How to Properly Clean Sex Toys
Whether you use your favorite toys for more adventurous sex with your partner or keep them around solely for your own pleasure, you should be using them in the safest way possible.
If they’re not cleaned properly, sex toys can cause yeast infections, breed bacteria and fungi, and spread sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to health experts. In fact, it’s been shown that STIs can live on surfaces outside the body for weeks or months. Planned Parenthood advises that sex toys be cleaned after every use for maximum safety.
Using condoms when sharing toys with your partner will also help prevent the spread of STIs.
Check the material
Sex toys come in all shapes and sizes and are made of many materials, all of which factors into how best to clean them after use. For instance, sex toys made of porous material such as rubber, latex or jelly will need a little extra love. Due to their nature, these materials may absorb and breed more bacteria than, say, toys made of nonporous material such as silicone, glass or stainless steel.
When you purchase a sex toy, you will find it very useful to keep the instructions that accompany them. These manuals typically include instructions for how to best clean the device. However, if you dumped the box too quickly or otherwise shredded the evidence, here are some pointers:
Glass. Clean your glass toys with a bit of warm water and soap. If your toy is made of Pyrex, you can put it in the dishwasher, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t put glass toys anywhere near extreme temperatures.
Stainless steel. Toys made of stainless steel can be cleaned with warm, soapy water. However, always be sure you don’t submerge any electrical components or batteries in water.
Hard plastic. Do not boil hard plastic toys, because they can and will melt. The best method to clean hard plastic toys is to use antibacterial soap and warm water.
Silicone. Much like stainless steel toys, silicone toys can be washed using warm, soapy water. If your silicone toy has vibrating or electronic parts, be sure not to submerge the toy or expose those parts to moisture. However, if the toy is completely manual, it can be submerged, including in boiling water.
Whatever your cleaning method, it’s essential to thoroughly dry the toy once clean to prevent bacterial growth or damage to the device.
Generally, you can determine how best to clean your sex toy based on its materials. However, if you have the care instructions that came with the device, it’s always a good idea to defer to the manufacturer’s advice.
We’ve said it before, but it’s vital that you never submerge a device with batteries or an electrical component in water.
Cleaning your toys after each use is the only way to ensure they’ll be safe for next time. After they’re clean, be sure to store them in a pouch or a container, to protect them from getting dirty in storage, and keep them in a safe and dry place.
Remember, too, even though you cleaned your toy after its last use, you should give it a quick rinse in warm, soapy water and dry it thoroughly before you use it again.
If you follow these guidelines, you can freely use your sex toys without risking a health concern.