How to Correctly Sterilize Sex Toys

When it comes to intimacy, the use of sex toys is becoming increasingly common. They help stimulate erogenous zones and help boost arousal during a sexual encounter. In this article, discover how to sterilize sex toys.
How to Correctly Sterilize Sex Toys
Isbelia Esther Farías López

Written and verified by the philosopher Isbelia Esther Farías López.

Last update: 26 May, 2022

To avoid suffering from health problems, it’s essential to learn how to properly sterilize sex toys. This way, you can use them safely and enjoy your intimacy without any problems.

Keep in mind that not cleaning sex toys implies a high risk of contracting an infection. And, unlike what you might think, it isn’t enough to simply put them under running water or rub them with a napkin.

How to properly sterilize sex toys

The use of sex toys is much more common than you might think. Some people have no problem confessing their secret, while others prefer to keep it to themselves.

When it comes to sterilizing sex toys, the first thing you should do is consult the manufacturer’s instructions, since they’ll specify how you should clean the product for the safety of your intimate area and to make sure you don’t damage the product, especially if it runs on batteries or has a motor.

Wood blocks that make the the word "Sex" and a vibrator.
Sex toys must be safe and compatible with your intimate area.

Below, we detail the basic keys to sterilizing sex toys, according to their characteristics:

Wash or boil the toy

Generally, you should wash sex toys before and after each use. Especially if you shared it or you’re going to share it. You mustn’t forget the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) pose.

If you’re going to use soap, avoid those that are scented or contain other additives. Ideally, you should use neutral soap. In fact, it’s even better if you opt for a specific soap for intimate areas, which are the mildest and most respectful and won’t irritate the genital area.

For added safety, you can choose to boil the toy for a few minutes. However, only do it as long as it doesn’t have a motor and the material is, for example, stainless steel or silicone.

Note: Although some people use the dishwasher to clean their sex toys, we recommend handwashing them according to these specifications.

This article may interest you: The Reasons Why Sexual Desire Increases during the Summer

Alcohol for leather objects

A woman practicing bondage.
In particular, cleaning leather objects increases their durability and makes them safer to use.

BDSM, which includes different types of sexual practices of mutual consent, has become popular in recent years. In this regard, BDSM includes bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism. Thus, it has popularized leather clothing and accessories.

In this case, you should only use soap and water to sterilize leather sex toys or garments. For a deeper disinfection, you can also use 70% isopropyl alcohol, a simple, inexpensive, and eco-friendly option to achieve your goal. Also, there are specific products for these materials.

Beware of porous materials

You must take extreme precautions in the case of sex toys made of porous materials, such as foam or others. These easily absorb moisture and dirt and are difficult to clean, making them the perfect place for the growth of bacteria.

Since we know that you’ll never be able to sterilize porous sex toys at all, we recommend using them with condoms (not lubricated or with a water-based lubricant). This way, you’ll create a much more secure protective barrier.

However, whenever possible, you should avoid buying these types of products. When it comes to choosing a toy, you shouldn’t underestimate the quality of the material. Not only for subsequent cleaning but also because some types of plastics can contain potentially toxic substances, such as phthalates or bisphenol A (BPA).

Motorized toys

A woman with a sex toy.
If your sex toy has a motor, one option is to use specific cleaning products for sale in erotic or sex shops.

In order not to spoil motorized toys, you must be very careful. You can wash them under running water without submerging them, avoiding wetting the areas that would be damaged. Or you can also use a damp cloth.

To sterilize motorized sex toys, you can look for specific products that are sold for this purpose. There are different types and formats and you can find them in sex shops. You can find them in liquids, sprays, wet wipes, etc. These are antibacterial products adapted to the intimate area.

After you finish sterilizing your sex toys…

Finally, you mustn’t forget that, once you’ve cleaned and washed your sex toys, you must make sure that they’re very dry. In addition, store them in their case or in a cloth bag to protect you from all kinds of bacteria. Only this way will you keep them correctly sterilized.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.