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Advice On How To Best Clean Your Sex Toys

Advice On How To Best Clean Your Sex Toys

Here is our advice on how to best clean your sex toys.

You might like sex to be as 'dirty' as possible, but keeping your sex toys clean and hygienic is as important as taking care of yourself in terms of safer sex. This article is all about how to clean and care for all the different kinds of sex toys available.

But first, a few words to ensure you're taking care of yourself too!

  • Using Vaseline, baby oil, or anything that lives in your kitchen cupboard can result in nasty infections down below. Always use lubricants that are specially made for sex. Check the dates of lubes and enhancing gels. If it smells dubious, throw it away and invest in a fresh bottle.
  • Massage oils are erotic to use, but they can wreak havoc with the delicate PH balance of your vagina, and while it may seem like a faff to keep it away from genitals, your juicy bits will thank you for the extra effort.
  • Using latex gloves (or non-latex¬†if you or your play partner have an allergy) is a quick way to ensure no unnecessary bacteria enters the vagina. Gloves also take care of sharp or bitten nails, which can otherwise cause little ouchies on delicate membranes.
  • Don't be dipping back and forth into orifices without washing hands, or changing gloves or condoms¬†in between dips. The rectum is full of germs you don't want in the vagina. This also goes for sharing toys - make sure to clean toys in between if you are passing them back and forth between you.
  • It's good practice to go for a pee after sex, as this helps flush away any bacteria that might have travelled up through the urethra. This is especially important for vulva owners, as urethras are shorter and bacterial infections can take hold faster and easier.
A bottle of libe, with a drop coming fron the pump top
Make sure lubes and gels are in date

How to clean semi-porous sex toys

How do you know if your sex toy is semi-porous, and why does it matter?

Examples of semi-porous materials are thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) and thermoplastic rubber (TPR). Sex toys made of these materials feel soft and squishy and are generally a bit cheaper to buy. Toys made from TPE or TPR are often great toys, but they need extra care.

  • The¬†'Tech Spec'¬† Tab on each product page will tell you what the toy is made from.

A semi-porous material is harder to keep clean, which is why taking extra care of these toys is so important. Semi-porous sex toys have teeny-tiny holes in the material (so small you can't even see them). This means that lube and bodily fluids will sink into the pores and cling on for dear life even if you clean them really well.

  • Clean our sex toys before¬†and after use
  • Remove any batteries before washing your toys
  • Clean your semi-porous toys with an antibacterial toy cleaner and rinse off
  • Wash with antibacterial handwash and hot water
  • Always leave semi-porous toys to air dry
  • Store in a fluff-free area (so not in a knicker drawer)

It's much better to use water-based lubes with semi-porous toys as silicone-based lube will cling to the pores, making cleaning trickier.

We recommend covering toys made from semi-porous materials with condoms during play. This helps stop lube and juices from sinking into the material, and it makes cleaning easier.

If you find yourself getting bouts of thrush after using your semi-porous toy, it's time to ditch it and treat yourself to a new bae!

purple rabbit vibrator with steel beads
Traditional rabbit vibes are often made from semi-porous materials

How to clean non-porous sex toys

Sex toys made from glass, steel, plastic and silicone fit under this category. Non-porous materials are the best for pleasure products. There are no pesky pores, making them so much easier to clean.

The 'Tech Spec'  Tab on each product page will tell you what the toy is made from.
  • Wash both before and after use
  • Remove any batteries before washing your toys
  • Spritz with an antibacterial toy cleaner and rinse
  • Wash with antibacterial handwash and hot water
  • Always leave toys to air-dry
  • Store in a fluff-free area

You can use any and all lubes with glass, steel and hard plastic toys, including silicone-based lubes. For silicone toys, we recommend using water-based or hybrid lubricants. Silicone lube is long-lasting but can have adverse effects on silicone sex toys.

Read more about non-porous sex toy materials here: Stainless Steel, glass & pyrex, plastic and silicone.

purple rabbit vibrator in silicone.
Silicone vibrators are hypoallergenic and easy to clean
stainless steel dildo
Steel sex toys are easy-peasy to keep clean
glass dildo in pale pink with clear ends
Glass toys are non-porous and hypoallergenic

How to clean sex toys that aren't waterproof

  • The¬†'Tech Spec'¬† Tab on each product page will tell you if the toy is¬†waterproof.
  • If your toy is 100% waterproof, you can submerge it without worry.¬†
  • If your toy is only splashproof or not waterproof at all, you need to take extra care when cleaning it. Carefully wash around the tip and shaft without getting the battery compartment wet.
  • Remember to always remove batteries too, for extra safety.
  • We recommend storing all battery-operated toys without batteries inside the compartment. This prolongs the life of both the toy and the batteries.
a silver egg vibrator with cable attached to battery compartment
Avoid getting cable connections and battery compartments wet 

How to clean Sh! silicone dildos

Silicone is the best material for all sex toys; it's hypoallergenic, non-porous and free from phthalates and latex, making cleaning easy peasy. Sh! silicone dildos don't require much effort to keep squeaky clean:

  • Wash your dildos before and after use
  • Sh! Toy Cleaner is quick and easy: Spritz on and rinse off with water
  • Wash with anti-bacterial handwash and hot water
  • Wash in the top rack of a dishwasher (remove the bullet first if it's a vibrating dildo)
  • Boil in a pan for 3-5 minutes (again, remove the vibrating bullet first)
  • Clean with 10% bleach solution/rubbing alcohol and rinse thoroughly

Leave your silicone dildo to air dry before storing it away for next time. All handmade Sh! dildos now come in their own storage bags.

How to clean and store sex toys. Shimmery rainbow dildo with black Sh! storage pouch
Sh! dildo + storage bag

How to clean & care for a leather strap-on harness

If you're the proud owner of a Sh! leather harness, we're sure you'll want to look after it well. After all, a cared-for strap-on will last for years and years, delivering pleasure whenever you're in the mood for a sexy ride!

  • Gently wipe your leather harness with a soft cloth and a small amount of soap before wiping it clean with a fresh cloth. You don't want to soak your harness as this can damage the leather.
  • Carefully dry all D-rings and metal studs with a kitchen paper towel or similar before leaving your leather strap to air dry.
  • Avoid drying leather near direct heat like a radiator as this can cause it to crack.
  • Make sure the strap-on is 100% dry before storing it away. Leaving it even a tiny bit damp can result in mouldy leather, which you definitely want to avoid. It might seem like a good idea to store your leather harness in an air-tight container to keep it dust-free, but it's really not - the leather needs to be allowed to breathe. A plastic bag is not a good idea either, as it prevents good ventilation.
  • A silk or satin storage bag is a better option.

Leather is a skin and can stretch over time, especially if you pull hard on the straps. Keep the harness supple by polishing it with a specialised leather conditioner or saddle soap every few months. Last but not least, don't pop your Sh! harness in the machine and/or tumble drier for a quick fix - it requires TLC to keep it in tip-top shape.

Sh! leather harnesses in red and black leather
Sh! leather harnesses

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