Sex Toy Maintenance

Apicha Community Health Center Jul 01, 2016  

Apicha CHC - Pixabay - condom-3112062_1920

Whether you're single, coupled up, or living that polyamorous lifestyle, sex toys can be a fun and exciting addition to a healthy sex life. 

However, it's important to know how to properly clean and keep your sex toys. Otherwise, what would've been a fun and exciting addition could turn into a harmful haven for bacteria or STIs.

General maintenance tips

1. Clean your toys after every use.

2. Don't submerge the part of a sex toy that has batteries in it.

3. Never submerge an electric non-waterproof vibrator.

4. Take the batteries out of your vibrator if you're not going to use it for awhile.

5. Don't just put your toys in a drawer or under your bed, wrap it in a cloth or put it in a cloth bag.

Different care for different materials

Sex toys come in different types of materials so it's important to know what yours is made out of since different materials need different methods of care

Silicone:

Silicone is one of the most popular materials for sex toys since it is nonporous and an easy to clean material. However, with silicone, it is important to use only water based lubricants since silicone based lubricants can wear down your toys, causing a gummy effect that will eventually make your toys unusable.

Jelly Toys:

Jelly toys are also very popular, but a little harder to clearn. Jelly toys are very porous, so they can never be completlely disinfected. You'll still want to wash them in warm water with an antibacterial soap. You can also pick up some sex toy cleaner ( that can give it that extra-clean oomph. (Note: some people avoid jelly toys because they contain PVC plastics with “phthalates” (pronounced tha-lates), which are known to be toxic. ) 

Glass Toys:

Glass toys are nonporous and very easy to clean/disinfect.  Simply, wash with lukewarm water and mild soap.  If you're very concerned about disinfecting, you can boil them. 

Soft vinyl/rubber/latex/hard plastic:

 Like glass toys, these toys should be washed in warm water and anti-bacterial soap.  It's also good to use a sex toy cleaner with these toys.  Make sure to get all of the soap off because it gets absorbed into the toy, which degrades the toy and can cause irritation to any mucus membrane.   

Pyrex and Stainless Steel:

These materials are the easiest to clean - wash with soapy water, use a sex toy cleaner, throw it in the dishwasher, or boil! 

Other sex toy safety 

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) can be passed using sex toys. So, the same rules to sex toys that apply as body parts. If a toy is being used by multiple people in multiple places, it's smart to put a condom on it. As an added bonus, you'll have less to worry about in terms of disinfecting your toys.  

Other sexual health resources

  • To read about what primary care you should be getting if you're having gay sex click here.  
  • To read about lesbian sex and and STIs, click here. 


Ready to take action about your health?
 request an appointment

Subscribe For Updates

What's the Difference Between Nonbinary & Genderqueer?

What's the Difference Between Nonbinary & Genderqueer?

Understanding different identities can be difficult, but it's also incredibly important. And for...
Don't Miss the 2020 Census & Insurance Enrollment Deadlines!

Don't Miss the 2020 Census & Insurance Enrollment Deadlines!

The census and insurance enrollment are two important parts of your life -- and this month is the...
Early Signs of HIV

Early Signs of HIV

Early HIV is the beginning stage of HIV disease, right after HIV infection occurs.
How to Support Someone Who is Transitioning

How to Support Someone Who is Transitioning

Making the choice to transition is a big milestone. Whether it’s your partner, a friend, or anyone...
Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Census

Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Census

The 2020 Census is here, and is key to improving quality of life for everyone. If you haven't heard...
FAQ: What to Know About HIV & COVID-19 Vaccines

FAQ: What to Know About HIV & COVID-19 Vaccines

As of February 19, New Yorkers with HIV are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are...
Open Enrollment Extended Again, Now Through May 15

Open Enrollment Extended Again, Now Through May 15

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced this week that New York's health insurance Open Enrollment...
HIV Prevention: What is PEP?

HIV Prevention: What is PEP?

If you know what PrEP is, chances are you've also heard of PEP. While PrEP is best known as an HIV...
'Walking While Trans' Ban Repealed

'Walking While Trans' Ban Repealed

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.2253/A.654) repealing portions of a law —known as...
Apicha CHC Mourns Passing of Corky Lee, Visionary Asian & Pacific Islander Photographer

Apicha CHC Mourns Passing of Corky Lee, Visionary Asian & Pacific Islander Photographer

“I generally refer to myself as an ‘ABC from NYC.’ That’s short for American-born Chinese from New...