How To Keep Your Dildo Squeaky Clean

It's an unfortunate truth: Sex is messy. From saliva to lube and sweat to semen, the number and amount of bodily fluids which can get involved in a single sexy session can be pretty startling if you've never considered it before.

And that's without mentioning stuff like loose hairs, bits of lint or fuzz from your sexy lingerie or hot new leather restraints, or the host of friendly and not so friendly bacteria which make their homes on our clothes, toys, and of course our bodies - and which can be transferred between partners during intercourse if proper precautions are not taken.

Cleanliness has always been an important part of sex. It keeps sex safe, healthy and, most of all, fun for all those involved. And having a regular cleaning routine is just as important if you're getting down and dirty with a toy.

Think about how you always feel like you need a shower after a sweaty marathon sex session with your partner - both to wash the soreness out of your well-exercised muscles and to clean off all that leftover lube and cum - and consider that your favorite dildo, vibrator or set of anal beads needs the exact same treatment in order to be primed and ready for the next time you bring it out of your toy drawer.

Luckily, keeping your favorite toy clean is not a particularly difficult task.

This guide will walk you through all the steps to keeping your dildo (or other toy of your choice) as safe, clean and bacteria-free as possible.

As an added bonus, the cleaning techniques and strategies described in this article will very likely help extend the lifespan of your toy by several months or even several years, as a regularly cleaned toy is much less likely to warp, disfigure or discolor than one which is allowed to remain dirty.

So not only will your hygenic toy allow each session to be as safe and fun as possible, you'll be able to keep having these orgasm-inducing pleasure sessions for years and years to come (or, perhaps, should we say - "years to cum")!

How Often Should I Clean My Dildo?

It goes without saying that you should give your dildo a thorough cleaning as soon as possible after each use.

Sweat, lube and other fluids both body-produced and artificial can quickly dry and leave a sticky, uncomfortable residue on the outside of the dildo which does not feel particularly good against your skin or inside your vagina or asshole.

If something comes up (such as you needing to clean yourself off in the shower first or a partner who's a big fan of post-coital cuddles) you can at the very least leave your dildo soaking in a pot of warm - but not hot or boiling - water until you have the free time to attend to it.

This will at least make it less likely that your fluids will dry into a sticky, tacky mess which will be much harder to clean up later.

However, here at Lovegasm, we tend to also recommend that you clean your dildo before each use as well.

Even if you are carefully storing your dildo inside a tightly sealed container or drawstring bag made from silk or other fabric (see our article here for more dildo storage or hiding options) there is a chance that it could have picked up some unwelcome guests such as dust, lint, pet hair or the various bacteria which dwell in the nooks and crannies of your home.

And don't just rely on your own eyesight to judge - a dildo which looks perfectly clean could still be hosting some pretty nasty bacteria or dust mites.

Yes, we know, you're probably sighing in frustration right about now - that's not a particularly sexy thought, and needing to stop to clean off your toy before getting down to business sounds like the perfect way to ruin any sexy mood in an instant. But don't despair!

A before-use cleaning does not need to involve a thorough disinfecting or a long soak in soapy water.

A quick rub-down with a damp washcloth and some mild soap - plus a thorough drying so that none of that soap ends up in any of your body's most sensitive areas - should be more than sufficient

Then, when you've had your fun, you can give your dildo a much more intense and focused post-pleasure cleaning before putting it away to rest once again.

What Should I Use To Clean My Dildo?

Later in this article, we will discuss the different cleaning strategies which can be used to properly treat dildos made from a wide variety of materials.

However, luckily, there is one cleaning method which will consistently work for pretty much any dildo made out of any material you could possibly think of.

As an added bonus, it's also cheap, quick, easy and can very likely be carried out with items you either already have around the house or can be purchased at your local grocery or general goods store.

The simplest and most straightforward way to clean any dildo involves rubbing it down with a wet washcloth using a combination of warm water - not hot and DEFINITELY not boiling, as you will see below, not all dildo materials are compatible with boiling water - and a mild, gentle soap.

Following this, you should thoroughly dry the dildo, either with a towel or by allowing it to sit in a well-ventilated area to dry, as it is no fun to play with when damp.

You should also make sure that there is no leftover soap attached to your dildo before using it, as, while appropriately mild soaps will not cause any harm or damage to your vagina or asshole, they can potentially sting or feel generally uncomfortable when coming into contact with these sensitive areas.

We recommend using hand, dish or body soaps which are gentle, unscented and do NOT contain any antibacterial add-ons.

Strong antibacterial soaps have been found to leave a sticky, scummy residue on the surface of the dildo which is very difficult to remove and feels very uncomfortable against your skin.

This sticky residue has a strong likelihood of ultimately decreasing the amount of pleasure you experience from using your dildo.

If you are not sure what sort of soap to purchase, we recommend anything which is rated safe for babies or young children, as these tend to be the mildest soaps available, rarely include add-ons and are primarily unscented.

You can also purchase a specialty sex toy cleaner from any number of sex toy stores or online retailers. Like mild soap, this substance will thoroughly clean your favorite dildo, vibrator or other toy without any risk of leaving behind any nasty gunk to deal with later.

Just remember, as with soap, it is extremely important to make sure your dildo is properly dry before using it on yourself or your partner.

For the most part, it is safe to leave a dildo soaking in a bowl or pot of warm water as part of the cleaning process. This can help ensure that no soap or other cleaning substance remains sticking to the dildo after you have finished rubbing it down.

However, keep in mind that if your dildo is battery-powered or electric (a category which encompasses most if not all vibrators and vibrating dildos) it should NEVER be fully submerged in water of any temperature.

This can cause permanent, irreversible damage to the dildo's vibration function. If you have a dildo of this kind, you must carefully clean it by hand using only a minimally damp washcloth and be careful to avoid getting any water in or near the batteries or plug.

Different Cleaning Strategies For Different Materials

In general, dildo materials can be divided into two categories: "porous" and "nonporous".

"Porous" dildos contain tiny holes - typically so small as to be invisible to the naked eye - called "pores" on their surface, which can, if not cleaned and treated properly, allow bacteria, mold, or mildew to penetrate the dildo's surface and reach the interior of the toy.

Nonporous dildos feature smooth, unbroken surfaces with no pores which bacteria and mold can penetrate.

Nonporous materials include true glass, borosilicate glass or Pyrex, stainless steel, and silicone, while porous materials consist of elastomer "jelly," neoprene, nylon, hard plastic and all current varieties of realistic "CyberSkin".

Today, most dildos and other sex toys which you can purchase will be prominently labeled as either porous or nonporous, so it is not necessary to memorize the above lists.

The distinction between porous and nonporous materials does not have a major effect on the capability of a dildo to provide you with pleasure. Often, porous materials tend to be softer, have a "springier" feel and be more yielding to the touch, while nonporous materials will be firmer, stiffer and harder overall.

Depending on your personal preferences, you may find yourself having a strong preference towards one type or the other or being flexible and easily able to get your pleasure from either a porous or a nonporous dildo.

But, as our Lovegasm staffers can happily attest, both porous and nonporous dildos are fully capable of being used for penetration and bringing you orgasmic amounts of pleasure!

Where the difference between the two categories of material makes itself apparent is in how porous and nonporous dildos can be cleaned.

Because they are made of harder materials with a smooth, unbroken surface, nonporous dildos have more cleaning options available to them which are not recommended for use with porous dildos.

This is because porous dildos are often not quite as structurally sound and can disfigure or warp when exposed to extremely high temperatures for long periods of time, which can cause permanent damage and even render them completely useless when it comes to future pleasure.

The standard breakdown is as follows: Nonporous dildos can be sanitized, while porous dildos cannot. What does this mean, exactly?

Well, to put it simply, nonporous dildos can be cleaned by being placed in a pot of boiling water - or, in some cases, can be cleaned in the dishwasher, which will expose the dildo to similar extreme temperatures.

This sanitization will quickly, effectively and completely kill off any bacteria which might be making their home on the surface of your toy.

Because there are no pores which allow the bacteria to sneak beneath the surface and hide, a single sanitization before or after use an ensure that a nonporous dildo is completely bacteria-free.

Meanwhile, porous dildos of any kind should never be boiled or placed in the dishwasher.

They are very sensitive to high temperatures and boiling would almost certainly lead to permanent warping. However, this does not mean that they cannot be effectively kept clean.

Porous dildos should be cleaned by hand using gentle soap and warm water as described earlier in this article. They should also be thoroughly dried after each cleaning.

You should also take extra care to store your porous dildos in clean, safe locations - we especially recommend wrapping each dildo in your collection in soft, lint-free cloth or placing them in separate dust resistant drawstring bags.

The pores make bacteria more difficult to completely remove from these dildos, so, when it comes to porous dildos, we feel that prevention is the most important step in the cleaning process.

(For this reason, it is often also recommended that porous dildos be used with condoms.)

In the following sections, we will briefly cover each of the most common types of dildo material and how they can most thoroughly and efficiently be cleaned:

Silicone

This popular sex toy material is nonporous, meaning that it can be boiled.

The majority of silicone dildos are also dishwasher safe. Typically, we recommend running dildos through the dishwasher accompanied only by other sex toys (and not at the same time as your dishes) and including only a very mild, unscented dish soap or even no dish soap at all.

Some owners of silicone dildos have found that their toy tends to retain odors, such as the scent of sweat or lube, longer than other similar nonporous materials.

If you find your silicone dildo beginning to smell slightly strange, you can try disinfecting it in a 10% bleach solution rather than cleaning it in plain water.

Just remember to rinse and dry your dildo THOROUGHLY after attempting this, as bleach should NEVER be allowed to come into contact with the most sensitive parts of your body. This should only be done when and if the dildo starts to smell, and does not need to be a necessary part of every cleaning.

Silicone dildos should always be stored separately in their own bag, box or cloth wrap.

If you own multiple silicone dildos, it is especially important to make sure that they are not allowed to come into contact with each other during storage.

Silicone in fact reacts quite poorly with itself, and too much extended contact can cause the outer "skin" of your dildo to warp, disfigure or become sticky or "gummy" in texture.

This will dramatically decrease both the lifespan of the dildo and the amount of pleasure you can get when using it for penetration.

Glass

True glass is not dishwasher safe. However, today, almost all glass dildos are made from a special type of glass technically referred to as "borosilicate" but more commonly referred to by the brand name "Pyrex".

Pyrex can both be safely cleaned in the dishwasher and sterilized with boiling water.

However, if you put your glass dildos in the dishwasher, make sure to give them space so that they are not touching any other items, as rubbing can cause friction and potentially damage the dildo.

When boiling your glass dildo, a good strategy is to put a washcloth or small hand towel in the pot alongside the toy.

This will prevent the dildo from rubbing against the sides of the pot, which is another potential source of damage

Metal

Metals other than stainless steel should not be placed in the dishwasher Luckily, most high-quality metal dildos which you will purchase from sites such as Lovegasm will be made from pure, completely dishwasher safe stainless steel.

As discussed with glass dildos above, metal dildos should be given plenty of space in the dishwasher rack.

Be careful and give your metal toy a few minutes to cool down when the dishwasher has finished running - stainless steel has excellent heat retention properties, and will remain warm to the touch for a while before it can be safely removed and stored.

In addition to boiling, metal dildos can also be sterilized in a solution of 90% cold water and 10% bleach.

However, you should make sure NEVER to heat the bleach, as this is extremely toxic to humans and the released fumes can damage your eyes, nose and throat simply by breathing them in.

You should also thoroughly dry your dildo after cleaning it with bleach, because bleach should never be introduced to sensitive areas of your body such as the vagina or anus.

Hard Plastic, Cyberskin & Elastomer "Jelly"

Cleaning instructions for all of the porous dildo materials are typically the same, as your options are much more limited when compared to nonporous alternatives.

Pretty much all porous dildos should be cleaned using the wipe-down method with a combination of warm water, a soft cloth and gentle, unscented hand or dish soap OR a specialty sex toy cleaner.

Hand wipes, especially the gentler variety designed for babies, are another great alternative.

Do NOT attempt to boil your toy or put it in the dishwasher - it could end up literally melting!

Because bacteria, mold and mildew are attracted to damp, dark places, you should endeavor to keep your porous toy as dry as possible.

Dry it thoroughly after each cleaning and leave it in a dry, room temperature or warmer, well lit place before putting it back in storage. Windowsills, desks, bookshelves or even your night stand make great options.

When it comes to storage, however, pick somewhere dark and dry so the toy does not overheat and melt. Sealed locations such as Tupperware or soft cloth bags are some of our personal favorite options.

(To learn more about storage locations and hiding places for your dildo, see our articles here and here.)

With porous toys, arguably prevention is the best strategy - it is very hard to get gunk out of the miniscule pores, so we recommend stopping them from getting inside in the first place.

To go the extra mile towards cleanliness, put a condom over your porous toy each time you use it, even if you are just having a little solo fun. This will make the cleanup process much quicker and easier as the toy will not be covered in lube, sweat or other bodily fluids.

As a last note, we highly recommend NEVER sharing your porous toys with any other person.

Sharing a dildo with your partner can be a highly intimate experience, but you should always choose a nonporous silicone, stainless steel or glass toy for this purpose.

Of course, you should also clean the dildo before switching partners, especially if you will be switching between the anus and the vagina, as these two areas of the body contain separate sets of bacteria which can cause your body harm if they are exposed to other sensitive parts.

Other Materials

When it comes to less common dildo materials such as ceramic or wood, your best bet is to read the individual cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer.

These dildos are much less universally "standard" than options such as silicone, glass, or hard plastic. For example, some wooden dildos are covered with a chemical coating that makes them completely dishwasher safe, while others are not.

Different types of ceramic have different levels of strength and temperature resistance, meaning that some may be able to be safely boiled while some should only be cleaned by using the wipe down method.

If you have any questions about how to clean your Lovegasm toy, you should always feel free to contact us with your concerns. The safety, comfort and pleasure of our customers is extremely important to us!

We get it - cleaning your dildo isn't exactly the sexiest part of the experience. However, keeping your dildo cleaned has been proven through a number of studies to extend the lifespan of your dildo by several months or even several years.

Ultimately, the few minutes of time you take to wipe down your dildo before each use and sterilize or soap it up afterwards will save you hours of heartbreak shopping for a new dildo after your old favorite has degraded past the point of usefulness.

Here at Lovegasm, we make sure our dildos are clearly labeled and categorized according to the material from which they are made, so that our customers will always know how best to clean their new acquisition.

So click on over to our catalog and take a look at the amazingly huge range of materials we've currently got available for purchase!

Previous article Why Should You Use An Anal Vibrator?