A dip in bleach solution. Place a capful or two of bleach in a small bucket of water and let your toys soak in there for a few minutes. (Just remember to rinse them carefully afterward. Bleach and genitals do not mix, and long-term exposure to bleach can damage some materials.)
Use a UV sanitizing system like Uvee. This one’s a bit more high-tech (and expensive), but it also makes sanitizing toys super simple. Give it a go if sanitation is a concern for you.
Whatever option you choose, be sure to rinse and dry your toys thoroughly as well. This also helps prevent bacteria, mold and other nasties from taking hold.
How to Clean Your Vibrators
How to clean a vibrator kind of depends on the vibrator. Many are now waterproof, which means you can toss them in the sink and scrub them up with soap and water. Depending on the toy, you may also want to keep a toothbrush around for cleaning out any cracks/crevices in the toy. These can get kind of um, gunky, so it’s a good idea to give them a scrub when you can. This type of cleaning will work just fine if you have a toy made of silicone or ABS plastic. It may also work for TPR/TPE toys (but be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.) Even toys that aren’t waterproof can typically take a splash in the sink. If you’re unsure, you can use an alcohol wipe or sex toy cleaning spray to wipe them down.
If you happen to have toys made of other materials like jelly rubber,or skin-like materials that are not pure silicone, they will be more difficult to clean. However, because these toys may also be porous and contain dangerous chemical such as phthalates, it is advised that you cover them with a condom during use. Even better advice, however, is to invest in something made of better materials to begin with. (For more insight, check out 10 Harmful Chemicals That Make a Sex Toy Toxic.)
|Soap & Water||✔||✔||✔|
Note that there's a wide range of skin-like materials (often used to make masturbators), so check with the manufacturer's directions to determine how best to clean them. Many of these materials are porous and somewhat delicate, which can make a thorough cleaning more difficult. If you opt for bleach or alcohol cleaning, be sure to rinse your toy thoroughly afterwards!
How to Clean Your Dildos
When it comes to cleaning, there tends to be more options for dildos because they typically don’t include electronic parts. This means the methods mentioned in the section about sterilization, including bleaching, boiling and the dishwasher, may be options. We recommend dildos made of non-porous materials like silicone, metal, wood, glass and ceramic. They clean up well, last well, are durable and are safe for your body.
|Soap & Water||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
Note that not all silicone products can be boiled. Many can be, but reach out to the toy's manufacturer if you aren't sure.
Cleaning Anal Sex Toys
When it comes to cleaning anal toys, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that anal bacteria is dangerous everywhere except the anus. What that means is that if you put a dildo in your butt, you can’t put that dildo anywhere else before sanitizing it first. What that also means is that if you have toys you want to put into more than one orifice, you should make sure those toys are made of materials that can be sterilized.
The other problem with anal toys is that they can develop a bit of an odor, particularly when they’re made of silicone. In this case, some of the sterilization methods mentioned above can help. So can soaking your toy a solution of vinegar, or even exposing it to direct sunlight for a few days. We’ve also heard good things about soaking anal toys in baking soda and water. Otherwise, all the same rules for cleaning apply as for dildos, as long as your toy doesn't include a motor, in which case you should refer to the cleaning instructions for vibrators.
Maintaining Your Sex Toys By Using the Right Lube
Cleaning is an important aspect of caring for your sex toys (and your health), but there’s another factor you may not be aware of: lube. Essentially, some lubricants are not compatible with some sex toys. Here’s a bit of a breakdown:
|Silicone Lube||Water-Based Lube||Hybrid Lube||Oil-Based Lube|
Note that while hybrid lubes typically work fine on silicone sex toys (the amount of silicone isn’t high enough to cause an issue), you should still do a patch test on your toy to be sure. Pure silicone lubes can dissolve silicone sex toys. That said, silicone labeled "platinum cured" will typically hold up well to any kind of lube. If you're not sure, do a patch test!
Read: Choosing the Right Kind of Lube
Sex Toy Storage
As long as your toys are made of high quality materials, you should be able to store them however you like, although beware about putting latex, jelly or PVC toys together - they release chemicals that can cause them to melt (which, by the way, is the reason these materials are a bad idea in the first place.) For silicone toys, you may want to store them in a cloth bag (many manufacturers provide one) to prevent them from picking up lint.
If privacy is an issue for you (and you have kids in the house), you may want to put your toys in a lockable box or sex toy storage case.
When it comes to toys with replaceable batteries, most manufacturers recommend that you remove them before storage; keeping them in can reduce the life of the toy. Also be sure to turn off your toys and activate the travel lock, if you have one. This way, you won't pull out your favorite toy, only to find it has a dead battery.
Many Years to ... Come
We sometimes hear people complain about the cost of good sex toys. And, yes, for some budgets, they can be a sacrifice. But unlike many other things you might buy, orgasms never get old or go out of style. Take great care of your quality sex toys and you'll be able so use them for many years to come.