How to Clean Sex Toys

cleaning sex toys

We've got expert advice on how to kill germs and keep your favourite toys lasting for years.

Proper cleaning of sex toys is crucial in order to avoid bacterial infection and the transmission of STD's.

It is important to keep the directions for cleaning sex toys handy and remember to follow them regularly.

Here is a video from Dr George Forgan-Smith showing you how to clean and sterilize your sex toys in under 5 minutes:

Some STDs and bacteria die out naturally when the fluid they live in dries out, while others, including hepatitis and scabies, have the ability to live for weeks and even months outside of the body.

When preventing pregnancy it is also essential to kill sperm that may be on the sex toy before using it near and inside the vagina.

The information provided below will give you a general guide for cleaning different types of sex toys and isn't meant to replace any specific manufacturer instructions.

cleaning lady

There are many different types of sex toys and each type may have a different cleaning method required, in order to clean the toy properly.

1. Non-waterproof Battery Sex Toys

If your toy is not 100% waterproof, never submerge it or it's electrical components in water.

If your toy takes normal batteries, remove them before cleaning. In fact, you should always remove the batteries after use. Leaving batteries sitting idle in toys can cause them to go bad and leak.

leaking battery acid

Use a damp, soapy cloth to clean your sex toys, preferably with anti-bacterial soap.


  1. Fill up your bathroom basin or a bowl with warm soapy water.
  2. Dip your clean cloth into the soapy water and wipe down the toy.
  3. Rinse the soap off the toy, while being careful not to wet the electrical part of the toy.
  4. Once rinsed, use a clean, dry towel to dry off the toy.
  5. Allow the toy to air dry, note this can take up to 24 hours.
  6. Spray anti-bacterial toy cleaner on the toy before storing.

example cleaning battery toy

toy cleaner


2. Glass:

You can wash glass (Pyrex) toys with soap and warm water. Pyrex toys are dishwasher safe. Do not expose glass to extreme temperatures.

Glass sex toy

3. Stainless Steel

If your toy has electrical components or wiring, use warm soapy water, and be careful not to submerge any of the electrical components.

eletric butt plug

If there are no electrical components you have 3 options:

  1. Boil for 10 minutes.
  2. Soak in a 10% bleach and water solution for 10 minutes.
  3. Run the toy through the dishwasher.



4. Hard Plastic

A hard plastic sex toy is best cleaned with anti-bacterial soap and water. Do not boil.

5. Silicone and Rubber

There are three options when cleaning a silicone toy.

  1. Boil for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Put in the dishwasher (on top rack).
  3. Wash with antibacterial soap and warm water.


Note: Do not boil or put silicone vibrators in the dishwasher because you will destroy the motor and electrical components.

cleaning a dildo

6. Cyberskin and Vinyl

Cyberskin is soft and porous, often used for dildos and pocket pussy's.

It is best to wash Cyberskin and vinyl toys delicately with just warm water.

Air dry and powder a small amount with renewing powder or cornstarch to keep them from getting sticky.

This video demonstrates how to clean a fleshlight.


7. Nylon

Nylon harnesses and toys can be machine or hand washed with normal laundry powder or a mild anti-bacterial soap.

nylon harness

8. Leather

It is best to wipe leather products with a damp cloth dipped in warm soapy water. Alternatively, you can buy a leather cleaning solution.

Do not soak leather.

After cleaning and once the leather is dry you can recondition the toy with a leather conditioner.

Pro Tip: Protect metal parts from corrosion by applying a coating of clear nail polish.

leather strap on

Safe Storage

Once your sex toy is clean and left to dry out, it is best to keep toys stored in a container or pouch (to keep them clean) and in a cool, dry place.

anti-bacterial sex toy storage bag

If you have multiple silicone toys, never leave them touching each other in storage. This is because silicone melts silicone.

The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking professional medical advice.

Erica Cuff

Author: Erica Cuff

Erica Cuff has been involved in the sex toy industry since 2000. Working behind the motto “Sex Toys should be fun”, Erica provides useful tips & advice from years of hands on experience and research with adult products. 

Happily married since 2005, she knows first-hand how our sex lives can become repetitive if we don't give them the time and effort they deserve. If you're looking to spice things up in the bedroom, then Erica is your gal! She lives to cover topics that empower men, women and couples needing inspiration to keep lovemaking exciting and fun.

Her other focus is teaching women how to properly master the “bald man in the boat” to achieve the best orgasms ever (partner or no partner!) Her informative and unique tips, techniques and advice is up there with certified sex therapists and Sexologists, but with the added advantage of her expereince in the adult toy business.

Erica Cuff's Linkedin profile highlights her professional background, experience and training.

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