Trusted for 23+ Years
How To Clean Sex Toys: The Definitive Guide
Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert
Your All-In-One Sex Toy Care Manual
If you've ever felt a bit puzzled about the best way to keep your sex toys clean, we've got just the thing for you. Welcome to our friendly, all-you-need-to-know guide on how to clean your sex toys.
What Shall Be Covered
In this sex toy cleaning guide, I shall start with some basics that everyone should know and then delve into cleaning instructions based on the material of your sex toy. I will repeat essential things in their specific sections because I know many of you (myself included) like to scroll to get to the part you simply want to know about. I just wanted you to know that I am aware that I am repeating myself a bit in this guide so you don't think I am losing my mind; well, not yet, anyway.
This guide is looong, so don't feel like you have to read the whole thing! However, rest assured, everything you want to know about cleaning your sex toys is in here, and if there is something that you want to know that I do not cover, write me. I love to help!
What Shall Be Exposed
Allow me to spill the tea on why this guide is different than what you will find anywhere else. I bring a wealth of knowledge in sexual health with over twenty years as a researcher and specialist in the sex toy field. I also collaborate with chemists and medical professionals, which means I know some stuff!
So, I want to prepare you that you may have to let go of some of the myths that you have read or heard about from some of those self-proclaimed sex toy experts because, honey, let me tell ya, there is a lot of misinformation out there!
We're Here For Ya!
And hey, we're here for any questions you have because your health and happiness are what matter most! Also, if you are shopping, be sure to enjoy our 15% off coupon to buy any of our nontoxic, body-safe sex toys on your entire order, including our sale prices! Use coupon code: CLEAN15
Sex Toy Mischief
Let's start by talking about something we don't always discuss but definitely should: who is cleaning their sex toys? In a survey conducted with 1,000 adults, only 70% of women and 57% of men said they clean their sex toys. In comparison, 19% of the women and 36% of men said they never clean their sex toys. Oh my!
Now, here's the kicker—this is especially problematic in that men's sex toys, in particular, are often made from highly porous elastomers, which are known for harboring bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses. So, for the sake of good hygiene and health, it might be time to think about cleanliness next time you're getting down with your sexual playthings.
Sex Toy Hygiene: Prevent Infections & STDs
If you're curious about whether sex toys can be a source of infections or STDs, the answer is yes. Just like any personal care product, a sex toy can harbor bacteria or viruses if it's not cleaned correctly, and you can damage the sex toy material as well.
In addition, if you share a sex toy, they could transmit STDs, and no one wants that. The good news is that properly cleaning a sex toy will help avoid spreading unwanted bacteria, mold, mildew, fungus, or viruses, so you can keep your toys in great shape and ensure they're safe to use.
If a sex toy takes a trip down to the area around the anus or in the rectum (anally), remember that it shouldn’t take a direct tour to the vagina or get close to the urethra (where urine makes its grand exit) afterward. This is because you would be transfering harmful bacteria making you ripe for a urinary tract infection (UTI).
To keep the good times rolling you will want to disinfect your sex toy well before using it near the vagina area or mouth. If you cannot thoroughly disinfect your sex toy because of its material, then you should never use it for anal stimulation. I'll dive into that a bit more as we explore sex toy materials later in this guide.
Sanitize & Disinfect Vs. Sterilize
Let's dive into some everyday science that's useful to know, especially when we're all trying to keep things extra clean. We've got three words that might sound similar, but they have their own special meanings: disinfection, sanitizing, and sterilization.
They are all part of the decontamination process; however, disinfection and sanitizing reduces or possibly eliminates harmful microorganisms, while sterilization kills ALL microorganisms.
It's like the difference between giving your kitchen a good scrub (sanitizing) versus the mega-clean that medical instruments get (sterilizing).
Sex Toy Cleaners
If you're looking into keeping your bedroom accessories hygienic, sex toy cleaners are a solid option for sex toys made out of non-porous and porous materials. However, it's important to understand their limits in terms of disinfecting your sex toys. This is especially the case with porous sex toys, and I'm going to dive into that to give you the full scoop on cleaning such elastomer sex toys further down in this guide.
Sex toy cleaners are designed to work with your favorite personal gadgets without causing damage to the materials. For example, using bleach or rubbing alcohol on some porous and nonporous materials can cause a chemical reaction that can damage your sex toy, so using something designed to be used with sex toys is certainly a good idea.
Remember to always look for the cleaning instructions from the manufacturers as they may include them. Always defer to their instructions as they typically know their sex toys best when it comes to the materials they use and how to clean and protect them.
Using A UV Light To Clean Sex Toys
UV light can be a very effective way to disinfect items, but there are some things you should know before you try to use it to disinfect your sex toys.
- The most important thing to consider, first and foremost, when cleaning your sex toys is the quality of the machine doing it.
- There are three types of UV light: A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC). The one used to clean sex toys is typically UVC, and it is the highest energy of the three. Thus, it may cause degradation to polymers such as thermoplastics, thermosets, and elastomers. Over time, this may cause microcracks, which can cause damage to the sex toy as well as create a home for bacteria, mold, and fungi in which to live.
- A little pro tip: the light can only clean what it hits, so if any shadows are being cast, you may have to move your sex toy around in different positions to make sure every nook and cranny gets its time to be disinfected.
- UV light may have an advantage in cleaning porous, clear sex toys, but porous sex toys that are solid in color would not have the deep pores cleaned by the light. They may also have an advantage in cleaning sex toys with crevices as long as the light can reach inside them.
- You don't need a UV light to clean or sanitize your sex toys, and the other cleaning methods discussed in this article are perfectly fine.
Cleaning Porous Sex Toys
When you use a sex toy cleaner on a porous toy - think of materials like elastomer (TPR & TPE). Sex toy cleaners are good at reducing bacteria on the surface, but they can't reach deep down into the microscopic pores. They can only disinfect the surface of a porous sex toy and will not thoroughly disinfect or sterilize it. In fact, nothing will completely disinfect or sterilize porous sex toys because you cannot use heat with them, unlike a sponge that can be boiled or microwaved.
Because these types of sex toys have too many microscopic pores that can harbor bacteria and viruses to be disinfected beyond the surface, it makes it unrealistic to get them completely clean. Thus, when you use a sex toy cleaner on a porous sex toy such as elastomer (TPR & TPE), understand that you are reducing the bacteria, but you may not be completely eliminating it, especially further down in the pores.
What We Sell
This is why, for the sake of hygiene and safety, we primarily sell nonporous sex toys such as silicone, which can be sterilized, offering you a cleaner and safer experience. This is especially true for anything used internally.
We understand that when it comes to personal pleasure, the feel and flexibility of your toys are key. That's why we do provide porous elastomer sex toy options for external use because few silicone sex toys on the market today stretch like porous elastomers (TPR & TPE) as they have a unique stretchiness, much like the feel of skin.
This is especially true for male masturbation sleeves, designed to provide a lifelike experience. Additionally, some penis rings (cockrings) are crafted from elastomer to ensure they're comfortable and stretchable.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
When cleaning a porous sex toy, do not use harsh chemicals, as those cleaners can linger in the pores and be absorbed directly into your bloodstream through the mucous membrane of your vagina or rectum. They can also break down the sex toy's material.
Sex toy cleaners will reduce microorganisms on porous sex toys enough to significantly lower the risk of infections when you allow the sex toy cleaner to soak into the pores of your sex toy for 10 to 15 minutes. Once complete, you will want to rinse them thoroughly to remove the cleaner.
Keep in mind, cleaning a porous sex toy is like cleaning a sponge without the option of heat – you might not get every single germ, so it's not 100% disinfected or sanitized, which is why we recommend these for external use.
When To Use Porous Sex Toys
You might have heard some sex toy bloggers labeling these toys as 'toxic,' and some sex educators won't even acknowledge them in their cleaning instructions, provide information on how to care for them, or review what lubricants are compatible with them.
However, we get that people love them and are going to use them, so we simply provide you with as much education about them as we can so that you can be a well-informed and empowered consumer.
Why We Do Not Carry Insertable Porous Sex Toys
So, what's the deal with us not encouraging insertable porous materials? There are two reasons for this: the inability to disinfect them and the synthetic oils they contain, which some feel may potentially impact vaginal and rectal health.
Elastomer sex toys can contain synthetic oils, and some may not be the best for your health when put into a mucus membrane (vaginally or anally). That's another reason why we're cautious about the materials used in porous sex toys. That is not to say they are toxic or that they will cause harm; it is just that there are no studies to indicate what types of effects they may have when used internally.
Thus, for those two reasons, we avoid carrying any insertable toys made from porous materials, including elastomers. For those that we sell for external use, we ensure that they are made of safe materials by working with manufacturers who get their sex toys certified and tested by 3rd party labs.
In addition, when using these porous products, we strongly recommend following proper cleaning and storage methods and only using them for short-term periods or as single-use sex toys.
To learn more about this, please see our article on Elastomer & Porous Sex Toys Guide.
When You Are Autoimmune & Immunocompromised
Because elastomer sex toys can harbor bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses even when used externally, we caution those who have an autoimmune disease, compromised immune systems, are prone to yeast or bacterial infections, or other health conditions that would be especially sensitive to such exposure.
If you do decide you want to use elastomer sex toys, please use caution when using them and be incredibly diligent in cleaning them to make sure they are entirely air-dried. In general, we also recommend using elastomer sex toys for short-term use as the bacteria, mold, etc., can build up over time.
Single Use Product May Be A Healthier Option
Single-use elastomer toys allow you to use, enjoy, and dispose of them after use. It's an easy and safe way to add some spice with those realistic feeling materials.
Cleaning Nonporous Sex Toys
Let's talk about keeping your nonporous sex toys clean and safe. You might think you need a special cleaner for them, but guess what? You don't! Sex toy cleaners work well on them, but they are not essential.
Sex toy materials that are nonporous, such as silicone, ABS plastic, glass, and metal, are much easier to disinfect by washing for 30 seconds with soap and water.
Health Risks In Sharing Your Sex Toy
Disinfecting your sex toys should be enough to reduce harmful bacteria when you are using a sex toy by yourself. If you are using a sex toy that has been used by someone else or are sharing a sex toy with a partner, you may wish to sterilize it before using it.
Sterilizing will help prevent an STD transfer. Remember that you can only properly sterilize toys made of nonporous materials like silicone, ABS plastic, glass, or metal. These materials don't let bacteria sneak in and hide.
However, if your toy is made of porous materials, disinfecting might not cut it. Disinfecting it will not kill off all of the bacteria and viruses. That's why many people use condoms over porous toys when sharing. However, you have to ensure that if they are lubricated condoms, you do not use a lubricant or condom that will chemically interact with the sex toy material.
Take silicone toys, for example. Pairing them with silicone-based lubricants, commonly found in latex condoms, is a no-go. These two can react negatively, leading to damage to your toy. Let's dive into that a bit more in the next section.
Using Condoms With Sex Toys
As mentioned, porous sex toys should not be shared with other people because they are like sponges. They can absorb bacteria, viruses, and all sorts of yucky stuff that you definitely don't want to pass around. Sharing these toys can increase your risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and that's something we all want to avoid, right?
Because of this warning, some people use condoms with them to prevent spreading STDs, so if you opt to do this, please make sure it is an unlubricated, polyurethane condom.
Why unlubricated and polyurethane? Well, unlubricated because you don't want any extra chemicals mixing with your toy's material, and polyurethane because it's less likely to cause allergic reactions than latex or chemically interact with sex toy materials.
Now, one thing to note is that not all lubes are created equal, especially when it comes to pairing them with polyurethane condoms. It's not just about the type of lubricant (water-based, silicone, oil, or a hybrid); sometimes, the brand also matters.
Keep in mind that even when you're doing everything right, using a condom and the right lube, there's still a risk of STDs or transferring bacteria. So, you've got to be extra careful.
Using Condoms With Porous Sex Toys
Sex toys made from porous materials like TPE or TPR elastomers are soft and squishy because they contain oil. But here's the catch – oil and latex don't mix well. Oil can weaken latex, potentially leading to a less effective condom. That's a big no-no if you're counting on condoms for protection. That is why I recommend polyurethane condoms.
And guess what, it's even more complicated than that. Silicone lubricants, just like oil, can break down your squishy skin-like elastomer toys. This means they might degrade faster, and nobody wants that.
The solution? If you're using a lubricated polyurethane condom with your elastomer toy, double-check that the lube is water-based and compatible with polyurethane. This way, you keep your playtime both safe and enjoyable.
By the way, I know this can make most people feel pretty overwhelmed in digesting all of this information, so if you have questions, feel free to ask. That is what we are here for, as we love helping people, and that means you!
Bleach & Vinegar Solutions
If you're using toys made of materials like silicone, glass, or ABS plastic, you can mix a bit of bleach or vinegar with water to make a cleaning solution. So, what would this look like?
Mixing with water, use a 10% bleach solution and soak for 10 minutes or a 1:1 vinegar solution for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and let air dry. Vinegar is a bit gentler, so it needs a bit more time to work its magic.
The vinegar ideal ratio usually involves mixing equal parts of water and vinegar. This 1:1 ratio creates a solution that is effective yet gentle enough for most silicone surfaces.
However, it's important to consider the type of silicone and the nature of the grime you're dealing with. For tougher stains or mold, you might need a slightly stronger vinegar solution. In such cases, you can increase the vinegar concentration, but it's always best to start with a weaker solution and gradually increase the strength if necessary.
After their luxurious squeaky clean bath, rinse your toys thoroughly under running water. You want to make sure there's no trace of vinegar left. Then, let them air dry completely. This step is crucial because any leftover moisture can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and we don't want that. Heavens to Betsy!
Boiling nonporous sex toys is a fantastic method to zap away germs with non-electrical gadgets, but hold up on adding any extra ingredients to the pot. Bleach? Absolutely not. It's a big no-no because it can release unhealthy fumes that are harmful to you. And vinegar? Only a tiny splash if you must.
Submerging your toy in pure vinegar is overkill and could be risky. Remember, keep it simple when in doubt: plain boiling water does the trick just fine.
Here are the steps for creating and using a bleach solution:
Mixing the Solution
Just mix together 1 part bleach with 10 parts water. If you're wondering about the measurements, think of it like this: for every 100 ml of bleach, just add 1 liter of water.
If you cannot submerge it because it has electrical components, use a clean cloth and gently apply your cleaning solution all over the silicone. You'll want to ensure that every inch of the surface gets a good, even coat. Use the solution right away and let sit for 10 minutes.
You may want to pop on a pair of rubber or nitrile gloves. This simple step keeps your hands safe and sound from the bleach. Also, make sure you're in a space with plenty of fresh air, especially when you're using bleach. Bleach can let off some pretty strong fumes, and we want to keep ya breathing!
Rinsing & Drying
After you've applied your cleaning solution, let it sit and work its magic for about 5 to 10 minutes. This gives it enough time to really get rid of those germs. Next, give your sex toy a good rinse with water to wash away any residue. To finish off, either pat it dry or just let air dry.
Properly dispose of any leftover solution. Don't stash it away for later use.
Why, you may ask? Bleach solutions are a bit like a freshly brewed cup of coffee – they're best when fresh. Over time, and we're talking as short as 10 minutes, the bleach solution starts losing its disinfecting power. So, instead of saving it and expecting it to work its cleaning magic next time, it's better to safely dispose of any leftover solution right away.
Why Some People Do Not Like Using Bleach
Using a 10% bleach solution on silicone is losing its appeal for some sex toy experts; let's explore why:
First off, the smell. We all know it — that strong, chemical scent of bleach. It's not just unpleasant and unhealthy; for many, it can be downright overpowering.
Not Effective Beyond 10 Minutes
As mentioned, bleach solutions (when mixed with water) are known to break down rapidly and have limited disinfection properties (some studies say it starts after only 10 minutes of mixing it). That's not a lot of time to work with it, so ya gotta hustle!
What does this mean for your cleaning routine? If you're still set on using bleach, it's crucial to mix a fresh batch each time, and ya gotta like to move it, move it! No more pre-mixing and storing for later use.
When you use it, make sure to let your silicone items soak in the solution for at least 10 minutes to get the most out of its fleeting disinfecting properties so your sex toy(s) are sparking fresh like a pretty princess.
Must Be The Right Bleach
Here's a little tidbit you may not know: not all bleach is created equal, especially when it comes to disinfecting. You see, while we often grab bleach as our go-to germ killer, some types are actually not designed for disinfection.
A classic example? Splash-less bleach. It's great for keeping your whites bright without the mess, but it does not make the cut when it comes to eradicating 99.9% of germs and bacteria.
Take a moment to read the label on your bleach bottle. Look for the magic words: "disinfects" or "kills 99.9% of germs." This tiny bit of label-reading can make all the difference in ensuring your sex toys aren't just clean but also hygienically safe.
It's A Harsh Cleaner
Then there's the worry about harshness, which means being extra careful not to damage sensitive surfaces or your skin. Using bleach often means extra steps — diluting it, wearing gloves, and making sure you don't accidentally mix it with other cleaners and create dangerous fumes.
If you are going to work with bleach for more than just a few moments, you should use a NIOSH-certified half-face respirator mask (fitted with cartridges) designed to filter out chemical vapors. Look for cartridges labeled for use against organic vapors or multi-gas protection like a 3M P100.
Let's also not forget about the environmental aspect. More and more of us are trying to make eco-friendly choices and bleach, well, it's not exactly the poster child for green cleaning.
In short, while bleach can be effective, its limited potency window means you must use it swiftly and wisely. It might be worth exploring other disinfecting options that offer longer-lasting protection without the rush.
Cleaning Sex Toys In The Dishwasher
Let's dive into a topic that's talked about on some sex toy sites: cleaning your sex toys in the dishwasher. Now, you might think, "Hey, it cleans my dishes, so why not?" or you may think, "What an absurd idea, what if someone sees that!" or "Ewww, not with the dishes!"
Whatever your thoughts, here's why I don't recommend tossing your pleasure pals in with the pots and pans:
Heat & Harsh Detergents
Most sex toys are unsuitable for a dishwasher's high heat and harsh detergents. Materials like plastic, elastomers (TPE and TPR), and rubber, which many adult toys are made from, can get damaged in the dishwasher.
How? We're talking discoloration, changes in shape, melting, and just general wear and tear. And while silicone toys might survive the heat, the harsh detergents we use in dishwashers could weaken them over time.
Keep in mind that dishwashers aren't always spotless. They are typically not completely cleaned between uses and can harbor mold, bacteria, and other contaminants. Putting a sex toy in the dishwasher could expose it to these contaminants, making it unsafe to use in the vagina or rectum or around the urethral opening (where urine comes out).
Will Not Be Sanitized
Many sex experts indicate that sex toys could be put into the dishwasher to sanitize them. It's a tip that's often shared, even by some sex toy companies themselves, but that is not correct.
Here's what you need to know: For your toys to be truly sanitized in the dishwasher, the water must hit at least 150 degrees. Many dishwashers come with a 'sanitize' setting, but that doesn't automatically mean they reach this crucial temperature.
It's all about how your dishwasher is set up. If it's not hooked up to provide water that's at least 150 degrees, your toys might not be getting as clean as you think, even on the sanitizing cycle. So, if you are washing them in the dishwasher, double-check your dishwasher's capabilities to ensure your sex toys get the deep clean you want.
When cleaning your electronic devices like vibrators, avoiding the dishwasher is vital. Despite these sex toys being waterproof, the intense heat inside a dishwasher can damage their electronic components. To keep your devices in top shape and ensure longevity, opting for safer cleaning methods is always better.
Cleaning Vibrators & Electronics
If your vibrator is not waterproof, you can wipe it down to clean it. If you're thinking about a more thorough wash, here's a tip: try angling it under the sink's faucet so that you can wash it.
Be careful not to let water penetrate any electrical components. Understand that you may risk getting water in your sex toy and cause it to corrode if you try this, so do so, knowing that you may be risking ruining your sex toy.
Waterproof Vs. Water Resistant
If your sex toy is IPX-7-rated waterproof, you may submerge it. If your toy is just water-resistant, it's a different story. These guys can handle a little splash but aren't cut out for a full dive and should not be immersed, and it is not completely safe to fully put under running water.
To learn more about the differences and what the heck IPX-7-rated means, please see our helpful guide: Waterproof Sex Toys: Avoiding Common Damage Issues.
Never Boil Electronics Or Put In The Dishwasher
As mentioned, let me say it again for those in the back: even if a sex toy is waterproof and can be submerged in water, never boil it or put it in the dishwasher, as the heat will damage the electronics.
To clean spots with crevices and get into the nitty-gritty, you can use a soft toothbrush to get in between where the materials meet or in between textured areas.
After Cleaning A Sex Toy
When it comes to storing your sex toys, it's crucial to keep a couple of key things in mind for your safety. First, always give your sex toy a quick check for any cracks or tears. These little imperfections might seem minor, but they can lead to tissue damage once inside you or your partner during use.
Secondly, if your sex toy is battery-operated, remember to remove the batteries before storing it. This simple step helps to prevent any corrosion from occurring inside the battery compartment.
For more information on this, please see my guide on How To Properly Store A Sex Toy
How To Clean Silicone Sex Toys
The majority of the sex toys we sell are made from pure silicone as it is nonporous, hypoallergenic, phthalate-free, and easy-to-clean material. Cleaning them is a breeze, and they're incredibly durable, promising you a long-term and lovely relationship. In the world of sex toy materials, silicone is a superior choice, combining safety, cleanliness, and durability.
Soap & Water
When it comes to keeping your waterproof silicone sex toys in tip-top shape, the process is surprisingly simple and akin to a quick self-care routine. Just like you'd pamper your skin, pamper your sex toys with soap and water. Gently lather them for about 30 seconds and then rinse them off. Then, allow them to air dry before storing them. Easy pleasy! Wink, wink!
Sex Toy Cleaners
While we offer sex toy cleaners for an extra level of sanitizing, they're more like a luxurious face mask than a daily necessity when it comes to non-porous sex toys like silicone. Regular cleaning with soap and water is usually all you need to ensure your silicone companions are ready and pristine for your next adventure. However, if you are sharing sex toys, then you will want to look into sanitizing them rather than just disinfecting them.
Bleach Or Vinegar
You can use water and a 10% bleach solution, soaking for 10 minutes, or a 1:1 vinegar solution while soaking for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and let air dry.
Avoid Rubbing Alcohol
You might have heard some mixed advice about cleaning them when using rubbing alcohol. Some manufacturers claim that using rubbing alcohol on silicone will damage their sex toys. So unless it specifically says you can use rubbing alcohol on the silicone sex toy you purchased, avoid it.
Avoid Hydrogen Peroxide
You should also avoid hydrogen peroxide and oil-based cleaning products as they can chemically damage silicone sex toys, causing unwanted swelling as they absorb into the silicone.
Boiling & Dishwashers
If your sex toy does not have mechanical components, silicone sex toys can be boiled for 5 minutes to be sterilized. They can also be cleaned in the dishwasher on the sanitize setting (if your water gets to 150 degrees) without detergent (water only). If you scrolled down to this section of the guide and did not read the dishwasher section, make sure you go back up to see that.
You may not want to store silicone toys in direct sunlight as the resistance to light of the pigments used in your sex toy will vary, so some may fade.
Choosing The Right Lubricant
See our Lubricant Guide to determine which lubricants you may or may not use with silicone sex toys.
Misleading Silicone Labels
Navigating the world of adult toys can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding sex toy materials. You might have come across products claiming to be "silicone blends," but here's the deal: they're not actually silicone, and this is a big deal because it impacts lubricant compatibility, how you clean it, and how you use it. Oh me, oh my! A true clutching of the pearls moment!
Are Silicone Blends A Scam?
Silicone blend labels can be a bit scammy for manufacturers to use, but technically accurate. Let's break this down in a way that everyone can understand.
When you hear about a product being a "silicone blend," it's natural to assume it's mostly silicone, right? But here's the catch: often, these silicone blends aren't what they seem. Instead of silicone, they may be elastomers like TPE or TPR. These are porous having tiny holes that can harbor bacteria, and are not terribly durable.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers use misleading names that make these products sound like they're silicone when they're not. It's crucial to stay informed and skeptical of such claims to ensure you're getting a product that's safe and right for you.
However, some can be non-porous. Let's look at the different types for a moment:
This is known simply as silicone and is highly flexible, soft, and nonporous. It can be used in medical devices and sex toys.
Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR)
LSR is very flexible and soft and is often used in medical devices. It's non-porous and can be molded into a variety of shapes and textures, providing versatility in design.
Silicone elastomers are flexible and soft and are nonporous. They are often seen used in sportswear. While they are not as commonly used in sex toys, their properties could theoretically make them suitable for such applications.
Thermoplastic Silicone Elastomers
TSEs are flexible and soft and are nonporous. They are often seen used in wearable devices. May be used in sexual products requiring more rigidity or specific mechanical properties.
Examples Of Porous Silicone Blends
You might have seen names of non-silicone sex toys that sound like they are made of silicone, such as TPR-Silicone, Cyber-Silicone, and others. Despite their names, these aren't actually silicone.
Also, there's a material called Sil-A-Gel. It's an additive mainly found in PVC sex toys, and it's known for its antimicrobial properties. That sounds great, right? But here's the catch: even though Sil-A-Gel is a cool feature, it doesn't magically turn your PVC toy into silicone. Plus, when it comes to cleaning, treat these toys just like any other PVC sex toy. Don't let the fancy names confuse you – they're not silicone.
Cleaning A Silicone Blend Sex Toy
If a sex toy is not 100% silicone, then use a sex toy cleaner to ensure that you do not damage your sex toy and understand that the porous sex toy rules apply.
For more of the details, make sure to check out my article: Silicone Sex Toys: Is Yours Real?
Removing Odors From Silicone Sex Toys
Picture this: Your brand-new silicone sex toy, much like a block of tofu, is totally odorless on its own. However, just as tofu can pick up flavors from spices and sauces, your silicone toy can absorb different odors it comes into contact with. From the faint whiff of its plastic packaging to stronger body scents, these smells can linger.
Removing Plastic Packaging Scent
Consumers often want to know how to remove smells from their sex toys, especially plastic packaging and body odor. To remove the scent of the plastic packaging your silicone sex toy came in, wash it with soap and water and let it air dry. This easy approach is typically enough to keep your intimate items feeling and smelling fresh.
Body Odor Prevention
A simple trick to prevent body oil from adhering to your sex toy is to lightly coat your toy with an oil, like coconut oil, before using it. This creates a barrier that stops body odors from sticking to the silicone. However, keep in mind that oil will degrade safe sex barriers such as condoms and other materials, so remember, this tip is only for silicone toys.
See our Lubricant Guide for more information.
Removing Smell From Non-Electronic Silicone Sex Toys
If you're looking to freshen up your non-electronic, solid silicone sex toy, here's a simple, effective trick straight from your kitchen: boil it! Just immerse your toy in boiling water for thirty minutes. This can be a great way to eliminate any lingering odors.
If you're dealing with a particularly stubborn scent, add a splash of vinegar to the boiling water. Just remember not to boil in pure vinegar or any amount of bleach, as this is toxic to breathe.
Allow It To Breathe
When you store your sex toy, make sure it is in an area that can breathe. Do not place it in a sealed bag or container, as it will trap smells on your toy.
After washing, give it a chance to dry to ensure no bacteria, mold, or fungus build up. It's all about keeping your intimate items clean, safe, and ready for the next use!
Baking Non-Electrical Silicone
Just like you'd bake a batch of cookies, some people opt to "bake" their silicone toys. Obviously, for this to work, it cannot have electrical components or be a silicone blend. People who use this technique say they preheat their oven to a warm 250 degrees and let their sex toy bake for 20 minutes.
For this to possibly work, your sex toy must be made with 100% silicone, with no other materials involved, but it really is not that simple, so let's dive into why this is not ideal.
I know it's tempting to try different ways to clean sex toys, but here's the concern: If you're not super careful, you could end up ruining your toy. And worse, you might release harmful chemicals, which is definitely not what we want. This is especially true if your toy isn't made with the best quality silicone.
There are different types of silicone - some are platinum-cured or peroxide-cured and then post-baked. These are sex toys made of a higher quality type of silicone that is free of toxicants and is generally safer and more durable, so those could be safely heated in your oven.
But if your sex toy is only peroxide-cured without that extra baking step during manufacturing, or if it's made with a lower-quality, tin-cured silicone, you really need to be cautious as those can contain toxicants. This means you may release harmful chemicals when you heat them up like this.
Soaking Waterproof Silicone Sex Toys
You can use either a 1:1 vinegar, baking soda, or OxiClean. If you use OxiClean, do so according to the package instructions. This often involves diluting the cleaner with water.
Remember, just pick one of these options, not all of them together! Let your sex toy sit in the desired solution for about an hour. Afterward, give it a good wash with some soap and water.
If you read our silicone sex toy guide and determine that your sex toy is not silicone and is a porous elastomer, then these methods will not work to completely remove the odor as they have microscopic pores that you will not be able to permeate. Furthermore, you would not want to use OxiClean if your sex toy is porous, as you will not be able to fully rinse it out.
Cleaning Silicone Menstrual Cups
Silicone menstrual cups are not made of the same type of silicone that dildos are often made out of, which means the way we clean them needs to be different. Most brands that make these menstrual cups give some pretty specific no-nos when it comes to cleaning.
So, let's explore the top tips from manufacturers on what to avoid when cleaning your silicone menstrual cup. First, you will want to avoid these cleaners:
- Alcohol (Isopropyl)
- Antibacterial soap
- Baking soda
- Dishwashing liquid
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Oil-based soap
- Scented soap
How To Clean A Menstrual Cup
If you're looking to keep your menstrual cup squeaky clean, here's a simple, step-by-step guide that's easy to follow:
Beyond washing your menstrual cup with soap and water regularly, you can boil it before storing it once your period is complete. This ensures it's clean for your next cycle.
To do this, place it in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. Be cautious not to exceed the 10-minute mark and keep it from touching the pot's bottom to avoid scorching. After boiling, store your cup in a cool, dry place until you need it again.
For more helpful information, please see our Menstrual Cups & Discs: The Definitive Guide.
How To Clean Realistic Sex Toys
Realistic sex toys, specifically those from brands like Cyberskin™, Fauxskin™, Futurotic™, NeoSkin®, UltraSkin™, and Soft Touch™ brands, are designed to feel just like real skin. This is why these sex toys are very popular with people who want a soft, realistic feel to their sex toys.
The Challenges Of Such Elastomers
When used, they feel lifelike but are very porous and can tear easily. So, remember to handle them gently to ensure they stay in good shape. Here's more of what you need to know:
While these toys are fantastic for their lifelike feel, they can harbor bacteria because of their pores, making them one of the more difficult sex toys to keep clean, and they cannot be completely disinfected or sanitized once used.
Elastomer sex toys like these also require powder to keep them dry and realistic feeling when not in use. Many sex toy retailers sell this powder as Cyberskin powder or sex toy powder, but if you want to save a few bucks, keep in mind it is simply cornstarch that you can pick up at your grocery store.
Many realistic sex toys use mineral oil or other plasticizers (plastic softening agents), which will break down over time, so they are not durable and will not last very long. The lifespan can vary significantly based on several factors, such as the specific formulation of the material, and the conditions under which it is used. Well-made soft elastomers can last for several months to a year, but how often you use them and how rough you are with them will certainly make a difference in their lifespan.
Getting Them Clean
The best thing you can use to clean soft elastomers is a sex toy cleaner. You might have heard that mild soap works, but here's the catch: soap can sneak into the tiny pores of the sex toy. Later, when you use lubricant with them, these soap residues can froth up. Trust me when I say, thoroughly rinsing out all that soap? That's nearly impossible once in those microscopic pores.
So, to avoid any less-than-pleasant surprises, stick with cleaners specifically designed for sex toys. They're your best bet for a worry-free experience and keep you from reusing your sex toy while mixing the lubricant with leftover soap residue.
Sex toy cleaners go into the pores and are more easily rinsed out as they do not adhere, froth, or get reactivated as easily as soap. Regular soaps, especially the harsh ones, can cling to your toys, making them tricky to clean and even potentially damaging them.
Here is what I recommend: after rinsing them with warm water (not hot as high heat will degrade them), spray a generous amount of toy cleaner on your sex toy. Let it sit for about ten minutes to work its cleaning magic, then rinse it off thoroughly and let it air dry.
Making sure your sex toy dries adequately is very important because if you leave unwanted moisture in it, this will increase the chances of mold, mildew, fungus, and bacterial build-up.
Once it is dry, you can then sprinkle the Cyberskin powder. For the purest form, we recommend that you buy organic corn starch at your local health food store. Be sure to stay away from using talcum or baby powder, as these have been linked to a possible cause of ovarian cancer, among other health concerns.
How To Clean Elastomer Sex Toys
If you're curious about the materials used in soft elastomer sex toys, here's the scoop: the go-to materials are TPE and TPR. Now, you might have heard about concerns regarding toxic phthalates in some elastomer toys. The good news is that all the elastomer-based toys we feature are entirely phthalate-free.
Elastomed Vs. Elastomer
Let's talk for a moment about a term you might come across while exploring sex toy options: Elastomed. Some manufacturers may use this term, which is simply a trade name to describe an elastomer. "Elasto" refers to elasticity, and "Med" stands for medical.
However, it's important to note that the health claims about Elastomed sex toys aren't verified, and there is limited information available on this trade name. Furthermore, it does not appear to be an applicable material for making sex toys and is used primarily on compression tights. So, while shopping, keep this in mind and perhaps look for additional information or certifications to ensure you're making a safe choice.
They Are Challenging To Clean
Elastomer sex toys are porous, and using such sex toys is a bit riskier because they are harder to clean as they are porous. The more softening agents that are added to them during manufacturing, the more porous they are, which makes them more fragile as well.
If not disinfected, they can contribute to bacterial infections, mold, and mildew exposure. There are food-grade, nonporous, medical grades of TPE and TPR, but medical grade is rarely used in sex toys even when some manufacturers claim it, as it is much more expensive.
Soap Does Not Fully Come Out
Soft elastomer sex toys have tiny pores that can trap soap, and as mentioned, that's not a combination you want. Imagine this: the next time you're ready for some fun and add lubricant, you end up with an unexpected, frothy soap mix. Yikes!
Sex Toy Cleaners Are The Best Option
That is why I highly recommend using sex toy cleaners for these sex toys. First, rinse them with water, then spray on the sex toy cleaner and let soak in for at least 10 minutes. Rinse off thoroughly and let completely air dry. Once it is dry, you can then sprinkle the Cyberskin powder or organic corn starch on it.
Store in a bag or container that allows air to get to it as it may be dry to the touch, but it may still have some residual moisture in it, causing bacteria, mold, or fungus growth.
Nonporous Materials Are Safer
Many people scroll through this article to find what they want to know, so I mention things under different categories a few times. Don't worry, I have not lost my mind (at least not yet), I am just trying to ensure important information is made clear.
So, as I keep mentioning, we've limited our range of elastomer sex toys available for external use only. Again, this is because their microscopic pores cannot be thoroughly disinfected. Plus, they're not as durable and are not compatible with condoms.
For a worry-free experience for internal use, we recommend going for nonporous options. These include toys made from silicone, glass, metal, or phthalate-free ABS plastic. Not only are they easier to keep clean, but they also promise a longer life.
We carry these products because they offer unique sensations that nothing else can quite match. Plus, they're applied externally, which means they're generally less concerning for health concerns.
Beware Of Using Condoms With Elastomer
I've mentioned this before in this guide, but if you missed it and scrolled down to this point, please read this as it is important. If you're planning to use condoms with elastomer sex toys, here's a tip to keep things safe and fun: opt for polyurethane condoms.
Why? Well, elastomer, the material many of these toys are made from, contains tiny amounts of oils. These oils can weaken latex condoms, leading to breaks or tears.
Polyurethane, which is also an elastomer, doesn’t break down when it comes into contact with oils and fats. This is a game-changer because, unlike latex condoms, they stay effective even with oil-based products like elastomer sex toys. So, if you're looking for an alternative to traditional latex condoms, polyurethane condoms are worth checking out.
Please note, however, when it comes to polyurethane condoms, you need to ensure that the type of lubricant is compatible with them. Compatibility can vary depending on the brand, no matter what type of lubricant (water-based, hybrid, silicone, oil, etc.), so it's always best to double-check.
For more information on this, please see our guide: The Myth About Polyurethane Condoms & Lubricants.
How To Clean Jelly Sex Toys
Let's talk about jelly sex toys for a moment, as what they are made out of is unclear to many. Jelly sex toys are typically made from a type of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) that has been softened with additional chemicals called plasticizers.
Many jelly toys have been known to contain phthalates – toxins that are a big "Oh, hell no!" for your health. Unfortunately, it's not always clear which toys have them and which don't.
Jelly sex toys are typically porous. So, just like other soft elastomers, this porosity can make them less hygienic because the tiny pores in the material can harbor bacteria, viruses, and mold, much like TPE and TPR.
Jelly Is Not A Specific Type Of Material
Using the term jelly means that the sex toy seller is not really telling you what it is made of, and it's a bit of a mystery for consumers as it can be made of a variety of different materials.
That's why we don't use the term 'jelly' on our site. Instead, we're all about clarity and safety. We dive deep to find out the exact material of each toy, whether it's TPE, TPR, PVC, or something else. By understanding that and looking into the certifications and 3rd party independent testing, we know what materials should be listed when we sell sex toys, and we tell you because you have the right to know! Am I right, or am I right?
This way, you know exactly what you're getting; no guesswork needed. And hey, rest easy, as everything we sell is phthalate-free because your health is our top priority, unlike other sex toy sellers.
You'd be shocked at how many people in the sex toy industry laughed me off over two decades ago when I suggested to them that customers care about this!
How To Clean Porous Jelly Sex Toys
When it comes to keeping your jelly sex toys clean, it's essential to be mindful that you really do not know what type of material it is made out of unless it specifies that it is PVC, TPE, etc. Most likely, it is a porous PVC, so we will provide cleaning instructions based on that assumption.
While using sex toy cleaners is a good step, remember that these cleaners only work on the surface level; they don't completely sterilize the toy.
Additionally, if you're unsure whether your jelly toy contains phthalates – chemicals that can be harmful – you can add an extra layer of protection by using an unlubricated polyurethane condom over the toy. This may ensure a safer and more hygienic experience.
Remember, if using a lubricant, make sure you are using one compatible with polyurethane condoms, as some are dependent on brand, not type.
How To Clean Rubber Sex Toys
Rubber is known for its firm texture and is no longer a common material used in sex toys, as most manufacturers have moved to silicone. Rubber tends to wear out quicker compared to silicone alternatives. Rubber can be either porous or non-porous, depending on how it is manufactured.
For Non-Porous Rubber
- Use warm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals or detergents, as these can degrade the rubber material over time. For a deeper clean, use a sex toy cleaner.
- Rinse thoroughly, as soap residue can cause irritation if not completely washed off. Ensure that it's completely dry before storing it to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria.
- Store your toy in a cool, dry place, and avoid storing it in direct sunlight or a humid environment. Store it in a breathable fabric pouch to keep it clean and dust-free.
- Regularly inspect for any signs of damage, such as cracks, tears, or discoloration. If you notice any damage, replacing the toy is best to avoid the risk of injury or infection.
- Unlike silicone toys, rubber toys should not be boiled or cleaned in the dishwasher, as high heat can damage the material.
For Porous Rubber
Porous rubber surfaces are more challenging to disinfect due to their absorbent nature. Here’s what you can do:
Spray a generous amount of toy cleaner on your sex toy, let it sit for about ten minutes to work its cleaning magic, then rinse it off thoroughly and let it air dry.
Mix equal parts water and vinegar, apply the solution, scrub gently, and let it air dry.
Use 3% hydrogen peroxide, apply it to the surface, and let it sit for a few minutes.
Wipe off or rinse with water.
Although rare, some people have an allergic reaction to latex. If you or your partner has an allergic reaction to your sex toy, we recommend discontinuing the use of that toy and consulting with a physician.
Latex allergies can cause symptoms such as hives, itchy skin, or even anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening and can make your throat swell and cause difficulty breathing. If you cover it with a polyurethane condom, you should be aware that it may not prevent such an allergic reaction, especially for those with severe latex allergies.
In addition, if using a lubricant, make sure you are using one compatible with polyurethane condoms, as some are dependent on brand, not type.
How To Clean Plastic Sex Toys
When it comes to adult toys, ABS plastic is a popular choice because it's firm, smooth, and a breeze to clean. Officially known as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, this thermoplastic is a go-to for many everyday items, including those fun LEGO® pieces.
Typically plastic vibrators are not sex toys that many enjoy for thrusting in and out vaginally or anally as they can feel overly rigid, unlike the flex that silicone provides. That being said, some people like the rigidity, so it really comes down to personal preference. Plastic is quite popular for clitoral vibrators as they often give off an intense vibration.
Not All ABS Plastic Is Phthalate-Free
The ABS plastic sex toys we feature are all phthalate-free, so you can relax when you shop with us, knowing that you are in good hands. If shopping elsewhere, it's essential to stay cautious. Not all plastics are created equal, and some can contain phthalates. Always be informed, and don't be afraid to ask questions.
Soap & Water
If you're looking to keep your waterproof ABS plastic sex toys in tip-top shape, just grab some soap and water and give them a good scrub for about 30 seconds. This ensures any unwanted bacteria are washed away.
Sex Toy Cleaner
For an even deeper clean, you can use a sex toy cleaner—spray it on, let it sit for 10 minutes, and rinse it off. And remember, if your toy has electrical parts and isn't waterproof, avoid submerging it in water. Instead, opt for a gentle wipe-down.
What Is ABS With A PU Coating?
Sometimes, ABS plastic can indicate that it has a PU coat, which means that it has a polyurethane coating. PU coat is short for polyurethane coating, a fancy term for a nontoxic protective layer that gives it a softer feel.
Rubbing Alcohol May Discolor It
While ABS plastic is pretty sturdy and can handle rubbing alcohol, there's a catch. Rubbing alcohol might leave your plastic with a yellowish tint or alter its original color.
And here's the crucial part – if your ABS plastic has that PU coat, rubbing alcohol could damage it. So, it's best to steer clear of rubbing alcohol with a PU coat when cleaning ABS plastic. Better safe than sorry, right?
Metal Sex Toys
Metal sex toys come in stainless steel, aluminum, and even gold and silver. You will want to be careful that the sex toys you purchase are pure metals and buy from a reputable sex toy store as they can be harmful if not crafted well.
Some may not be body-safe as some popular sex toys are listed as stainless steel but have copper underneath their surface, which means they are fully stainless steel. Also, quality metals will not have pits or rough patches in them; rather, they will have a mirror finish like chrome.
Let's take a moment to explore health concerns with poorly made metal materials:
Some metals, especially those containing nickel, can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Symptoms can include skin irritation, redness, and itching.
Certain metals or metal alloys may release harmful substances. For example, sex toys made from low-quality or impure metals might contain lead or cadmium, which are toxic when absorbed by the body.
Porous Vs. Non-Porous
While most high-quality metals are non-porous and easy to clean, some metal alloys can have tiny pores where bacteria can grow if not properly sanitized.
Corrosion & Maintenance
Poor quality or improperly maintained metal toys can corrode or tarnish over time. This can create rough surfaces that may injure delicate tissue.
What We Carry
We carry only certified medical-surgical 316-grade stainless steel sex toys through brands such as Le Wand.
How To Clean Metal Sex Toys
Let's chat about keeping your stainless steel sex toys sparkling clean. Cleaning stainless steel sex toys is essential for maintaining hygiene, but keeping the material safe is also vital.
Here are the best ways to do so:
Soap & Water
The simplest and most effective way to clean stainless steel sex toys is with warm water and antibacterial soap. This method removes any bodily fluids and lubricants. After washing, rinse thoroughly with water.
To sterilize stainless steel sex toys, you can boil them in water for about 5-10 minutes. This method kills bacteria and viruses without using chemicals. Ensure the toy is completely submerged.
Be careful to remove using silicone tongs or let cool down, as the surface will be hot and may burn you. Remember, they hold heat very well!
Use a cleaner specifically designed for sex toys. These are formulated to be safe for the toy's material and effective in cleaning.
For a quick clean, wiping the toy with a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution can disinfect it. However, this should be followed by rinsing with water. You don't want that getting inside you or your partner.
If you have a steam cleaner, it can be a quick and effective way to sterilize stainless steel sex toys without chemicals. Be careful to let cool down before touching it, as the surface will be hot and may burn you.
Why A Bleach Solution Is Not Recommended
Bleach and stainless steel are not BFFs. Bleach can be corrosive to stainless steel over time, potentially damaging the surface. Bleach can also leave a residue that is difficult to rinse off completely.
Why You May Want To Avoid The Dishwasher
We do not recommend a dishwasher as some rinse agents are harmful to some metals. If you do use a dishwasher, wash using only water. You should also not use jewelry cleaners on them. Ensure that you dry your metal sex toy carefully.
This approach could also expose your toys to various contaminants commonly found in dishwashers. These contaminants could make the toys unsafe for use, especially in sensitive areas such as the vagina, rectum, or around the urethral opening (where you pee).
Vinyl Sex Toys
Vinyl is quite similar to rubber and is porous. This means it's not completely solid, with tiny spaces or holes. The porous nature of vinyl is a pivotal factor to consider, especially regarding hygiene.
Vinyl sex toys are known for being lightweight and easy to keep clean and come in various forms and colors. You'll often find vinyl used in certain types of sex toys, like body massager attachments.
When you buy vinyl sex toys, they should be made with food-grade vinyl to ensure that it is body-safe, and you can primarily find this material used in some of our body massager attachments.
How To Clean Vinyl Sex Toys
Warm Water and Mild Soap
This is the most recommended method. Use a fragrance-free, mild soap to avoid irritation. Gently scrub the toy with warm, soapy water. This will not cause the frothing issue as it does in elastomer sex toys such as TPE or TPR, as it is not as porous.
After you clean them, it's crucial to let them dry completely. Why? Because dampness can be a playground for mold and bacteria, and trust me, you don't want that! Once they're dry as a bone, find a nice, cool spot to keep them.
Pro tip: keep them separate from other sex toys as they can chemically melt one another. Stash each toy in its own separate storage bag. This way, they don't get all up in each other's business, avoiding any reactions between different materials.
Sex Toy Cleaner
Spray toy cleaner on your vinyl sex toy and let it sit for at least 10 minutes to disinfect and rinse off thoroughly.
After cleaning, make sure the toy is completely dry before storing it. Then, store it in a dry, cool place. Separate storage bags are recommended to avoid contact with other materials that could cause reactions.
Things To Avoid When Cleaning Vinyl Sex Toys
Avoid using strong cleaning agents like bleach or acetone, which can damage the vinyl. In addition, avoid using abrasive materials like steel wool, which can scratch and damage the toy's surface.
Moreover, do not boil vinyl toys or put them in the dishwasher, as the high heat can warp or melt the material.
Glass Sex Toys
Not All Glass Sex Toys Are Safe
Exploring the world of glass sex toys can be an exciting venture, but it's vital to remember that not all glass toys are created equal. A surprising number of these products on the market are cheaply made, prone to breaking, and can be hazardous to your health.
Quality is vital when it comes to glass sex toys. High-quality glass is durable and less likely to break, providing a safer and more reliable option. I don't mean to brag (okay, maybe a little), but there is no one else selling the standard of excellence in glass sex toys that we do. Let's review why that is true.
The Best Glass Sex Toys
Our glass sex toys are crafted from a specific type of annealed glass known for its medical-grade quality. This isn't your average glass — it's hand-blown and features patented designs under the category of Borosilicate. This distinction is crucial because it ensures a higher standard of safety and quality.
Our body-safe glass dildos are handmade in the United States and properly hardened. They are free of lead and other toxins and are created by Master Glass Artisans who know what they are doing to make them safe.
As a side note, you would be shocked at how hard it is to find glass blowers who make dildos who know what they are doing. Frankly, there aren't any better glass dildos on the market than the ones we sell.
How To Clean Glass Sex Toys
Our cleaning instructions for glass sex toys are based on the glass dildos that we carry. Cheaper glass dildos may not be able to be cleaned in the same manner, so if you did not buy them from us, you may want to check with the manufacturer about heating and cooling them during the cleaning process, as you may crack them.
Our glass dildos are very easy to clean and can be washed with soap and water or with a sex toy cleaner. Remember, though, to avoid abrasive cleaners. These can scratch the glass and make its surface dull.
Another important tip: always ensure the water is at room temperature when cleaning your glass toy. Extreme temperature changes can sometimes cause the glass to crack, although this is rare with our glass toys. For the sake of longevity and maintaining its pristine condition, err on the side of caution, especially when cleaning glass sex toys that are not ours.
Boiling Glass Sex Toys
You may boil our glass dildos as they are Borosilicate Schott glass, known for its incredible durability and heat resistance. However, boiling your glass toy might jostle around in the pot, potentially hitting the sides. To avoid any chips or cracks, wrap it in a washcloth before putting it in boiling water. This extra padding will keep your precious toy safe from the edges of the pot.
Now, here's the crucial part: Once boiled, these dildos retain heat really well. This means they can get quite hot - hot enough to cause burns. So, always, and I mean always, check the temperature before you handle it or get down to business.
Learn More About Glass Sex Toys
I wrote more about glass sex toys here if you want to learn more: Are Most Glass Sex Toys Safe?
How To Clean Acrylic Sex Toys
Clear acrylic plastic (polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA) is known for its clarity, strength, and resistance to UV light; however, it may not be safe for use in sex toys despite it not containing phthalates. It really depends on several factors.
There are certain types of medical-grade acrylics that would make ideal sex toys, but unless you know for sure that the acrylic is medical-grade, it would be challenging to say it is not going to cause health concerns. If we carry it, then you know it is a high-quality acrylic that is body-safe. Acrylic plastic can be sterilized using various methods:
Soap & Water
A little bit of mild soap and some warm water are all you need for effective cleaning. After you've given it a good wash, make sure you rinse it off thoroughly. You want to ensure all the soap residue is gone, as any left on the toy could cause irritation.
A simple and effective way to do this is by using a sex toy cleaner. Just spray it onto your toy, wait for about 10 minutes to let the cleaner work its magic, and then rinse it off thoroughly.
Alcohol or Bleach Solutions
If you're aiming for a deeper clean, a simple solution of isopropyl alcohol (make sure it's 70%) or a diluted bleach solution (think 1 part bleach to 10 parts water).
Let your sex toys soak for at least 10 minutes to allow the solution to work its magic. After that, it's rinse time. Wash off all the solution with water, making sure you don't leave any residue.
Avoid Abrasive Materials
Do not use abrasive materials or scouring pads, as these can scratch the surface of the acrylic plastic, making it cloudy-looking as well as more difficult to clean in the future and potentially harboring bacteria.
After cleaning, make sure the toy is completely dry before storing it. Moisture can encourage bacterial growth.
Avoid High Heat
Don't boil or place acrylic plastic toys in a dishwasher, as high heat can damage the material.
Store the toy in a clean, dry place. Using a fabric pouch or a dedicated storage box can help keep it clean between uses.
Wood Sex Toys
What Are Safe Wood Sex Toys?
Prioritizing your safety and satisfaction, we exclusively offer body-safe sex toys. That's why we only recommend NobEssence, the safest wooden sex toy available.
To ensure you get a genuine NobEssence product, check for their unique 'n' shaped registered trademark and special impermeable finish. This way, you can be confident in the quality and safety of your purchase.
Their finish protects against splinters and seals them with an impermeable polymer coating called Lubrosity that keeps them safe from moisture, which is what causes wood to become rough, bumpy, or splintery.
This coating is entirely phthalate-free, odorless, and has a colorless finish, which forms an impermeable barrier to chemicals and bacteria. Lubrosity meets USP Class IV and VI Medical Standards. They may be soaked in water and remain in contact with the body for hours at a time. They contain no wax, oils, or petroleum distillates.
How To Clean Wood Sex Toys
Use Mild Soap and Water
Grab some mild soap and warm water and lather it up. After washing, the most crucial step is to rinse it off thoroughly. Removing every trace of soap is important because any residue left behind could lead to irritation.
After cleaning, dry the toy completely with a soft towel. Ensure no moisture remains, as this can lead to warping or cracking.
Natural Oils For Maintenance
Periodically, you should condition the wood with a natural oil like coconut oil, which is safe for the body and helps maintain the integrity of the wood. However, be sure to use body-safe oils that do not cause irritation.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Do not use bleach or harsh chemicals that damage the wood or leave harmful residues.
Store your wooden toy in a dry place away from extreme temperatures. A fabric pouch can protect it from dust and damage.
Regularly Check The Sealant
If your toy is sealed with a body-safe varnish or another sealant, regularly check to ensure the sealant has not worn off.
Discontinue Use if Damaged
If the toy becomes cracked, splintered, or otherwise damaged, it's safest to discontinue use to prevent injury.
Squirting & Self-Lubricating Dildos
When it comes to innovative sex toys like those that can self-lubricate or mimic ejaculation, it's crucial to stay on top of cleaning and maintenance. These toys are designed with compartments for lubricant, which, if not thoroughly cleaned, can become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, or fungus. This isn't just gross, it's a health hazard.
The key to keeping these toys safe and enjoyable is to make sure every nook and cranny, especially the lubricant compartment, is properly disinfected. Remember, proper care not only extends the life of your sex toy but also protects your health.
How To Clean Self-Lubricating Dildos
Read the Manufacturer's Instructions
Always start by reading the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. Different materials may require different cleaning methods.
Rinse With Warm Water
Begin by rinsing the dildo under warm water to remove any visible residue. This is especially important for squirting and self-lubricating dildos as they have internal mechanisms that might retain fluids. You should be able to use a mild soap, letting it soak in for at least 30 seconds.
Clean All Parts Thoroughly
Ensure that all parts, especially any components that can squirt or lubricate, are thoroughly cleaned. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently clean hard-to-reach areas.
Disassemble If Necessary
If the toy can be disassembled, do so to clean each part individually. This is crucial for thorough cleaning, especially for toys with intricate parts.
After cleaning, rinse the dildo thoroughly under warm water to remove any soap or cleaner residue.
Air dry the toy or use a clean, lint-free towel. Ensure the toy is completely dry before storing it, as moisture can promote bacterial growth.
Store the dildo in a clean, dry place. Using a dedicated storage bag or container can prevent contamination.
Regularly check for any signs of damage or wear, especially if the toy has mechanical components. Discard and replace the toy if it shows any signs of deterioration.
Use Caution For Anal Use Or Sharing
Depending on the type of sex toy, if you are not able to thoroughly disinfect it, then I do not recommend them for anal use or sharing.
When Should You Replace Your Sex Toys?
Not all sex toys last forever, so how do you know when it's time to say goodbye?
- Mechanical features slow or stop working, even after battery replacement. Learn more about sex toy batteries through our Sex Toy Battery Guide
- Cracks are visible in plastic, acrylic, or glass toys or on the plastic pieces of other toys.
- Mold, fungus, or mildew has formed on the material, or the material is deteriorating. Elastomer sex toys break down within several months. Depending on the frequency of use and decompensation, they should not be used for more than 8-10 months.
- Battery corrosion is seen inside the battery pack. If this happens, do not try and remove them. Your sex toy is ruined, and it should be discarded. You will need to properly dispose of the product to avoid getting chemical burns from the damaged battery.
Storing Your Sex Toys
How you store your sex toys is as important as how you clean them. While we're not suggesting you need to invest in a temperature-controlled vault, there are some basic things you can do to prolong the life of any toy, as well as keep it clean and safe from harm.
- Please see our How To Store Sex Toys Guide for more helpful information on how to care for your sex toys.
- Also see our Lubricant Guide to determine which lubricants you may or may not use with your sex toys.
When it comes to safely cleaning sex toys, always check the manufacturer's instructions and defer to those. Every sex toy is unique, and they come with their own do's and don'ts. This step is like reading the label on a delicate garment — it's all about preserving the quality and ensuring you're using it right.
Incorporating these steps into your routine isn't just about cleanliness; it's about respecting and maintaining the tools contributing to your health. Plus, it's a great way to ensure your investments last longer. So, keep it clean and carry on with confidence!
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