Intimate Toy Care, Maintenance, and Hygiene

Purple sex toys. Sex shop assortment. Seven vibrators on yellow background

Key Points

  • Maintaining the cleanliness and proper storage of your toys is essential to their longevity and your safety.

  • After every use, thoroughly clean your toys with mild soap and warm water, dry them completely, and safely store them.

  • Ensure the lubricants you use are compatible with your toys — water-based lubes are the safest option.

  • Regularly inspect your toys for signs of wear and tear that require replacement or repair.

Sex toys bring pleasure, connection, self-exploration, and sexual wellness. However, a poorly kept toy brings infections and danger. Don't damage your toys or treat them poorly. All they ever want is to make you happy, so take care of them in return!

According to doctor of human sexuality and sex coach Dr. Emily Morse, "Finally, the age old question: should you clean your sex toys? (Yes!). Without proper cleaning, sex toys can become a breeding ground for bacteria you definitely do not want in your body. Easy solution: cleaner is a simple spritz-and-dry formula made with organic ingredients, and toy-cleaning wipes are safe and gentle enough to use on your body, too."

Caring for your sex toys is simple and intuitive once you understand what they need. Use this complete guide and read your toy's manual to know how to properly care for these amazing gadgets.

The Importance of Intimate Toy Hygiene

Everyone who owns a sex toy needs to know how to properly take care of them. Whether you're a seasoned enthusiast or just dipping your toes into the enticing realm of sex toys, taking good care of your intimate companions is a must. These delightful devices bring you pleasure and satisfaction, but they also demand a little TLC in return.

Health and Hygiene

First and foremost, caring for your sex toys is important to your health. Neglecting your sex toys leads to an array of uninvited guests — bacteria, yeast, and other nasties that you definitely don't want in your intimate areas. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to keep your toys safe and hygienic for your body. Remember, what goes into your body should always be clean.


Think of your sex toys as investments in your happiness. Just like a well-maintained car runs smoothly for years, taking care of your toys ensures they'll be there for you time and time again. Proper maintenance extends their lifespan, saving you money in the long run. Plus, who wants to part with a favorite toy prematurely?

Quality sex toys are an investment, so take care of them as such. Taking care of your toys preserves their value and ensures they perform at their peak. You wouldn't buy a sports car and never change the oil, right? Same principle.

Sex toys come in an array of beautiful shapes, sizes, and colors, making them as visually appealing as they are functional. Regular care keeps your toys looking their best, ensuring they remain as alluring as the day you first laid eyes on them. After all, aesthetics are part of the excitement.

Being environmentally conscious is crucial. Disposing of sex toys prematurely due to neglect or damage contributes to waste. By taking good care of your toys, you reduce the need for replacements, which means less waste in landfills.

Consistent Pleasure

Imagine this scenario: You're in the heat of the moment, and your trusty vibrator suddenly sputters and dies. What a mood killer! Regular maintenance ensures that your toys are ready whenever you are, delivering consistent pleasure without any unexpected interruptions. Maintaining clean toys and charged batteries also ensures your toys are ready when you want to play.

Cleaning Intimate Toys: Best Practices and Methods

Now that you're convinced that proper care is essential, it's time to roll up your sleeves and learn how to maintain impeccable cleanliness. A well-preserved toy is a happy toy. Maintaining proper hygiene for your sex toys isn't just a matter of convenience; it's a commitment to your health, satisfaction, and the longevity of your cherished companions.

Don't forget to inspect your toys regularly for any signs of wear, tears, or damage. If you notice any issues, it's better to retire the toy or replace it rather than risk injury or infection.

Wash Before and After Use

Before the fun begins, and promptly after it ends, it's crucial to clean your toys. Use warm water and mild, unscented soap to wash away any bodily fluids, lubricants, or residue. Pay special attention to any textured areas, crevices, or seams where bacteria hide.

Most modern-day toys are completely waterproof, even for submersion. This makes it easy to thoroughly clean them. Bring them in the shower with you for a post-session clean up (or encore) or wash them in the sink. It's quick, easy, and super important — so there are no excuses!

You must wash your toy when switching between holes or between partners. Never insert a toy into your vagina after it's been in your anus. Never insert a toy into yourself after it's been in someone else (with few exceptions for monogamous women). Anal bacteria are dangerous for your vagina and easily cause infections. Switching toys between partners has the potential to transmit STIs.

Using condoms on your toys adds an extra layer of protection, especially when sharing toys with partners. Just make sure to change the condom between users and use a new one for each session.

Choose the Right Products

Not all cleaning products are equal; some are harsh on your toys, causing damage or irritation. Opt for a sex toy cleaner specifically designed for the job or a gentle, fragrance-free antibacterial soap. Avoid harsh chemicals, alcohol, or bleach.

The right lube is important, too, as some chemicals in lube, such as silicone, degrade your toys over time. Take good care of them and keep them in their best shape by using appropriate lubricants. (You'll find recommendations for cleansers and lubes later in the article.)

Material Matters

Different materials require different care. Here's a quick breakdown:

  • Silicone: Silicone toys are non-porous and easy to clean — simply wash with soap and water. You can also boil or use a dishwasher (top rack) for a thorough cleanse, depending on the mechanics of your toy.

  • Glass: Glass toys are non-porous and easily cleaned with soap and water. Make sure to inspect them for any cracks or chips before use.

  • Plastic: Plastic toys are non-porous, but they may scratch, so hand-wash with gentle soap and water.

Follow manufacturer advice on how to clean your specific product.

Storage Solutions for Intimate Toys

Properly storing your sex toys is essential to ensure their longevity, hygiene, and discreteness. Follow this basic information on storing your toys, and keep them close to your bed for easy access:

  • Clean before storage: Always clean your sex toys thoroughly before storing them, and ensure they're completely dry before tucking them away. Use warm water and mild, unscented soap to remove any bodily fluids, lubricants, or residue.

  • Separate storage: Store each sex toy in a separate cloth bag or container, especially if they contain different materials. Some materials react with each other and potentially degrade over time when in contact.

  • Use a clean storage container: Consider using a dedicated storage container for your sex toys. Try a clean, dry, and discreet box, pouch, or bag.

  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Keep your sex toys in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Extreme temperatures damage the materials, and sunlight causes fading and discoloration.

  • Silicone toys: Store silicone toys in a dedicated container or a cloth pouch. Avoid direct contact between your silicone toys to prevent potential material reactions or degradation.

  • Glass toys: Store glass toys in a soft, padded pouch or a padded box to prevent chipping or breakage.

  • Plastic toys: Store plastic toys in a similar manner to silicone toys, using a dedicated pouch or container.

  • Keep them discreet: If privacy is a concern, consider using lockable storage containers or bags specifically for sex toys. These often come with a discreet design, ensuring your toys remain private.

  • Inspect regularly: Periodically inspect your stored toys for any signs of wear, damage, or degradation. If you notice any issues, replace the toy or seek repairs if possible.

  • Keep away from children and pets: Ensure that your sex toys are in a location inaccessible to children and pets. Many toys come with small parts that are choking hazards.

  • Replace batteries: If your sex toys are battery-operated, remove the batteries before storage to prevent corrosion and damage. Store the batteries separately, ideally in their original packaging.

By following these storage guidelines, you'll keep your sex toys in optimal condition, ensuring they remain safe, clean, and ready for your intimate adventures whenever you desire.

Toy-Safe Cleaning Products

Selecting the right cleansers and lubricants for your sex toys is crucial to ensure their longevity and your safety and comfort during use.

To select a cleanser, check the material of your sex toy. The cleanser must be compatible with your toy to prevent damage. Most sex toys, including those made of silicone, glass, and plastic, are compatible with mild, unscented, antibacterial soaps. Use this soap and warm water to clean your toys. Always rinse thoroughly to remove all the soap. Avoid any cleansers with alcohol or silicone as they degrade some toys. Be cautious with plastic toys, toys with crevices, and toys that have a surface texture, as debris gets trapped.

Some cleansers are pH-balanced to match the natural pH of intimate areas. This helps prevent irritation and maintain a healthy balance. Look for cleansers labeled as "pH-balanced" or "intimate" if you're sensitive to soaps. Thorough rinsing after washing ensures it doesn't irritate your body.

Many manufacturers offer special sex toy cleansers that are safe and effective. These are a convenient choice if you want to be sure your cleanser is compatible with your toys. If you have a good collection of toys, it's definitely worth the small purchase of a proper cleanser.

If you're unsure about a cleanser's compatibility with a toy, do a spot test on a less visible area before applying it to the entire surface.

Best Toy Cleansers

Clean toys are happy toys. Keep your toys fresh after every use with these reliable and convenient cleansers.

Complete Clean + Gentle Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash
$23.54 ($0.39 / Fl Oz)

by Dial

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12/01/2023 11:11 am GMT

Dial Complete Clean + Gentle Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash

Head to your local drug store and pick up Dial Complete Clean + Gentle Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash. Dial has a whole line of antibacterial soaps perfect for all of your antibacterial needs: cleaning new tattoos, sanitizing cuts, and cleansing your sex toys. Make sure you pick one that's fragrance-free and preferably dye-free, and you're good to go! Dial is affordable, easy to find, and highly effective — you can't go wrong.

Lovehoney Fresh Biodegradable Sex Toy Wipes

Clean your favorite toys on the go or quickly after a session with Lovehoney Fresh Biodegradable Sex Toy Wipes. These wipes are compatible with all sex toys, so you don't need to think twice before wiping down your prized possessions. The package is resealable so your wipes don't dry out. They also have aloe extract for a soothing feeling on your skin!

Lovehoney Fresh Toy Cleaner

Never forget to clean your toys again with the convenient Lovehoney Fresh Toy Cleaner. This spray is water-based for compatibility with all toys and vegan for environmental consciousness. Keep it with your toys to easily spray before and after use. The convenience of a spray makes it easy to clean mid-action if you're switching orifices.

Photo Source: Lovehoney

Selecting Lubricants for Toy Play

Lubricants seriously enhance pleasure and are often necessary for toy play, but be mindful of what type you're using. Most damage from lube happens over time, so it's difficult to tell what's happening until it's too late.

Feel free to use a generous amount of lube when you're playing to reduce friction and increase pleasure. Always clean off excess lube after use and thoroughly clean your toys before storing! Here's the basics on how sex toys like different lubes:

  • Water-based lubricants are generally safe for all toys, including silicone, rubber, and plastic. They're easy to clean, won't damage toys, and are suitable for use with condoms.

  • Avoid silicone-based lubricants with silicone toys, as they can degrade the material over time. Silicone-based lubes are okay with some toys if you prefer these lubes, but it's best to check with your toy's manual first.

  • While oil-based lubes are long-lasting and safe with some toys, they're not recommended for use with latex condoms, as they weaken latex. Check your toy's compatibility before using oil-based lubes.

  • Hybrid lubricants combine water-based and silicone-based lubes to offer a balance between longevity and compatibility. They're a good choice for some toys, but, like silicone-based lubes, it's best to spot-test them first and read the warnings on the package.

  • If you enjoy flavored or scented lubes, make sure they're body-safe and toy-compatible. Some additives may not be suitable for use with certain toys.

  • Keep in mind that water-based lubes may require more frequent reapplication compared to silicone-based options. Have extra lube on hand for longer sessions.

Everyone's preferences and sensitivities are unique, so start with a small amount of any new product and pay attention to how your body reacts. If you experience discomfort, irritation, or any damage to your sex toys, discontinue use and seek alternatives that work better for you.

Best Lubricants for Toy Play

The only tool more important for pleasure in the bedroom besides sex toys is lubricant. Lubricant keeps things moving smoothly, reduces friction, and even increases pleasure. Make sure your lube is compatible with your toys before indulging!

Jelly Personal Lubricant
$5.44 ($1.36 / Ounce)

by K-Y 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/01/2023 11:21 am GMT

K-Y Jelly Personal Lubricant

Feel clean and lubricated during your sessions with K-Y Jelly Personal Lubricant. This water-based lubricant is safe for all bedroom activities with condoms, toys, anal, and whatever other freaky things you do. It's extra thick for an impressive glide without leaving you greasy after. It compliments your natural lubrication for the smoothest, cleanest feeling.

Sliquid Silk Hybrid Lubricant

Enjoy the long-lasting pleasure of silicone lubricants in a body-safe, sex toy-compatible, hybrid lubricant. Sliquid Silk Hybrid Lubricant is water-based with only 12 percent silicone to boost its longevity without damaging your sex toys. It's body-safe and even compatible with sensitive skin. Stock up for all of your solo or partner adventures!

Lovehoney Enjoy Water-Based Lubricant

Use a classic, clean, and reliable water-based lube for all your sexual ventures. Lovehoney Enjoy Water-Based Lubricant feels natural and clean. It's compatible with condoms and all sex toys for your peace of mind. It has a convenient pump for easy application in the heat of the moment. To take good care of your sex toys, invest in Lovehoney's Sex Toy Care Kit equipped with a toy-safe cleanser and lube!

Stay Clean

Properly caring for your toys is easy with the right instructions and products. If you're questioning your toy practices, don't worry — you didn't know, and it's not too late to change! Order some toy-safe lube and cleanser, or head to your local drugstore to stock up. Your body and your toys will thank you.

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