woman holding sex toy at sink
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How To Clean Sex Toys — 4 Tips To Keep Your Adult Drawer Hygienic

Here’s how to keep your goodie drawer disinfected.

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There are some things that you don’t really need to clean after each use: you can turn your underwear inside out if things get dire, for example (not that I’ve ever done that or anything… ) and you can use the same towel for a few showers. But one thing that really should be cleaned every time you use it? Any and all kinds of sex toys.

Maybe you got some new goodies for the holidays, or maybe you’re hoping to experiment with self-pleasure more in the new year, but regardless of the reason, you’re going to need to know how to clean sex toys. If toys are not regularly cleaned, it can lead to a build-up of bacteria which can potentially cause UTIs, yeast infections, and other issues that will be itchy and annoying at best. It’s especially important to make sure your toys are squeaky clean if you’re sharing them with another person or if you switched between anal and vaginal penetration.

Here, Romper spoke with Marla Renee Stewart, MA, sexologist and “sexpert” for Lovers sexual wellness brand and retailer about the best ways to clean sex toys.


How To Clean Silicone Toys

Many toys are made of silicone which is a rubber-like material. Unlike other materials, silicone sex toys can actually be boiled or go in the dishwasher for a thorough clean (but only if they do not have batteries, a motor, or mechanized parts).

“Most toys are made of silicone and for those toys, you can clean them using an antibacterial soap and warm water and then sanitize them by boiling them or putting them in the dishwasher, if they don't have any mechanized parts. However, a toy cleaner is your best bet as it cleans, doesn't leave any residue, and sanitizes all in one,” Stewart says.


How To Clean A Vibrator

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Vibrators, by definition, are mechanized (because batteries or a power source of some kind is what makes them vibrate). Rule number one is you should never boil or put a vibrator in the dishwasher. You can clean it using warm water and gentle soap like Dr. Bronner’s unscented (avoid anything fragranced which can irritate the vagina). You can also opt for a toy cleaner (some great options are linked below).

“Because the toy cleaners are also sanitizers, after you clean the toy, you'll need to wait until the toy is completely dry for the sanitizer to sanitize and once it's dry, you can store it in a clean toy bag. If you're using water, you can let your toy air dry. If you can't wait for your toy to dry, you can gently pat it down with a clean microfiber cloth,” Stewart tells Romper.

If you have quite the toy collection, it may make sense to invest in a UV light designed specifically for sex toys. Some will sanitize, store, and even charge all your favorite gadgets which saves you time individually cleaning each one.


How To Clean Glass, Plastic, Or Stainless Steel Sex Toys

When it comes to cleaning sex toys, the material of the toy is less important than whether or not the toy is mechanized, Stewart explains. So vibrators, dildos, suction toys, and even anal beads can all be cleaned in the same way, unless they have batteries or another type of power.

Basically, use water and a gentle soap, or even better, use a sex toy cleaner with a microfiber cloth, then dry thoroughly and place into a specific toy bag so it stays clean and dust-free until you’re ready to use it again.

“If it's waterproof, it might be worth it to rinse it with water before cleaning with a toy cleaner,” Stewart adds. There are all types of cleaners available: misting cleaners are great for taking on-the-go (many come packaged like a spray hand sanitizer in TSA friendly sizes). Foaming cleansers are also a good option, just make sure they are free of alcohol and triclosan (both are irritating and even dangerous for use on intimate skin).

Stewart also says that there are also more natural cleaners available. Afterall, if you use natural cleaning products on your skin and in your kitchen, you probably want to use something green on your vibrator too. “Intimate Earth is a natural toy cleaner if you want to stay as close to organic as possible. It’s green tea formula helps to rid dirt and bacteria and it comes in two sizes so you can keep the large one at home and the travel one in your hygiene bag,” Stewart says.


How To Clean Cyberskin

Cyberskin is often used on dildos and vibrators and it’s a material that, well as the name suggests, feels a lot like skin. “With cyberskin, since it is a blend of materials, you'll need to use a toy cleaner since it is a very porous material. Using soap and water will disintegrate the toy. In addition to the toy cleaner, you'll need to use corn starch or a renewal powder to lightly dust on your toy to keep it from distorting or getting gross,” Stewart says.

Sex toys can be great, but like anything else, they need to be cared for and used properly. With the right cleaning tips, your toys will last for a long time, too. Now you’re ready to have some good, clean fun.

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