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How to Clean Your Sex Toys, Furniture and Lingerie

If there’s a will to get that silicone lube and unsavory butt smell out of your favorite insertable device, there’s definitely a way.

One of the gigs I’ve worked most often in my life has been in porn production. It’s not a bad job — it’s hard to complain when your job involves helping beautiful women get in and out of rope bondage and squirting lube into their holes. But it’s also meant that I’ve spent a large portion of my time on earth cleaning dildos, fuck furniture and fetish gear. 

During this time, I’ve also noticed that most people aren’t great at cleaning their own gear. In fairness, it’s a little confusing to know which soap to use for what, and there are a number of oozing sexual effluvia that are far harder to get out of certain toys and fabrics than it seems. So, since I care deeply that your toys and such go in totally, perfectly clean, here are some tips based on the knowledge I’ve accrued over the years… 

Pre-emptive Measures

When it comes to managing sex messes, it’s helpful to first take pre-emptive measures to save yourself from extra cleanup. Maybe your partner is a squirter and you’d like to keep your mattress from getting soaked. Or perhaps you’re using silicone lube and just don’t want your bed to feel like a Slip ‘N Slide. In either case, you’ll want to have something that keeps your mattress safe. 

The Fascinator Throw is a blanket specially designed to absorb lube and other fluids. Just lay it down on your intended sex surface, and when you’re done screwing, you can just toss it in the washing machine. You can also find fitted, leather-like PVC bed sheets that are waterproof and easy to wipe when you’re done rather than having your mattress soak up loads like some sort of load sponge.

For toys like dildos or vibrator wands, it can also be helpful to throw a condom on them to keep them from getting especially dirty — it’s not like the dongs will complain about not wanting to wear a rubber. 

Know What Your Toys Are Made Of 

When caring for your toys, it’s essential to know what materials they’re made from — as that’ll determine what method you use to clean them. 

The biggest distinction to watch for is whether the product is porous or non-porous. Toys made of soft, squishy and flexible materials like jelly rubber, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and TPR (thermoplastic rubber) are porous, meaning they’re full of tiny holes and air pockets that are just waiting to trap bacteria and yeast. I’d recommend against using these toys in general — they’re just not as hygienic — but if you must go the porous route, clean them ASAP after use with warm water and a non-abrasive, unscented soap.

Non-porous materials like silicone, glass and metal are more ideal because they don’t trap bacteria, which makes them easier to clean. If your toy is made of silicone glass, metal or latex, clean it using warm water and a mild, antibacterial dish soap (again, unscented is best). If your toy has a motor and/or batteries and isn’t waterproof, use a damp rag or paper towel instead of rinsing it directly. (Important side note: If your toys are made of silicone, never use silicone lube with them — it will degrade the toy.)

There are also sprayable sex toy cleaners that work as a viable quick fix for those moments when you’re just too jizzed out to make the long trek to the bathroom. But if your sex toy has been, say, inside of an anus, it’s best to just wash it with soap and water. 

Disinfection is Different Than Cleaning

While cleaning does most of the work to keep you safe and maintain your toys, there’s also disinfection to keep in mind. Cleaning a toy removes germs and any undesired substances like lube, lint or bodily fluids from the object’s surface, while disinfection kills any possible remaining germs and bacteria. Especially if you’re sharing toys between multiple partners, this step is essential for preventing transmission of any bacteria or STIs.

If your toys are made of metal, silicone or glass and they don’t have motors (or if they’re waterproof), you can disinfect them by having yourself a good old fashioned dick boil. Put them in a large pot and boil for three to five minutes. Salt to taste — just like grandma used to make! 

At most sex parties and dungeons, CaviCide, a disinfectant that kills bacteria and viruses and comes in either spray or wipes, is used to disinfect communal equipment and toys between uses. We also often used this on set at the end of day porno clean-up — my go-to was to lay all the instruments out on a towel, spray them all down, wait two minutes, flip them over and repeat. Much like when you’re wrist deep inside of a butthole, it’s recommended that you wear gloves while handling CaviCide. 

Oh, and speaking of b-holes…

Removing Anal Smells 

Like many of our most important cultural icons, I too enjoy shoving things up my ass. But one of the unfortunate drawbacks of this great pastime is that no matter how well you clean yourself out beforehand, certain unappealing scents may linger on the toy you put up your butt (this is especially true for porous toys).

Exorcising the dreaded booty stank from your ass toys is much more of an art form than an exact science, but I’ll tell you one thing: It’s helpful to give it a second wash (again, mild soap and water is king). I also have anal-loving peers who like to coat their toys in coconut oil for about an hour before rinsing them again — they say it helps with the smell — but I’ve found that the aforementioned dick boil is one of the best solutions. If that’s not feasible, letting the anal intruder air out for day or so does wonders, too. 

But What About Cum Stains?

Ah, the oldest of questions. If the splooge is farm-fresh, it’s as simple as a rinse and scrub with detergent and cold water to wash that load right out of your slacks. But if the inciting orgasm has long since passed and the cum has settled, try a spot treatment or some white vinegar, which dissolves organic compounds.

Treating Your Leather

While licking a dominatrix’s leather is a fun, sexy visual, it’s unfortunately not always the most effective method of cleaning. Whether it’s restraints, whips, paddles or just a nice bulldog harness, you’ll want to use a rag and a specialized leather cleaner such as Trinova. Or, if you’re finding it hard to remove bodily fluids or slippery lube from your leather gear, try wiping it down with a bit of rubbing alcohol. If the dye isn’t sealed inside your leather, this may remove a bit of it, but it can be added back in with some colored polish or shoe cream.

Caring for Latex

Now fellas, if you’re anything like me, chances are that you too have eaten a cream puff while wearing a latex gimp hood and a face full of makeup, and now you need to know how you can clean it. “Sweat and body oils staying on latex can result in damage over time so it’s important to wash your garment as soon after wearing as you’re able,” advises latex designer Abigail Greydanus.

Latex clothing can only be handwashed, so give it a bath in lukewarm water and some non-bleach soap (Greydanus recommends a dish soap like Ajax Lemon). Then, get rid of the suds on your rubber by giving it a second bath in only water at the same temperature. To store your latex, it’s important to keep it away from sunlight and sharp objects. When putting it away, give it either a light dusting of talc powder or polish it with a silicone lube, and then fold it in tissues until you wear it next. 

Washing Lingerie

Lace, spandex and elastic — three materials common in lingerie — should never go in the dryer. Lingerie should be washed in cold water, either on a delicate machine setting or by hand (if they’re silk, definitely handwash), and then hung to dry. Some modern lingerie can be put through the dryer, but doing that will dramatically reduce its lifespan, so I’d stick to old-school hand stuff.