toys. Love your sex toys, and they’ll love you back. Literally. Maintenance and cleanliness are important for keeping things safe and hygienic for you and your partner(s). In this GASM guide we’ll take you beyond the basics, covering everything from materials and cleaning methods to storage and common myths, all to keep your toy box in tip-top condition.
Why Cleaning Is Non-Negotiable
Ignoring cleaning can lead to numerous problems, none of which you want and none of which is fun. Bacterial infections, viruses, and fungi are all pretty gross. And if you’re sharing your toys without proper cleaning, these can transfer between your partners. So, just as you need to get regular checkups to rule out STIs, it’s basic sexpertise to clean your toys. Once you’ve read this guide, you’ll realise that cleaning doesn’t take long and keeps things safe and sexy.
Know Your Toy: Material Matters
Silicone, Glass, or Stainless Steel
These are non-porous materials that are straightforward to clean. Mild soap and water do the trick, but for an extra layer of cleanliness, you can sterilise these toys in boiling water for a few minutes. Do make sure you rinse them thoroughly to get rid of soap residue as certain soaps can play havoc with the delicate ecosystem of intimate areas.
Jelly, Rubber, or TPE/TPR Toys
These materials are porous, which means they can never be 100% sterilised. A specialised toy cleaner is advised for these toys, along with warm water. Limit these toys to one type of play (e.g. only vaginal or only anal) to avoid transferring bacteria.
Toys also come in various other materials like wood, plastic, or ceramic. Always refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for specific cleaning instructions to prevent any damage.
Advanced Cleaning Options: Specialized Toy Cleaners
Off-the-shelf sex toy cleaners can offer an additional layer of protection, especially for porous toys. They are usually antibacterial and designed to be gentle on both the toy and your skin. Simply apply, let sit for a few seconds, and wipe clean.
Storage Guidelines: Keep It Safe and Separate
You know that jar of pasta you keep in the back of the food cupboard? Same storage rules apply. Keep your sex toys in a clean, dry dark place (but preferably not actually in the food cupboard with the pasta.) This will prevent material degradation from heat or sunlight. Many toys come with their storage bags, which are a pretty handy way to keep them free from dust and items. It is also wise to store each toy separately as quite often different materials can interact and cause them to break down.
If you have multiple toys, consider investing in a designated storage box with compartments. Make sure it's made from a material that doesn't react with the toys, such as plastic bins or wooden boxes lined with cloth. You may also want to label each compartment or pouch, especially if you use some toys for specific activities or with particular lubricants. That way, you won't mix up your silicone-based lube with a silicone toy, which can degrade the material.
Some people go the extra mile and store their toys with packets of silica gel to absorb any excess moisture, ensuring they remain in optimum condition. Follow these steps, and you'll not only have a well-organised collection but you'll also extend the lifespan of your toys while maintaining good hygiene. BOSH.
Going the Extra Mile: UV Sanitizing Boxes
For those who want to up the ante even further on their cleaning regimen, UV sanitising boxes are the next level. These boxes use ultraviolet light to kill germs and bacteria, offering a touch-free, thorough cleaning.
Dishwashers: A No-Go for some toys
While it may seem convenient, only use a dishwasher to clean your toys under certain circumstances. Silicone, stainless steel, and borosilicate glass toys can be cleaned on the top rack of the dishwasher after washing them by hand. Don’t use any soap in the machine and if you can turn down the temperature that’s advisable. Otherwise the harsh detergents and extreme temperatures can cause the materials to break down. Most sex toys which are dishwasher safe suggest so on the box. Only put them into the dishwasher if the packaging indicates that they are waterproof. Take out the batteries regardless.
The Soap Misconception
A common myth is that everyday soap is sufficient for cleaning sex toys. While this can be true for Silicone, Glass or Stainless steel, this falls short in effectively removing bacteria, for other materials especially porous ones.
Regular cleaning of your sex toys is not just a recommended step; it’s an essential one. With proper cleaning and storage, you can ensure the longevity of your toys and a healthier, more enjoyable experience. So, make it a habit and play on. For more information about general Sexual Wellbeing check out our explain
Have you got any sex toy cleaning tips? If so, wow; you’re either a really well put together person or your sex toy game is absolutely on point. Kudos either way and please share your wisdom with us mere mortals below. For those of us who are a little more bewildered by what’s going on above, feel free to ask for advice and tips in the comments below.
Is it okay to use regular household cleaners on my sex toys? No, regular household cleaners can be too harsh for both the toy material and your skin.
How frequently should I clean my toys? Always clean your sex toys before and after each use.
Is cleaning the same as sterilising my sex toys? Not quite; cleaning removes visible dirt and surface bacteria, while sterilisation eliminates all bacteria and pathogens.
A limerick (because why not…)
There once were some toys in a drawer,
That hadn't been cleaned, what a bore,
With water and care,
They were soon fresh as air,
Now they're ready for sex, fun and more…