Dildos, vibrators, and other sex toys contact with the fluids of our bodies’ private parts. Washing them properly, maintaining and storing them is essential. No, it’s not a complicated process.

Nevertheless, there are aspects you should keep in mind. If you neglect them, you can either spoil the sex device or harm yourself. 

Using improperly maintained sex toys creates risks of catching bacterial infections. The vulva-vaginal environment is very sensitive, and you should avoid fungi development in this area because it can turn into more serious health conditions.

The overgrowth of bacteria can lead to infections of the urinary tract or vaginosis. You should be especially careful if you are not the only one in the household using the toy.

The majority of sex toys can be cleaned with warm, soapy water. Then, you should merely leave them to dry on their own or use paper towels. Nevertheless, there are details that you probably don’t know. Here’s everything for you to learn about thorough disinfection.

Things you’ll Need

Cleaning the Surface

  • Warm water.
  • Soap. Castile soap or mild liquid soap or is the best option. It’s not obligatory to buy antibacterial soap. Dish soap or any other similar substances should be avoided because they are too harsh.
  • Soft washcloths or paper towels. They are essential for getting rid of excessive wetness and drying.

Deeper Cleaning

  • Boiling water pot. It’s suitable for some of the toys. Disinfection through submerging them in boiling liquid can deal with numerous bacteria in the shortest time.
  • Bleach and spray bottle. Bleaching and boiling are the most effective ways of dealing with the bacteria on the surface and inside of your toys.
  • Dishwasher. The dishwasher should have an appropriate disinfection setting. Besides, your toy should be suitable for bleaching and boiling, as well as for disinfection in the dishwasher (which is usually mentioned in the instruction).
  • Soft washcloths and paper towels. They are essential for drying after soaking in the liquid.

Optional Things

  • Special sprays and sex-toy wipes. They are convenient, but in the majority of cases, plain water and soap will do.

How Long Does the Cleaning Take?

Everything depends on the type of toy and the material. However, in the majority of cases, the cleaning is simple and fast.

You’ll have to devote a couple or three minutes. The drying time also differs depending on the material and the texture of the surface. Boiling a toy is also acceptable. Make sure the instruction coming with a toy proves it. If you’re bleaching your toys for disinfection, it will take around ten minutes. Dishwasher cleaning depends on the settings of your dishwasher. Make sure your toy is suitable for the dishwasher.

Choosing the Cleaning Method

The first thing you have to do is to study the manual coming with the sex toy package. Are you excited to use it? Well, use it but don’t ignore the maintenance details mentioned in the manual.

Here are the best practices and main tips for sex toys. They are three main tips that you should follow to make your toy live longer:

  1. Cleaning can remove the material from the inner and outer surface, which can lead to deterioration and breakage.
  2. Sanitizing and disinfecting will help you get rid of the bacteria. Besides, a thorough cleaning will destroy bacteria and pathogens.
  3. Sterilizing performed properly will destroy all bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

The minimum maintenance you should remember is basic. Body fluids and remnants of lube shouldn’t be left on your toy.

Merely wash your toy with warm soapy water after sex or masturbation to get rid of the significant remnants of any fluids left on the surface or inside if you’re using a Fleshlight or something similar to it. Sanitizing and disinfecting the toys is not obligatory right after usage, but you’ll have to do it within an hour after using the self-satisfaction sex device.

We are talking about the basic advice concerning the non-porous toys made of borosilicate glass, metal, 100% silicone, or hard plastic.

The best materials are TPC (Thermoplastic polyester elastomers) or ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). These are the safest chemical compounds for sex toys. Porous sex toys made on the base of jelly rubber, leather, PVC (Polyvinyl chloride), and stones demand more complicated maintenance because they harbor bacteria.

Keep in mind that not all toys promoted as silicone-based are purely from silicone. The soft-skin texture can be misleading. The manufacturers often add something to the basic materials so that they could feel softer and smoother. In reality, the materials can let you down in matters of hygiene. A flame test could come in handy.

Flame Test Results

  • Easily removable gray ash;
  • Small damage of the material and flakes;
  • Absence of any physical changes on the surface;
  • A black mark from the ash that you can rub out without trouble;
  • A black spot that doesn’t come off for a long time.

Basic Surface Cleaning

Thorough scrub is among the basic options. However, the scrubbing should be soft and gentle. Of course, it has nothing to do with sterilizing and disinfection. However, scrubbing and washing with warm soapy liquid can be enough if you’ve been using condoms and is there’s no one else who uses the toy except for you.

Pay attention to the liquid resistance of the toy while choosing it in the store or before you start using it. A solid silicone dildo can be easily rinsed in any liquid. If it’s a mechanized sex device, take your time to study the instruction before you get it to the bathroom.

A splash-proof toy has a protected surface for washing. You can submerge it into the liquid.

Just make sure you don’t do it too deeply. If it’s not a liquid-proof sex device, wet wipes will be an acceptable method. If the toy has batteries, don’t forget to remove them before you start doing anything.

Use plain water to rinse the toy. Then get a washcloth or a paper towel to get rid of the excess liquid. Basic rinsing will also help you get rid of the debris on the surface. Use mild soap or shampoo for the scrubbing. Scrub the toy with the fingers not to cause damage to the surface.

If the surface of the toys has crevices and grooves, use a soft toothbrush. The best way to dry the toy is to put it on a clean towel. Air-drying is the first acceptable option for sex toys. Every single spot of the surface should be dry before you use it again. Leave the battery case open even if you think it’s dry.

There’s a range of maintenance products for sex toys. They are wipes, sprays, and special powders keeping them “healthy” for a long time.

Important! Wipes and sprays are convenient for use, but you’ll still have to wash most of them away and dry the toys. Not all maintenance products for sex devices save time and clean your devices thoroughly.

Sanitizing & Disinfecting

Basic cleaning is not enough in some cases. There are situations when you have to take time and clean to disinfect the sex toy. Here are the situations you should consider:

  • There are two people in the household using one sex toy. A condom will help you out if you are not willing to get messy.
  • Someone with a sexually transmitted infection used the sex toy. It’s not a trouble if you follow the basic disinfection rules. Glass toys need nothing more than soapy water. Steel ones can be bleached or placed in the dishwasher. Plastic devices need only antibacterial soap. Silicone toys can be either boiled or placed in the dishwasher (if they do not have mechanisms inside). Porous materials should be sanitized with warm liquid and covered with a layer of cornstarch or any special coating after drying.
  • Condoms are helpful if you’re using one sex toy for anal and vaginal stimulation.

Most pathogens from materials will be destroyed with the techniques mentioned above. One of the most effective things within the household that can kill the majority of bacteria and fungi is the dishwasher. Make sure the sex toy you’re planning to buy is suitable for the dishwasher.


Stainless steel, 100% silicone, and borosilicate glass toys without any mechanisms inside can be sanitized through boiling, which is safe and effective. A couple of minutes will be enough to get rid of the bacteria and debris.

Recommendation: Place a washcloth on the bottom of the boiling pot before you start boiling your sex tools. This way they will not jump around the pan, which will save them from scratches and accidental breakage.

Let the toy dry after bleaching – merely place it on the dry towel and let it dry on its own. Never put your toy in cold liquid after boiling, because it will be a huge stress to the material.


Borosilicate glass, stainless steel, and 100% silicone non-mechanized sex toys are suitable for the dishwasher. Merely make sure you rub the surface of the toy with wet wipes to get rid of different remnants on the surface.

Almost every dishwasher has a sanitize cycle without soap. It’s one of the best choices for couples. Nevertheless, boiling is more effective for the non-mechanic stimulating

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Disinfecting through bleaching is among the most appropriate surface cleaning solutions. 5 household bleach per gallon of water will be enough. You can also spray your toy with a bleaching solution if you are not willing to soak it in the water mixed with bleach. Ten minutes will be enough for the toy to become completely sanitized.

Merely make sure your toy is 100% waterproof before submerging it in a bleach solution. Don’t forget to wash the toy with soapy liquid after bleaching and rinse it afterward.

Skip UV Sanitizers

Sanitizing sex devices with UV boxes is acceptable, but not as effective as the majority of the simplest and cheaper methods. Boiling and bleaching are among the best options for non-motorized toys (of course, you should check whether the material is suitable for these operations, which is always mentioned in the instruction).

UV light is very effective, BUT it disinfects only those areas that it can reach. Toys with crannies and nooks demand more precise maintenance.

How to Store Sex Toys to Keep Them Clean?

Storage is among the most important things. Even if you clean your toy properly, you also have to provide proper storage for your sex device to make sure it’s safe from any damage.

Don’t ignore special poaches and boxes coming together with the toys. You can keep them all in one box or a drawer, but each of the toys should be stored individually. If it’s a porous material it should be obligatory kept in a personal container or a pouch. Even a plastic bag with a zip lock will do.

Of course, it’s better to choose something breathable for a storage option. Nevertheless, a zip-lock is suitable as a temporary option. Besides, make sure your toys are protected from direct sunlight.

How to Clean Sex Toys: Bottom Line

Dealing with maintenance is not a trouble. Merely, stick to the following rules:

  • Don’t soak motorized toys;
  • Don’t rinse your toy with cold liquid after boiling;
  • Don’t use UV light for disinfection if it’s a toy with a complex surface;
  • Avoid anything except warm soapy water;
  • Let the toys dry on their own.

One of the most important things is to study the instruction before trying to clean or wash anything. Every instruction contains essential information on how to clean and sanitize your beloved sex device.