Cleaning your sex toys is important, especially if you share your sex toy or it’s used on multiple areas of the body. But, is it okay to use hydrogen peroxide to clean sex toys? The answer to that is yes and no. The reason being is that sex toys are made from a variety of materials, some of which need to be cleaned with a material-safe product. Therefore, we are going to discuss what you should and should not use to clean your sex toys and the reasons why.
Can You Clean Sex Toys with Alcohol?
Alcohol is a product that is used to clean and sterilize many things; from your body prior to getting blood drawn to thermometers and surfaces. But, can you clean sex toys with alcohol? Just like hydrogen peroxide, yes, you can clean some sex toys with alcohol and some, you cannot. Read further to find out why.
What Are Your Sex Toys Made Of?
How you cleanse your sex toys depends entirely on the material from which your sex toys are made. And, if you are currently the owner of a tried and true, battery-operated plaything and have since thrown out its original packaging, it may be time to purchase a new sex toy so you know exactly what your adult toy is made of. Therefore, some sex toys can be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, depending on their material. So, what are your sex toys made of?
ABS is the technical term for hard plastic. You will find this type of material in many sex toys including vibrators, massagers and bullets. Plastic is non-porous but can crack with age or being dropped.
TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber) TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) and SEBS (Styrene Ethylene Butylene Styrene)
TPR, TPE and SEBS are materials found in the vast majority of sex toys that are soft and rubbery. Those sex toys are jelly-like, with clear or bright colors. Additionally, some can look like flesh tone and be named something with the word “skin” in the title. These sex toy materials are extremely porous, can dry out, crack or start to peel.
Plus, some of these toys contain Phthalates, a material known to cause cancer. Although some manufactures now use TPR and TPE that are Phthalate-free, that doesn’t lessen the risks of spreading bacteria via porous materials.
PVC, yes, like the white plastic pipes used in plumbing, is used to make sex toys. PVC has a bit of rubber added to soften the sex toy and may include toxic chemicals that can cause burns, irritation and cancer. PVC is also a porous material.
Latex sex toys are soft and flexible. However, latex breaks down easily, especially if used with any other lubricant aside from water-based solutions. Latex is also porous and can cause allergic reactions in some people, of which can be deadly to those with latex allergies.
Cyber Skin, Real Skin
Many sex toys are labeled with Cyber Skin, real Skin, Real Feel and other names to distract you from the fact that they are made from TPR, TPE or SEBS. These materials break down quickly and are extremely porous.
Borosilicate Glass, Lime Glass
Glass sex toys are made from the same type of glass you find in Pyrex dishes. Glass sex toys are non-porous and a great hypoallergenic alternative to other materials. Sex toys made of glass are beautiful as well.
When I think of wooden sex toys the first thing that pops into my mind is my partner “down there” with a magnifying glass and tweezers searching for splinters. But wooden toys are extremely smooth, coated with safe resins and are non-porous. However, prolonged use can wear down the coating and create a porous, unsafe sex toy.
Stainless steel sex toys may look like BDSM, pain-inducing gadgets but they are actually safe, non-porous sex toys that are perfectly acceptable playthings for couples and solo sex toy users. Stainless steel can also be heated and cooled, providing exciting sensations.
Silicone is a soft, flexible material that is body-safe and hypoallergenic. Silicone is also non-porous and doesn’t crack, peel or dry out as long as it is cared for properly. However, some silicone sex toys can be pricier and not budget-friendly for some people.
Silicone mixes like SEBS silicone or Real-Feel silicone are not silicone. These sex toy materials are mostly porous, as mentioned above and contain very little to no silicone at all.
Safe Ways to Clean Sex Toys
Now that I have given you the lowdown on the materials with which sex toys are made, what are the safe ways to clean sex toys and is it okay to clean sex toys with hydrogen peroxide?
Sure, standing at the sink and giving your dildo a good scrubbing is something that conjures up awkward images. However, cleaning your sex toys, no matter what they are made from, is extremely important.
You see, we have all sorts of good and bad bacteria in and around our naughty bits. And because of that, we can easily get an infection such as Vaginosis (think fish market), urinary tract infections, yeast infections (makes me itch just thinking about it) and sexually transmitted disease, especially if you share your sex toys with a partner.
Therefore, here are the safe ways to clean sex toys including answering the question if it is okay to clean sex toys with hydrogen peroxide. These cleaning tips are listed by the materials from which your sex toys are made.
- TPR, TPE, SEBS, PVC, silicone mixes and skin-type sex toys should not be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, rather, they should be cleaned with good, old-fashion soap and warm water. Be sure and rinse well and dry your sex toys afterward. And, if you have a skin-like product, use the restoration powder after washing and drying in order to keep the toy from degrading. You can also use available sex toy cleansers although you should always rinse the product off, even if the directions say otherwise. And, one word of warning; never, ever share sex toys made of these materials.
- Latex sex toys are extremely delicate. Therefore, this type of sex toy should also be washed with soap and warm water then dried completely before storing. Avoid hydrogen peroxide and toy cleansers as they contain harsh chemicals that can break down latex very quickly.
- Wood sex toys are safe to clean using soap and warm water as well as sex toy cleansers and hydrogen peroxide. But (and this is a very big but), always inspect your wooden sex toys for wear. The reason being is that if the coating wears down, your wooden sex toy is no longer sealed and suddenly becomes an extremely porous product.
- ABS plastic sex toys are easy to clean using soap and warm water, sex toy cleansers, hydrogen peroxide and alcohol as the material is completely non-porous. However, be sure and rise well as not to leave any chemical residue behind.
- Silicone sex toys should be washed with soap and warm water as well. Additionally, sex toys cleansers work well on this material. Just be sure and rinse all cleansing products from your silicone sex toy, as not to expose yourself to those harsh, cleaning chemicals. And to answer the question in regard to using hydrogen peroxide to clean your silicone sex toy, no, you should not.
- Stainless steel and glass sex toys can be cleaned with a variety of different things including hydrogen peroxide and alcohol. Additionally, you can cleanse stainless steel and glass sex toys with sex toy cleansers, soap and water as well as boiling them.
Protect Your Naughty Bits: Keep Those Sex Toys Clean and Safe!
Protect your naughty bits by keeping those sex toys clean! Why? Because sex toys made of porous materials that have microscopic pores which can harbor bacteria and viruses. Thus, without proper cleaning, your sex toy can give you yeast and bacterial infections as well as spreading STDs, if you share your sex toys with a partner.
Further, if you cleanse your sex toy improperly, for instance, using hydrogen peroxide on a sex toy made from a soft material (yes, even silicone!), it can break down the material. That causes larger pores, cracks and destruction of the materials which can harbor infection-causing bacteria and viruses
Finally, it’s best to use soap and water or a sex toy cleanser for all of your sex toys although you can clean stainless steel, PVC plastic and glass sex toys with hydrogen peroxide. That way, you can ensure your playthings remain safe and last for many steamy encounters to come.