Sex Toy Cleaning 101

When we think about safe sex, maybe our minds turn to condoms or STI checks, but rarely do most of us consider the hygiene of our sex toys.

Luckily for us, we live in the age of advanced technology. Yes there is space travel and AI, but arguably the greatest advancement is modern sex toys. Unlike sex toys of the past that resemble broken power tools (definitely worth a google), the toys of today are often minimal, smooth and, well, pretty damn beautiful. As well as the pleasing aesthetics, these slick designs make them a whole lot easier to clean.

Why should I clean my sex toys?

Keeping your toys clean not only prolongs their life, but protects your health. If you miss this important step in your sexual agenda, pretty soon your tool for pleasure can become a breeding ground for bad bacteria. No thanks.

So, how should I be cleaning my sex toy?

The best way to clean your sex toy will depend on a few factors:

  •   What material the toy is made from
  •   If the toy is battery powered
  •   If the toy is waterproof (which most are nowadays)
  •   What the manufacturer's instructions say.

If you’re like me and have never read a manual in your life, make your sex toy the exception to the illogical rule. Reading your toy’s care guide will give you a better understanding of how to care for it. Sex toys are most commonly made of silicone, ABS plastic, glass, stainless steel or wood, and each material has different care requirements.

If your toy is waterproof, wash it under warm water. Don’t use hot as it can damage the toy’s material. Then apply a small amount of toy cleaner or soap before rinsing. If your toy uses batteries, remove them before washing. And if your toy is not waterproof, use a clean cloth with soap or toy cleaner, and wipe residue off with a clean damp cloth.

Once your toy is dry, store it in a cool, dry place out of the sun. Regularly check all of your toys for any scratches or breaks on the surface, as this can also harbor unwanted bacteria. If you do find a break on the surface, it’s time to invest in a new sex toy.

A womans' hand is pictured on a pale pink background and she is holding a small green round item in the palm of her hand.
What sort of cleaner should I be using?

Toy cleaner is a great way to keep your sex toy free from bad bacteria.

Some favourites from our shop:

JO Refresh Toy Cleaner

Natural Toy Cleaner

Pjur Toy Cleaner

If you don’t have any toy cleaner, soap is great too, but make sure it is mild and fragrance free.

What not to do

Now we know how to care for our toys, let's talk about the things to avoid. There are some products you may think are ok to use, but even if they state they are “100% natural”, they are a hard no for your body and your toy (depending on what it’s made from).

These include:

  •   Household cleaning products
  •   Perfume
  •   Undiluted bleach
  •   Hand sanitizer
  •   Alcohol

It’s a sensitive world down there, and the last thing you want is for harsh ingredients transferring from your toy onto your genitals and causing irritation.

So although getting up and giving your toy a thorough clean may not seem like the most glamorous thing to do as soon as you’ve finished using it, it is unfortunately an un-sexy essential step in caring for your sex toy.

Besides, doesn’t it care for you?

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