Before you Play for the First Time

Ideally, perform this run through before you pay for your purchases.

  • Check your sex toy carefully for imperfections such as tiny tears in softer materials, sharp edged seams (that might scratch delicate places) and discoloration (which can indicate high heat exposure).
  • Look for cracks in glass, acrylic, and plastic toys, including the battery packs, handles, etc.
  • Plug it in or insert fresh batteries to make sure that it works properly.
  • If everything is in good working order and take it home, clean it before you use it the first time.

General Sex Toy Cleaning Tips

Cleaning your sex toys performs two functions:

  • It helps to extend the life of your sex toy
  • It helps prevent you from getting a bacterial infection from your sex toy.

The material that your sex toy is made from will dictate the best cleaning method. The different materials that sex toys are made from have different cleaning needs. Boiling will work for one material, but destroy another. Soap and water will clean one material properly, but might leave bacteria on another.

Safer Toy Sex

if your toy is being shared or is going from one orifice to another, using a condom and changing to a fresh one lets you quickly move your toy to the next hot spot without any risk of infection. Bacteria that lives harmlessly in one orifice causes all sorts of problems when they are transferred to another orifice. Because they are so porous, this is particularly true for latex, rubber, and ‘jelly’ sex toys.

Cleaning Latex / Rubber / Jelly

Sex toys made from rubber, latex, or ‘jelly’ should be washed thoroughly, due to the fact that they are very porous. It’s best to use hot water and anti-bacterial soap and then rinse long enough so that all the soap is removed. If soap residue remains, it can cause the toy materials to degrade, leading to micro fissures that can host harmful bacteria. Condoms are recommended for use with all Jelly sex toys, due to concerns about the chemicals such as toluene and phthalates used to make them.

Cleaning Silicone Sex Toys

Silicone is a popular material because it is hypoallergenic and long-lasting. Silicone dildos and other toys (that don’t use batteries or electrical plug-ins) can be boiled for 3 minutes or well-washed with soap and water (those with sensitive skin can use hypoallergenic soap). Dry with a lint-free cloth or air dry completely before putting your toy away.

Cleaning Glass Sex Toys

Glass toys can be washed with soap and water and left to air dry. Do not expose glass to high heat or extreme cold as temperature extremes can cause it to shatter or develop internal cracks.

Cleaning Acrylic Sex Toys

Acrylic toys can be washed with soap and warm water. They can also be sterilized with 70% isopropyl alcohol, although they should be rinsed thoroughly to avoid any skin reactions.

Cleaning Hard Plastic Sex Toys

Plastic toys should be wiped with a soapy cloth and warm water.

Cleaning Cyberskin / Ultraskin / Fauxskin / NeoSkin / Futurotic

These trademarked materials (and others) are also known as Realistics. Designed to mimic human skin, they are increasingly popular on vibrators, dildos, cock sleeves, and erection rings. They are delicate and require special care. Never use hot water or talcum or baby powder with these materials.

Wash them in warm water with a liquid antibacterial soap. They will need to air dry completely before they can be sprinkled with cornstarch and safely stored.

Cleaning Leather Sex Gear

Clean your leather toys and gear with a soapy, damp cloth. You can also use commercial leather cleaners. You can also use a 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol to disinfect any body fluids that have come in contact with the leather. Leather can be reconditioned with a commercial leather conditioner—avoid mink oil because of the smell (many aficionados like almond oil).  Leather should be air dried and stored in a cool, dry environment.

Cleaning Pleather Sex Gear

Pleather can be washed with warm water and soap and then left to air dry. Avoid exposing it to bright sun light for extended periods of times (yes, unlikely, but still…).