Sex toys are an ah-mazing addition to anyone’s life. They can add fun and pleasure to solo time or sex with a partner. Additionally, there are countless sex toys to choose from. Butt plugs, prostate massagers, cock rings…the list goes on and on.
Once you start using your toys regularly, whether one toy or one hundred, you need to take good care of them. The better you care for them, the longer they last — and the safer they are to use.
Although you might think if you’re the only one using your toys, there’s no need to clean them regularly, that’s not the case. All your toys need regular cleaning to help avoid bacterial buildup and reduce the risk of infection.
Additionally, if you are using a toy on more than one person, you must be especially careful to wash the toys thoroughly to avoid the risk of STIs.
We are here to give you all the details on sex toy cleaning.
What Are Anal Toys?
If you have never used an anal toy, they likely aren’t much different from what you imagine. Anal toys are designed to stimulate the inside or outside of your anus.
Most anal toys are designed to stimulate the prostate, a small organ that exists in people assigned male at birth. It sits right by the bladder, inside the rectum, and is loaded with nerve endings. Because of its sensitivity, many people find that stimulating the prostate can lead to mind-blowing orgasms.
Additionally, the prostate can be stimulated internally by penetrating the anus or externally by applying pressure to the perineum.
There are many different types of anal toys, each of a different shape and size, so picking the right toy is a matter of preference.
Different Kinds of Anal Toys
First, it’s essential to understand what is classified as an anal toy. Here, we have listed some of the most common options.
Anal plugs are an exciting anal toy because they are super versatile. They are designed to fit snugly inside your anus while stimulating your prostate. Some anal plugs even vibrate, so your prostate will get extra stimulation without you having to move a finger.
Anal plugs are made to curve how you do so that you can wear this toy for an extended time. Some people enjoy wearing this toy while masturbating or having sex or using it as a kinky way to spice up their daily life.
Paying attention to the shape of an anal plug is essential because if it is too small or doesn’t have the proper base, it could get sucked into your anus and stuck in your colon.
If you are hunting for a safe and pleasurable anal plug (and who isn’t?), check out our Vulcan Vibrating Prostate Plug.
Anal beads are anal toys that look like a string of beads, all connected by a middle string, typically varying in size. The beads are smaller at the tip and larger at the base for easier insertion.
People find anal beads most stimulating when they are removed or moved manually. In fact, some people have found that removing the anal beads during climax makes an orgasm even better. Similarly, some people move the anal beads in and out to stimulate the prostate.
Prostate massagers are the ultimate anal toy for pleasure and convenience. They are designed to be inserted inside the anus and stimulate the prostate with vibrating patterns. They can be used solo or with a partner and come in many different shapes, styles, and sizes.
Many prostate massagers are designed to replicate the feeling of real-life prostate massages with circling, pressing, or “come hither” motions.
What Should Your Toys Be Made of?
It’s important to know what your adult toys are made of to know what type of lube to use with them, how safe they are, and their recommended clean-up.
Essential Qualities To Look Out For
Some sex toys with chemical makeup can be dangerous for your body and cause rashes, itches, or burning in the area you use them. A typical chemical that is used in sex toys is called phthalates.
Phthalates are usually found in cheaply made sex toys or rubber sex toys. Be sure to look over your vibrators and other toys to ensure they are phthalate-free.
It’s also essential to ensure your sex toys are made of nonporous materials. Porous sex toys, made of hard plastic or jelly rubber, like Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), allow for a greater chance of bacteria buildup that can lead to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.
If you are looking for non-porous toys, they will feel smoother, have a water-resistant surface, and are easy to wipe down.
Materials To Look For in Sex Toys
Stainless Steel: Stainless steel sex toys are heavier than other sex toys, so they can easily provide consistent pressure to whatever spot on your body you are pleasuring. Additionally, stainless steel toys heat and cool easily, making sensation play easier. Lastly, they are compatible with every type of lube.
Silicone: Silicone is one of the most common materials used to make sex toys because they help make them bendy and realistic. Silicone is extremely durable and typically safe for any part of your body. Silicone toys are smooth to the touch and hygienic to use. The only factor to remember is that silicone lube is non-compatible with silicone toys- it will wear away the surface.
Glass: If your sex toy is made of glass, it’s most likely made of borosilicate glass. Glass toys have similar benefits as stainless steel toys: they are heavy and can be heated up or cooled down. Also, glass toys are the smoothest and offer a potentially frictionless experience.
Materials To Avoid in Sex Toys
Rubber: Rubber is commonly found in the makeup of dildos, but it can be highly irritating to your body. They are usually recognizable by their strong smell. If a rubber toy is your only option, use your vibe with a condom.
Vinyl: Vinyl is used as a cheap way to make toys soft and bendable but at a meager price. However, toys made of vinyl contain phthalates, which can make them potentially harmful.
Which Sex Toys Should Be Cleaned?
Short answer: no matter what kind of toy you have, they should be cleaned with a disinfectant. Even the most non-porous toys are susceptible to bacteria buildup.
Just think about it: there are going to be times when you want to use a sex toy, and your hands aren’t clean, or you haven’t showered that day.
Bacteria, dirt, or sperm can get on your toy, which can be dangerous since sex toys come into contact with the most sensitive areas of your body. Cleaning your sex toys is crucial for hygiene. Just skip the harsh cleaners (like dish soap, rubbing alcohol, and bleach).
Additionally, anal sex toys should always be used with lube, so wash the excess off before you store them away. Getting in the habit of washing your toys before and after any sexual activity is the best way to stay safe.
How To Clean Your Sex Toys
Anal toys are safe to use if you know how to clean them. There are many different ways to clean your sex toys, and each method will depend on your preferences and what your sex toy is made up of.
Toys that are 100% silicone, stainless steel, or borosilicate glass can be put in boiling water to be sanitized and deep cleaned. You will need to ensure the toy is heat resistant and waterproof before even considering boiling it.
Silicone toys are durable enough to be boiled for a deep clean, but only if it’s not motorized. Similarly, glass and stainless steel toys are also durable, so they can be boiled if they are non-motorized.
Soap and Water
A soapy washcloth is a reliable way to clean your toys without worrying about damaging them. However, some motorized toys are not waterproof, so be sure to check the packaging of your toy for cleaning instructions.
Additionally, if your toy is porous, using soap and water might increase your risk of bacteria growth rather than stop it.
However, if you have a non-porous silicone, stainless steel, or glass toy, they can all be washed gently with antibacterial soap, water, and a clean towel.
If you are on the hunt for a mild soap that is safe for your body and safe for your toys, try our Wicked Foam Toy Cleaner. This sex toy cleaner is triclosan and alcohol-free, and infused with olive leaf, thyme, and lavender extracts.
To clean your toys, apply the foam directly onto them, and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 seconds. Afterward, rinse the foam with warm water and pat it dry with a clean, lint-free cloth.
The dishwasher has become one of the most commonly known ways to clean a sex toy. However, this hot water method should only be used with a few sex toys, so be sure to pay attention to what your toy is made of.
Glass and stainless steel toys are incredibly resistant to heat and water, so the dishwasher can work in a pinch if you have a glass or stainless steel tool.
However, we do not recommend relying on the dishwasher for routine use. If your dishwasher has a sanitizing setting, the extended hot-water rinse can only kill bacteria — it will not kill viruses or fungi.
Another essential thing to mention is to take everything else out of the dishwasher before using it and warn your housemates.
If you want the quickest and most reliable ways to clean your toys, you should use a UV sterilizer bag. This cleaning kit looks like a discrete, small, zippered bag that will hold one to two toys. While your toys are inside the bag, a UV light will destroy all the bacteria that are on your toys.
UV lights have countless benefits, including their ability to clean every centimeter of your toys. No nook or cranny will go uncleaned when the UV light does the job. Additionally, the carrying case is a discrete way to store your toys to ensure they are not getting dirty in between uses.
Lastly, a UV sterilization light is compatible with every sex toy, meaning you don’t need to worry about figuring out the material used to make your toy or if it’s porous or non-porous.
Once you have properly cleaned your toys, throwing them on your nightstand alongside your midnight snacks and electronics might be tempting. However, bacteria can quickly build up on your toys even when you are not using them, ruining all your hard work cleaning them. There are a few easy ways to store your toys to keep them safe and sanitary.
Buying a new, clean fabric bag is an easy investment. You should put this bag on your bedside table or wherever you want your toys to be accessible and use this bag solely as storage for your sex toys.
As soon as you put something else in the bag alongside your toys, you run the risk of germs traveling from one surface to another. If you don’t have a UV sterilizer bag on hand and are in need of immediate storage, use a clean sock — this is a great way to give your toys a sanitary landing space.
If you have battery-operated toys, storing your batteries outside of the toys will make them last longer before the batteries need to be replaced. If the toys are rechargeable, store them separately from the chargers, but be sure to recharge frequently, so you don’t risk them conking out while you are using them.
Once you use an anal toy, you might wonder how you ever lived without it. Although your toy might be able to be popped in boiling water or a dishwasher, the most reliable ways to clean your toys are with a gentle cleanser or with a UV sterilization bag. This will ensure that your toys are being cleaned safely and that every part of the toy is sanitized.
Anal toys are going into sensitive areas, and you don’t want to run the risk of infection. The cleaning process is quick and easy and does a lot of good for your body. Be kind to your behind!
What Is Prostate Cancer? | CDC
Phthalates Factsheet | National Biomonitoring Program | CDC