How to Care & Clean Your Sex Toys
GoodVibes.com > How To Articles > Sex Toy Materials & Cleaning
There are so many different materials that are being used in today’s toys that it can be hard to keep track of which ones are which. Fortunately, all of our products can be cleaned with nothing more than soap and hot water. You can use any kind of soap, although liquid dishwashing soap is a popular choice. Wash your toy for 15 seconds and then rinse it off. Let it totally air dry before putting it away since any moisture remaining on the surface can attract mold and mildew.
Almost all of our products can be covered with a condom in order to make sure that the surface is clean. The Premium Condom is a popular choice because of their low cost and although many people find that the latex is too thick for sex, possibly reducing sensation, your toy doesn’t care.
If more than one person is using a toy, be sure to clean it in between or change the condom. And if your toy vibrates and isn’t waterproof, be careful to avoid getting water inside the casing. We carry a large selection of waterproof toys.
A note about antibacterial soap -- the antibacterial ingredient (usually triclosan or, less commonly, triclocarbon) needs to be left on a surface for about two minutes in order to do the job. If you use antibacterial soap, be sure to let it sit before rinsing it away, or you might as well use any non-antibacterial soap instead, such as our Renew Toy Cleanser. And be extra-careful to rinse it off thoroughly before using the toy again.
While all of our toys can be washed this way, there are some differences among them. With a little know-how, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your toys. Some toys are non-porous, which makes them easier to keep clean. Porous toys should be covered with a condom if they’re used by more than one person, for anal play, or by women sensitive to yeast infections.
Silicone and IntraMed
Silicone and IntraMed are great materials for sex toys. They’re non-porous and easy to clean. In addition to soap and water, you can disinfect them in boiling water for 5 minutes, or in the top rack of your dishwasher.
Some of these toys have vibrators in them. If you can take the vibe out, you can boil the silicone, but don’t boil your toy if the vibe can’t come out, and don't put the toy in the dishwasher if the vibe can't come out. Even if the toy is waterproof, the vibrator isn’t heat-proof.
Silicone has been such a popular material that some manufacturers have started producing silicone blends, some of which are as little as 10% silicone. While this makes their products more durable, they’re not as easy to clean as 100% silicone since they’re somewhat porous. If you’re not sure, check out our website for the material listing on the product page.
Elastomer ranges in how porous it is, so we recommend covering it with a condom. Silicone/elastomer blends (called SEB or SEBS) are porous and should be kept covered.
Soft Plastic & Jelly Rubber
These toys are quite porous. You may even be able to see small bubbles in the surface, which can trap dirt and bacteria. We strongly recommend covering these products with a condom, even if you’re the only person using it, since you can’t get them 100% clean. However, they’re generally inexpensive, which makes them a great way to try a size or two out.
Plastic toys often have labels such as TPR, ABE or TPE. However, the care and cleaning is the same for all of them.
Softskin, also known as Cyberskin, is a very porous material, so cover it with a condom. After you wash it, it will feel somewhat sticky when it dries. You can store it in a plastic bag to keep it clean, but make sure it’s totally dry before you do. You can also dust it with cornstarch, although you’ll want to wash it off before using it. Don’t use talc for this purpose; cornstarch is safer.
Rigid Materials (Glass, Metal, Ceramic, Wood, Hard Plastic)
These materials are very easy to clean since they’re non-porous and can be washed in soap and water.
Our wood toys are sealed just like wooden bowls and cutting boards, so you can drop them in the sink and wash with a soft sponge.
Glass toys are either borosilicate glass, like glass bakeware, or sodalime glass, like windows and jars. In either case, you can simply wash with soap and water.
Borosilicate glass can be put in boiling water. Glass toys are very durable and resist breakage. However, if your toy is dropped on a hard surface, it can develop small cracks that could lead to breakage due to pressure or changes in temperature. We recommend discontinuing use if your glass toy drops or hits a hard surface.
Leather products are difficult, if not impossible, to get 100% clean. Leather is porous and the stitching will limit how clean you can get it. Use a damp cloth and a leather cleaner such as saddle soap to wipe the leather off and pat dry immediately. Lay it flat instead of hanging it to dry since wet leather can stretch. Conditioning your leather will help, too.
If you’re planning on using a harness with more than one person, you may want to take a look at our machine-washable nylon harnesses.
Nylon is a great material for harnesses and bondage gear. While they don’t have the same feel as leather, they’re much easier to clean. Just put them in a lingerie bag to keep them from getting tangled in the machine and don’t put them in the dryer -- they can melt!
Products designed specifically as toy cleaners are a great way to take care of your toys without using anti-bacterial soaps. These cleaners are gentle, rinse away easily, and can often be wiped off with a towel if you don't have water handy. They make it really easy to be sure that your toys are ready to go!
A note about antibacterial soap -- the antibacterial ingredient (usually triclosan or, less commonly, triclocarbon) needs to be left on a surface for about two minutes in order to do the job. If you use antibacterial soap, be sure to let it sit before rinsing it away, or you might as well use any non-antibacterial soap instead. And be extra-careful to rinse it off thoroughly before using the toy again.