Sex Toy Cleaning – The Ins and Outs of Caring for Your Sex Toys

You LOVE your vibe and want it to last for as long as it can so lets discuss Sex Toy Cleaning.  Learn how to keep your sex toys clean and hygienic with these easy-to-follow tips.

Whether you’ve just purchased your first ever sex toy or your 100th, knowing how to care for these products is paramount.  Not only their longevity, but also your intimate health.

Make sure to clean your toy thoroughly at least once before using it for the first time.

First and foremost, you’re going to need to determine the material of your toy, considering the large array of options when it comes to this.   I’ll narrow it down a bit for you.

Categories of Sex Toy

Sex toys generally fall into one of two categories: soft or hard.  By this I’m not referencing the flexibility of your toy.

Soft Sex Toy

Generally made of silicone, TPE, TPR, rubber or some type of hybrid material such as silaskin or super-skin.  All of which are flexible on their own but many act as a barrier between you and the motor/internal hardware of the toy.

Most soft toys will also have a handle made of a hard plastic for increased usability, such as Fun Factory’s entire range.

Hard Sex Toy

While, in contrast, hard toys are made of materials such as; glass, ceramic, wood, steel (stainless or surgical).  Or a hard plastic such as ABS, hard toys are a lot less likely to absorb any bacteria and are generally easier to clean.

sex toy

There are also several other aspects to consider when it comes to cleaning and caring for your sex toys.

  • Are they electronic in any way?
  • If yes, are they battery powered, rechargeable or plug in?
  • What’s the intended purpose of your toy?
  • Is it made specifically for anal use?
  • Or perhaps it’s not meant to be inserted at all.

Overall, there are a multitude of defining factors that influence what we can and cannot do with our toys.  Especially when it comes to something as rudimentary as cleaning and storing.

Sex Toy Cleaning
cleaning your sex toy

Sex Toy Cleaning


I understand why you’d think that to be a good idea.  But not only is that where you wash dishes, cutlery and other food related items, it will actually melt or severely compromise the structural integrity of most sex toys.

Non-Electric Sex Toy

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s begin with non-electronic toys. These products can be made from any soft or hard material or a combination of both.  The main defining factor is of course that they have no electronic or mechanical components.

It’s important to note that most poseable and thermoreactive toys will fall into this category.

Cleaning a Metal, Ceramic and Glass Sex Toy

  • These toys are both hypoallergenic and non-porous so bacteria is completely unable to penetrate the toy on any level.
  • Because of their extremely high melting point, you’re able to boil toys made solely of this material to completely remove any bacteria.
  • But if you’d prefer to keep your toys out of the kitchen you can also use an antibacterial toy cleaning spray or foaming wash.
  • Make sure to rinse off your toy completely before using these.

I cannot emphasize enough that you shouldn’t be using any type of household cleaner on your toys.

So please be sure to pick up a sex toy cleaner and not use Dettol wipes or any type of spray ‘n’ wipe.

After the aforementioned toys, silicone is the most hygienic, and a medical grade silicone is the golden standard when it comes to soft toys.
Any toy made of 100% medical grade silicone that is non-electronic, can also be boiled for up to 2 minutes (similar to a menstrual cup).  Although you’ll find that many lower quality toys will say they’re made out of silicone.

Be sure to check it’s 100% silicone before purchasing and medical grade before boiling.

For lower grade silicone, toys made of a hard plastic and any other soft material toy DO NOT BOIL.  The best way to clean these toys is by using an antibacterial toy cleaner (either spray or foaming), after rinsing.

Cleaning A Wooden Sex Toy

Surprisingly enough wooden toys aren’t in a whole different ball park when it comes to cleaning.
These products are generally handcrafted and given a medical grade polymer coating or some type of other varnish to ensure the wood won’t absorb any moisture or bacteria. 
Because of this coating, we can clean them the same way we clean our hard plastic toys.

Cleaning an Electronic Sex Toy

Moving on to electronic sex toys.  Now there’s not going to be boiling of any kind with these toys for obvious reasons.  So generally the route you’ll want to go down is the ‘rinse then use a toy cleaner’ one as previously discussed.

Although you have to be careful with the whole ‘putting an electronic underwater’ thing.  You might end up voiding the warranty or maybe even electrocuting yourself.

Just about all of your electronic toys will come with an IPX rating.

This indicates the level of waterproofing the toy is equipped with the most popular IPX ratings for toys are as follows;


Completely submersible in water upto 1 metre deep for a maximum of 30 minutes.


This is protected against a high pressure water stream from any angle so similar to IPX7 you can very easily wash off after use.


Which is splashproof, so again fine for rinsing off your toy.   But be sure to avoid the charging port.


They have even less water protection than previous.  You should read the cleaning instructions very carefully before using the toy for the first time.

Although it’s important to note that most toys with an IPX rating lower than IPX4 will have a removable portion that is non-electronic for easier cleaning.

Overall, make sure to be following the manufacturers recommended cleaning for any electronic toy, especially those with an IPX rating lower than 6.

sex toy
bubble bath

Insertable Sex Toy

Now onto something a good bit more complex.

Masturbators (both electronic and not) will generally require a more intricate cleaning routine than your average vibe (insertable or not).  This is due to both their design as well as the materials used to create that supple realistic skin texture.

Some masturbators are made of a silicone.

These are generally electronic and don’t involve any type of sleeve or lifelike material.  So, you’re able to clean them in an identical manner to a regular vibe.

Any type of masturbator that is or has a very soft non-structured sleeve, such as any Fleshlight, will need to be cleaned very thoroughly.

How to Clean the Masturbator

  • After use, first flush the toy out with some water to remove the excess lube and ejaculate.
  • Then remove the sleeve from any casing and flip the sleeve inside out.
  • Rinse with water once again to remove the remaining lube and ejaculate.
  • Once the only liquid on your toy is water, allow to dry (still flipped inside out) until only slightly damp.

Next spray a sex toy cleaner

  • I recommend using one that is foaming to allow for it to more easily get within all the grooves of the materials texture.
  • After the toy is covered in this wait for it to dry fully.
  • Once completely dry sprinkle refresh powder over the toy (pro tip: these powders are generally 100% corn starch).
  • Make sure to cover all surfaces including the entrance then shake so all excess powder is removed, leaving only a thin layer.
  • After this is all done, flip the sleeve back and situate it within its case and then put the unit away for storage.


If the soft sleeve of the toy IS structured, like that of the Svakom Alex and Alex Neo, you won’t be able to flip it for cleaning.

But the tunnel of the sleeve will generally be a fair amount wider and shorter so cleaning remains fairly similar.

You also have masturbators like those from Tenga.

Instead of a removable sleeve you are able to just open for easy cleaning.  With these follow the same original steps, minus the removal and flipping of the sleeve.

Now the truly difficult toys to clean are your bigger toys made primarily of a lifelike material such as TPE.  A lot of these toys will be life size replicas of portions of the female or male body, such as the pubic or chest areas.

You won’t be able to remove a sleeve at all, plus the tunnel and entrance will both be very narrow, so cleaning these is very hard to get right and very easy to fuck up.

As with all toys, washing these before using them is paramount to your intimate hygiene.

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