5 Horrible Things That Happen When You Don't Wash Your Sex Toys

It gets gnarly.

woman who has not cleaned her dirty sex toys Stock-Asso / Shutterstock

I'm a pretty gross person, but I'll be the first to admit it. Sometimes I forget to brush my teeth. I can go a full week without showering. I own a pair of jeans that I'm pretty sure could stand on their own in a corner, and I'm not even going to tell you how long I've gone without washing a bra (spoiler alert: rhymes with "shmonths.")

But there is where area of my life where I am borderline obsessive about staying clean and tidy, and that's with my sex toys.


Will I go a day without showering after I have sex? Sure! If anything, I think it can be kind of hot to walk around with my boyfriend's scent on me all day.

But with dirty sex toys, it's different.

RELATED: 5 Really Good Reasons To Splurge On Your Adult Toys

That's because sex toys are out to kill you.

That's an exaggeration, but not by much. If you do not take care of your sex toys, washing them with warm water and soap for sensitive skin, you are inviting a world of pain to visit you and your nethers.

Don't believe me?

Here are 5 things that happen when you don't wash your sex toys.

1. Bacteria builds up.

You might think that not cleaning a sex toy like a vibrator after one or two uses is no big deal. After all, it's yours, right? Who's gonna know and who's gonna care? You know, and more importantly, your vagina knows and it cares very, very much.


If you go without cleaning your vibrator or dildo, it can cause bacteria to build up on your toy.

Your vagina is a cave of miracles, that is true. Unfortunately, it is also riddled with bacteria both good and bad that rely on your own personal eco-system to keep you healthy.

Once removed from said (very sexy) eco-system, disaster can strike.

2. Your dirty sex toys can rot.

Before you buy a toy, you should make sure you know exactly what it's made of, and I don't just mean whose penis inspired its final design (though that is always fun information to have.) I'm talking about exactly which materials make up your toy.

If your toy is made of anything jelly-like, make sure it is phthalate-free. Toys slowly break down over time — and not just when you aren't using them. They can break down inside of you and leech chemicals into your bits. Not sexy.


What speeds up this process? Not cleaning your sex toys. So do it.

RELATED: 8 Things Your Vagina Desperately Wants You To Know

3. You can get a yeast infection.

Cleaning your sex toys is important to maintaining good health. Period. But if you are using your sex toys in all of your holes all of the time, that's even more reason to make hyper-vigilant about your cleaning habits.

If a dildo goes from butt to vagina and back again (also the title of my memoirs) it can upset the delicate flora and fauna of your vaginal ecosystem. In layman's terms, it can f*ck your sh*t up. Clean them after each use and save yourself thousands on Monistat.

4. You can get bacterial vaginosis.

If you're a sexually active woman and you do stuff like have sex without condoms and douche your vagina frequently then you are putting yourself at risk for a lot of things, chief among them, bacterial vaginosis.


Fun fact: You don't need to be sexually active to contract this disease. You can get it just by not cleaning your sex toys. So don't be gross, be clean when you get dirty.

5. You can get an STI.

Sex toys aren't just something you use by yourself. If you lead a charmed life, you could find yourself in the position of sharing them with other people during your sexual encounters.

There is good news: sexually transmitted infections cannot live for long in the air. So if you're using a sex toy a month after someone else did, you run less of a risk of getting sick. However, it's just a good practice to get into cleaning your toys as frequently as possible.


Think about it. Do you want to hedge your bets and be like, "Well, Chlamydia Dave used this butt plug eight weeks ago, I'll risk it," or do you just want to clean the damn things?

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a humor and lifestyle writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman.