How to Clean a Vibrator

For many people, the most important part of owning a vibrator is actually using it. It’s not all fun and games though. After every single use of your vibrator you need to make sure you give it a thorough clean, and store it in an appropriate place until your next use. If you don’t, there could be some extra surprises waiting for you with your next orgasm.

What’s the Big Deal?

Vibrators, like any other sex toy, are put into some of the more personal areas of the body. While I don’t think many of us are wandering around with dirty vaginas and penises, there are still germs and bacteria which collect in these parts of your body. Allowing these to build up on your vibrator mean that every time you use it, you expose your body to the same nasty bacteria time after time.

Most of the time, you’ll be fine. But is it really worth the risk? Repeat exposure to these kinds of bacteria can leave you vulnerable to yeast infections, urinary tract problems, or in some cases even sexually transmitted diseases. With just a simple cleaning regime, you can leave your vibrator just as it was when it was new, and eliminate 99% of these risks. There’s really no excuse!

What’s Your Vibrator Made Of?

Which material your vibrator is made of will make a difference in both how you clean it, and how clean it stays. This is due to the porosity of the material, which basically means how large the pores are. The larger the pores the more bacteria that can get inside the surface of the material.

Non-porous materials are those where the pores are so small, bacteria are unable to enter. Once the surface of the vibrator is clean, it’s clean, and no bacteria will be left on the device. Porous materials are a little more dangerous, as the bacteria can penetrate the surface of the vibrator. This means no matter how much you clean it, there will always be some contamination remaining within the pores of the device.

Wherever there is an option, you should always try to pick up a vibrator made from a non-porous material. These include silicone, glass, and stainless steel.

How Do We Clean Porous Vibrators?

Porous materials are generally a bit weaker, so require an extra bit of care when cleaning. The most common method will be simply with soapy water. Submerge a cloth in your soapy mixture, and thoroughly wipe all parts of your vibrator until you feel it is clean. You then need to dry the vibrator, which is usually easiest with paper towels.

How Do We Clean Non-Porous Vibrators?

There are a few extra options with non-porous vibrators. While the same soapy water treatment can do a perfectly acceptable job of cleaning a non-porous vibrator, you might want to be a bit more thorough. It will depend on exactly which vibrator you own, but most non-porous materials are able to be cleaned with boiling water to kill any germs left on the device. Check the instructions that came with your device to make sure it isn’t going to melt, and once again, thoroughly dry the device before storing.

Waterproof Vibrators

Some vibrators are designed to be inserted fully into the body, such as bullets or eggs. These kinds of vibrators should be fully waterproof, so that no fluids can reach the delicate motors or electrical parts. If you have one of these, you have a little bonus when cleaning; you’ll be able to fully submerge it in water. This means that rather than having to delicately wipe around certain parts, you’ll be able to throw it in a soapy mixture and either leave it to soak, or give it a proper scrub and make sure all the parts are thoroughly cleaned.

Sex Toy Cleansers: Are They Worth It?

If you’ve spent much time shopping around for your vibrators, particularly online, you might have seen many “specialised sex toy cleaners”. These are sometimes wipes, or sometimes a bottle of liquid that looks a little like soap. While I can’t vouch for any of these personally, some people swear by them. If you want to give one a go then feel free, but I can’t say that they’ll be any better or worse that regular soap and water. Some of these cleaners may contain unusual chemicals though, so make sure that the cleaner you use is compatible with the material of your vibrator. These chemicals can cause some issues with your body, so if you notice any stinging or rashes while using your vibrator it’s usually a good idea to stop using your sex toy cleaner and make sure that it isn’t the cause.

Drying and Storage: More Important Than Cleaning?

I keep mentioning that after cleaning your vibrator, you need to dry it off with paper towels and store it in an appropriate place. For many people, this part of the process will be even more important that the actual cleaning. If you store your vibrator on a random shelf, uncovered, it can pick up plenty of bacteria between uses, sometimes even more than you originally cleaned from it.

On top of this, if sunlight can reach the device it can damage some materials, warping or discolouring them. Many of the cheaper materials need extra care. If left out carelessly, the materials can even react with the air around them and begin to warp or even melt. Different materials can even react with each other! The best way to store your sex toys is in a specific box or container, and housing each individual toy in a separate plastic bag can stop any nasty reactions. Failing that, keeping the box which your vibrator came in can give you a great place to store it, and a safe place to keep any cleaning or usage instructions which came with it.

It's also important when storing your vibrators to remove the power supplies. This is equally true if you have one which plugs into the wall, has a rechargeable battery, or the kind where you need to remove and replace the batteries. Even when turned off, most electrical objects will still hold a charge, and aside from shortening the life of your devices, these charges can cause damage to the insides of your vibrator. Most commonly this will end up being some form of rust, and you don’t really want to be putting something rusty inside your body. It might be a pain, but take those batteries out between uses.

Whichever route you decide to take, the important thing is to make sure that you’re actually cleaning your vibrators. It’s simple, quick, and makes sure that you aren’t going to be putting anything nasty into your private parts.