How to Clean Sex Toys

When we think of our sex toys, there’s no doubt that we all think of the possible toe-curling fun that can be had. Whether you’re thinking of your favourite vibrator, a butt plug you’ve used with a partner, or any other sex toy for that matter, ensuring that you keep them clean is super important.

Here at Ann Summers, we care about your health (find out about the health benefits of orgasms!) and the health of your sex toys – that’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to properly clean your sex toys. Follow some of these tips and you can be sure you’re left with a nice, fresh set of sex toys ready for the next time you’re in the mood to have some fun!

Should Sex Toys Be Cleaned After Every Use?

Before we tell you the best way to clean your sex toys, it’s important that we explain why we need to do it. Sure, it probably seems obvious that items that are inserted vaginally or anally would need cleaning, but there are several reasons that cleaning your sex toys with a sex toy cleaner important. These include:

  • Bacteria Builds Up – Our vaginal and anal orifices are amazing places but they’re full of bacteria, and once we’ve finished playing this can remain on our toys. This needs cleaning off so it’s not left on the toy for next time it is used.
  • Damage to the Toy – Toys that aren’t phthalate-free can begin to break down and deteriorate especially if not cleaned properly.
  • Risk of Infection – If you have ever wondered ‘can you get an STD from old toys’ the answer is yes – if they are not cleaned and cared for properly. Using shared sex toys can result in STI’s and STD’s being passed between users. Keeping toys properly cleaned should help avoid this.

Just like any other item that you own, keeping your sex toys clean should form part of the process of regular usage. It’s a quick and simple process that could save you a lot of hassle in the future.

How to Clean a Dildo

Let’s start things off simply, with the dildo. Keeping all sex toys clean is important, and when it comes to dildos this is no different. Any object that you’ll be using internally must be clean before use to avoid any sort of infection. This is even more important if you’re sharing with a partner. You may get caught in the moment and feel inclined to throw away the rules but this can lead to the passing of different infections so should be avoided – especially if going from anal to vaginal or vice versa!

Here are some tips for how to clean a dildo effectively:

  • Start by running it under warm (not boiling) water.
  • Use a mild, fragrance-free, anti-bacterial soap
  • Ensure that the soap is applied to the toy and it is thoroughly cleaned all over
  • Rinse off any excess soap and ensure there’s no residue
  • Dry your dildo – You can use a towel but be careful to remove any fibres which could be left behind

When cleaning dildos, try to use the same care that you would when washing your hands. Bacteria works in the same way on a dildo, so it can be found in small nooks and crevices. This means you need to take extra care to clean those areas too.

How to Clean a Vibrator

That’s how you clean a dildo, but how do you clean a battery sex toy such as a vibrator? When it comes to cleaning a vibrator, it’s pretty much the same process as cleaning your dildo, but you should never submerge a battery-operated sex toy. But how do you deep clean a vibrator without submerging it? It’s simple really, you can run the penetrative part under a hot tap and clean with soap, but the other areas should be wiped clean with a damp cloth, antibacterial sex toy cleaner or wipes. Most vibrators are made waterproof, so running them under a tap and rinsing with soap shouldn’t cause your toy any problems at all.

Do Sex Toy Wipes Work?

Short answer – yes! Sex toy wipes are designed specifically to keep your toys clean and should be dermatologically tested so you know they’re safe for both your toy and you. These wipes are handy to keep in your bedside drawer or travel bag, so cleaning is nice and easy.

Alternatively, our sex toy hygiene section has several sex toy cleaning sprays and foams that can be used to keep all your toys fresh. Again, these are made with ingredients that won’t cause any harm to your toys. What if you don’t have wipes, can you use rubbing alcohol to clean a vibrator? Yes you can, unless the toy specifically tells you not to.

Anal Toy Care

We’ve talked about how to prepare for anal and given you some tips in our anal sex guide, but it’s worth remembering that your toys will need preparing too. While your dildo might feel great both anally and vaginally, going from one to the other can potentially cause risks to your health. Even if it means killing the mood for a few seconds, make sure that toy is properly cleaned before moving from one to another – even if it’s only you that’s using the toy!

Sex Toy Storage

One last point to remember about sex toy hygiene. Once you’ve cleaned your sex toys, store them in a clean and dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. They should be kept away from personal hygiene and cosmetic products.

We also suggest keeping them in a sex toy storage box or a bag. This’ll help your toys stay clean and prevent damage. Sex toys made of rubber, thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) or silicone need a breathable container to allow any moisture inside the toy to evaporate and prevent the growth of bacteria.

Cleaning your sex toys may only take a couple of minutes but is really important for making them last longer and avoiding any infections. Just give them a clean and they’ll be ready to do their job as well as ever next time around!