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How To Clean Your Sex Toys: Washing & Sanitizing Adult Toys

How To Clean Your Sex Toys: Washing & Sanitizing Adult Toys

To be honest, we never really thought we would have to write an article like this, believing that the following advice was pretty much assumed and didn't need to be mentioned. But we just stumbled upon an interesting statistic that not only surprised us but also led to the creation of this short article.

The statistic in question? Well, according to one recent sex educator study compiled by Indiana State College, an incredible 14% of people who own and use sex toys (on anything more than an occasional basis) have never once cleaned them. Ew!

With sex accessories more popular than ever, we are talking pretty big numbers! Once considered risque and quite kinky-adventurous, sex toys and other pleasure products from an online adult store are now an accepted, fun, and pretty normal way of enhancing bedroom fun, either for self-gratification or with a partner.

Owning a vibrator used to be considered pretty hedonistic (hard to believe, isn't it), but not anymore. Even the medical community is getting behind the use of sexual accessories and toys, with many doctors advocating various sexual aids for improved sexual function.

In other words, It's positive vibrations all around. Pun intended.

There is a caveat, however. Yes, sex accessories are fun, healthy, and even get the medical thumbs up, but not at the expense of nasty infections or even serious health issues. By neglecting sex toy hygiene, germs can actually pose a real threat and are a surprisingly common culprit for infection in the more intimate areas of our bodies.

So, we figured it might be helpful if we put together a quick article for our customers on how to clean sex toys safely and effectively by using regular or antibacterial soap and water or specialized sex toy cleaners.

Cleaning Sex Toys Is a Must

Dildo cleaners

It really is quite simple, to be honest. If you clean all of your sex toys before and after each use, there is almost zero risk of nasty contamination of any description. Cleaning sex toys only occasionally, and you can expect a reasonable risk. Never clean them, however, and you are pretty much asking for something nasty!

So, without stating the obvious too much here, it is important to keep them in a hygienic condition. And by that, we are not referring to the occasional wipe-down with a stray sock. Sex toy cleaning after each use is essential to prevent the spread of bacteria, viruses, and other germs that could lead to infections or other health issues.

In this blog post, we will cover the basics of cleaning out your precious sex toys, what are the best dildo cleaners, the best things you will need to do so, together with a few additional tips and tricks. But first, why does it matter?

Why Is It So Important?

To maintain good sexual health, it is imperative to give priority to the regular cleaning of your sex toys, butt plugs and anal toys. Every time you use a sex toy, vaginal, anal, and oral secretions (or any other bodily fluids) will inevitably come into touch with your device.

These liquids might seem harmless to the invisible eye, but they include bacteria or even viruses that - if remaining on the toy's surface - could multiply, become dangerous, and lead to diseases.

Also, it's crucial to clean and disinfect sex accessories before sharing them with a partner to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). We are not for one second suggesting you or a partner suffer from an STI, of course, but as with anything in the bedroom, safety should always come first.

Another thing worth considering is that cleaning your sex toy is also important for preserving the quality and longevity of the toy. That is something many people don't realize, actually, but a well-maintained toy will probably stay in great shape forever if you clean it frequently.

Think about it. You'll want to know how to wash a dildo properly. Dirt, sweat, and other 'debris' can accumulate on the toy's surface, which can cause dirty sex toys to deteriorate or break down over time. By cleaning your sex toys regularly and knowing how to clean anal toys, you can ensure that they stay in good condition and last longer.

Best Method To Clean Sex Toys

So how often should they be cleaned?

Every. Single. Time! That might sound a little too much, but all it takes is one 'session' for the bacteria to begin breeding, multiplying, and generally formulating a cunning plan of attack for the next time you use your precious toy.

As with anything in life, it is just one of those practices that become almost habitual. You will get used to cleaning your sex toy before and after each use, and it will just become a normal thing. So much so, in fact, that not cleaning your sex toy will feel distinctly weird if you don't.

In the absolute extreme, if you can't be bothered to clean before each session, cleaning afterward is essential. The heat of the moment becomes a factor here because when the moment takes you, and you are compelled by lust to reach for the bedroom drawer and grab your dildo, we do understand that for many people, the notion of pausing events while you dash off to start cleaning isn't always reality!

We would prefer you clean before each use, but if the spontaneity is going to be killed by your efforts to clean, then, you know...we understand. But under no circumstances should you neglect the cleaning immediately after the fun is over, okay? That's a dealbreaker!

What Do You Need?

Cleaning Dildos

Before we look at the technique of how to clean your sex accessories, let's consider the tools you'll need to get the job done. It isn't complicated, thankfully, and mostly consists of soap (regular skin soap or medical soap) or a specialized toy cleaner.

  1. Mild soap and water or sex toy cleaner: Either use a delicate liquid soap or a specially created sex toy cleaner to clean all of your toys. Anything that is considered 'body safe' is ideal here - just use soap or a toy cleaner and nothing else. You should also avoid scented soaps, ideally, and of course, don't use dish soap!
  2. Warm water: Rinse the toy with warm water to get rid of any dirt or residue. It's recommended to stick with warm water because hot water may harm some materials, like jelly rubber.
  3. Clean, damp cloth: Wipe off the toy's surface with a clean, damp cloth to get rid of any dirt or debris. Avoid using abrasive or rough cloths that could scratch the toy or cause damage.
  4. Towel: After cleaning the toy, pat it dry using a fresh towel. Check the towel for any lint or other particles that might stick to the toy.
  5. Toy cleanser: Using a toy cleaner will help you thoroughly clean your sex toy. Apart from ensuring that the toy is completely cleaned, toy cleaners are also designed to be gentle on both the users and the actual toy.

How to Clean Your Sex Toys

Cleaning Dildos

There are two slightly different methods, depending on the material of your toy. This breaks down into either porous materials or non-porous materials. At The Adult Toy Shop, all of our products clearly state the type of material used to manufacture the toy.

If you have purchase a vibrator online with none of this information on the packaging, you might be using a product that hasn't been manufactured to the best standards (but that's another article for another day).

How to differentiate between porous and nonporous toys? It's pretty simple, really.

If the material has tiny holes - however small - they are classed as porous (think of pores on human skin). These 'pores' will act like a sponge for bacteria, fungus, and general, uh, 'muck.' Basically, anything that is made with rubber, soft elastic, or jelly would be classed as porous sex toys.

Anything made with silicon, metals, pyrex, or hard plastic would be classed as nonporous toys.

Believe it or not, using the dishwasher is also an option, providing the sex toy is dishwasher safe. Obviously, this option does not include battery-operated or electrical toys.

Porous Materials

Porous sex toys can be cleaned with soap and water or a sex toy cleaner. Light soft soap, just as you would use for your face, is a suitable option here. One added bonus with using a special sex toy cleaner, however, is that they will get your toys nice and squeaky clean in an instant, looking brand new in a flash.

Just like your skin, porous toys feature microscopic openings or pores that can trap bacteria even after cleaning - try and keep that in mind. If you have any porous toys in your collection, it is preferable to save them for solo play or to share them with a condom, although this only really applies to those who do not already share a fluid bond.

Jelly Accessories & Toys

Staying in the realm of porous, we move on to jelly toys, which are made of a supple, spongy material that can deteriorate with time. Jelly toys are a sort of porous toy in their own category, and if you own one, it's a good idea to fully disinfect it if you can - just an extra dose of TLC, ensuring it is thoroughly cleaned.

Any crevices or textured regions of the toy should be given additional care because they might harbor bacteria and other diseases. To get rid of any soap residue, rinse the toy one more in warm water before drying it with a fresh towel.

Consider using a toy cleaner made especially for jelly rubber and avoiding exposing your jelly toy to strong sunlight or harsh temperatures to extend the life of your jelly toy.

Nonporous Toys

To clean nonporous accessories and toys such as silicone, glass toys, and stainless steel toys, liquid soap or a toy cleaner can be used and then air dry. Baby wipes are a good option for a quick clean if you are exhausted post-session and want to stay tucked up in bed.

Nonporous accessories and vibrator toys have the added benefit of being able to be boiled (on a low simmer, not full boiling water) as long as they are not motorized. All of our vibrators for sale will list the material so you know exactly what it is made of.

For non-vibrating silicone toys like your regular anal toy, dildos, or butt plugs, boiling them in water for up to three minutes is an effective way to sanitize them. However, we must stress that soft porous accessories and toys or motorized toys should never be placed in boiling water.

A washcloth can be used to clean non-waterproof toys safely. When cleaning motorized toys, remember to remove the batteries and be careful not to get water in the battery compartment.

After rinsing the toy, be sure to close it and take care to keep water out of the battery compartment. Open it up again and let it air-dry with the battery compartment open.

Tips for Properly Cleaning Your Toys

Washing Sex Toys

The fun doesn't end with those steps, however, and if you want to go that extra mile and really take great care of your sex accessories and toys, we have a few further tips worth considering. Let's take a look.

  1. Clean your toys after each use: We already mentioned this a few times - but this is a point worth repeating because it is so important! It's crucial to clean your toys after each use to keep them nice and clean when you store your sex toys in the drawer or a clean container (or hidden away on the top of the wardrobe, as some people do!) Seriously... The spread of bacteria, viruses, or other nasty unwanted germs that can cause an illness or other health problems will be reduced to almost zero as a result of this essential habit.
  2. Use the right cleaner: When selecting a cleaner for your sex toys, choose one that's specifically designed for the material of your toy. Using the wrong cleaner could possibly damage the toy's layer or create painful irritation on your skin.
  3. Don't share: Sharing sex accessories and toys with multiple partners outside of your fluid bond can increase the chances of spreading STIs or various other infections. If you do choose to share a toy with a fluid-bond partner, be sure to clean it thoroughly between uses. If you want to be extra cautious, you can use a condom or other barrier to prevent the spread of germs on relevant toys - although this isn't essential with people inside of your fluid bond.
  4. Check for damage: When cleaning your sex toy, make sure it is damage-free by looking for any signs of wear and strain. If the toy is damaged, it may be time to replace it to avoid any health risks.
  5. Store your sex toys properly: After cleaning your sex toys, store them in a clean, dry place that's free from dust or debris. Check here for sex toy storage ideas. Consider using a separate storage container for each toy to prevent them from touching and potentially transferring germs.

Pretty Simple, Really!

That's all there is to it - most of this is common sense when you think about it, and despite the alarming stats at the start of this article, most sex toys are maintained properly by the majority of people. Cleaning your sex accessories and toys is something you should get into the habit of and is an important detail in good sexual health.

In addition to that, your actual accessories and toys will thank you for it, too. Taking good care of your sex toys helps ensure they last for many years, as long as you are buying quality sex toys made from the best materials, that is.

Click to buy adult toys online.

Mayla Green

Mayla Green has been involved in the sex toy industry since 2004. Working behind the motto “Sex TOYS should be FUN”, Mayla provides unique tips & advice amassed from over a decade of hands on experience with adult products. She also coaches clients how to fully enjoy sexual pleasure and can be seen in major publications & magazines online.

Happily married since 2009, she knows firsthand how the sex life eventually becomes repetitive (which truthfully means boring), so if you're looking to spice things up in the bedroom, Mayla's your gal! Her literary pride & joy is covering topics for established couples needing inspiration to keep lovemaking exciting and fun.

Not in a relationship? Her other focus is teaching women how to properly handle the “little person in the canoe” to experience the best orgasms ever, no partner required! Her creative and innovative tips, techniques and advice is on par with a certified sex therapist or Sexologist, but with an extra advantage from her knowledge of the adult toy business.

View all articles published by Mayla Green exclusively for The Adult Toy Shop sex blog.

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