You’ve heard of unprotected sex, but did you know you could be having it solo? Turns out, your go-to dildos, vibrators and anal plugs can carry lots of icky bacteria if not cleaned thoroughly after use, making a steamy night in as risky as an unplanned one night stand—and believe me, I’m a big fan of both. If you’re not entirely sure how to clean sex toys properly, don’t stress. It’s actually pretty simple once you know the basics. The hardest part is remembering to do it on the reg!
If you’re using sex toys solo, it can be tempting to reach your climax, turn off your device, roll over and hit the hay. If you and your partner utilize them while in the bedroom together, you might be too busy with post-sex spooning to think about the toy you let fall to the floor after your foreplay. Bacteria can live on these toys—you know, the ones you insert directly into your body???—for quite some time, so when it comes to keeping them clean, it’s truly a Better Safe Than Sorry situation. Read on for what you need to know about keeping your dirty playtime clean.
1. Assess Your Toy
Different toys require different cleaning approaches, so start by figuring out what your toy is made of. Is it silicone? Glass? Stainless steel? For any of the above, you won’t have to stress, but pay close attention if your toy is made of a more porous material, like jelly rubber, elastomer, or TPR. Toys made of these porous materials can still carry bacteria after a standard soap-and-water cleaning sesh, so they aren’t always the best bet to use with a partner. Might I suggest swapping these out for other options? I’m a big fan of glass dildos—pretty AND effective. If your jelly rubber fave is too tempting to resist, remember to put a condom on it when playing with a partner.
Another thing to consider: Is your toy waterproof? If so, you don’t have to overthink submerging it in water when washing, but if it’s got a motor that might not like to take a swim, it’s best to use a cloth dipped in soap and water instead of giving it a dunk. Or, you can just buy a waterproof toy like the SIKXTOA Powerful Wand Massager instead.
2. Stock Up On Supplies
For most toys, a mild, anti-bacterial, unscented soap will do the trick. Simply take a damp cloth to your partner-in-playtime and give it a good scrub, making sure you allow it to dry completely before using again. Make sure there’s no soapy residue left over, either! If you’d prefer, you can also buy a sex toy cleaner for quick wipe-downs in between rounds, but be sure to not replace more thorough washing sessions altogether.
The ToyLife Foaming Toy Cleaner is a clear Amazon favorite, with a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
As someone who uses Swiss Navy Lube, I’m partial to the Swiss Navy Toy and Body Cleaner.
3. Do The Deed (The Cleaning, I Mean) On The Reg
Now that you know what to use and how to wash, let’s talk about the When. You should be cleaning your toys after every single use—no Ifs, Ands or Buts about it! If you aren’t able to clean them immediately after your playtime, clean as soon as you can, and try to never use a dirty toy (no matter how dirty you’re feeling, wink wink).
4. Store It Somewhere Safe
No, this isn’t a “so no one will know you have it” thing. It’s a sanitary thing! Keeping your toys out in the open (or worse, collecting dust between uses under your bed) is a guaranteed way to expose them to bacteria. Put ’em away! If you don’t feel like your toys were stored safely prior to use, you might want to consider washing them before playtime, too. If you’re willing to splurge, there are even special containers that boast sanitizing lights to clean your toys while they sit unused.
A dedicated cosmetics bag for storing your toys is a great idea if you want to be discreet about what’s inside.
I also love the idea of an old-school lock box. Think of how turned-on your partner will be when they see you whip this out—they’ll know something fun is coming!
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