How To Clean A Strap-On And Pegging Harness

Kill bacteria and viruses, and prolong the life of your strap-on dildo and pegging harness, by cleaning them from top to bottom — every time you use them!
Close-Up Photograph Of Woman's Bare Thigh With Hand Caressing Brown Leather Harness Being Worn

You probably know sex toys like vibrators and dildos need to be cleaned, but what about harnesses and strap-ons?

It’s easy to think you don’t need to pay as much attention to the harness as you do the toys, but that would be a mistake.

Like all sex toys, strap-ons and harnesses should be cleaned after each use.

Pegging harnesses come in a variety of materials including:

  • Leather
  • Nylon
  • Fabric
  • Silicone
  • Vinyl

As you’ll discover, it’s not just a matter of cleaning your harnesses regularly, but also correctly because each material has different cleaning requirements.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our How To Clean Sex Toys hub, an in-depth and evolving resource that comprehensively explores all aspects of sex toy hygiene.

Why It’s Important To Clean Strap-Ons And Harnesses

You finally bought that pegging strap-on you’ve been dreaming of.

You unpack it and eagerly begin fiddling with the harness sizing so you can use it right now.

I’ve got some “bad” news for you: You need to clean it first!

Yes, it’s brand new and it’s never been used before.

It may look clean but there could be residue left behind from the manufacturing process, or even bacteria from anyone who handled it during packaging.

If your new harness comes with a dildo, the clean-up process becomes even more crucial, and yes — you have to clean them both.

Trust me, your vagina and booty will thank you.

Afterward, you’ll need to clean your harness (and dildo!) after every use.

Here’s why it matters:

If a harness or a dildo isn’t properly cleaned, they can harbor bacteria and viruses that can lead to nasty infections.

Not only that, but they can also transmit STIs.

Of course, different viruses have different lifespans outside of the human body.

For instance, hepatitis B can live up to a week, whereas hepatitis C will live up to 6 weeks on the surface of a harness or toy.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and candida are easily transmittable between partners when sharing toys if you don’t clean them first — or between orifices.

Sex can be messy and bodily fluids can end up in areas you never thought they could — so even the parts of a harness that never come into contact with your genitals still need to be cleaned.

Thoroughly — and after every use.

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How To Clean A Strap-On Or Pegging Harness

As with all sex toys, strap-ons need to be cleaned.

Since the material can vary between harnesses and dildos, you must clean each accordingly.

Most harnesses come with instructions regarding cleaning and care.

Make sure you read them!

The best way to clean a strap-on may vary depending on what it’s made from.

A fabric harness, for instance, will be cleaned quite differently than a leather one.

In this section, we’ll tell you how to clean a strap-on harness made from:

We’ll also tell you how to clean dildos made from materials that are:

  • Non-porous — which means the toy’s surface will not absorb fluids or bacteria
  • Porous — which means the toy’s surface contains small pores that can absorb bodily fluids, trapping bacteria inside

How To Clean A Leather Strap-On Harness

Supplies Needed For Cleaning A Leather Strap-On Harness:

  • A clean cloth
  • Warm water mixed with saddle soap
  • Optional: a little alcohol

Steps For Cleaning A Leather Strap-On Harness:

  1. Using warm water and a little saddle soap, wipe the harness down using a clean cloth
  2. If necessary, you can disinfect leather (to a degree) by using a little rubbing alcohol on the surface but you’ll need to wipe the harness down with saddle soap and warm water afterward
  3. Let it air dry
  4. Store it in a cool, dry place that isn’t in direct sunlight

Special considerations: Unfortunately, leather is porous and will absorb moisture and bacteria, so you want to clean it thoroughly. You should never dunk a leather harness in water or put it in the washing machine.

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How To Clean A Nylon Or Fabric Strap-On Harness

Supplies Needed For Cleaning A Nylon Or Fabric Strap-On Harness:

  • Both materials can go in the washing machine
  • Alternatively, you can use:
    • A clean cloth
    • A little detergent
    • Hot water

Steps For Cleaning A Nylon Or Fabric Strap-On Harness:

  1. If there are non-waterproof undetachable pieces:
    1. Use a little detergent and hot water and wipe it with a clean cloth
    2. Let it air dry
    3. Store in a cool, dry place or put it in a clean, lint-free pouch
  2. If everything on the harness is waterproof:
    1. Put your strap-on in the washing machine
    2. Let it air dry — do not place it in the dryer unless the instructions indicate otherwise
    3. Store in a cool, dry place or put it in a clean, lint-free pouch

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How To Clean A Silicone Or Vinyl Strap-On Harness

Supplies Needed To Clean A Silicone Or Vinyl Strap-On Harness:

  • A clean cloth
  • Warm water
  • Mild soap
  • Alternatively, you can use a sex toy cleaner

Steps For Cleaning A Silicone Or Vinyl Strap-On Harness:

  1. Wipe the strap-on harness with water and mild soap using a clean cloth
  2. If using a sex toy cleaner, rinse with water afterward or use a damp cloth to remove residue
  3. Let it air dry
  4. Store in a cool, dry place that isn’t in direct sunlight

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How To Clean A Non-Porous Strap-On Dildo

Supplies Needed To Clean A Non-Porous Strap-On Dildo:

  • Warm water
  • Mild soap
  • A clean cloth
  • Alternatively, you can use a sex toy cleaner

Steps For Cleaning A Non-Porous Strap-On Dildo:

  1. Check what material it’s made from; that will dictate the best sex toy cleaner to use if you opt for one
  2. Use warm water and mild soap and wipe it with a clean cloth, or spray and wipe it with a sex toy cleaner; if it is entirely waterproof, it can be submerged in water for washing or rinsing
  3. Let it air dry
  4. Store in a cool, dry place or put it in a clean, lint-free pouch

Special considerations:  When cleaning a dildo that can house a small vibrator, make sure to remove it before submersion. If your pegging toy is a vibrator, remove any batteries if possible before cleaning it, and do not submerge it in water unless it is completely waterproof.

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How To Clean A Porous Strap-On Dildo

Supplies Needed To Clean A Porous Strap-On Dildo:

Steps For Cleaning A Porous Strap-On Dildo:

  1. Remove any batteries or other non-waterproof parts if possible
  2. Use warm water, soap, and a clean cloth, or spray it with your favorite toy cleaner
  3. Let it air dry
  4. Store in a cool dry place or put it in a clean, lint-free pouch

Special considerations: If you must use a porous sex toy, be sure to clean it as well as possible because those things collect bacteria like it’s their job.

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In Conclusion

Cleaning your sex harness before and after every use will help keep bacteria and viruses away.

Not only that, but correct cleaning will also prolong its life so that you can enjoy it a lot longer.

Trust us when we say that infections are a lot easier to prevent than they are to treat, so clean your harness and your dildo from top to bottom — every time you use it!