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Cleaning and caring for sex toys

Maintaining cleanliness and safety of sex toys is crucial, not only for personal hygiene but also to ensure the longevity of the toys. Different materials require specific cleaning methods, and improper care can lead to damage or health risks. This guide provides detailed instructions for cleaning various types of sex toys and answers frequently asked questions about their maintenance.

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General Cleaning Tips

  1. Read Manufacturer Instructions: Always follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. These guidelines are tailored to the specific material and design of the toy.
  2. Battery-Powered Toys: For toys with batteries, remove the batteries before cleaning. Avoid submerging battery compartments in water to prevent damage.
  3. Lubricant Selection: Use water-based lubricants with latex toys, as oil-based products can degrade the material.
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Cleaning Methods by Material

  1. Electrical Toys: Clean with a damp cloth using antibacterial soap. Avoid immersing in water and let them air dry. Store in a clean, dry place.
  2. Acrylic and Lucite Toys: Wash with warm water and antibacterial soap. Sterilize with alcohol-soaked cotton, then rinse thoroughly.
  3. Silicone Toys: Washable with warm, soapy water. Sterilize using a baby bottle sterilizer, dishwasher, or boiling for 2-10 minutes.
  4. Rubber Toys: Use a condom with rubber toys due to their porosity and potential chemical content. Clean with soap and water after use.
  5. Plastic Toys: Clean with antibacterial soap. Avoid boiling and instead use alcohol for sterilization.
  6. Stainless Steel Toys: Wash with soapy water, boil for 10 minutes, or use a 50/50 bleach solution. Dishwasher safe. Dry and buff with a cloth.
  7. Leather Toys: Clean with warm soapy water, then treat with saddle soap for protection. Store in a cool, dry place.
  8. Nylon Toys: Wash with warm, soapy water, rinse, and air dry.
  9. Cyberskin & Vinyl Toys: Use warm water only, allow to dry, and apply cornstarch to prevent stickiness.
  10. Glass Toys: Wash with warm, soapy water or place in the dishwasher. Air dry.
  11. Jelly Toys: Clean with warm water only. Avoid soap.
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Specialized Sex Toy Cleaners

Consider using specialized sex toy cleaners for added convenience. These products are formulated to be safe for various materials and offer an effective and quick cleaning solution. Always check the compatibility of the cleaner with your toy’s material.

Storing Your Sex Toys

Proper storage is as important as cleaning. Store your toys in individual bags or containers to prevent material degradation and contamination. Avoid storing silicone toys together as they can react with each other.


  1. Can I use household cleaners for sex toys?
    • It’s best to avoid household cleaners as they may contain harsh chemicals not suitable for intimate use. Stick to mild antibacterial soaps or specialized sex toy cleaners.
  2. How often should I clean my sex toys?
    • Clean your sex toys before and after each use to ensure hygiene and prevent the build-up of bacteria.
  3. Is boiling safe for all toys?
    • Boiling is safe for non-porous materials like silicone, stainless steel, and glass. Avoid boiling porous materials like rubber or jelly.
  4. Can I share my sex toys?
    • If sharing, use a new condom on the toy for each partner and clean it thoroughly between uses to prevent the spread of infections.
  5. What should I do if my toy has a foul smell?
    • If your toy develops a foul smell, it might be a sign of bacterial buildup or material degradation. Consider replacing it, as it may no longer be safe to use.


Regular and proper cleaning of sex toys is essential for your health and the longevity of the toys. By following these guidelines, you can ensure safe and enjoyable experiences with your sex toys.

For further reading and more detailed information, consider visiting sexual health resources like Planned Parenthood or sex education websites such as Sexual Health Alliance. These platforms offer comprehensive advice on sexual wellness and toy care.


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