Here’s what you should do so that you can have some good, (literally) clean fun.
1. KNOW THAT DIFFERENT MATERIALS NEED DIFFERENT CARE.
Even though most sex toys are made of either silicone or hard plastic, that’s not the case for all toys. Therefore, you can’t treat them as one and the same when you’re cleaning them.
"Every material has different needs, the same way that your clothes are hand-wash, dry clean, or simply tossed in the washing machine," says Claire Cavanah, cofounder of sex store Babeland and co-author of Moregasm: Babeland’s Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex. Fortunately, though, she says that "most sex toys can be cleaned with soap and water, including silicone, glass, Pyrex, stainless steel, Elastomer, leather, and hard plastic [toys]."
2. PAY HEED IF YOUR PRODUCT HAS A MOTOR!
Many products have internal motors or are battery-powered. If that’s the case with your toy, follow these instructions: "If you know your vibrator is either submergible or waterproof, don’t worry about getting it wet," Cavanah says. That means the motor and battery are sealed to prevent moisture from getting in. If you’re not sure or that’s not clearly marked on a motorized or battery-powered product, don’t run it under water or drop it in a full sink. Instead, Cavanah says, "Use a washcloth to wipe it down. The same goes with anything that plugs into an electrical outlet." Safety first, folks.
3. YOU MIGHT WANT TO USE A CONDOM IF YOU’RE USING JELLY OR PLASTIC TOYS.
"Jelly, plastic, and cyberskin toys tend to be more porous," says Jessica O’Reilly, Astroglide’s resident sex and relationship expert. Those pores can result in some problems (AKA bacteria) if not cared for properly. So what does that mean for you? "You can wash them with soap and water or toy cleaner, but you may want to use a non-lubricated condom with them to prevent bacteria from becoming trapped in the pores." Sounds like a good tip.
4. USE A TOOTHBRUSH!
Some toys have a skin-like quality with crevices or folds — which is great for playtime — but that means the clean-up requires a bit more care. But fear not! You can use this helpful hack: "If you’re cleaning a toy that has creases or crevices, use a toothbrush to get into the nitty gritty," O’Reilly says.
5. MAKE SURE YOU’RE USING THE RIGHT CLEANING SUPPLIES.
Just like you wouldn’t wash your body with Ajax, you don’t want to clean your toys with something harsh. You can purchase a spray like Babeland’s Toy Cleaner, or if you’re going to use soap and water, make sure it meets the following criteria: "Don’t use anti-bacterial soap or soaps with heavy fragrances. They aren’t necessary," Cavanah says. Additionally, scented soaps can lead to vaginal irritation, a common kind of lady pain.
Once you’ve washed or wiped down your toy, it’s best to use a lint-free cloth or let it air dry, O’Reilly says.
7. CLEAN IT UP ASAP.
When you first un-package your toy, make sure to clean it using the instructions above. Then make sure to clean your toy after each use going forward, Cavanah and O’Reilly both say.
8. DON’T CROSS CONTAMINATE IN SOME PLACES.
You may get a buzz from using a toy for different parts of your body, but it’s important to make sure the toy doesn’t touch some places after others. Just like how you make sure to wipe front to back after going to the bathroom, you don’t want to cross-contaminate by going from your butt to your vagina when you’re using a sex toy. "If you’re using the same toy for different parts of the body, i.e. switching from your anus to your vagina or mouth, and you’re not using condoms, you’ll also want to clean toys in between to prevent cross-contamination," says O’Reilly.
9. IF YOUR TOYS ARE LEATHER OR ANOTHER MATERIAL, THEY CAN BE CLEANED DIFFERENTLY.
Some sexy items like straps or outfits can be cleaned simply. "These products tend to be a touch different since they’re not always plastic," O’Reilly says. "You can use leather cleaner on a leather harness or soap and water if it’s made of plastic. When it comes to cleaning, it’s the material that matters more than the function of the toy itself."
And if a product is made of nylon, it’s machine-washable. Easy, right?
10. REMEMBER TO REMOVE THE BATTERIES.
Though not exactly a cleaning tip, it’s still worth noting that when you’re storing your toys, you should make sure to remove the batteries so they don’t corrode and ruin the toys, Cavanah says.
11. USE THE RIGHT LUBE.
Another big mistake that will kill the lifespan of your wonderful toy? Using the wrong lube on it, Cavanah says. "Don’t use silicone lube with silicone toys. It will degrade the material. Use water-based lube or hybrid lube." And there’s no reason to be anti-lube. Lube is great.
Dare to try? Go grab yours and start clean them up because better to play it hygiene and of course, safe!