How to Clean Your Sex Toys

03/28/2011 11:01 AM |

Dear Audrey,

Over the years I’ve amassed a collection of sex toys. What’s the best way to clean them all? Some of them are made of different materials, and some of them I don’t really remember what they’re made of. I definitely want to be safe and sanitary but I don’t want to destroy any of them or shorten their lives.

So, as usual with questions that require actual knowledge, you ask me and I ask the internet. And the internet says (in several places!) that your best bet is to read the cleaning instructions that came with the toys and follow them. Which really? The internet really thinks everyone has some shoebox in the bottom of a closet somewhere filled with little dildo informational booklets, saved just in case? That is like some hoarders-level shit right there. Plus also I feel pretty sure that none of the sex toys I’ve ever come across had any accompanying literature beyond maybe a little slip of paper that shows how many and what kind of batteries you need, but then I’m cheap so I don’t buy the good stuff.

In any case, warm soap and water, especially anti-bacterial soap, will do the trick for most things. Definitely do not get batteries and electrical plugs wet, which duh. Obviously sex electricity functions the same as toaster electricity in that regard. Silicon and glass can go in the dishwasher, though how you feel about that is up to you. I mean I get that if the dishwasher is sterilizing stuff then it will sterilize your plates and your butt plugs together, but to me there’s just something unsavory about that prospect. Separate loads, maybe.

Silicon can also be boiled, but don’t boil molded plastic because it will melt. I found this out the hard way one time when I found a roach in my kitchen drawer and freaked out and dumped the entire contents of the drawer into a giant pot of boiling water for an hour. All the plastic spatulas melted, which was a drag, but I was also secretly relieved because ew, roach cooties. Metal implements can be boiled or dishwashed or just washed in soap.

Most non-porous things can also be cleaned in a very mild bleach solution (9 to 1) so long as you make sure to really rinse the bleach off afterward. Needles and such should be boiled or autoclaved. Apparently rubber is very porous and is basically a shitty material to make sex toys out of. Use a condom or just throw those ones away and get some non-rubber stuff. Oh and of course feel free to use condoms on any of your sex toys if you want to be double extra sure, but if it were me I would still give them a good wash afterward.

Leather is pretty porous too. For straps and things you can just wipe them down and let them dry, but for anything that’s going in an orifice I think you’re going to want to use a condom. It seems that they also make special sex toy cleaning gels and fluids, but I suspect those are probably kind of a rip-off. Just figure out what material your toy is made of, and clean it like any normal thing that is made of that material (that is covered with sex fluids). And I guess next time you buy a sex toy save the instructions? Or don’t because that’s weird. Just use soap.

2 Comment

  • You should go into your local sex shop and discuss cleaning your toys with the experts that sell them. For plastic toys (not silicon) you should use a toy cleaner which they will have on hand, or use a condom every time you use these toys and then rinse with warm water. Soap will get into the porous material and burn you later so it should not be applied. For silicon toys you can use a special cleaner or use soap and water. Silicon is the best material for sex toys because it is easiest to clean, but just be sure never to use silicon lubricant with these toys.

  • A friend of mine works at an adult store and informed me you need to use specific soap. I used dial on my silicone kegal balls and she td me that dial will eventually damage them, but forgot to mention what I should use.