How to Clean Your Sex Toys: Common Mistakes and Best Practices

how to clean sex toys

You just bought your first vibrator or maybe you use dildos regularly. Either way, you must learn how to care for it properly. One major safety step you need to take is to clean your sex toys before using them alone or with a partner.

Cleaning your toys might not seem fun. But it is crucial.

According to Kristin Fretz, co-founder and CMO of Emojifbator:

"Pleasure products can be a great confidence booster. Adult toys can also help you explore desires and boundaries and increase self-love, Getting infected with UTI from a vibrator is embarrassing and uncomfortable. It can be very painful if untreated. It also adds shame around masturbation. This creates resistance to self-pleasure."

Common Questions Regarding Clean Sex Toys

Here we will discuss six common questions that arise in everyone's mind regarding the cleaning of sex toys.

How Often Should I Clean My Sex Toys?

Each time after using them, without a doubt. Neglecting to do so allows lingering microbes to grow exponentially. Since genital tissue is sensitive (and for those with female reproductive parts, highly absorbent), failing to routinely clean these toys after every use could cause yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and bacterial vaginosis flareups.

Is It Okay to Wash Sex Toys with Just Soap and Water?

Most intimate toys can be cleaned using mild antibacterial soap and warm water. (Scrub them for a minimum of twenty seconds—like washing hands! Also, dry completely with a clean towel.)

What About Sex Toy Cleaners?

While water and soapy cloth can work in many cases, you can also purchase special sex toy cleaners. Many Erotic toys have cleaning guidelines that may recommend using special cleaners suited for the sex toy's material.

These cleaners remove germs and residue without harming the toy. Following the maker's instructions ensures safe and effective cleaning, maintaining quality for long-term use. Using the recommended cleaner also prevents allergies or skin irritation from harsh chemicals.

Pro Tip - Read the INGREDIENTS of any cleaner, you want to know what's going inside you.

Can I Clean Toys Safely in Dishwashers and Boiling Water?

Certain toys don't go in dishwashers or boiling water, like vibrators and many plastics - it could damage them. "Just like in Broad City, put only dishwasher-safe items in the dishwasher," experts caution. Boiling toys can also melt and warm most materials, so avoid that too.

However, nonporous silicone toys without motors can be boiled if they are waterproof.  You can boil these toys for 1-3 minutes, fully submerged, watching closely. But toys with motors inside risk overheating damage from boiling water. So cleaning approach depends on the toy material and components.

Can I Use Wipes to Clean Sex Toys?

Wipes provide a quick cleansing solution but should be paired with other methods for thorough cleaning. While handy when soap and water aren't accessible, wipes are best utilized as a temporary measure before fully disinfecting toys using antibacterial cleaners or a good scrub with soap and water.

What's the Proper Way to Keep Sex Toys Stored?

Proper storage and cleaning of Intimate toys are crucial. Even if you meticulously clean a toy, tossing it into a drawer with other unclean toys defeats the purpose—it'll just get re-contaminated. The key is keeping your cleaned toy isolated in its original case if provided. If your toy doesn't come with a storage pouch, you can use a sealed container like a zipped makeup bag.

Sex ed classes rarely cover toy cleaning — or sex toys at all. But cleaning them carefully protects you and your partner.

"Toys need care, just like any product," says sex educator Robin Mastin.

After using a toy from its sealed package, you must clean it to keep it sanitized. Plus, you need to charge it or change its batteries.

5 Mistakes to Avoid with Sex Toys

Not Cleaning Your Toy When It First Arrives

You might think, "It's brand new, so it must be safe!" But remember, I thought that Bart Simpson sweater was safe, too. Then, I got an awful rash after wearing it once. I'm glad the sweater only affected my skin. With Adult toys, you can't be too careful.

Like new underwear, clean sex toys with mild soap and hot water before using. Let the tous air dry on a clean surface. Erotic toys aren't sterile, so expect dust or bacteria, even when new. Don't risk infection or irritation.

Not Checking Whether Your Toy Is Waterproof or Not

Yes, waterproof sex toys allow bathtub fun. However, confirm the waterproof status before submerging any toy. Ensure no openings allow water leakage, ruining electrics and batteries. Product info protects against damage, advises sex educator Sadie Allison, PhD, GoLove CBD lubricant co-founder.

Not Drying Your Toys Off Properly

After bath use, fully dry toys. Not drying properly may cause issues. Make certain to completely wipe down toys before storage, says sexologist Alexandra Fine. She also suggests avoiding using towels because it leave debris or other irritant particles on toys. 

Using Scented Soaps, Cleaning Products, or Bleach

Toys used for intimate activities require special care, as they come in contact with delicate areas. "Remember, these toys likely touch vaginas or anuses—parts that easily absorb substances," says Fine. "Scented products can irritate and potentially cause issues like yeast infections, so avoid using regular household soaps on them." Her words highlight the importance of using appropriate cleaning methods.

Throwing It in Your Musty Old Goody Drawer

Storing Sensual toys carelessly can create an environment conducive to bacterial growth. Moreover, hiding them may convey shame. Story advises, "I encourage people to display their favourite toys proudly on nightstands, sending a message that pleasure is a priority and serving as a reminder for intimacy."

However, if storing in drawers, she recommends, "Place your toy in a waterproof wet bag first to prevent contamination." Her suggestions promote a healthy, open attitude towards sexuality.

Hygiene Practices for Maintaining Sexual Wellness

Upholding proper cleanliness standards for intimate pleasure devices is crucial for preserving your well-being and avoiding potential risks. Here are some expert recommendations to ensure your toys remain hygienic and in optimal condition:

  • Diligently clean your Sex toys before and after each usage with mild, gentle soap and lukewarm water.
  • Utilize specialized cleansing solutions formulated for your toy's specific material to achieve thorough sanitation without damaging it.
  • For non-porous items crafted from materials like silicone or glass, consider briefly submerging them in boiling water or employing a dedicated sterilization system designed for intimate accessories to eliminate any bacterial presence.
  • Keep your intimate items in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and extreme temperatures. This prevents damage.
  • Regularly check your intimate accessories for signs of wear and tear, cracks, or defects. If you find issues, replace them right away. Safety first!


Maintaining the cleanliness of intimate accessories holds significant importance for secure enjoyment.  We all enjoy using intimate toys for bedroom fun. But we must keep them clean to avoid infections. No one likes dirty playthings. So, let's be responsible and learn how to properly clean sex toys.

Sterilization is advisable for toys without cavities. Proper storage and frequent inspections for damage are essential. Sharing toys without thorough cleaning beforehand could pose health risks. 

MySexShop offers an extensive array of high-quality sex toys and accompanying products. They prioritize heightening pleasure while simultaneously emphasizing hygiene. With clean and well-maintained toys, you can indulge in worry-free intimate experiences time and time again.


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