Here's How to Clean Sex Toys the Right Way

Here's How to Clean Sex Toys the Right Way

Using sex toys in the bedroom can help bring you and your partner closer together on both a physical and emotional level. Using them can increase foreplay and overall pleasure. But don't get us wrong, sex toys aren't just for couples, they should be enjoyed when you're playing solo as well.

Many singles enjoy using sex toys for their own pleasure or with their partners as well. In America, 41% of people use sex toys during masturbation and sex. Only 28% report saving sex toys for sex only and 30% said they only use sex toys to get down during solo play.

The real question is: do these users know how to clean sex toys the correct way? Almost everyone has a nightstand buddy, and no matter how they're used, proper cleaning techniques are essential. And that raises the next question...are you cleaning your sex toys the right way?

Curious to know if you are or aren’t? Continue reading on to learn when to clean your sex toys and how to clean them in the proper manner.

Why Is Cleaning Sex Toys Important?

Improper cleaning of your sex toys can lead to infections and other health issues. Dirty sex toys can transfer bacteria, dirt, & other germs into your body (and no one wants that). It's also important to consider how you're using your sex toys.

If you use your sex toys with other partners, then improper cleaning techniques could lead to parasites, viruses, and diseases. To protect yourself from STIs, STDs, and more, you need to clean your sex toys with great care. Even if you don't believe there's any concern for transmitting bacteria, viruses, or diseases, it's still beneficial to be safe than sorry.

How Often Should We Clean Sex Toys?

When do you need to clean your sex toys? Well, that depends on how often you use them. You should clean your sex toys before and after each use.

To some this might seem as though you are being overcautious…but that’s because you are! When it comes to your sexual health, you can never be too cautious. Cleaning your toys only takes a few minutes of your time, and is well worth the effort when it comes to the health of your intimate areas.

Even when you're only using the toys for solo play, you still need to clean them often to prevent bacteria from growing and spreading to your body.

Determining the Material

Before we get into how to properly clean your sex toys, we first need to dive into the different types of materials used on sex toys. You need to know what material the sex toy's made of before you develop a proper maintenance routine.

There are various sex toy materials used and all require a different cleaning method. We get it, this can seem overwhelming, but we are breaking it down & making it easy by focusing on two main types of materials.

There are porous and non-porous materials. The best type of material to use is non-porous, which won't absorb moisture or hold as much bacteria as porous materials – meaning majorly preventing that gross, bad-for-you stuff! Fear not, both can be easily kept clean, when you know how to do so the correct way.

Here are the details of common sex toy materials and how to keep them squeeky clean.


Some silicone can be porous while other types of silicone are non-porous. You'll need to review the sex toy's manufacturer to determine what type of silicone's used. Non-porous silicone can be cleaned using a damp washcloth with warm water and Cake’s Toy Cleaner, a foaming sex toy cleanser, or a mild soap.

Any removable parts should be washed and dried on their own. Silicone sex toys without batteries or electronic components can be cleaned in boiling water.

Glass and Metals

Glass and medical-grade metals are non-porous. Don’t worry these sex toys can be cleaned the same way you clean your silicone ones. Dip a washcloth into warm soapy water (use a Toy Cleaner or a mild soap).

Clean with the cloth while using caution, after all we don’t want any accidental drops that may break the toy. If the sex toy isn't motorized, you can place it in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes. Boiling it will disinfect the toy with ease.

Crystals and Stones

Crystal and stone sex toys are often porous. They could be sealed with a coating that prevents them from being porous, but you'll need to review the toy's specific product details for this information. You can also use the damp washcloth and mild soap method, but you definitely don't want to place these sex toys in boiling water.

Crystals and stones are delicate and can become damaged under high heat.

Plastic and Rubber

Plastic and rubber are two common materials found on sex toys. Most sex toys you find will be made of some type of rubber or plastic, both of which are porous.

Use warm water and Toy Cleaner or a mild soap to clean these sex toys, but don't hesitate to use a toothbrush to scrub these toys. A toothbrush will help get into the small pores in these materials and free dirt and bacteria from them. Before storing them, make sure to dry these toys out completely and keep the sex toy cleaning toothbrush faaaarrr away from your normal toothbrush (definitely don’t want any mix-ups there).

You may need to leave the toys out for several hours to air dry to be sure no moisture is left trapped inside the material.


You might not find a dildo made of leather, but you will find strap-on toys, harnesses, impact toys, and other wearable toys made of this material (BDSM anyone?). Although the look and feel of leather are luxurious, this is another porous material that should be cleaned with great care.

Take a washcloth dampened in warm soapy water and clean your leather toys with care. Take your time cleaning your leather toys and be sure to clean every inch, including the stitching.

Using a UV Light

There are some gadgets out there that make cleaning sex toys much easier. Although you want to clean your sex toys by hand as often as you can, these gadgets are a good investment. You can use these gadgets in between cleanings or every now and then when you want to sanitize them.

You can find multiple UV light sterilizers for sex toys, but they're just that: sterilizers. The UV lights won't clean your sex toys. They only help to sterilize them (& yes there is a big difference between the two).

For the best sex toy hygiene, clean your sex toys as instructed and occasionally (or as often as you'd like) sterilize them with a UV light. The UV light won't wash away body fluids, but it will kill bacteria.

Sharing Toys With Condoms

What's the fun in owning a few fabulous sex toys if you don't share them every now and then? Even those without a significant other can still enjoy sharing their sex toys with their sexual partners. The most important thing to remember is to do so in a safe manner. Each time you share a sex toy with someone, put a new condom on it. Then, when applying a lube, make sure the lube is condom-safe – Cake’s Toy Wonder has your back here!

Toy Wonder is lubricant specifically designed for sex toys & is compatible with condoms. Using condoms on your sex toys when sharing is ideal because it helps reduce bacteria, body fluids, and STIs/STDs.

However, the word "reduce" is the main idea here. Using condoms on your sex toys doesn't eliminate bacteria and everything else. It only reduces them, so you still need to clean these toys before and after each use.

Safely Storing Sex Toys

How you store your sex toys is just as important as how you clean them. If you don't store them properly, then you could expose them to new germs and bacteria even after cleaning them (and that’s a huge no no). You can purchase containers made specifically for storing your sex toys, but you can also use a storage container you may already own.

Here are a few examples of storage containers that'll work well for storing sex toys safely.

  • a glass container with a lid
  • a lint-free fabric bag
  • a makeup case

If you have a larger collection of sex toys, then you might need to think bigger. Afterall, you and your toys deserve it! You can use a shoe storage system that hangs over the back of a door, a toolbox, or safety lock box if you’re looking for extra security.

However, do keep in mind that some sex toys will need to be stored separately. Non silicone toys shouldn't touch each other while in storage as this can damage the toys. Keeping each toy in its own fabric bag when storing them together in a large box is ideal.

You should also remove batteries from inside toys when storing them for long periods of time since batteries can corrode and possibly ruin your toys. Any toys that are rechargeable should be charged every so often to keep them working in a proper manner. Keep a separate container with all your various batteries, so you are never without!

Lucky for you, Cake toys are water resistant, rechargeable and easy to store & clean. Making it fun & easy to get back into your next play session.

When You Know How to Clean Sex Toys, You Ensure Safe and Healthy Play

Using sex toys isn't all about pleasure (although that's a big part of it)! Bringing sex toys into your sex life spices things up in the bedroom for a single person and couples alike! When you follow proper sex toy hygiene practices and know how to clean sex toys, you can expect a sensational experience without any concerns.

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