Sex toys can make your play time extra special, but you want to share the fun — not bacteria! Clean your sex toys well after every use. But sex toys are made of different materials, and some are prone to bacteria build-up than others and need extra care. This guide can help.
These sex toys are non-porous and generally easier to clean. If it’s motorized, just wipe it with a very mild soap and slightly wet cloth. Since the electronic parts make very deep cleans impossible, consider covering it with a latex condom or glove during sex.
If the sex toy isn’t motorized, you can give it a more thorough wash. Either boil it in water for 10 minutes, or place it in the top rack of the dishwasher and let the steam sterilize it — you won’t even need soap! Glass toys can actually be cleaned in the microwave.
Just a tip: don’t dry toys with paper towels, which can leave a residue that can cause yeast infections. Air-drying is safer and healthier.
Plastic/jelly/TPR (thermoplastic elastomer) and elastomer
These sex toys are made of porous materials, which means they are more likely to harbor bacteria and pass on sexually-transmitted diseases or STDs. Washing with soap and water isn’t enough. Sex health experts recommend using it with a condom, especially if you have multiple partners or will share the toy with a partner.
The newer cyberskin toys resemble real skin in both texture and appearance. However, this is a very delicate material so avoid over-soaping. Clean these by rinsing them with hot water or a cloth that has been dampened with alcohol. You can maintain that soft, skin-like texture by sprinkling with cornstarch or talc powder after cleaning.
Important precautions for battery-operated sex toys
Always read the packaging for care instructions. Even if a sex toy is water-resistant, it can’t be submerged in water. Only fully water-proof toys can be cleaned this way.
Always remove the batteries between uses. This will extend the life of the battery and prevent the batteries from leaking into the toy and destroying it.
Preventing discoloration of sex toys
Discoloration won’t affect the performance of the toy, but who doesn’t want a toy to look brand new? Wrap each toy individually in a breathable fabric and store in a dark place away from direct sunlight or heat.