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How to clean your dildo

How much did you look after your toys when you were a kid? Beanie Babies… Barbies… Hot Wheels… However you killed time, we bet you kept them clean, shiny and stocked with new batteries, right? It’s about time you do the same with your favourite adult toys.

Keeping your beloved dildos in tip-top shape not only keeps nasty bugs and germs away from your sensitive terrain, it also makes them last for years. Now, when you buy a delightful dildo, there should be washing instructions included, but in case you need a refresher… 

Why you need to clean your dildo

Before we get to the how, let’s talk about why. 

Think about it, these toys are one of the only objects that come close to your nether regions. Other things on that list possibly include other dicks, vaginas, and your underwear - and those get washed, right? (At least we hope so.) 

And while you may think you’re as clean as a whistle down there, chances are, there’s bacteria lurking that even a scalding hot shower can’t scrub away. And then there’s your bum, of course. Bacteria lurks all around our bodies - and that’s natural - but it’s important that you wash toys after every use to stop bacteria building up, which could put some at risk of vaginal infections. 

Which dildo materials can you clean?

With so many weird and wonderful dildos to get your hands on, each one will require different degrees of care. You should be particularly cautious if you’re playing with a toy made out of a porous material, such as dildos made from rubber, vinyl or leather. Bacteria LOVE to nestle into porous toys, and they thrive in these cosy damp spots. So, if you must play, always use a condom with a porous toy. 

Can you share dildos?

Yes, you can, BUT it’s important to prioritise hygiene even when you’re getting hot and heavy. When sharing it’s even more important to clean and disinfect your toys of all kinds, as they can carry and transfer STIs. This is true whether your toy is porous or not, so make a point to clean before and after every single use - yes, even if it is a bit of a mood killer. Whether it’s a dildo, vibrator, butt plug, or even a pair of handcuffs, they all have the potential to carry bacteria. So, if you are planning on whapping out a double-ended dildo, or you just want to switch things up every now and then so both you and your playmate/s can share the pleasure, stay extra cautious. 

Now with that all cleared up, let’s dive into how to clean your beloved dildo.

1. Wash before and after use

Yes, you read that right. As time-consuming as it may sound, you should be cleaning your toys both before and after you use them. Even if you keep your dildos in your top drawer, it’ll still gather dust, hair, and all sorts of nasties. 

So, if you’re not storing them in a sterile environment between uses, then you could be putting yourself at risk of infection by skipping out on a thorough scrub. 

2. Methods of washing your dildo

Thankfully, there are many ways to keep your dildos fresh and clean. Let’s take a peek.

Soap and water

The good news is that most dildos can be squeaky clean through a simple wash with mild soap and clean, warm water - this includes glass dildos, metal dildos and even wooden toys. Make sure your soap of choice is fragrance-free and mild - with no harsh chemicals or disinfectant - but still enough to disinfect. Nobody wants an itchy vulva or asshole, either. If your toy is made of something porous, you’ll need to really get in there and scrub.

Wipes

Not your bog-standard wet or baby variety, these kinds of wipes must contain some form of disinfectant. Just give your dildo a thorough wipe down, being sure to get into all those nooks and crannies. Our very own alcohol swabs will do the trick.

Boil

One fan-favourite - albeit a slightly slower way - of disinfecting your dildos is by boiling them. Before you submerge in scalding water - do take care, darlings - be sure to remove any batteries. You also need to be completely sure that your toy is waterproof and non-motorised. Only stainless steel, pyrex, glass, or silicone dildos can be boiled.

Soaking in water

Dildos without batteries or that aren’t motorised - and those with complicated “crevices” and lumps and bumps - can be submerged in water to kill off any bacteria. Leave your dildo to soak for a few minutes for a deep clean.

But, speaking of water, don’t put your dildo in the dishwasher unless you’re sure it’s dishwasher safe - more on this next. Pyrex is safe in the top-rack, but glass dildos shouldn’t be exposed to such high temperatures as it can cause cracking.

Cleaning spray

Cleaning sprays are also a handy way to give your favourite dildo a quick clean-down. They won’t burn a hole in your pocket, and they can save you a lot of hassle. Our favourite is the Lelo Cleaning Spray, which is safe to use on all your latex, silicone, and rubber besties. 

Dishwashing

We’re not kidding, dishwashing is actually a dildo cleaning method; so, if there’s room on your top rack, why not give this clever way a try? Be cautious, however. This will probably not be the preferred method for those who share accomodation with non-sexual partners, as you could end up giving your housemate a nasty shock when they come to reach for a clean plate in the morning. 

Before using the dishwasher method, always make sure to check the material that your dildo is made from, which can be found on your sex toy retailer’s website in the product description, and avoid placing any mechanised toys in there. Surface-clean your dildo before placing it on the top-rack, and run your dishwasher on a sanitise cycle, minus the soap - otherwise, you could end up damaging your toy. 

Just be warned that, even when your dishwasher reaches higher temperatures, this won’t necessarily kill off heat-tolerant nasties. Therefore, we suggest boiling them to be extra cautious. 

Dry with a clean towel

There’s a reason the word ‘moist’ is such a creepy one. When your dildos are left damp, those hard-to-reach crevices become a fertile breeding ground for all sorts of nasty bacteria. Don’t just pick up the last towel you threw over the bannister - choose one that’s fresh out of the washer and dryer. Unless you want your dildo growing life of its own. 

How to store a dildo

Once your dildo has been scrubbed, what’s the best way to store your sex toy, ready for the next use? Although it may seem sufficient to reach for your bedside drawer and toss your dildo in there after a cum sesh - this is a big no-no. Who knows what grime could be lurking in there, ready to latch onto your dildo. To ensure that the whole cleaning process will be worthwhile, locate your toy’s original packaging (many will often come complete with a handy dust bag), and pop it in there. For those that have accidentally tossed theirs, you could wrap your dildo up in cloth, or buy your own sex toy storage box for maximum organisation. Make sure to avoid using tupperware boxes though, as although you may think that they can be used for almost anything, chemicals could end up working their way onto toys - which definitely isn’t sexy.

How to make your dildos last longer

Take your batteries out

I know, another pain-in-the-ass job, but taking your batteries out of your sex toys after each use can help prolong their life. Batteries can rust and corrode your toy from the inside out. 

Clean properly

Duh. We’ve already been through this, but keeping your toys in as good condition as possible all starts with how you take care of them. Consider the type of toy, the material it’s made from, and whether or not it needs batteries, and care accordingly. When you’re not using them, store in a box or specially designed bag - mesh and breathable fabrics are a good idea.

Use the right lube

Yep, how you choose to get wet and slippery could have an impact on the lifespan of your dildos. If you’re using a silicone dildo - a favourite material of ours - then steer clear of silicone lube and oil-based lube, as these will cause the toy to deteriorate. Your best option all-round is a water-based lube, which is both body-safe and condom-safe. 

Wrap it up

This rule doesn’t just apply to real flesh phalluses. The safest way to use your toy - especially if sharing with someone else - is to wrap up with a condom. If you just can’t stay away from porous materials - such as Cyberskin, hard plastic and jelly - condoms are important, as these types of toys can never be 100% disinfected. Always, and I mean always, change condoms between people or holes. When it comes to wanking, germs and nasties should be the furthest thing from your mind. Stay clean so you can scream.