Zen and the Art of Sex Toy Maintenance
Sure, you know how to use your sex toys—but do you know how to clean and care for them?
Like all nice things, your sex toys need to be taken care of properly in order to stay in nice shape. You wouldn’t throw a silk shirt in the washing machine, would you?
Without further ado, our super simple guide to toy cleaning, care and storage…
Wash your toys after every use
That might sound like a pain in the butt, but trust us—you don’t want to use dirty toys. Especially if you share your toys, or use them in different parts of your body, even if you put condoms on them—it’s best practice to clean them after every 👏 single 👏 use 👏
Unwashed toys can take on an unpleasant odor, become discolored, and cause infection, so even if you’re only using these on yourself, give ‘em a wash!
Keep ‘em safe and dustbunny-free
Silicone and ‘real skin’ toys can attract dust, lint and hair, which you definitely don’t want up in your business. It’s good to keep even “dust-proof” toys, in a clean environment. These days, many toys are sold with dust bags, which keeps them nice and clean between uses. If you don’t have one, use a little empty makeup bag, or a pink bubble wrap pouch from a certain skincare company ;)
Pro tip: Take your vibrator’s batteries out when you’re not using it. Even if it’s switched off, the batteries are still conducting a low-level charge, and can corrode and shorten the overall life of your toy.
Not all soap is created equally
The best all-purpose option is unscented liquid castile soaps, like our Nox Wash.
Antibacterial soaps can leave a residue, and household ones like dish soap are generally not intended for internal use. You can also try simple toy cleaners, like this one from Lelo—just spray it on silicone, plastic, rubber and latex toys, rinse with water, and pat dry. Easy.
Battery-operated and rechargeable toys should only be spot-cleaned. Unless the toy is marked 'waterproof' specifically designed to be submerged in water, you should use a warm, damp cloth, with soap and water or toy cleaner.
Know what you’re working with
Porous toys, made from jelly, elastomer, hard plastic, nylon and neoprene, are absorbent and can hold stubbornly onto bacteria. Wash these using soap and warm water—not hot, since plastic and other porous materials can be warped. ‘Real skin’ toys are popular, but they are highly absorbent and are difficult to properly disinfect. Wash them off carefully and pat dry with paper towels.
This is a good moment to mention that you should only buy toys made of “body-safe” materials. Many “jelly” toys, while very affordable, are made from largely untested and potentially toxic chemicals that can degrade over time. So do your research before you buy! All of the toys available at Nox are made of body-safe materials, so you can shop with confidence.
Nonporous toys like glass, silicone and metal, should be washed with soap and water or and unless they’re battery-operated, can be disinfected in hot water. Glass, silicone and stainless steel can all be boiled.
Leather goods, like whips and harnesses, are very porous, and can become brittle and discolored if not properly cleaned. Clean with a damp cloth, and use a little beeswax or oil to keep your accessories in good working order.
Out with the old
It can be hard to say goodbye to a trusty vibrator (you’ve been through so much together!), but if the material is torn, cracked or peeling, or starts to smell different, it’s time to throw it away. Hey, that means you get to treat yourself to a new one!
When in doubt, read the directions
If you’re not sure how to clean your toy, look at the instructions that came with the toy. The manufacturer will usually tell you the best way to clean your toy and keep it in good condition.