How To Clean Your Sex Toys — Because, Yes, You Have To Do That

Photographed by Megan Madden.
As a kid, you probably guarded your Polly Pocket dolls with your dear life, treated your Beanie Babies to a weekly bath, and always made sure your Furby had fresh batteries. Now that you're grown, your sex toys deserve the same TLC, particularly when it comes to keeping them clean.
Regularly cleaning your sex toys will keep the material and motors in shape, so that they last longer, says Claire Cavanah, co-founder of Babeland, a sex shop in New York City. Not to mention, your sex toys navigate sensitive terrain. While there's nothing "dirty" about genitals, bacteria can build up on your toys and spread, so it's important to clean them regularly, she says.
According to Cavanah, you really should be washing your sex toys after every single use, and possibly before, too. When you buy a sex toy, there should be cleaning instructions somewhere on it. But if you've tossed the packaging, or just don't remember, ahead are some tips from Cavanah. Whether you're using a vibrator, dildo, strap-on, leather handcuffs, or anything else, here's how an expert says you should clean your sex toys.

More from Sex & Relationships

R29 Original Series