How To Properly Clean Your Vibrator After Every Use, Because It’s Essential

When you were a kid, the worst part about playtime was probably when you were all done and you realized you had to clean up your now-messy room. Making a mess is always so much more fun than dealing with the aftermath. That's still true today, even though as a grown up, the toys are very... well... different. That's right, today we are talking about sex toys — specifically how to properly clean your vibrator. Because just like all those LEGOs on your bedroom floor as a kid, if you don't keep your sex toys clean, it might hurt you later. (To be honest, I'm not sure which is worse: stepping on a LEGO brick or getting a UTI.) Fortunately, if you do your post-playtime chores, you don't have to worry about either.

How do you clean a vibrator? Can you just throw it in the dishwasher? Not unless you want to buy a replacement for it — and let's be real: A good vibe is not cheap, so having to buy a new one is a real bummer. Needless to say, it's important to know how to wash it properly, because, yes, there is a right way to clean your vibe.

Why it’s essential to wash it every time. (Yes, every time.)

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In your post-orgasmic state, you might not feel like giving your toy a good scrub when you could just lay back and enjoy the afterglow. Fine, bask for a few minutes, but after that it's time to do your post-playtime chore of cleaning your vibe, even if you're the only person using it. Here’s the thing: While there is nothing “dirty” about self pleasure or genitals, the fact is, according to Health, the bacteria from bodily fluids that get left behind, if left to their own devices, can breed and grow. If this happens and you use your toy again, it can result in a future vaginal infection including bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection. Not fun.

Keeping a tidy vibe is even more important if you're sharing the toy with a partner. There is the potential of passing on an STI like Herpes or HPV if one partner has it and the other uses the shared sex toy that hasn't been cleaned.

How to wash your vibe.

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Now that we're all on the same page about why washing your vibe after every use is so important, the question remains how to do it properly. The good news is, it's not very labor-intensive. If the vibe is made from a non-porous material like silicone, hard plastic, or metal, you can give it a quick scrub with antibacterial, non-irritating soap and cold water for about a minute and a half. However, if your vibe is made from a porous material like rubber, make sure to give it an extra detailed scrub in its nooks and crannies, including any that may have been created by wear and tear. Also, because vibrators made with porous materials are harder to disinfect, you may want to put a condom on it for future use, as Claire Cavanah, co-founder of Babeland, recommended to Refinery29.

It's also important to remember to be careful not to dunk or submerge any vibrator that is not waterproof, or you will damage the motor. That's an expensive mistake you’ll only make once — or hopefully not at all.

Store it safely for future playtime.

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Once your vibrator is good and clean, make sure to dry it off thoroughly to avoid any mildew. Finally, you’ll want to store it safely so it's ready to go the next time you're in the mood for a little play time. According to Shape, it's best to keep your sex toy stored in a clean box or pouch to protect it from collecting dust. “Do your best to keep other objects — like your cell phone or clothes — away from it," they noted. "The less interaction it has with other germ-carrying things, the better.”

See, it's not so hard after all! Trust me, it's totally worth taking just that little bit of effort to keep your vibrator clean. Your happy, healthy vagina will be oh-so-grateful.