Can You Boil Silicone Sex Toys Without Damaging Them?

By Kevin Foley / June 12, 2022

“Can you boil silicone sex toys?” This is a common question for people trying to find an effective way to sterilize their sex toys. Well, the simple answer is yes: you can! Unlike other sex toy materials (such as TPE) that are easily damaged by heat, medical grade silicone is essentially invulnerable to heat. You would be able to melt it eventually (at 2577.2 °F), but practically speaking, it’s a non-issue. However, just because silicone is heat-resistant doesn’t mean your silicone sex toy is. Make sure to read below before shoving your toy into a pot: you don’t want to damage it, after all!

Why People Boil Their Silicone Sex Toys

You might think that boiling a silicone sex toy would help it get clean. This is partially true, though not entirely accurate. Actually, you’ll need to clean your toy before boiling it! Otherwise, boiling it may not achieve the desired results. Sterilizing the surface won’t do much good if there are still foreign substances stuck to the toy! If microorganisms can survive by hiding, you could get a bacterial infection even if you boiled your toy. Always make sure the surface has been sufficiently cleaned before boiling your silicone sex toy.

Sanitization Vs. Sterilization

The purpose of boiling silicone is to “sterilize” it, not to clean it. When you sterilize a toy, you’re killing 100% of the microorganisms (bacteria and viruses) on the surface of the toy. This process eliminates the possibility of bacterial infections directly after sterilization. However, if your toy is stored improperly then bacteria could grow on the toy, making proper storage an important element of the process.

Sanitization is similar to sterilization, but it’s not as effective. Whereas sterilization kills all the bacteria and viruses, sanitization only kills most of the bacteria. Sanitization does not kill viruses. Just like with sterilization, proper storage is crucial to preventing a repopulation of bacteria on your toy.

Silicone Vs. Silicone Blends

We know you can boil silicone, but can you boil silicone blends? You might be able to boil a select few with positive results, though we wouldn’t recommend it. The issue with boiling a “silicone blend” is you don’t know what it’s blended with. Chances are, it’s a porous material (like PVC or TPE) with a much lower boiling point! While the silicone might not melt, the other materials in the blend very well could.

Can You Boil Silicone Vibrators?

If you’re still wondering “can you boil silicone vibrators?”, chances are, you haven’t tried it yet. This is good news: Don’t!

Remember how—with silicone blends—the silicone itself wouldn’t get damaged but the other materials could? It’s the same thing with silicone sex toys containing electronical components.

While boiling your silicone sex toy won’t damage the silicone exterior, it likely will damage the internal components of the toy. This means your favorite vibrating, pulsing, or thrusting toy won’t be able to do its job anymore! 

The “Safe to Boil” Silicone Sex Toy Checklist

  • Made from 100% silicone
  • Doesn’t contain electronic components
  • Has already been surface cleaned

How to Clean a Silicone Sex Toy

The Cleaning Process

Cleaning your silicone sex toy is a prerequisite to boiling it. Fortunately, you can clean your toy easily using only water and antibacterial soap! First, wash the toy off with water and soap, making sure to reach every part of the toy. Next, wash the surface again using only water. Once all the soap residue has been removed, you can either store or sterilize your silicone sex toy.

The cleaning process above works for both non-porous and porous sex toys. Non-porous materials (like silicone, glass, or stainless steel) don’t have any pores for bacteria to hide in, which means they can also be sterilized. Porous materials (such as PVC) have many microscopic holes for bacteria to hide in, which is why they can’t be sterilized, only cleaned.

The Sterilization Process

To sterilize your silicone sex toy, you’ll first need to find a pot big enough to submerge the toy in.

Once you’ve found one, fill it most of the way with water and bring this up to a boiling temperature. Submerge your sex toy in the boiling water for a minimum of three minutes before removing it.

The Drying Process

If you don’t properly dry your toy before storing it away, all your cleaning and sterilization efforts will have been wasted!

Bacteria rely on moisture to live, so removing the moisture will prevent bacteria from growing on your toy.

Some toys have select drying machines made specifically for them. If yours doesn’t, don’t fret! Simply follow the steps below.

  1. Pat your sex toy dry with a paper towel.
  2. Leave your toy out to finish air-drying (you can use a fan to expedite this process!).
  3. Store your toy in a clean, moisture-free environment.

What If I Don’t Clean My Silicone Sex Toy?

CLEAN YOUR SEX TOYS! It doesn’t matter if they’re silicone or not, all reusable sex toys need to be cleaned. Sex toys are exposed to many different contaminants, including sweat, oils, lubricants, and bodily fluids. These all cover the toy with moisture, which provides a perfect place for bacteria to hide & prosper. Even a toy left unused can collect dust and dirt!

If you decide to forgo skipping your sex toys then you should expect to get an infection. This could be in the form of bacterial vaginosis, a yeast infection, or a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). If your toy is used anally, you also risk contracting E. coli, Salmonella, parasites, hepatitis, and other bacterial infections. Furthermore, uncleaned sex toys that are shared between multiple partners can give you STDs. 

The main benefit of using a silicone sex toy is that it’s non-porous and can be sterilized. However, if you’re not bothering to clean it then it can still harbor bacteria, which defeats the purpose of specifically buying a silicone sex toy. Be smart, and clean your sex toys after every use!

What If I Don’t Boil My Silicone Sex Toy?

While the chance of getting an infection is slightly higher, you’re not required to boil your silicone sex toys. As long as you’re cleaning it after every use using antibacterial soap, your toy should be safe to use! If boiling simply isn’t a possibility but you want to be extra safe, consider using a condom for added protection.