Sex Toy Cleanliness

Comparison of porous materials

There are many materials used in sex toys that can give a variety of feelings. As I have written previously, some of these materials can be bad for your health. If the material in question isn’t toxic, then the material must have the ability to be fully sterilized. Sex toys that are able to be sterilized are very important since bacteria is present in our orifices. When toys are used, it is necessary to avoid re-introducing bacteria into the same or other orifices. Additionally, if a toy is to be shared with a partner, the toy in question has to be sterilized to avoid the transmission of bacteria. In order for a material to be fully body safe, it must have the ability to be sterilized. It is important to sterilize sex toys because the reintroduction of bacteria can be dangerous to the body.


Materials that are able to be sterilized do not have pores. In the context of sex toys, pores are small pockets or openings in materials in which bacteria or water can get inside of. When these toys are washed, water and bacteria can hide in these pores and become a breeding ground for more bacteria. If toys retain water, there is also a chance that mold can grow inside the toy itself. No matter how hard a toy is cleaned, if it has mold, it is nigh impossible to remove.

The safest materials in use for sex toys do not have pores of any kind. They have a smooth surface that is easily cleaned with soap or boiling water.

Comparison of porous materials

On the left, a porous jelly toy is shown. The pores are exaggerated to show the crevices where moisture and bacteria can hide. The glass toy shown on the right is smooth and cannot harbor moisture or bacteria.


When porous toys are cleaned, only the surface is cleaned, but mold and bacteria hiding in the crevices cannot be removed completely. If you happened to attempt to clean them via boiling, you can damage these toys. For all intents and purposes, you don’t want to use porous toys.


For silicone, it is best to clean with warm water and soap. Doing this is a simple cleanup that can be done after every use. If using a silicone sex toy anally, some odors may stay in the silicone which is somewhat normal since silicone can retain odors. To completely eliminate odors, one should sterilize the toy once in a while.

To sterilize silicone, a variety of methods can be used:

  • Solid silicone toys can be boiled for about five minutes.
  • Use the top rack of the dishwasher on the sanitize setting.
  • Dip in a solution of 10% bleach, 90% water. Then rinse thoroughly.
  • Wipe with rubbing alcohol. (Watch out for manufacturer warnings).


Glass has no pores whatsoever. Make sure to inspect the toy before use. Look for any cracks or chips. If they have chips, the toy is done for and should be discarded. To do a simple clean, soap and water is perfectly fine.

To sterilize glass, here are methods that can be used:

  • Dip in a solution of 10% bleach, 90% water. Then rinse thoroughly
  • Wipe with rubbing alcohol.
  • Glass toys can be boiled for three minutes. However, excessive bouncing should be avoided to prevent cracking or chipping.


Metal is another material that is completely smooth. Have it stored in a cloth of some sort to prevent scratches to the surface. Soap and water is okay if the toy is to be cleaned after every session.

To sterilize metal, here is what you can do:

  • Dip in a solution of 10% black, 90% water. Rinse thoroughly before drying.
  • Top rack of the dishwasher on sanitize.
  • Wipe with rubbing alcohol.

ABS Plastic and Acrylic

These materials are not porous. They should only be cleaned with soap and warm water.

To sterilize these materials:

  • Dip in a solution of 10% bleach, 90% water. Then rinse thoroughly

Male Masturbators

The generally body safe realistic materials are those made by Fleshlight and Tenga. For both of these toys, they aren’t meant to be shared between partners since they cannot be sterilized. Both of these toys are porous, make sure to inspect them for any discoloration. If it has black spots, it is probably mildew and will have to be thrown out since it cannot be removed.

Fleshlights can only rinsed with water. Soap or any other additive/detergent cannot be used.

Tenga toys can only be rinsed with soap and water.

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Just as important as cleanliness is storage. Once your sex toys are clean, they should be stored in an enclosed area such as a bag or box. You can store these on a shelf for display, but some materials attract dust. Metal toys should be stored individually to prevent scratches or scuffs. Glass toys should also be stored individually to avoid chips and cracks.

Silicone toys are more forgiving and can be stored together. If the toys are 100% silicone, nothing should happen to them since silicone is an inert material.

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