How to Properly Clean Sex Toys?

How to Properly Clean Sex Toys?

 Proper cleaning of sex toys is essential to prevent bacteria and pathogens from entering the body. This can lead to infections like bacterial vaginosis or urinary tract infections, especially if toys are shared between partners. While cleaning surfaces with soap and water is sufficient for most toys, some cases may require thorough disinfection.

Several different ways to clean

For surface cleaning:

- water

- Soap: Hand soap or castile soap is best. Antibacterial soap is not necessary. Avoid using harsh soaps such as dish soap.

- Paper towels or clean towels: used to air dry toys after cleaning.

For deep cleaning:

- Boiling water pot: After cleaning the surface, immerse the toys in water for a few minutes to disinfect.

- Bleach and spray bottle (or other container with bleach solution): Used for disinfecting, but it will not kill all pathogens.

- Dishwasher: Ensure proper sanitizing settings. Otherwise, choose boiling or bleaching.

- Paper towels or clean towels: used to air dry toys after cleaning.

Cleaning time will vary depending on the method you choose. Surface cleaning typically takes one to three minutes per toy, not including drying time. It takes another three minutes to boil toys to sterilize them. It takes about 10 minutes to bleach the toy. If using a dishwasher, expect to complete a full rinse cycle (time may vary).

How to choose a suitable cleaning method?

While the guide provided provides general advice on cleaning various types of sex toys, it is recommended that you consult the toy manual (if available) for the best cleaning methods.

Three levels of toy cleaning:

  1. Cleaning: Remove surface material.
  2. Disinfection or Disinfection: Destroying bacteria and certain pathogens to ensure hygiene.
  3. Sterilization: Kills all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Cleaning recommendations apply to non-porous toys used on the genitals, including materials such as 100% silicone, metal, borosilicate glass or hard plastic (ABS or TPC). Porous toys, such as jelly rubber, PVC, leather and certain stones, are difficult to clean thoroughly and may contain bacteria, so are not recommended.

It is worth noting that not all toys labeled with silicone are 100% silicone, especially those with a "soft leather" texture. The flame test confirms that the toy is 100% silicone and the surface should not melt when briefly exposed to a lighter. However, this test is only recommended for non-mechanized toys such as dildos.

Basic surface cleaning

Most types of sex toys can be effectively cleaned by scrubbing them thoroughly, although this method does not disinfect or sterilize the toys. However, if you are the only user of the toy, surface cleaning is usually sufficient.

Before cleaning, check the water safety rating of the toy. Non-mechanized toys, such as solid silicone dildos, or mechanized toys that are labeled splash-proof or waterproof, can be safely washed under water in the sink.

To clarify, splash-proof toys can withstand surface moisture, while waterproof toys can be fully submerged to a specified depth. A toy's packaging or manual will usually indicate its water safety rating. For toys that are not waterproof, use a wet wipe or towel to clean and avoid rinsing or submerging. For battery-operated toys, remove the batteries before cleaning.

To clean a toy, rinse it with water or wipe its surface with a damp paper towel or towel to remove any debris. Apply liquid soap directly to the toy, scrub if washing in the sink, or wipe again with a damp cloth and some liquid soap.

For toys with grooves or crevices, use a special soft toothbrush to remove debris. Rinse or wipe the toy with clean water until completely clean.

Place the cleaned toys on a clean towel to air dry. Air drying is recommended to prevent lint from sticking to the toy and ensure thorough drying, especially in hard-to-reach areas. If the toy is battery powered, leave the battery compartment open to dry.

While sex toy cleaning sprays and wipes are convenient, regular soap and water are usually just as effective. Most sprays and wipes require rinsing, which saves no time or energy.


Sometimes, simple cleaning is not enough and it is recommended to disinfect sex toys when:

  1. The toy will be shared by non-fluid-bonded individuals. Using condoms on toys can also reduce this risk.
  2. The toy has been in contact with genitals during an active yeast, bacterial or sexually transmitted infection and may contain associated pathogens.
  3. You plan to use the same toy anally and vaginally. Experts recommend using condoms in this situation.
  4. The smell of anal toys needs to be removed. Silicone toys, especially, may retain odor over time.

These techniques are effective in killing most pathogens. While a dishwasher can eliminate bacteria, it may not be effective against viruses or fungi. Additionally, these steps can help eliminate the smell of silicone toys.


To sterilize 100% silicone, stainless steel, and borosilicate glass toys, follow these steps:

  1. First clean the surface of the toy.
  2. Soak it in boiling water for three minutes. If the toy is made of glass, place a towel in the pot to cushion it and prevent cracking or breakage.
  3. Monitor the boiling process carefully.
  4. Use pliers to remove the toy from the water.
  5. Place on a clean towel to air dry. Avoid rinsing with cold water immediately after boiling, as sudden temperature changes may stress the material.


You can also deep clean multiple non-mechanized 100% silicone, stainless steel, and borosilicate glass toys by placing them on the top rack of your dishwasher after the surfaces are clean. Run the dishwasher's sanitize cycle without soap, as soap is too harsh for sex toys. However, this method is not recommended if you share the dishwasher with a non-sexual partner.

While a dishwasher's sanitizing cycle is effective at killing germs, it may not be as thorough as boiling water. Dishwasher rinses typically use hot water to kill bacteria, but may not eliminate all viruses or fungi.

The sanitize cycle of a home dishwasher needs to reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit and kills 99.999% of germs. While this temperature is sufficient to destroy most bacteria and some other microorganisms, it may not destroy particularly heat-resistant viruses and fungi. When in doubt, boiling or bleaching is a safer option than using the dishwasher.

How to store your toys properly

After cleaning, store your sex toys properly to keep them clean until the next use. While many toys come with cloth bags, boxes or boxes for storage, any sealable bag or box will work for non-porous toys, keeping them protected from dust and lint.

For silicone anal toys, choose breathable storage options to minimize odor build-up. Store toys in a cool, dark and dry place, such as a shelf or drawer, away from direct sunlight or areas prone to moisture, such as the bathroom.

It is crucial to handle toys that have visible cracks in plastic, acrylic, or glass, as well as toys that have any rips or tears in silicone toys. These flaws not only compromise safety but also make cleaning difficult.

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