Sex Toys Materials and Cleaning Care

Nicole M. Damato
04/06/2020 0 Comment

Sex toys can be a fun and novel way to engage in sex by yourself or with a partner. In today’s modern world, there are hundreds of different types of sex toys, many of which can be used by people of any gender or sexual orientation. Incorporating toys into your sex life can be an enriching experience; finding the right toy should be approached with a great deal of patience, playfulness, and safety.

There are a couple of guidelines which should be noted for anybody using sex toys of any kind:

Sex toys are a better option than household items. Most sex toys are designed with the human body and safety in mind. Such products are by far the safest option for items to use for sexual pleasure. Using household phallically shaped items such as a cucumber, hot dog, banana, or otherwise is not only unsanitary but also unsafe for those who use them. Investing in a sex toy is a good decision for anyone looking to expand their sexual practices

Cleaning is an essential process to ensure that using a sex toy is as safe as it is fun. In general, soap and warm water can effectively prevent a sex toy from collecting and maintaining harmful bacteria. Such bacteria could contribute to the passage of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Different toys are made of different materials that require different cleaning methods. We recommend taking note of a toy’s material and researching how to best clean the toy.

One toy, one hole, one time. Switching between anal and vaginal penetration with a sex toy can spread harmful bacteria between orifices which can lead to STIs. In any instance, be sure to clean the sex toy appropriately before switching users or orifices.

If you wish to use sex toys with your partner, be sure to discuss with them so that each party is fully consenting. Sex toys should positively enrich a couple’s sex lives, but this can only happen with open and honest communication between individuals about expectations and comfort levels. Be respectful and patient of a partner’s wishes to make sex more enjoyable for both individuals.

Using a sex toy for your own pleasure is not a reflection of inadequacies in your sex life. If one partner is dissatisfied after sex and decides to use a sex toy, the other partner should not feel hurt or upset. Sex toys can supplement one’s sex life in a positive way and should not be interpreted as an another’s deficiency in sex.

These are just a few of the essential things to keep in mind when selecting and using a sex toy. For most individuals, incorporating toys into sexual activities is new and can be uncomfortable to discuss; we hope this article provides you with the information you need to be more confident about sex toys in your own life.

Materials and Cleaning Care
It is important to know what material your toy is made out of as well as the appropriate cleaning methods to keep your toy safe and useable. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions when purchasing and maintaining a sex toy. Read below about the variety of materials frequently used and the cleaning practices associated with them.


Rubber is a common material for making sex toys because rubber is inexpensive to produce and easy to mold. The rubber used in most sex toys is porous, so it is not easy to clean thoroughly. Because of this, condoms are recommended when using a rubber toy. Rubber is used to make traditional and realistic dildos. Rubber has a firm feeling and is structurally sturdy. Rubber is also one of the most common materials used for strap-on dildos because it does not tear easily.


Jelly toys are similar to rubber toys, but they are slightly more squishy and pliable. This makes them feel more realistic than the cheaper rubber dildos. Jelly dildos are made soft by using special plasticizers, called phthalates, and these may be slightly toxic to humans, although the EU (European Union) has declared current levels of phthalate safe. Jelly toys are also porous, so it is wise to use a condom over the toy to help keep it free of potentially dangerous bacteria and protect yourself from any negative effects of phthalates. Jelly dildos can be used in strap-ons, but they should be carefully handled because they are not as solid as rubber dildos.


Silicon toys are very smooth and comfortable, and they are increasingly popular as a material for sex toys. Silicone toys are non-porous and very durable, so they can be cleaned and disinfected in a dishwasher, boiling water, or just scrubbed with soap and water. Take into consideration that an electric toy might require special care concerning water. In addition, silicone toys should not be used with silicone–based lubricant as this could lead to degradation of the toy.

Synthetic Skin

Another type of material used for sex toys is called “realistic skin”; other labels such as Cyberskin, Real Feel Super Skin, Better-Than-Real, and Fanta Flesh all refer to the same material.2This is a synthetic blend that is the closest you can get to real skin today. It is soft and smooth and feels realistic; however, it is very porous as well as being fragile and easily torn. Careful cleaning and disinfecting of the material is necessary. Realistic skin must also be cleaned with a powdery material such as corn starch. This special cleaner helps keep the material soft.2Using condoms to protect the synthetic skin helps make its cleaning easier. This synthetic material is most popularly used in male sex toys such as a Fleshlight.


Latex toys are made of rubber. Many people have latex allergies, so for some it may be wise to stay away from these kinds of toys. Latex is generally flexible and has a smooth, glossy finish. Latex toys require extra care when cleaning as they can be porous. As such, it is recommended that one use a condom with latex toys. They should be cleaned with a special antibacterial sex–toy cleanser. In addition, they should be powdered with a renewing powder for best results.


Glass is a newer material being used in toys. Glass is non-porous and, therefore, very easy to clean. Like silicone, it can be put in the dishwasher or cleaned with soap and warm water. While glass dildos can be for the most part safe, there are some caveats we would like to discuss. Glass toys with paint on their surface are not safe for use. The paint may be slightly toxic for humans and can chip off during use. Glass is prone to chipping, so be sure to check glass dildos for chips and cracks before use. Another potential problem with glass toys is that the material that glass dildos are made out of is the same material as glass cookware, which could spontaneously shatter under extreme temperatures.

Surgical Steel

Some dildos and vibrators are also made from surgical steel. Surgical steel is safe for internal play as it is smooth and nonporous. In addition, steel toys are easy to clean and will not break easily. Steel toys can be washed in the dishwasher or in a mixture of 10% bleach and 90% water to fully disinfect.
Whatever material your toy is made of, it is recommended that you follow the cleaning directions provided by the manufacturer. Taking appropriate cleaning care for your specific toy will increase its longevity and ensure that the pleasure you enjoy from it is risk free.