Reusable fleshlights are wonderful toys but do require some effort on your behalf. As with any item, correct care leads to a longer lifespan.
Here’s the lowdown on caring for and using a fleshlight:
Out of the Box: Before Your First Time
Your new sex toy has finally arrived. Before you unbuckle your pants, slow down—it has to be prepared first.
The guidelines below are general rather than brand-specific. I strongly recommend checking in the box in case there are special instructions:
- Gently remove the sleeve from the case.
- Pull out the tubing from the orifice entry and throw it away. It’s usually hard plastic and used to support your sleeve during shipping.
- Clean the sleeve thoroughly as directed by the manufacturer.
- Warm up the sleeve with a heating rod or by placing it in a bowl of warm water. You can also warm up your lubricant instead.
- Replace the sleeve in the case and squeeze lubricant in.
- Your fleshlight is ready for use.
Preparation: Before Every Use
You’ll be following the same steps as above with two exceptions. One, you won’t have to take a plastic rod out of your sleeve.
Secondly, your sleeve and case should already be clean and ready. That’s right; you’ll have to clean your love toy after each use—I’ll talk more about that next.
Keeping Your Fleshlight Hygienic
Every encounter with your fleshlight will likely end in ejaculation—that’s almost a given. Putting your toy away with a sleeve full of sperm isn’t only disgusting, but stupid.
It won’t magically clean itself—the mess will still be there when you take it out again. I’ll let you think about the smell of old jizz for a moment.
On top of that, you’ll be shortening the lifespan of your sex toy. Semen isn’t pH-neutral—it contains organic acids.6
These can harm the material of your sleeve if left to sit long-term, and provoke mold growth.
You may not catch an STD from your fleshlight, but a dirty one can give you an infection. Think of burning urinary tract infections or a nasty case of yeast on your penis.
I’m glad you’re convinced—let’s move on. Consult your sex toy’s manufacturer for recommended cleaning solutions and tools, and then get started:
How to Clean a Fleshlight?
You’ll need a fleshlight-specific cleaning product, running water, and gentle detergent. Do not run any part of your sex toy through the dishwasher, and avoid boiling water. That is, unless you want to deliberately damage or destroy it.
- Detach the sleeve from the case. The cleaning procedures for the two are not the same.
- Wash the case and lid (interior and exterior) with warm water, a soft sponge, and a gentle detergent.
- Rinse both components with warm water until no traces of soap remain.
- It’s time to tackle the sleeve. Set the water temperature to warm—not hot.
Run the warm water through either entry of your sleeve for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Slip a finger or a cleaning tool into your sleeve to dislodge trapped sperm. Use a glove if you’re squeamish. Do this carefully, or you could tear or misshape your sleeve.
- Cup the bottom end of your sleeve with your hand and run warm water through the top. Once it’s full of water, plug the top end with your hand and shake it up.
At the last stage, your model’s cleaning instructions may tell you to add their suggested cleaning solution.
If you haven’t bought it or run out, you can use a dash of isopropyl alcohol (70 percent). As an antibacterial agent, it’s capable of destroying common bacteria that could be in your sleeve.7
Full disclaimer: it may harm the material with repeated use, and it has a strong odor. Make sure you rinse it out completely.
How to Dry a Fleshlight?
Putting a sopping wet sleeve back into the case before storing it increases your risk of mold. Dampness and darkness are prime spots for mold spores to grow.
Your case can be left to air-dry or wiped with a clean towel (paper or cloth). The sleeve is another story:
- Pat the exterior of your sleeve dry with a clean microfiber cloth. Don’t use old rags or towels covered in lint—buy special cloths to use only on your fleshlight. Then, apply the recommended drying agent for your product.
- For the interior, use the same drying agent. If you don’t have one, leave the sleeve in a warm, dry area and give it time. Don’t try to reverse the sleeve—you’ll stretch it out and possibly rip it.
For the same reason, you shouldn’t jam anything (like a towel) in the canal besides your penis.
I don’t advise trying to use a hair-dryer, placing it on a radiator, or similar tips to speed up the drying process. You risk warping the material of your sleeve or burning it.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
What Materials Are Fleshlights Made From?
Fleshlight sleeves are built from SuperSkin, which is patented by the Fleshlight organization. The material is non-toxic and free of phthalates.
The latter are chemicals found in plastics that have been shown to carry potential health risks. There aren’t any studies confirming they’re dangerous to adults yet, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Sleeves made by other manufacturers won’t be made of the same material. They may include silicone or other plastics and rubbers.
Where Should You Store Your Fleshlight?
Any spot for storage is fine as long as it isn’t in direct sunlight or humidity. Leaving it on a shelf next to a window or in your bathroom isn’t wise.
Think of standard sex toy hiding places. Underneath your bed, inside your nightstand, tucked underneath clothing in your closet, etc.
Hiding it might not be as straightforward after cleaning if you share a home with others. The sleeve has to dry out before you can put it back in the case.
Unfortunately, you will have to keep it out in the open air. It can’t be packed away somewhere while it’s still wet.
That doesn’t mean it has to be on the kitchen counter or in the living room. Lock your bedroom door and let it dry there. Those of you with roommates may have to let the sleeve sit on a towel under the bed or clear a shelf in their closet.
What If Your Fleshlight Grows Moldy?
You neglected to clean your sleeve, and then forgot about it. The worst case scenario is now your reality: your fleshlight has grown mold.
A mild case of mold can be tackled by dousing the sleeve with isopropyl alcohol (70 percent) and rinsing it out. By mild, I mean if the sleeve smells a little musty from improper cleaning.
Once you see fuzzy growth or black spots, I’m afraid your sex toy is done for. Mold can cause skin irritation, among other issues.10
I’ll let you guess which part of yourself is going to be affected first.
Bleaching might work to destroy any living organisms, but do you really want to hazard chemical burns? Remember, you’re going to be sticking your penis in the sleeve afterward.
Cut your losses, get online, and buy a new fleshlight. This time, be more thorough when you finish using it.
See our Best Fleshlights Guide to get you going.