How to clean your toys

Dear AWT Pleasure Specialists,

What’s the best way to keep my toys clean? I’ve seen “toy cleaner” advertised – do I need to buy any special products to keep my toys clean?

With good care and reasonable use, your toys should last for quite a while. To protect yourself and those you love, consider the following cleaning suggestions.

Plastic vibrators

Since hard plastic is a non-porous material, it can be adequately cleaned with soapy warm water. If your toy is waterproof, check to make sure there’s a tight seal around the battery compartment before washing it. If your toy is not waterproof, make sure to use a washcloth to clean it, rather than cleaning it under the faucet or in the sink. We’ve found that using a fragrance-free, dye-free, oil-free soap (like regular, unscented antibacterial Dial) is best for toys that will come into contact with your sensitive genital tissues.

Silicone toys

If your silicone toy is used only by you, and only vaginally, you can clean it with soapy warm water after each use. It is also safe to wash silicone toys in the top rack of your dishwasher, but this is not neccessary, and will not clean them any better than washing with soap and water by hand.  If your toy is shared with others, or used both anally and vaginally, you should cover it with an unlubricated condom each time. This is the only way to completely protect yourself and any partners you may have.

The wonders of latex

For any toys that are shared or used both anally and vaginally, please cover yourself or your purchase with a barrier each time it comes in contact with a different person. (Latex allergic people can use polyurethane, like Trojan Supra.) Condoms are very durable and can fit over massager heads, dildos and other items. Latex or polyurethane dams can also be used to cover surfaces while still transmitting sensations.


To keep that cyberskin healthy, wash your items with soap and water, then dust lightly with cornstarch. Make sure not to use talc, as it has been linked to cervical cancer. If you get yeast infections easily, rinse your Cyberskin clean of any remaining cornstarch, or cover it with a non-lubricated condom, before your next use.


Lucite items should be washed only with hot soapy water (so don’t share them – if you do, use a condom every time). If exposed to alcohol, sunlight or heat, they’ll get brittle.


Leather doesn’t take well to boiling water or soaking, so shouldn’t be shared. Leather can be washed in warm soapy water (but not soaked) and dried without harm.

Using a silicone-based lube?

Beware. Silicone items react badly to silicone-based lubricants (Move, System Jo, UberLube). This isn’t dangerous, but it will spoil the look of your toy.


Use all items carefully. Remember to turn OFF electrified items when not in use or before blissing off to sleep.

If the use of any item results in pain, discontinue use immediately. If pain persists, please see your physician.

But what about that toy cleaner?

There is no need to purchase special “toy cleaner”. Commercial sex toy cleaners are often very strong detergents (many with nonoxynyl-9), and can be difficult to rinse off effectively. You’ll be putting that detergent right on your body the next time you use your toy which can lead to contact dermatitis. Hot soapy water is an adequate cleaning method for your toys.