Before starting the cleaning process, it's important to know what material your sex toy is made out of. Some will be very obvious, like wood, Pyrex glass, and metal. Some are less obvious, though the packaging should have indicated what the material was. Some silicone and rubbers are difficult to distinguish from one another, so if it's been a while since you bought the toy and you can't find the specs, it may be best to treat it as not silicone.
In general, Pyrex, metal, and silicone sex toys are non-porous and, once cleaned and sterilized, they can be used by another individual safely. This is provided that it has no cracks or surface damage—though it does no harm to be safe and use with a condom, anyway. Other rubbers and plastics, as well as wood, are porous and should not be shared without covering them with a condom.
This article is specifically about cleaning adult sex toys that are not built-in with motorized components.
Cleaning Non-Motorized Sex Toys
To clean non-motorized sex toys, you will be needing a few things.
- access to hot water
- sex toy cleaner (if cleaning porous sex toys)
- antibacterial body soap (if cleaning non-porous sex toys)
- a lint-free cloth
If the toy has a removable bullet vibrator, make sure to remove that before cleaning. Run the hot water over your sex toy, and make sure to rinse off any material that may be on the surface.
Then soap it up, using the appropriate soap. Sex toy cleaner is gentler and milder to more easily damaged surfaces, using a different soap is possible, but may cause damage to the material over time. As a note, some of these toys require lukewarm water rather than hot, be sure to follow the package directions for the porous toys as they are more delicate materials. Once thoroughly soaped, you will want to rinse it very thoroughly. If it's a toy with nooks and crannies, make sure to get into them as thoroughly as possible.
It is best to allow them to air dry, but not everyone has the space to air dry sex toys, so use a lint-free cloth to dry them before putting them away. Make sure to store them where they won't collect dust or dirt.
Sterilizing Non-Porous Sex Toys
To sterilize non-porous sex toys, you will need:
- a large pot
You can do this instead of or in addition to regular cleaning. Toys made of non-porous materials such as silicone, metal, or Pyrex glass are suitable for boiling, as they will withstand the temperatures of boiling water perfectly fine. With silicone, if you're not sure, maybe it's best not to risk ruining your toy and just put it in the porous pile.
Bring your pot of water to a boil, and lower the toys into it gently using the tongs. Allow the water to boil for several minutes. Recommendations vary. HIV is killed by temperatures above 60 degrees C, so given that boiling water is 100 degrees C, any time should be sufficient. Herpes dies at temperatures above 56 degrees C for 30 minutes or being microwaved for 4 minutes. If you want to be super extra safe, boiling your toys for 30 minutes should more than cover your bases. If your sex toy recommends a certain amount of time for boiling, make sure you follow that, instead. If you're not terribly worried about disease and are simply worried about bacteria, simply boil water for 1-3 minutes, depending on your elevation, so anything beyond that should get you covered, especially if you've already cleaned your sex toy.
Once you are done boiling, remove your sex toy with your tongs and allow to air dry, if possible. If not, dry with a lint-free cloth and store as usual.