Recently purchased a silicone sex toy? Great choice. Silicone is one of our favorite sex toy materials for its smooth, realistic feel and easy-to-clean surface.
To keep your silicone toys in their best shape, it’s essential that you clean them before and after you use them. No matter whether you’re using your toys solo or sharing them with a partner, cleaning your toys helps prevent less-than-sexy yeast infections, UTIs and even STI transmission.
Minimize cleanup beforehand: Wash your sex toys before using them to wipe away any dust or lint. You don’t need to wash them rigorously pre-play, assuming you washed them the last time they were used — a sex toy leaner or wipe will do.
To minimize the need for post-play cleanup, you can put a condom on your penetrative toys. However, most condoms are lubricated and will leave a residue that you’ll have to wash anyway. Also, some sex toys shapes, like butt plugs, don’t lend themselves well to condom use.
Know your risks: Silicone is a hard, nonporous surface, meaning that thankfully, it’s not a friendly surface for most bacteria. Typically, most bacteria that cause STIs won’t survive more than a day on a dry, hard surface. However, gastrointestinal bacteria and the fungi that cause yeast infections can hang around for much longer.
At any rate, if you don’t clean your sex toys, it’s theoretically possible you could transfer bacteria to your partner or yourself. Thorough cleaning of your silicone sex toy after every use helps keep you and your partners safe.
How to clean your silicone sex toys: Wash and dry your silicone toys immediately after each and every use. Clean your toy using a mild, fragrance-free soap and warm water. You can clean the toy with your hands (after washing them), or use a damp, soapy washcloth. Rinse the toy thoroughly of any soap. Then, use a clean towel or washcloth to thoroughly dry it off.
If your silicone toy is non-motorized (i.e. doesn’t vibrate), you can also boil it for a few minutes to disinfect it.
How not to clean your silicone sex toys: Silicone toys may be easy to clean, but there are a few methods you shouldn’t use on them.
Don’t bleach your toys, because the material can’t withstand such a harsh chemical. Don’t put them in the dishwasher, either, since the soap might leave a residue, and the extended exposure to heat might damage the silicone.
Finally, never submerge vibrating toys in water (however, some are shower-safe; the packaging will tell you).
How to properly store your silicone sex toys: Store your sex toys properly: Don’t just toss them in a drawer where they can gather lint. Store them in a bag or box where your sex toys will stay dry. It’s important that you store them in a dry environment so that no mold or mildew grows. You don’t have to purchase anything elaborate: A small hard plastic container or silk/satin bag will do.
Remember this: Keep being good to your sex toys, and they’ll be good to you. Cleaning your toys isn’t just a chore — it’s just one more way to keep your toy collection safe, sexy and long-lasting.