How to Clean Sex Toys

Sex toys such as vibrators, dildos and anal toys come into direct contact with bodily fluids, so it’s important to know how to clean them properly. Cleaning your sex toys doesn’t have to be complicated, but the consequences of neglecting to do so can be.
“Using unclean sex toys has the potential to introduce unwanted bacteria or other pathogens – such as fungi – into the vulva-vaginal environment, leading to an overgrowth of bacteria known as bacterial vaginosis or causing urinary tract infections,” says Amanda Morgan, associate professor in residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.” It is especially important to thoroughly clean toys that are used by multiple partners.”
Almost every type of sex toy can be surface cleaned with liquid soap and water and then air dried. However, we also identify situations where more thorough disinfection of toys would be better.
A roll of paper towels, a bottle of pump soap and a stack of red hand towels are displayed next to the bathroom sink.
For surface cleaning
Soap: Hand soap or castile soap is best. Antibacterial soap is fine, but not necessary.
Avoid harsh soaps, such as dish soap.
Paper towels or clean towels. Use these to air dry the toy after cleaning.
For deep cleaning
Boil a pot of water: You can disinfect various toys by first surface cleaning them and then immersing them in boiling water for a few minutes.
Bleach and spray bottles (or other containers that hold bleach solutions): Boiling and bleaching will kill most – but not all – pathogens on toys.
Dishwasher: Make sure your dishwasher has the proper settings to sanitize. Otherwise, you’re better off boiling or bleaching your sex toys.
Paper towels or clean towels: Use these to dry toys after washing.
Sex toy wipes or cleaning sprays: In most cases, you’ll be fine with regular soap and water.
How long will this take to clean?
Cleaning times will vary, depending on the method you use. When you surface clean toys, expect each toy to take one to three minutes—not including air-drying time. If you plan to boil a toy, expect to spend another three minutes fully sanitizing it. Bleaching a toy to sanitize it will take about 10 minutes. If you choose to use a dishwasher (and yes, in some cases you can), plan a full cleaning cycle (timing may vary).

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