How To Clean Your Sex Toys

By jen | Sex Toys

Taking a little time out for your own ‘self-love’ can get a little messy, and it’s important to make sure you clean your toys properly after each and every use.

​Knowing how to wash your toys is crucial to stay healthy, clear of inflammations and to keep your precious toys working well for many orgasms to come. Even though they know it’s important, most people have no idea how to properly clean their toys.

First of all you should never scrub your toys with rags or brushes.  Think if it’s good though to do your dishes in, it’s not good enough for your toys!

Rather, wash your hands and then use them to clean your toys.  Anything more abrasive should start to have adverse effects on the materials your toys are made of, and reduce their lifespan.  

While that is a good general rule of thumb, different toys are going to have different cleaning requirements.  Read on to find out some general guidelines and more specific suggestions for different types of toys and devices.

Cleaning Silicone, Glass & Stainless Steel Adult Toys

The great non-porous trio. They are the perfect toys not only for their safe composition and ability to keep a pleasant temperature during use, but also for their ease at being able to be cleaned up when you are done.  

But keep in mind not all metal toys could be made of stainless steel, and not all plastic toys could be made from medical grade silicon.  Higher quality toys will usually be, but it’s good to know exactly what you are cleaning before you start cleaning, and probably even when you were buying the toy so you aren’t buying a product made from inferior materials that might have unwanted effects.

For basic, non-motorized toys, cleaning up can be as simple as putting them into your dishwasher and running the dishwasher on sanitize (to avoid any awkward situations, it might be best to make sure you also take them out when the dishwasher is done and not leave your toys for someone else to find)

If you don’t have a dishwasher that can sanitize, you can achieve a similar result by putting your toys in boiling water for about 10 minutes. This will remove any unwanted bacteria that might have collected on the toy during your play time.

Sanitizing might seem a little extreme, but if you are using a toy that is going to go into different places, either on yourself or between you and a partner, it’s a good idea to ​clean them well in this way so you don’t cause any unwanted problems like yeast infections or UTIs.  

If you’re not sharing the toy and don’t need to sanitize it, cleaning it by hand with a mild scent free hand soap and rinsing it with warm water should be enough to keep your toy clean and in good working order.

And for the toys with motors, we highly suggest simply hand cleaning the toy with some mild scent free hand soap and then rinsing it with warm water.  After that you can apply a conventional antibacterial sex toy cleaner. After it applied, let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes on a clean surface, like a towel.

Just make sure that you know if you’re toy is waterproof before submerging anything with a motor in water.  If it isn’t, then be much more conservative with the water you are using, but getting it a bit wet isn’t going to ruin your toy.

If you plan on sharing your vibrating toys between you and your partner or your own orifices, using a 10% bleach water solution or rubbing alcohol after you have cleaned it with hand soap will make your toy clean enough that you don’t have to worry about unwanted bacteria being passed between orifices.  

Cleaning Jelly, Hard Plastic, Skin Imitations, and Other Materials

These might not be the highest quality toys available, but some people prefer them to silicon.  Also if you aren’t looking to spend a lot on your sex toys, these options are more affordable and can still give you a lot of pleasure.

While these toys are more inexpensive, you need to be even more careful when cleaning them or they could be a hazard to your health.  The porous materials they are made of, can absorb the bacteria, and make it harder to actually get clean.  

We would recommend getting something much safer and easier to clean as quickly as you can afford it.  If you are unsure where to start, we have a number of guides that can help you buy safe, effective and fun toys!

Toys made of these materials should never be shared!

These toys are difficult to totally sterilize due to their porous nature so you might put yourself or someone else at risk.

Using latex prophylactics isn’t a good idea either because many of these materials have oils that break down the condom, and being the equivalent of using petroleum jelly as lube while wearing a condom.  The condom is not going to be able to do its job properly!

The only condoms that are going to work are polyurethane or nitrile condoms.  Do you want to buy special condoms just for your toys? We think it might be better to spend the extra money on a higher quality toy to begin with.

Otherwise, clean up still ought to be a breeze with the aid of an excellent sex toy cleaner.

To prevent any problems you should get a high quality sex toy cleaner, and always use that when cleaning toys made from these plastics.  We err on the side of keeping our genitals as healthy as possible, and we think you should, too.  

You’ll want to wash the toy with some unscented hand soap.  Rinse the toy off in warm water and then spray the cleaner on it and then let it sit for a few minutes to be thoroughly clean.

Handling Odor

Even body safe materials can still retain an odor after use especially for today that are used anally.

If the toy is made of silicone, glass or stainless, and doesn’t contain a motor (or has one you can easily remove), then you can simply boil the toy in water with a small amount of vinegar in it and the odor should be removed.

If the toy has a vibrator that you can't get rid of, a bit of 100% acetone rubbed with a soft material like makeup cleaner pads should also get rid of any lingering smells your toy has.

For toys that are not body safe, I'm afraid that nothing can be done and you should actually begin thinking about switching over to something safer.

​Some Exceptions For Cleaning Your Toys

It’s possible to use some other techniques to safely clean your toys. While using high quality sex toy cleaners is what we recommend in most cases, you can still get away with other methods of cleaning your toys in particular instances.

Clitoral Toys

If you don't tend to use your toy for penetration, you can simply clean your toy with any non-alcohol based unscented soap for the skin. Just rinse thoroughly after you have used soap to avoid any accumulation of soap residue.

Anal toys

If you don't share your anal toys, they can quickly be cleaned up with warm water and antibacterial unscented soap.  If a toy you use anally is going in any other part of your or a partners body, you should really consider sanitizing it between uses.  


A masturbator that only you use can be cleaned with some hand soap and then giving it a rinse in warm water.

A great deal of them can be flipped over like a sock for much better cleansing and drying.

But make sure that you dry them thoroughly when you are done washing them, especially if you are going to store the sleeve for any length of time before using it again.  They are notorious for growing mold when they are left damp.

Best Toy Cleaner

Hands down, the quickest and most care-free way of cleaning your sex toys so that you can feel assured that they will be safe and have a long life is to use a high quality sex toy cleaner.

While most of them are made equal and the brand rarely matters (as long as they are anti-bacterial, unscented and do not leave residue), we still do have some recommendations.

Pjur Med Clean

​The Reason Pjur Med Clean is our leading choice due to the fact that, on top of doing its task very well and being discreet at that (no points out of sex or toys on the label ), it cleans up silicone lube effectively. Might it be on toys or spills, just spray the cleaner over a stain or a puddle and wash off normally!

Since we recommend silicon lube as the highest quality type you can get, but we also know that it can be the most difficult to clean up after using or if you spill it, Pjur’s works wonders.  Not only does it clean up your toys, but you can use it clean off any remaining lube on yourself, also. 

With the spray version just spray it on where you want to clean, let it sit for a little bit and then wipe it off. 

You can also get it as a wipe, which can make cleaning up even easier!

It does cost a slight bit more than most other brands of quality sex toy cleaners, but the ease that you can use it makes us think that the extra cost is a small price to pay.


Now you have no reason to have any dirty toys sitting around in your nightstand!  Cleaning your toys properly will keep them working well for years to come, and will keep you and your sexy bits healthy, too!

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