You're Going To Want To Wash Your Vibrator With Soap And Water After Reading This

You're Going To Want To Wash Your Vibrator With Soap And Water After Reading This

When you’re reveling in post-climax bliss, how you’re going to clean the sex toy that just sent you over the edge is probably the last thing on your mind. But it’s actually a biggie.

“Cleaning your sex toys helps to prevent infections, as bacteria can linger if they aren’t washed regularly,” says Alexandra Fine, CEO and cofounder of Dame Products.

To ward off these infections, you should wash your sex toys regularly—as in every time you use them.

“When buying a toy, find out what it’s made of, since its material and the presence of a motor will determine how it’s washed,” says cleaning expert Jolie Kerr, author of My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag…and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha. “Usually, this info will be on the packaging, but if it’s not, ask a sales associate or do a product search online,” says Kerr.

These are the terms you’ll want to keep an eye out for:

  • Porous vs. non-porous materials. “Avoid porous toys, which can gather bacteria inside the toy even after cleaning. This includes materials such as TPE or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Non-porous toys, on the other hand, are safer and include materials such as medical-grade silicone, glass, medical-grade stainless steel, and Pyrex,” says Fine.
  • Look for ‘medical grade’ materials. “Just because something is ‘body safe’ doesn’t mean that it is medical grade, nor does ‘FDA approved,’” says Fine. Believe it or not, in some cases, a sex toy will be FDA-approved as food. What you want to see is the term “medical grade.” “It’s is the highest quality and safest,” says Fine.

Once you know what material your sex toy is made of, follow these guidelines. If your sex toy is made from…

  • Silicone, glass, stainless steel, or wood—and it’s motorized: Use mild antibacterial soap you’d use on your body and a damp cloth to wipe the toy clean.
  • Silicone, Pyrex, stainless steel, or stone—and it’s not motorized: For a deeper clean, place it in boiling water for eight to 10 minutes, or run it through the dishwasher without soap (seriously, the hot steam will help sterilize it, says Kerr).
  • Cyberskin: Use a little bit of soap and warm water to clean it. Too much sudsing can damage the sensitive material.
  • Hard plastic, elastomer, thermoplastic elastomer (TPR), or jelly rubber: These porous materials can still contain bacteria after washing with soap and water. So, use a condom if you’re going to share with a partner, advises Kerr (more on that below).

Protection applies to sex toys, too.

One way to decrease that risk of an infection is to actually use a condom with your sex toy. “Using a condom can help decrease the risk of transmitting bacteria, especially when sharing toys between partners. You’ll just want to make sure you use a condom-safe lube—” a.k.a. one that’s water-based, says Fine.

Keeping them clean is all about storage.

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Once your toy is squeaky clean, Kerr says to dry it off completely with a clean towel and store it in a case or silk bag to protect it from other bacteria-laden items.

If you didn’t keep the box, case, or bag your toy came in, there are plenty of options you can shop for online. Just make sure it’s something sealable, whether with a zipper, velcro, or a top. Something washable is an even better find to really keep the germs away.

Once it’s closed in its case, store your toy wherever you choose—some popular spots include the nightstand, a bathroom cabinet, or underwear drawer. Just be sure to keep your vibrator away from areas that may have oils, powders, and perfumes around, Holly Richmond, PhD, a somatic psychologist and certified sex therapist previously told Women’s Health.

This way, your vibrator won’t pick up any irritants that can end up in your body, damage your device, or both.

You could also buy packaged sex toy cleaners.

“There are toy cleaners out there if you want to do the clean-up job from the comfort of your bed,” says Fine. You’ll want to focus on water-based cleaners. (Oil-based and silicone-based cleaners are no-nos since they’re known to break down silicone, so steer clear of those to keep your fave intact.) Ahead, a few picks to add to your cart:

  • ToyLife Foaming Toy Cleaner

AmazonFoaming Toy CleanerToyLifeamazon.com$10.00$8.00 (20% off)SHOP NOW

This hypoallergenic foam has an average rating of 4.5-stars on Amazon. It’s paraben-free, sulfate-free, and alcohol-free. To clean, pump out desired foam and rub it into your toy, letting it sit for 10 seconds. Rinse it under water, and dry.

“Great product. Feels clean and rinses off completely. I purchased this product because all the ingredients received excellent reviews for safety and efficacy,” one reviewer who gave it 5-stars wrote.

FYI, this is not a fragrance-free product, so be wary if you have sensitive skin.

    • LELO Toy Cleaner

    LELOToy Cleaning SprayLelolelo.com$9.90SHOP NOW

    Spray this alcohol- and paraben-free cleanser all over your go-to toys. Wait five seconds for all its fast-acting ingredients to activate before rinsing it under warm water and patting it dry with a lint-free towel.

    • Anjou Toy Cleaner

    AmazonFoam Toy CleanerAnjouamazon.com$7.99SHOP NOW

    This water-based antibacterial foam is fragrance-free, and also free of glycerin, triclosan, alcohol, and parabens—perfect for sensitive skin.

    “I really like how this is a foam—you know that you’ve applied cleaner to all surfaces of your toy, and it’s also easy to tell that it’s been rinsed thoroughly. It doesn’t have an obnoxious smell, and gets my silicone toys squeaky clean. I have sensitive skin—this doesn’t burn. I’ll buy this again,” one Amazon reviewer wrote.

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