Are You Cleaning Your Vibrator the Right Way?

You bought a vibrator, it feels fantastic, it gives you incredible orgasms – amazing! But… what’s next?

Well, other than buying another one (yes, your nightstand will be full before you know it), you’ve got to clean the one you’ve got!

It’s one of the most important steps in making your sex toys serve you for as long as possible, yet far too many of us neglect it, or just aren’t sure about the best way to go about it. In fact, a 2009 study reported that almost 14% of women never cleaned their vibrators either before or after using them. Yikes.

And yes, those post-orgasm hormones don’t make it easy to get out of bed and wash your vibrator, but it’s not quite as daunting a task as you might think.

I’ve created this guide to how to clean a vibrator to help you navigate through the process, from finding out what your vibrator is made of to creating a personalized cleaning plan for your buzzy buds, as well as how to store them in the most hygienic way.

 

How to clean a vibrator st 2

 

What is Your Vibrator Made Out Of?

How to clean a vibrator will depend on a few different things, not least of which being what it’s made from.

In the sex toy world, there are two main categories of materials that we like to sort every toy into: porous and non-porous. Porous materials, like PVC, rubber, TPE and more, have microscopic holes in them that hide dirt and germs and make them unhygienic.

We generally don’t recommend buying sex toys made from porous materials – they’re very difficult to clean properly, degrade pretty quickly and can, in some cases, even contain toxic chemicals that can do a lot of damage to your body.

Non-porous materials, on the other hand, are the perfect candidates for sex toys. They don’t have any holes, making them much more body-safe and a breeze to clean, requiring just a quick wipe or scrub. Non-porous sex toys are usually made of one of the following materials:

  • Silicone
  • Glass
  • Stainless steel
  • Wood (sealed with a body-safe finish)

 

How to clean a vibrator – waterproof

 

Is My Vibrator Waterproof?

The method you use to clean your vibrator will also, of course, depend on whether it’s waterproof or not. After all, you don’t want to go ahead and submerge a vibrator in water when it has exposed electrical parts!

But you might notice when you look at the product descriptions of many vibrators that they often use words other than just “waterproof” or not.

If you see that a toy is “submersible”, that means that it’s completely waterproof and you can go ahead and completely submerge it in water or rinse it for as long as you’d like.

If the description says “splashproof”, it means that you can give it a quick rinse under a tap, but you shouldn’t place it completely underwater or take it in the bath or shower with you. It’s often a good idea when cleaning these kinds of toys to cover the charging port if it’s exposed.

And finally, if your vibrator is not waterproof, you shouldn’t put it anywhere near water. Instead, give it a wipe down with a wipe or a damp cloth and some soap, and don’t forget to dry it off thoroughly afterwards.

 

How to clean a vibrator – soap

 

What to Use to Clean Your Vibrator

Soap and Water

If you thought that learning how to clean a vibrator properly would require buying lots of specialized lotions and potions, then think again. You probably already have what you need in your bathroom cupboard, or at least at your local dollar store.

The easiest and possibly most effective way to clean a vibrator is plain old soap and water. Opt for a mild and unscented hand or dish soap, and lather it on your sex toy with some water for a few moments before rinsing it off, and you’re all good to go!

However, you should avoid scented soaps, or ones with moisturizers in them, as they can affect the pH balance of your genitals (especially if you have a vagina) and lead to problems like bacterial or yeast infections. In fact, if you’re prone to those kinds of issues, you might even experience this using milder soaps – in which case, you might want to check our other suggestions below.

And, of course, if your vibrator isn’t waterproof, you should keep it away from water. Instead, use a damp cloth with some soap applied to it and give it a good wipe down before wiping again with a clean cloth and drying thoroughly. Or keep reading for an alternative…

 

Sex Toy Cleaner

The other popular way to clean a vibrator is using a specially-formulated sex toy cleaner. These generally come as sprays, though there are also foaming cleaners and even wipes available.

Lots of sex toy companies make their own cleaning solutions for their products, but that doesn’t mean that you have to buy a specialized cleaner for each different toy that you get. Just find one that you like and you can use it with almost every toy you’ll encounter. Some of our favorites are the Before & After Foam Antibacterial Toy Cleaner, Lovehoney’s Fresh Biodegradable Wipes and the organic Sliquid Shine Intimate Toy Cleaner.

Sex toy cleaners

Using a sex toy cleaner is easy! Simply apply it liberally to your vibrator, leave it on for the length of time specified on the bottle, and then rinse or wipe off the excess and dry with a clean towel.

For non-waterproof toys, sex toy wipes are a great alternative, as they don’t require any water and only apply moisture where you wipe them. When cleaning these types of toys, be careful to avoid any electrical parts and remember to dry them well.

The only issue with sex toy cleaning solutions is that they often don’t catch absolutely everything (especially wipes!). If it’s possible, you should also wash them with soap and water when you can, and save the ready-made cleaners as an occasional time-saver.

 

Steer Clear of These!

There is a lot advice around the internet about how to clean a vibrator or any other sex toy, and a lot of it is contradictory or just plain confusing. There are all kinds of articles recommending all kinds of ways to sanitize sex toys, and many of them are inadvisable, even dangerous!

Here’s a simple rule I live by, and encourage you to do as well: don’t use anything to clean a sex toy that you wouldn’t put inside your body.

That includes, but is definitely not limited to, bleach, alcohol, Windex, hydrogen peroxide, or any scrubbing products with abrasives in them. All of these could cause some serious damage to your skin and/or your insides, and you should keep them well away from your vibrators.

You should also avoid putting your vibrators in boiling water to clean them. You may have of the infamous ‘sex toy soup’, where you place silicone toys into boiling water for a few minutes to sanitize them, but this isn’t a good idea when it comes to vibrators.

Hot water and electrical motors just don’t mix, and you may well break your vibrator by exposing it to too much heat. For this reason, you also shouldn’t try to clean your vibrator in the dishwasher.

 

How to clean a vibrator – time

 

When Should You Clean Your Vibrator?

It can be so tempting after sex to just cuddle in bed, or even drift off to sleep, but the reality is that your vibrator needs to be cleaned as soon as you’re finished doing the deed. Not an hour or two afterwards, but as soon as you can.

This may seem a little demanding, but it’s simply the easiest way to make sure that your vibrator stays clean, hygienic and ready-to-use.

My pro tip would be to just take it to the bathroom with you when you go to pee after sex, because you really should be doing that too (especially if you have a vagina)! That way, you can save a trip and start two good habits at the same time.

You may have also heard that you should clean your vibrator before you use it, too. And yes, in an ideal world, you could give it a quick rinse before getting down to business, which should take care of anything you missed before or anything that your vibrator has picked up in the meantime.

However, don’t panic if you get caught up in the moment and don’t manage to do this every time. If you’re storing your vibrator correctly, you can get away with skipping this step sometimes. Just scroll down to see the best ways to store sex toys safely and hygienically.

 

How to clean a vibrator st 1

 

Why Should You Clean Your Vibrator?

If you’ve read any of our content here at Bedbible before, then you’ll know that we’ll never miss an opportunity to remind you to clean your sex toys!

This is for a few different reasons. The first is that taking time to clean your vibrators, dildos and everything else simply makes them last longer! Cleaning slows the degradation of your sex toys’ materials, so that they’ll provide you with pleasure for many years in the future.

The second, and less fun reason is that not cleaning your vibrators can lead to some pretty nasty problems. Leaving your vibrator be after using it can cause an overgrowth of bacteria and viruses that can potentially lead to a whole host of conditions, including:

  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Yeast infections
  • UTIs – especially if you’re switching between anal and vaginal play without cleaning in-between
  • STDs like HPV or herpes

 

These potential hazards are present with whichever kind of vibrator you’re using, whether it’s an external clit vibrator, an internal anal vibrator or anything in-between, so it’s incredibly important that you figure out how to clean a vibrator and come up with a good cleaning routine for all of your buzzy and rumbly friends.

Fortunately, we’re here to help!

 

How to clean a vibrator – storage

 

Are You Storing Your Vibrator Correctly?

The last, and often most overlooked step of how to clean a vibrator (or, more accurately, keep it clean) is keeping them stored the right way.

Nope, just throwing them back in your nightstand or sock draw unfortunately isn’t enough. Loose vibrators rattling around somewhere like that can and will pick up all kinds of dirt, dust, hairs and more from their environment, and all that can transfer to your intimate areas when you next use them.

There are a few different ways to go about storing your vibrators and other sex toys, so you can choose which one is right for you based on your budget and the amount of room you’re prepared to devote to them.

Bags

The first is to put them in individual bags made of silky or satiny material. Thankfully, many sex toys come packaged with one of these, which makes things a lot easier, but you can also salvage them from other products around your house. For example, one of mine was originally a drawstring bag for my boyfriend’s electric razor!

If that fails, they can also be bought from most sex toy stores. Lovehoney stock several sizes of their satin drawstring bag, all for under $5, as well as this fancier lace bag that’s perfect for gifting.

In a pinch, you can stick a vibrator in a clean sock or something similar to keep it away from germs, but it’s not a great long-term solution. The fibers and lint from those kinds of materials can stick to your vibrator, which is really what you’re trying to avoid.

Sex toy storage

Boxes

You can also store your sex toys in boxes or cases. If you’re into organization and want to keep them all together and orderly, this can be a good option, whether you opt for smaller stackable plastic boxes, or one large case with compartments, like a toolbox!

One big advantage of storing your sex toys this way is that many boxes and cases can be locked – perfect for keeping your treasures away from prying eyes and sticky fingers.

There are also several brands that produce specially-designed sex toy storage cases. Some of my favorites include this inexpensive lockable case with antibacterial lining, the Joyboxx, which has a combination lock, ventilation holes and an easy-open top compartment for fuss-free access to your toys, the Tallulah from Liberator, which is beautiful and looks right at home in full view!

If you really want to push the boat out, you can even find storage cases that use UV light to kill bacteria on your sex toys! I wouldn’t recommend this as a replacement for cleaning your vibrators by hand, though – think of it as a supplement to your usual cleaning routine.

 

How to clean a vibrator st 3

 

Finding out how to clean a vibrator the right way may feel a little frustrating at first, but aren’t so many things that are ultimately good for us?

If you find ways to incorporate cleaning your vibrator into your post-sex or masturbation routines, soon enough you won’t even think twice about giving them a quick scrub with a little soap and water. And your vibrator, and your genitals, will thank you for it.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *