How To Properly Clean A Vibrator To Avoid Bacteria & Infections

Avoid nasty bacteria, yeast infections, and STIs by properly cleaning your vibrator before and after every use, between partners, or orifices.
Aerial Photograph Of Two Hands Washing Curved Vibrator Over Basin With Running Water


If you’re not sure how to clean a vibrator — or if you’ve been doing it correctly — I’m going to demonstrate the best way to do it so you can stay healthy and safe!

Whether you’re using your vibrator solo for masturbation or with a partner for some sexy fun together, you should always clean your sex toys before and after every use.

There is a right and wrong way to clean a vibrator and yes, the way you do it most certainly matters.

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 You Should Clean Your Vibrator

Everyone should keep their vibrators squeaky clean and ready to go.

Cleaning your sex toys is not an option: It’s a necessity because you’re putting your sexual health at risk if you don’t.

That’s right.

I’m talking about all the not-so-fun things that could send you straight to the doctor’s office!

If not cleaned properly between uses, partners, or orifices, your vibrator can harbor:

If you put your vibrator (or any sex toy) back in your naughty drawer without cleaning it properly, bacteria, yeast, or viruses from bodily fluids can linger on the surface.

If that happens, your next hot vibe sesh could trigger a vaginal infection like bacterial vaginosis or a yeast infection — even if you’re using it solo!

Additionally, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) aren’t just passed through partnered intercourse or oral sex; their bacteria or viruses can breed on the surface of sex toys when they aren’t cleaned properly.

For instance, Hepatitis B and C can live outside of the body for days — including on the surface of a shared sex toy. Hep C can live for as long as four days, while Hep B can remain alive and active for up to a week!

Yikes.

Similarly, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and various sexually transmitted infections can be passed when sharing sex toys with an infected partner if the toy isn’t cleaned between partners or orifices.

UTIs are another risk to consider if you use the same vibrator anally and vaginally, as fecal bacteria (most commonly E. coli) can be passed from the anus to the urethra during vaginal penetration.

It’s a lot to think about and I’m not trying to rain on your parade, but it’s also why you have to be diligent when cleaning your vibrator — even if you’re using it by yourself.

Additionally, brand new, fresh-from-the-box vibrators also need to be cleaned before use to remove any lingering residue from the manufacturing or packaging process.

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How To Clean Your Vibrator

Cleaning sex toys is really easy — and that includes vibrators made of silicone or other materials.

As we talked about earlier, keeping your vibrator clean is important and it isn’t something you want to blow off.

Think of it as part of your normal sex routine and make it a habit you never break!

How To Clean A Vibrator

Supplies Needed For Cleaning A Vibrator:

  • Mild soap
  • A clean, lint-free cloth

Steps For Cleaning A Vibrator:

  1. Check the toy’s material and select the right cleaner
  2. Spray or wipe it with your favorite sex toy cleaner OR use a clean cloth with warm water and soap
  3. Rinse with water or use a clean damp cloth to remove soap or cleaner residue
  4. Let it air dry
  5. Store it in a cool, dry place or clean, lint-free pouch

Special Considerations: Vibrators have motors, so be sure to take out any batteries if they are removable. Do not submerge the vibrator in water unless it is 100% waterproof and make sure the toy’s material is compatible with the cleaner you are using.

Ready to get started? Watch my full demonstration below:


First, check to see if your vibrator has removable batteries. If so, take them out.

Second, check if your sex toy is waterproof. You may need to consult your vibrator’s manual if you’re not sure.

If your vibrator is NOT waterproof, you do not want to submerge it in water or get it too wet.

And if you’re not sure, it’s best to assume that it’s not waterproof. Better to be safe than ruin your favorite sex toy.

Third, if you’re using a sex toy cleaner, verify the sex toy’s material to make sure it’s compatible with the type of cleaner you’re using.

If you’re using mild soap, you can skip this step, as any mild soap will be compatible with any sex toy material.

That said, it’s important to note that porous toys can be difficult to clean thoroughly and nearly impossible to sanitize. For this reason, non-porous toys are always your best bet.

Now let’s get to the vibrator cleaning!

The process is the same whether you’re dealing with a silicone vibrator or one made from some other type of sex toy material.

All you need to do is use warm water, soap, and a clean, dry cloth OR a reputable sex toy cleaner.

The choice is yours — both are considered to be the best way to clean a vibrator.

We have some favorites if you need suggestions, but Adam & Eve’s 4-In-1 Pure And Clean Sex Toy Cleaner is my top pick.

Apply the soap or cleaner using a soft, clean cloth, making sure to wipe the entire surface well — including any reachable crevices or buttons.

If your vibrator isn’t waterproof, you’ll want to use a clean, damp cloth to remove the soap or cleaner.

If your vibrator is waterproof or water-resistant, you can rinse it under tap water.

When you’re done, let your toy air dry before storing it in a cool, dry place.

If your vibrator came with a storage pouch, that’s the perfect place to stash it for use later on.

See? Pretty simple!

There’s no need to get overly ambitious here.

On that note, you should never clean your vibrator with something that could be toxic or damaging to you or its materials.

Do NOT clean your vibrator with:

  • Bleach
  • Household cleaners
  • Perfume
  • Alcohol
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Boiling water

If you’re wary about using mild soap and water and feel like you need something “stronger,” there are plenty of reputable sex toy cleaners that we swear by.

They are all made with safe ingredients that can be used without worry.

My personal favorite is Adam & Eve’s Pure And Clean. It’s so easy to use!

Staff Favorite!
Adam & Eve Pure And Clean Misting Toy Cleaner
5.0
$7.95

[Note: Get the Adam & Eve Pure And Clean Misting Toy Cleaner for only $5.96. Use code "WHI25" and get 25% off from Adam & Eve — a specially negotiated discount we secured after independent review. Read Our Review]

Pros:
  • Alcohol-Free, Antibacterial Formula Is Gentle On Your Toys
  • Deodorizes, Disinfects, And Sanitizes So Your Toys Are Always Ready When You Are
  • Good For All Sex Toy Materials
Cons:
  • Known To Leak In The Package
  • Not To Be Used On Delicate Areas Or Skin
  • Spray May Be Difficult To Target On Small Areas (Or Toys)
  • Must Be Rinsed Off With Water Afterward
Bottom Line: Rating this 5 out of 5 after trying it ourselves, this best-selling and easy-to-use sex toy cleaner is a disinfectant, so all germaphobes should rejoice. This spray and foaming cleaner kills germs on contact but may not be good for those with sensitive skin if it isn’t rinsed well enough afterward — which is an important part of the process.
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When you purchase a product through an affiliate link, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. On behalf of our entire team, thank you in advance for your support!

So now that your vibrator is sparkling clean, how often should you clean it?

Always clean your vibrator before using it — even if it’s brand new.

There could be residue from the manufacturing process or from the packaging, including dust, or anything else that could irritate or cause infection.

You’ll also want to clean it after every use — whether you’re using it alone or with a partner.

If you share your toy with a partner, always clean it between partners to mitigate the risk of STI transmission.

Additionally, if your vibrator is being used in multiple orifices (mouth, vagina, or anus), always clean it between orifices to avoid the spread of bacteria or viruses (cross-contamination).

This is especially important when using toys in the vagina and anus.

Do not use a sex toy anally without cleaning it before putting it back in your vagina, or vice versa.

Fecal bacteria (typically E.coli) can be transmitted from the anus to the urethra during vaginal penetration and that can easily lead to UTIs.

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In Conclusion

Cleaning a vibrator is easy — and that’s a good thing because you need to do it often!

That said, you need to clean your vibrator the right way and with the right product — before and after every use, and between partners or orifices.

With plenty of excellent sex toy cleaners available, you should be able to find one you love but if you don’t want the added expense, mild soap and water work just as well!