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Désir Diaries / Sex Toy Guide / How To Properly Clean Your New Adult Toys

How To Properly Clean Your New Adult Toys

An adult toy’s cleanliness is an essential part of caring for your collection. This post outlines the best methods of keeping your sex toys clean so that they are always spring-fresh and ready to go.

No-one enjoys the cleaning part of fun sexual experiences, but there are a lot of incredibly important reasons why it’s a habit you should master.

Different materials require special levels of attention, depending on their frequency of use, who you used them with and what they were used for. A clean sex toy, is a happy one!

Proper cleaning primes your toys to last longer, stay in good condition and maintain their ‘as-new’ appearance. Let’s be straight about this – no-one wants to use a toy that isn’t truly clean.

Here is everything you need to know about cleaning your range of adult toys.

The Consequences of Poor Sex Toy Hygiene: Exposed!

Toys adult couples play with on a regular basis can quickly become imbued with all sorts of contaminants that will gradually, if not immediately, harm your sensitive regions.

According to blogger Cara Mason from Female First, a popular UK lifestyle blog, only one third of people clean their favourite adult toys after every use, and a stomach-churning 12% of these people have never cleaned a single toy that they own! Unimaginable as this may sound, poor sexual hygiene always catches up to you.

  • Sexually transmitted diseases can pass from sex toys to you, without adequate cleaning. That’s why clean toys are just as important as condoms if you share them with others.
  • Another consequence is the repeat infection that never seems to go away. Whether it’s the transmission of yeast infections, urinary tract infections or other bacterial infections, your poorly washed sex toys could be the reason why harmful germs keep getting into all the wrong areas.
  • Stains and weird odours are signs that your toy needs to be replaced or retired. If it’s nearly new, you bought a cheap toy that was never going to last or be healthy to use. Unclean adult toys made from cheap materials are super toxic and really hard to keep clean.

6 Critical Rules of Sex Toy Hygiene

Caring for your toys begins with a solid outline of the rules. Here are 5 non-negotiable rules of adult toy cleanliness that you need to practice to maintain your sexual health.

1) Toys stay cleaner when you wash them immediately after use. Sure, this interrupts the cloud you are floating around on after orgasm – but it also keeps bacteria from spreading and infecting your toy. The longer it remains unwashed, the higher the risk of infection.

2) A nice, soapy wash in a quick dip of warm water is sometimes not enough to clean thoroughly used adult toys. Plus many body soaps contain fragrances and chemicals that will irritate your parts on repeat use. It’s safer to use intimate care products specially made to rid your toy of bacterial, viral and fungal intruders.

3) Take note of the materials that your sex toy is made from. Some quickly imbibe smells and bacteria, others are easy to clean. Pay particular attention to all rubbery materials as these are the items that often need to soak for a few minutes to get perfectly clean.

4) When your range of electronic adult toys need to be washed, use specialty cleaners as you would on a normal dildo for example, but be careful not to submerge these in water. It can damage the battery and kill your buzz.

5) Always dry your toys well by patting them down with a lint-free towel or leaving them to dry in a shady place. Direct sunlight will melt most silicone and rubber items, so don’t leave them in the sun. Drying your toy prevents bacteria growth and ensures proper hygiene.

6) Some toys adult couples use are bundled together and placed in the same limited area for safe keeping. Unfortunately sex toys don’t like being stored together. For one, multiple toys in the same place can cause re-contamination, and many materials react with each other. The storage location should be cleaned regularly, to keep your toys ready to use.


Step By Step Instructions For Cleaning Your Sex Toys

Quality adult toys can last a long time if you keep them clean, dry and stored in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight. All toys should be cleaned, not just the ones you use on or inside your erogenous areas! That means paddles, restraints and the like need to be washed regularly as well.

Here’s how to do it…


  • Rubber and Jelly Toys: These materials are among the most affordable, which means they need to be cleaned vigorously after use because they are highly porous.Step 1: Wash the toy thoroughly with warm soapy water.
    Step 2: Pat dry.
    Step 3: Spray a sex toy cleaner on the item and leave for 5 minutes.
    Step 4: Rinse.
    Step 5: Pat dry and store.

Tip! With hard plastics, elastomers and other types of jelly rubber it’s common for bacteria to survive a good cleaning process. If you share the toy with someone else, use it with a condom.


    • Glass, Pyrex, Stainless Steel and Silicone (non-battery operated): These non-porous materials make these popular adult toys easier to clean.Step 1: Wash with soapy water and leave to soak for 5-10 minutes.
      Step 2: Pat dry.
      Alternatively these work well in dishwashers.Step 1: Place inside a dishwasher with no soap.
      Step 2: Run a full cycle.
      Step 3: Remove.



    • Glass, Pyrex, Stainless Steel and Silicone (battery operated): While also non-porous, care must be taken not to damage the electronics of these items. Even waterproof toys should be treated with caution as seals can age.Step 1: Wash by hand with soapy water. Do not submerge.
      Step 2: Spray with sex toy cleaner or use anti-bacterial wipes.
      Step 3: Rinse and dry away from the sun.




    • Neoskin and Cyberskin: There are some sex toys that look and feel realistic, but they are often hard to clean. These should only ever be used by one person.Step 1: Wash in warm (not hot) soapy water.
      Step 2: Pat dry.
      Step 3: Spray with a sex toy cleaner.
      Step 4: Rinse.
      Step 5: Pat dry and store.




    • Acrylic, Lucite and Hard Plastics: These materials are regularly found in fetish adult toys like anal play prostate stimulators and chastity devices.Step 1: Scrub with hot soapy water.
      Step 2: Rinse.
      Step 3: Cloth dry.
      Step 4: Spritz with sex toy cleaner.
      Step 5: Rinse. Step 6: Cloth dry.




    • Vinyl Erotic Toys: Vinyl is easy to clean but it deceptively porous too.Step 1: Wash with mild soap and warm water (not boiling, not hot).
      Step 2: Rinse.
      Step 3: Air dry out of direct sunlight for best results.
      Step 4: During use, anti-bacterial wipes or spray come in handy.




    • Leather: Notoriously porous and tough to get properly clean, leather is found in a lot of adult toys for bondage and BDSM play.Step 1: Wash the item with a specialist cleanser and a stiff bristled scrubbing brush. Do not soak it!
      Step 2: If stains/odours persist, use sex toy spray or isopropyl alcohol on what stains may remain on the item.
      Step 3: Rinse well until all soap is gone.
      Step 4: Dry well or it will mould.
      Step 5: Massage leather conditioner into the item.


Tip! Faye Brennan from Women’s Health recommends that you check your specific sex toy’s packaging for instructions or search for specifics online.


The Sex Toy Hygiene You Never Think About

Knowing when your erotic toys have outlived their lifespan is key to maintaining a healthy cabinet of delights. There comes a time in every toys life when retirement is an inevitable reality.

  • If it’s broken throw it away. That includes nicks, scratches, melted bits and jagged parts. These can be dangerous and germs often hide in these places.
  • If your new adult toys ever ooze oil, they are toxic and need to be thrown away. The same goes for faulty electronics – seals break and germs get in there causing infection on repeat use.
  • If your sex toy is rusting, leaking or has developed some kind of strange looking stain disease overnight – it’s mould and it’s life is over. Toss it.
  • Many people in the world throw their toys away if they break up with a long term partner. Items that are shared should be thrown away, to make room for a new lover and fresh toy exploration in your life.
  • Really good quality adult toys can last up to 5 years with frequent use. Cheaper toys that are well maintained can last anywhere between 1-3 years. Super cheap toys will barely be usable for 6 months. After that, they need to be replaced.

An investment in good quality toys means that they will last longer. Regularly cleaning them with our range of sex toy essential cleaners will keep them fresh and germ-free. Choose from our range of wipes, sprays and anti-bacterial products.

Bookmark this page as an answer to the popular question: “How do I clean my adult sex toys?” Getting into the habit of deep cleaning your toys will keep you and your partner from contracting all sorts of harmful infections and diseases.

And remember, if in doubt – throw your adult toys out!

What Do You Think?

Thank you for reading our post, we hope you found it helpful. In the spirit of our mission we have one more thing to ask you! How often do you clean your favourite sex toys? When a toy you love dies, do you replace it with the same model, or try something new? You can leave us a message on our adult shop contact us page or your can leave a comment below. We would really appreciate your feedback and input.

About Désir Intimate Collection


Désir Intimate Collection is South Africa’s most exclusive online store, devoted to giving our clientele private access to the finest designer brands on the intimate luxury market. Headquartered in Camps Bay, Cape Town, Désir Online has one main goal – to help our customers find stronger intimacy, form closer relationships and build passionate love lives by dispelling the myths and social stigmas that prevent people from sensual exploration & expression.

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